What should theatre blogs write about – discussions abound

By Megan Mooney

So, apparently the hot topic of the day (um, in the theatre blogging community, which is, admittedly, a pretty small percentage of the population) seems to be musing about what topics should be covered by theatre blogs.

My foray into the discussion came from Theatre is Territory, with the piece Content conundrum.  Basically it gives an overview of the discussions that have been happening and asks "Is there not enough content about the actual content of theatre online?"

Continue reading What should theatre blogs write about – discussions abound

Nicholas Campell

By Megan Mooney

 Nicholas Campbell - Photo by Peter Redman 

So, Nicholas Campbell is someone I see on a regular basis, we live in the same neighbourhood.  I’ve never spoken to the man.  Not for any specific reason, I just never really had occasion to.  But the write-up in today’s Globe and Mail intrigues me.

The first thing I learned is that I really do not follow nearly enough gossip as I should in order to be properly effective in this business.  I had no idea that he was "the bad boy of Canadian drama"

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Miss Julie: Sheh'mah; KICK Theatre

By Ryan Oakley

To see KICK‘s production of “Miss Julie: Sheh’mah” – the adaptation of Strindberg‘s play about sex between the upper and lower classes— I wore a two thousand dollar suit, a five hundred dollar shirt and a pair of seven hundred dollar shoes. My date wore jeans and a sweater: An ensemble that cost as much as my socks and much less than my tie.

Yet Shalome has money and no job, being a jet-setting creature of leisure and a blaxican American democrat, while I am, in everything except my politics and attire, decidedly working class. Not to mention broke and white.

These things may seem irrelevant. Yet it is precisely this blurring of social lines that makes it difficult to relate to an 1888 Swedish play about class. Just how does one render “Miss Julie” relevant to the times and land we presently live in? As radical as Strindberg’s play once was, it’s now in danger of becoming quaint.

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Bashir Lazhar at Tarragon

by Alex Rayment

Raoul Bhaneja as Bashir Lazhar
Raoul Bhaneja as Bashir Lazhar

So I got to say – I love one man shows. It’s so blatantly obvious that this individual is going to talk to themselves for a hour and a half that there is no pretense otherwise which allows the audience to accept it quickly, move on and get wrapped up in the character. Bashir Lazhar by Tarragon Theatre is definately that kind of one man show.

After the first two minutes I had stopped caring about the props and lights and sound booth behind me and was completely involved in this tragic character in front of me. The half awkward, half pathetic, fully eager Mr. Lazhar (played by Raoul Bhaneja) has a strange way of making you respect him and feel sorry for him all in the same breath. He reminded me of Ol’ Gil Gunderson as an immigrant substitute teacher.

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Tartuffe – East Side Players

by Dana Lacey

tartuffe

When, one by one, I asked my friends to come see East Side Player’s production of Tartuffe by Molière, I didn’t get one taker. Maybe they were scared off by the foreign title and powdered wigs, or were worried that Molière was too 16th-century to be entertaining.

Their loss.

Tartuffe, it turns out, is an insanely sarcastic satire that attacks just about everything you’d like to see attacked–hypocrites, government, dogma, patriarchs and, of course, the ignorant masses. The audience (mostly silver haired) got really into it, cheering as their favourite characters wandered onstage. Didn’t take long to realize why: after getting hit with the first zinger of the night, I didn’t stop laughing till the curtains fell.

Black Rider –Tarragon Theatre

by Megan Mooney

Rachael-Johnston-Black-Ride

Just a forewarning… My laptop got stolen and it’s kind of knocked me off kilter (it’ so posting will be a bit more sporadic and may not be quite up to snuff.  Hopefully I will be able to get a new laptop shortly.  Now, on to the review…

The production of Black Rider at Tarragon Theatre is an incredible, and bizarre, show.  And, really, it’s hard to expect anything else from a collaboration between William S. Burrows and Tom Waits.  In fact, Scott, my show-partner for this one, described it as “a hilarious nightmare.  I think it’s a pretty apt description actually.  If I had been in a different headspace, or a kid, I would have been terrified.

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Frost/Nixon – Canadian Stage Company

By Dana Lacey

Eavesdropping on theatre-goers at Canadian Stage Company’s presentation of Frost/Nixon made me feel incredibly young. People were asking each other where they were during what would turn out to be the most-watched interview ever, and I wasn’t even a fetus yet. Full disclosure: I was born in the 80s. I wasn’t around during most of television’s big-time events: Other than September 11th, I can’t think of a single time I’ve been really moved by something on television. Sometimes I’m jealous that I wasn’t anywhere when Kennedy was shot, and that I missed out on the paranoia-fuelled days of Watergate. Reality television didn’t centre around singing back then, but was just a tacky. Frost/Nixon captures that perfectly. Continue reading Frost/Nixon – Canadian Stage Company

Congratulations Mr. MacIvor!

by Megan Mooney

If you’re not in the theatre industry then there’s a reasonable chance that you haven’t heard of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.  Which, really, is kind of a shame, ‘cause it’s a pretty cool prize.  They awarded this year’s prize last night.

A quick description from their website:

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was introduced in 2001 and dedicated to renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. Sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Canada’s largest annual theatre arts award recognizes direction, playwriting and design in three-year cycles

This year it was playwriting.  And the award went to Daniel MacIvor – honestly, I’m not sure I could think of a more perfect person for it to go to. 

Continue reading Congratulations Mr. MacIvor!