“AN (almost) IDEAL HUSBAND” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

The definition of ‘Ideal’ is [a] a conception of something in its perfection; [b] a standard of excellence; or [c] a person conceived as embodying such a conception. Oscar Wilde’s Lady Gertrude considers her husband Sir Robert just such an icon and his intense love for her pushes him to maintain such a lofty demeanour. Evidence of a youthful indiscretion leads to bribery and blackmail, which may blow away the very foundation of his studied character. Sophia Walker & Tim Campbell are the Chilterns and the interaction between them reflects such a penultimate emotional connection.

 Brad Hodder as AN IDEAL HUSBAND’s ideal friend

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“CORIOLANUS” a visionary new take on a political tragedy Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The protagonist of Shakespeare’s last tragedy – Caius Martius, receives the honorarium of Coriolanus in recognition of his conquering Coreoles, the capital city of Rome’s enemy. He’s a war hero whose mother pushes him into seeking political power. Think of a Dwight Eisenhower; with a Rose Kennedy materfamilias! Then add in a Pierre Trudeau distaining attitude toward the common electorate and one could then have a modern parallel of the original. Coriolanus is neither a hero nor a villain, he’s both and thus his enemies become more numerous than his supporters. He’s banished; joins Rome’s enemies; is seduced by family instinct; and gets assassinated for this second betrayal.

Andre Sills as a dynamic but faulted CORIOLANUS

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“Crystal” – a Cirque du Soleil tour du force Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Canada is recognized internationally for inventing basketball; the ‘Canadarm’; snowmobiles; beating the U.S. In the War of 1812; and then punishing them further by exporting Shatner & Celine! We Canucks can also take pride in the World famous Cirque du Soleil – a worldwide phenomenon. Last night, a special media presentation of this iconic ensemble’s latest show highlighted something dear to us Leaf & Hab fans – ice & hockey, but with a plot & super effects.
Disclaimer: – like many of my press counterparts, an overabundance of visual events can jade one’s taste, and I admit to studiously avoiding figure skating competitions – live or on TV.

‘Crystal’ at school

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Truscott play a wake-up call Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

The characters in Soulpepper’s production of “
Innocence Lost; a play about Steven Truscott”, are collectively evil, ignorant and frightening. Director Jackie Maxwell creates a stunning ensemble masterpiece and a community chorus of condemnation reminiscent of the Greek tragedies in her depiction of Beverly Cooper’s docudrama.
While most Canadians might find it hard to believe, that an innocent 14-year-old boy would be wrongly convicted of rape and murder in their neighbourhood, this play reveals that it’s a likely possibility.
Nancy Polk’s compelling portrayal of Isabel LeBourdais, the writer who spent many years attempting to acquit Steven Truscott after his 1959 conviction, demonstrates that justice seekers are an unpopular lot.

The Police ‘mugshot’ of a young Steven Truscott

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“GIRLS LIKE THAT” could be you, or your daughter Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

 

 

Evan Placey’s play Girls Like That, now at the Tarragon’s Mainspace, is a play of paradoxes – and a powerful, captivating theatrical experience. It is a feminist play written by a man, and rings true both psychologically and socially. It depicts adolescent girls who live by their cell-phones and social media, yet it appeals both to teenagers and to older women — and men. I attended a matinee where most of the audience were high school and university students who said that the play reflected their lives. There were, however, a number of audience members older than the “social media generation,” who said they, too, identified with the characters and action.      Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann                                                                   The ensemble of “GIRLS LIKE THAT” More…

‘MA RAINEY’-Alana Bridgewater’s breathtaking Blues Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

Countless obstacles contrive to stop Ma Rainey, the real life mother of soul, played by Alana Bridgewater, from recording her music in Soulpepper’s powerful production of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In a 1927 studio in Chicago, Ma is beset with car accidents, racist cabbies, bullying police officers, equipment failures, unfaithful lovers, ambitious underlings, impatient bosses and unfair pay. (While Ma got $200 for her session, Al Jolson would have gotten $10,000.) Though Ma’s spirit is strong, she is on the edge, due to the endless barriers keeping her from getting what she deserves. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

   Stewart,  Griffith & Bridgewater in’ MA RAINEY’

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