“A Murder is Announced”; WEST’s take on Agatha ‘C’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Trivia question: – what are the three most-published works of all time? The Bible (naturally); Shakespeare’s plays (of course); 3rd – Agatha Christie’s mysteries (surprise!). In spite of the superfluity of people having seen and thus know the answer to ‘who dunnit’, the lady’s plays still get staged before full houses and now it’s West End Studio Theatre’s take on ‘A Murder is Announced’ and another chance to see dear old Miss Marple inimitably solve a puzzle. Director Paul Groulx‘s interpretation explores the passably amicable dialogue between Marple and Craddock, her local police inspector. It’s two sharp minds at work.

     OOPS, somebody’s been killed and (almost) all the above are suspects

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Caminos Festival:-plays on identity;culture, language Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Caminos Festival, now in its second year, took place at the Daniels Spectrum in Toronto, October 5-8th. Sponsored by Aluna Theatre, and this year in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts, the Festival presents plays that are not only written and performed by Pan-American artists, but also deal with issues of identity, social justice, language, history, and other cultural/personal situations. (Last year, I reviewed Antigonas: Women’s Tribunal, the story of women whose relatives were “disappeared” in the ongoing civil war in Colombia, and also a Maori version of Othello.)

A dramatic on-stage moment

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Well worth “WAITING FOR GODOT,” even after many years.” Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
I attended this performance with a friend who acted in the play in university; he says that, even after many years, he still discovers new meanings.Soulpepper’s current production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, directed by Daniel Brooks, is well worth seeing, both for people, like me, who love the play, have seen it several times, and enjoy noting the variations in production, and for new audiences. It is a play that needs to be experienced, rather than understood intellectually. Each production shows me a new facet of the play, as well as recalling familiar lines and actions.

a dramatic moment while “Waiting for Godot”

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“PICTURE THIS”, Soulpepper’s silent movie shenanigans Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Picture This, now at Soulpepper, is like a Hungarian strudel: crafted with expertise and love, sweet but not saccharine, a bit flaky, and containing a filling that is both delicious and nutritious. The play, adapted by Morris Panych and Brenda Robins from Hungarian writer Melchoir Lengyel’s 1937 script, The Battle of Waterloo, is a “love-letter” to motion pictures, theatre, and all the arts.  Clever dialogue, brought to life by Panych’s insightful, well-paced directing, an excellent cast, and a creative set, combine to make this an enjoyable evening in the theatre.   Robins, part of the Soulpepper ensemble since 1999, also acts in the play, in a double role as film director’s assistant and wardrobe mistress.   Photo by  Cylla von Tidemann


the cast in a scene from “PICTURE THIS”

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Relaxing by the “Golden Pond” Reply

Review by Michael Piscitelli

At the end of the summer, you’re probably back from your cottage after a relaxing time of doing a whole lot of nothing while enjoying the lovely weather and trying your best to ignore the awful bugs. After getting back home, what better way to start off the fall and school season, than to go see a show reminiscing about the time you just came home from? Ernest Thomson’s “On Golden Pond” is a slice-of-life show about an elderly couples’ time spent in the twilight years of their lives at their family bungalow.                                                               the folks who live or visit ‘On Golden Pond”
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TIMON OF ATHENS: “riches to rags, generosity to despair” Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Is friendship only as deep as your pocket?  What happens when you believe you are wealthy in friends as well as money – and then these friends desert you in your hour of need?  Timon of Athens, at Stratford, raises these questions, important for our time as well as Shakespeare’s. Timon is one of Shakespeare’s least performed plays; some scholars even think that the play was not written entirely by Shakespeare but in collaboration with another writer, perhaps Thomas Middleton. It has, however, been revived in the 20th and now 21st centuries, often set in modern dress, as in this production.    Photo by Cylla von Tydemann

      the cast of TIMON of ATHENS on stage

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