Chronicling a Love Affair with Canadian Theatre
peter pan the panto

Peter Pan The Panto At Drayton – A Review

Peter Pan: The Panto At Drayton Peter Pan: The Panto, at the comfortable St. Jacobs Country Playhouse in Waterloo is Drayton Entertainment’s second foray into “panto” for the 2023 season. If you are unfamiliar with the term, let me refer you to an explanation of the genre in my review

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The Christmas Tree At The Foster Festival – A Review

The Christmas Tree At The Foster Festival At barely 45 minutes, Norm Foster’s The Christmas Tree is something of a theatrical amuse-bouche. You know, those minuscule bits of deliciousness served by fancy restaurants before the meal proper gets under way? But rather than coming at the beginning of anything, The

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the master plan

The Master Plan At Crow’s Theatre – A Review

The Master Plan At Crow’s Theatre I was familiar with the work of director Chris Abraham mostly through classics like Much Ado About Nothing and Uncle Vanya, so I was eager to see what he would do with The Master Plan, Michael Healey’s new “ripped-from-the-headlines” play at Crow’s Theatre. I

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the amen corner

The Amen Corner At The Shaw Festival – A Review

The Amen Corner At The Shaw Festival The Shaw Festival’s production of The Amen Corner, James Baldwin’s searing tragedy set in a Pentecostal church in 1950s Harlem, marks the first time a play by a Black author has graced the mainstage of the Festival Theatre. Having seen Kimberley Rampersad’s blockbuster

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escaped alone

Escaped Alone At Yale Rep – A Review

Escaped Alone At Yale Rep Caryl Churchill’s 2016 play, Escaped Alone, is a puzzlement, which despite its 55 intermissionless minutes seems to go on forever. The four women in Yale’s production of Escaped Alone, middle-aged to elderly (although Churchill apparently specified that they are all “at least 70”), sit in

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the salvagers

The Salvagers At Yale Rep – A Review

The Salvagers At Yale Rep The Salvagers by Harrison David Rivers, having its world premiere at Yale Rep, is the latest in a long line of semi-successful plays to indulge in kitchen sink realism. There is an angry young man at the center of the working class Salvage family –

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Dreamgirls At Goodspeed Musicals – A Review

Dreamgirls At Goodspeed Musicals In 1981, when Dreamgirls debuted at the Imperial Theatre, it electrified Broadway – and me – thanks to a star-making turn by Jennifer Holliday and an eye-popping production orchestrated by director Michael Bennett with the aid of theatre design legends like Robin Wagner (sets), Theoni Aldredge

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private jones

Private Jones At Goodspeed Musicals – A Review

Private Jones At Goodspeed Musicals Private Jones, Marshall Pailet’s ambitious new musical at Goodspeed Musicals, aims high and hits a few targets but ultimately misses the mark. Based on a supposedly true story, Private Jones tells the story of a deaf kid from Breconshire, Wales, who lies about his age

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hugh o'brian

Who’s Hugh O’Brian?

Who’s Hugh O’Brian? A recent conversation with an actor friend (yes, we all go slumming from time to time) brought up the old showbiz wheeze about the Five Stages of an Actor’s Career. I looked it up on Quote Investigator and the earliest documented telling of the joke was by

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globe and mail

Our Audience Is Dying

Twenty years ago, in the brilliant Canadian television series Slings and Arrows, the fictional advertising agency Froghammer created an ad campaign for the equally fictitious New Burbage Festival featuring a billboard headlined “OUR SUBSCRIBERS” that showed an elderly white woman on her deathbed, her husband grieving by her side. I

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Wisconsin Theatre. Yes, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Theatre As an American, I pride myself on having pierced the Poutine Curtain to bring news of Canada’s theatrical riches to my benighted fellow countrymen. Now I discover that Ilana Lucas, an intrepid reporter for Intermission, a Canadian online magazine devoted to theatre, has made the reverse journey and

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The 2023 OntarioStage Awards

The 2023 OntarioStage Awards What they lack in prestige, they more than make up for in pointlessness.™ Once more unto the breach with the annual awards compilation voted “Easiest to Ignore” by the Canadian theatre establishment. The usual caveats apply: As an American, my time in Canada is limited thanks

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gil garratt

The 2024 Season – Part Two

The 2024 Season – Part Two To the extent that Americans are aware of the theatrical riches of Ontario’s summer “festival” season at all, they are probably familiar with The Stratford Festival and The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I discussed the 2024 season at these august institutions, along with my

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shaw and shakespeare

The 2024 Season, Part One

The 2024 Season – Part One As Christmas approaches what better way to escape the crass commercialism of the holiday season than to toss another log on the fire, settle back with your single malt, and savor the crass commercialism of the 2024 theatrical season in southwestern Ontario! By now

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