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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Little Theatrical Reflection...

Although the past few weeks have been busy I have managed to sneak in quite a bit of theatre (for me). Over the last little while I saw Mo and Jess Kill Suzie (Northern Light Theatre), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Studio Theatre - U of A), and Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre). So here is my reflection on each of the productions...

Mo and Jess Kill Suzie (NLT)
I worked the bar and saw the show for free. It was an intense 90 minutes but would have been even more intense and stronger as a whole if it had been the promised 80 minutes. I guess the pacing had been slowing down over the course of the run. I had some problems with the script. I felt that it could have been several pages shorter to tighten it up and take out the multiple repetitions, however it had some great writing mixed in there. The performers were as a whole competent. I wished for more blood thirstiness from Jess (? - Amy Matysio) and more drive from Mo (? - Amanda Bergen). I think that's who played who... go by the actor's names, because I am not exactly sure which one was which. The strongest performance was definitely Lora Brovold as Suzie. Sad in a way, because the story is the other two women's story and for 2/3 of the play Suzie is lying inert on the floor in a pool of blood, but even this had intensity.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Studio Theatre)
I had to see this as part of my homework for Drama Class. It is coloured by the fact that I had already seen a phenomenal production of the show in Fort McMurray and it would be hard to beat that one, particularly the performance of Julie Brown as Martha. Anyhow, the show was alright. Major pacing issues in act one (the longest act) and I dozed a bit (sorry). The 2nd and 3rd act picked up, but there was never quite the right manic energy the show needed. I felt the blocking was static and any of the physical fight scenes seem choreographed and unbelievable. It was okay, not great.

Pride and Prejudice (Citadel Theatre)
I went to see this last night and I was worried because it had been a long weekend and I was very tired and a bit sick (still sick today - sniff sniff). The show was 3 1/2 hours long. Yikes, but not really. This show was delightful. The pace was quick and the acting well done and it moved along so briskly that you hardly noticed the time. Elizabeth and Darcy were wonderful, but so was the whole cast. I thought it was really good. It is not even 'my kind of show'... I think the choice of this show reflects the tastes of the Artistic Director and you can see that in the season choices, but it was very entertaining. My only disappointment was that there were not many Edmonton Actors in it. I would have hoped for more of our local actors to be in the Citadel Young Professional Company. This was also a good choice for the women's roles as there were really the heart of the play. Lally Cadeau was amazing and she should get a Sterling nomination for that performance. So much better than she was in Noises Off.

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