Showing posts from February, 2014

A Strange Journey with Apples, Dust, Cancer and Connecting - The Clean House

On Thursday night I took in Opening Night of The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, presented by Trunk Theatre at the Varscona Theatre.  I knew little of the play and it soon became apparent that this was going to be a bit off the beaten path.  It's very funny, a bit realistic and a bit absurd, and it concerns itself with the telling of the perfect joke, of a pair of sisters who cannot be more different, of an affair, of picking apples, of caring for people and of seeking connections.  At least that's was my take away.  I loved the smart, sharp, slightly off kilter writing.  I didn't anticipate the absurdness of the show so it took a bit for me to realize that I needed to let go of real and just go with it.  Once I did that I relaxed and just had a good time.  The cast is a nice tight ensemble and the staging is creative in the limits of the space itself. Favorite moments were the apple-eating scene between Ana (Shannon Boyle) and Matilde (Elena Porter), Virginia's (Coralie Ca

Nevermore - Gothic Ghoulish Goodness Onstage!

Well, last night I FINALLY saw Catalyst Theatre's Nevermore and I do have to say it was well worth the wait!  It was visually stunning, musically & choreographically interesting and well-executed, and a compelling story.  I knew very little about Edgar Allan Poe other than being familiar with a  few of his stories, but it didn't really matter, it wasn't necessary to know anything to be draw into the performance.  It was such a wonderfully complete world.  Tightly performed by an ensemble of 7 actors who, outside of Scott Shpeley as Poe, switched characters with the exchange of a hat or skirt or jacket.  They all took turns as narrator and transitioned seamlessly from one to another.  Everyone was simply wonderful.  I love, love, loved the design by Bretta Gerecke .  I loved the little details in the flick of a foot by two characters to punctuate, and the ways they each chose to create different characters with a change of voice or laugh or simply the way they held t

Oldies, But Goodies... A Little Shakespeare and a Little Noel Coward!

I have somehow managed to squeeze in two shows already this week and it's not even Friday!  On Monday, I had a props pull at Walterdale so seeing as how I was already on the South side of the river, I decided to catch the Studio Theatre production of Love's Labour's Lost at the Timm's Centre. The day before I had attended Freewill Shakespeare's Brunch of Love so I was in a Shakespeare kind of mood.  The show was very fun and over the top ridiculous.  It's one of the earlier Shakespeare plays so it's not the best written, but this class made the most of any opportunity for ribaldry and silliness.  I particularly loved Oscar Deryx as Don Adriano de Armado.  He was like some fantastic hybrid of Inigo Montoya, Captain Jack Sparrow and Russell Brand.  The pants and wig alone are worth the price of admission!  But it's not just that, it's that he really sold it.  The rest of the cast is up to the challenge, as well, he was just my favorite.  But this is a

#yegBookClub - An Exciting Idea for Those Who Read and Tweet!

The idea started a couple of weeks ago, when a friend tweeted to me asking whether I was the friend who had been looking for a new Book Club book to read.  I was not, but it got me thinking.  I have been in book clubs in the past, but not for some time, and I missed it.  I read a lot, and love talking about books, and discussing them with friends.  With kids and theatre and my volunteering, the shape of my life has meant that I wasn't able to commit to a regular book club, but then I thought, " What about a twitter book club?"   I have a lot of friends on twitter who also read, some in the city, some outside, and twitter might be the perfect place for us to 'hold our meeting'.  So I posed the question to about 9-10 friends, " Anyone interested in a twitter Book Club?" and the response was overwhelming.  The first question was, "What shall we read?" I had been wanting to read Todd Babiak's, Come Barbarians , so I offered that out, taggin

New Works at the U of A and a Double Serving of Craigslist at the Citadel Theatre!

Tonight I returned to my old stomping grounds of the University of Alberta to see one of the two nights of The New Works Festival .  I am sad I won't be able to see both nights, but there are only so many available days in my calendar right now. I am always interested in seeing new work and I think it is fabulous that the University of Alberta has this festival.  Each year, since 2000, they have produced 6 new works by University students, providing opportunities for dramaturgy and direction.  I am sure for many it is only one stop in the development of their plays, but it is also an important one.  I have both had a script in as a playwright ( Tight Rope ) and have directed ( The Playmates ) and found the experiences to be extremely rewarding.  Tonight I saw The Comedian, Solitaire and All That's Left .  These were three very different shows in various stages of development, and the evening had many laughs and many moments of tension. I connected most to Solitaire , by Sophie

Tensions in the Neighbourhood - Clybourne Park!

Sunday evening I took my husband and friend AM to see Clybourne Park at the Citadel.  I had seen it a week or so earlier at the Dress Rehearsal, but I was eager to see it again now that the cast had had a bit of time in front of an audience.  With the kinds of jokes in the piece, getting a feel for the audience is really important.  I imagine each night is dramatically different as it has jokes that are going to land a lot different on a Tuesday night as compared to a Saturday.  I really liked it in the dress rehearsal. The first act made me cry and that completely caught me off-guard.  I was equally impressed with the second act, but in a very different way emotionally. But I LOVED it last night.  It's such a well tuned ensemble and the script is so, so sharp.  I love that everyone is so present, listening as well as striving to be heard. Some of my favorite moments are actually watching the characters when they aren't talking as they deliver a single look and you know exac