Chronicling a Love Affair with Canadian Theatre

Escaped Alone At Yale Rep – A Review

escaped alone

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 a garden and natter on […]

Who’s Hugh O’Brian?

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 Hugh O’Brian. It’s worth repeating […]

Our Audience Is Dying

globe and mail

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 was reminded of this when […]

A View From The Bridge At Long Wharf Theatre – A Review

a view from the bridge

A View From The Bridge at Long Wharf Theatre The now homeless and itinerant Long Wharf Theatre is making ingenious use of an ad hoc space on the second floor of the sleek Canal Dock Boathouse on the shore of New Haven harbor to mount a smashing revival of Arthur Miller’s 1955 A View From […]

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 returned with valuable intelligence. It […]

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 to Immigration Canada’s ongoing efforts […]

The 2024 Season – Part Two

gil garratt

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 personal picks for the shows […]

The 2024 Season, Part One

shaw and shakespeare

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 all the major (and minor) […]

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory At The Grand Theatre – A Review

charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory At The Grand Theatre The continued existence of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a musical based on a 1964 children’s novel by Roald Dahl, bewilders me. When it premiered in London in 2013, discerning critics roundly panned it. It has gone through several iterations since but the book by David […]

A Huron County Christmas Carol At The Blyth Festival – A Review

a huron county christmas carol

A Huron County Christmas Carol At The Blyth Festival As near as I can tell, Blyth’s 2023 remounting of 2019’s A Huron County Christmas Carol sticks pretty close to the original script, but with a largely new and energetic cast it seems like a completely new show. Artistic Director Gil Garratt’s devilishly clever updating of […]