Essential Questions- “Wife for Life” &“Trifles” Reply

By Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson

Loss is the theme that unites the two one act plays in the Shaw Festival’s lunch time program—loss of life, loss of sanity, loss of relationship, loss of friendship. The main characters in Eugene O’Neill’s Wife for a Life and Susan Glaspell’s Trifles struggle to survive when things they value are taken away from them, and they are haunted by the regret of what they could have done.     Photo courtesy of  Michael Cooper

l-r: Molnar,Harwood, Irving, Somerville & Campbell

l-r: Molnar,Harwood, Irving, Somerville & Campbell

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Enchanted emancipation –“Enchanted April” at Shaw Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

Matthew Barber’s adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim’s 1922 novel, Enchanted April, is seamless. The writing flows eloquently from beginning to end. While 21st Century audiences may not find the actions of the two British main characters, Lotty and Rose, played by Moya O’Connell and Tara Rosling all that scandalous—for their time—running away from their husbands to vacation alone, was nothing short of revolutionary (think ‘Thelma and Louise’).
  Photo by David Cooper

Moya O'Connell enjoying an ENCHANTED APRIL

Moya O’Connell enjoying an ENCHANTED APRIL

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“No Peace in our Time”: about yesterday, viable today Reply

by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
There was no peace in George Bernard Shaw as he was crafting his play Geneva, (the basis for John’s Murrell’s Peace in Our Time) throughout the 1930’s. He continually rewrote the manuscript right up to production—in 1938 in Warsaw, Poland and London and a year later at the Royal Alexandra in Toronto. And he was still editing the work a decade later.The play, after all its re-workings, has the feeling of a workshop production with the energy of an emerging piece.  Photo courtesy of Emily Cooper
Peace in our time 2 More…

“Measure for Measure”; a comedy-drama with a message Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
A couple of millennia ago; St. Matthew, leaving the ‘sermon on the Mount’ made some observations about hypocrisy. He talked about ‘doing unto others; responding fairly & in kind; and judging – measure for measure. The Bard plagiarized the apostle’s quote for a play about just that – “what you do is what you get” and MEASURE FOR MEASURE serio-comedically illustrates that scenario. Director Martha Henry has taken some liberties too, but the message is still effective.       Photo by  Michael Cooper

Hughson,Laboucane,Tree, P.Hutt, & Trowbridge -debating

Hughson,Laboucane,Tree, P.Hutt, & Trowbridge -debating

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The Light in the Piazza – A journey in letting go Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson

When a beautiful girl from America goes to Florence and meets the man of her dreams, the problems begin. Clara (Jacqueline Thair) is mentally challenged—injured by a horse when she was twelve. But her Italian-speaking love Fabrizio (Jeff Irving) does not realize it. Should her mother (Patty Jamieson) tell him?
The story line of The Light in the Piazza, (book by Craig Lucas, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel) is more complicated than most musicals… ditto the orchestrations & score.  Photo courtesy of Emily Cooper

Jeff Irving & Jacqueline Thair

Jeff Irving & Jacqueline Thair

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Lady Windermere’s Fan – Ensemble Playing at is Finest Reply

Review by Judith Robinson
The Shaw Festival’s production of Lady Windermere’s Fan is pure magic. The 1890’s British upper crust comes to life in formal balls, drawing room debates, scandalous outings and a hint of romance. Although Oscar Wilde’s strength lies in his witty lines, the imaginative set designs of Teresa Przybylski and the fanciful costumes of William Schmuck make this production visually stunning.
The dramatic elements combine in perfect balance in a mastery of ensemble-playing.Windermere's fan 2

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