Showing posts from March, 2012

Are We Better off Not Knowing? The Upside of Ignorance...

Thursday night I caught the Opening Night performance of Ignorance at Theatre Network (The Old Trout Puppet Workshop). First of all, I am going to say, Theatre Network does a fabulous Opening Night Reception. You must check that out. I tend to go to theatre when I can, but being there on Opening Night reminded me what kind of atmosphere an Opening can have. There is a buzz of extra electricity and then afterwards, at least at the Roxy, there was an incredible spread! And then the show... So much dark humour in this piece. I have never seen this company before, although I had heard a lot of good things about them when they were here last for The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan. So, I didn't know exactly what to expect. It was really very good. Dark, yes, funny, yes, puppets, yes. It took me a few minutes to accept the visibility of the puppeteers, but once I did that and just went with it, I had a great time. There are quite a few twisted little death scenes ( and a homicidal balloon or

God of Carnage - Laughing With Savages

Last week I caught God of Carnage at The Citadel. I caught the talk-back preview on Tuesday night and not only got to see the fabulous show, but also was fortunate to see and hear actors Fiona Reid and Ric Reid (who play the parents of the injured child ) and director James MacDonald answer questions about the show and the process specific to this show. It is always a treat to get a glimpse into the people and the processes behind the art. All three were delightful and Ms. Reid was especially funny. I have a feeling she is a riot to party with. The show was great fun. Great fun in an oh-my-god-did-that-just-happen kind of way. Written by Yazmina Reza , the script deals with two sets of parents meeting about an altercation between their 11 year old sons. One child has been severely injured and the intent of the meeting is to civilly discuss the repercussions. What happens is anything but civil. It is a riot. Many times I found myself laughing so hard it surprised me. This is a masterfu

We are cleared for take-off! The Mayfield's Boeing Boeing!

Last night I was invited by my good friend Barb to catch the latest show at The Mayfield. I hadn't been to the Mayfield for quite some time, I think Footloose , and I have always enjoyed myself in the past and Barb is great to have a night out with so I was very happy to go. I didn't know much about the show before I went, but Barb informed me it was a farce and I love a good farce so even better! Of course we stuffed ourselves. I didn't eat hardly anything all day since I knew the buffet was coming and we talked of all thing theatre and in particular Titanic (Barb is directing it). After the terrific meal we settled in for the show. It was so much fun! A true door slamming, crazy mix-up farce set in the 60s with three international stewardesses sharing the same fiance. In the spirit of Lend Me a Tenor and Noises Off! this production embraced the wacky, the larger than life characters, the crazy couch jumping and the aforementioned door-slamming. I really enjoyed it. In

A Celebration of a Life - Tribute to Marlene

Yesterday was a day of celebration and memorial. Earlier this year the Walterdale family lost Marlene Kottke, a much beloved member. Yesterday afternoon we got together in the theatre to celebrate Marlene's life. Her children and many of her friends and family came to join with the Walterdale family and we shared those things that made Marlene so special. I was fortunate to know her and feel honoured that the organizers asked me to participate. It was a lovely time of remembrance and felt just about perfect in reflection on her life. Marlene was almost exactly the same age as my mother and they shared many qualities - good listening, good organization, kindness, and nurturing. I will miss Marlene. After the memorial, I took in Fool For Love at Shadow Theatre across the road. It was a good production of a Sam Shepherd piece I had never seen before. I cannot really fault this production - well acted and directed and a great set. I didn't feel the intense sexual chemi

RACE - No Shades of Grey

I did the kid swap with Mark in the Westmount parking lot so that I could make it to the Theatre Yes production of David Mamet's RACE tonight. I had read a little about the play when it was on Broadway a few years ago and thought that the premise sounded intriguing so I was excited to see it was coming up. I think Mamet is always a courageous choice as the dialogue is tricky and this piece would be especially so because of the specific requirements of the cast. Although the play took a few minutes to grab me, once I was in, I was in. This production is a nice solid piece of work, anchored brilliantly by Michael Peng. The rest of the cast turn in solid performances, but he clearly seems most at home with the complexity of Mamet's dialogue. So many things impressed me about this piece of theatre. Brian Bast's set and costumes are perfect (and I am not just saying that because Brian and I went to high school together). It is amazing how transformed the Catalyst is. It was har

In Which I Pull a Mama Rose on Titanic...

My youngest, Gibson, is a very talented little dude but quite shy, however, that shyness obviously did not stop me from getting him to participate in Two One Way Tickets to Broadway' s upcoming production of Titanic at the Winspear (April 4th and 5th). I received an email from Barb Mah, the Director, asking if he might be interested as they needed a child to play Jack Thayer. I wasn't sure what Gibson would say. He's shy. Anyhow, first he said no, then he thought about the fact that he would miss school and then he changed it to a yes (what motivates children...). We get a bit of a break on rehearsals which is nice. Barb is excellent in working with him early on school nights so that he can leave before it gets too, too late. He is also happy to get a 'treat' on the way home. I sit in and help wrangle him, but I am happy to say he seems to be doing quite well. Luckily every boy from 5-50 seems to understand the language of video games so he was bonding quit