Considering the gamut & levels of theatre that critics have the opportunity to witness, most of us 5th Estate types categorize or pigeon-hole the various genera; naturally, leeway is afforded to amateur and community ensembles. Clarkson Music Theatre’s YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN requires no such latitude…it’s as professional as any mainstream company; Shaw, CanStage & Stratford included! This musical (& very much alive) version of Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie hit is even more fun than its film original.
The shooting of Charles ‘Bert’ Massey in February of 1915 was an epitomic ‘cause celebre’, He was a MASSEY, albeit not well-liked by the pater familias; and Carrie Davies was his virginal eighteen-year old housekeeper… the same age as young Bert was when he impregnated his wife and had the son whose pistol was the instrument of Bert’s death.
The family was away and Bert decided it was time to “do” Carrie. She resisted and the next day; in fear for her chastity – ‘blew him away’. Photo by James Smagata
Review by Shibley Ahmed
On entering the foggy Factory Theatre Main Stage there seemed to be a sense of anticipation amongst the crowd. Opening nights will undoubtedly do that for any production but even more so for one that has been chosen worthy enough to take its act to the National Arts Centre in March. Producer/Actor duo, Michele Smith & Dean Gilmour’s TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON takes William Faulkner’s much-revered 1930 character-driven novel, “As I Lay Dying” and provides a realistically immersive journey back in time to the old south.
Photo courtesy of Katherine Fleitas
During the 1st World War, a guy named Tom Thomson invented GPS and named it after his own nomenclature – “TOM TOM”! FALSE, Untrue, Bogus…he was a painter that was associated with, but not part of Canada’s “Group of Seven” (actually 11!). The circumstances of his death in Algonquin is still a mystery and Jim Betts’ musical offers up two resolutions for the audience’s selection. Neither is prioritized but rather strictly submitted. The Oakville Players and its talented director Mary Rose make the event seem contemporary.
Humour can be found in places one least expects it which, I guess, makes it all the funnier. Sometimes it’s there – plain as day; and one doesn’t really need to do much to get it out. And when it IS there, if you try too hard to make it funny, well, you won’t… simple as that. Thankfully, Shakespeare’s The Tempest at U of T’s Hart House has more than enough other elements to make up for this performance’s lack of humour.
Review by Danny Gaisin
Back in 1949, this almost teen-aged writer & my contemporaries eagerly anticipated reading “The Browning Version” by Terrence Rattigan. We thought it would be a scientific study about the ‘BAR -1918’ machine gun. Nope, it’s a play about pedagogy and a translation of Agamemnon. It also dealt with illicit love and adulteries so our subject-matter disappointment was mitigated. Dundas Little Theatre has gone repertory and presents this play as part of a ‘double-header’ offering two dynamic lady-thespians with the opportunity to shine. Photos courtesy of Russell Rowse