Chronicling a Love Affair with Canadian Theatre

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 […]

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) […]

The Best Seats At The Shaw Festival

Shaw’s best seats Back in the days when I was writing guidebooks to Orlando’s many theme parks, I would include a section in my descriptions of various attractions called “the best seats in the house,” wherein I would attempt to guide readers to the best locations from which to maximize their enjoyment of a roller […]

2023 Season – A Look back

Reflections on the 2023 Season It’s not a horserace, it’s not a competition, and there are a lot of apples vs. oranges considerations when it comes to discussing the very different theatre companies that call southwestern Ontario home. And yet . . . Now that the 2023 season is more or less over (Stratford has […]

Is This The Stratford Festival’s Best Kept Secret?

tom patterson cafe

Is This The Stratford Festival’s Best Kept Secret? Looking for a nice quiet light lunch or dinner before the show? Or maybe you’d just like to have lunch in a quiet environment in which you can actually hear your companion. Let me introduce you to the Tom Pat cafe, located in the spectacular new Tom […]

A New Slings and Arrows Podcast Debuts

outrageous fortune podcast

A New Slings and Arrows Podcast Debuts Slings and Arrows fans rejoice. A “kind of official” podcast devoted to the cult favorite is now available and it’s a great way to mark the show’s twentieth anniversary year. Outrageous Fortune, as the podcast is dubbed, promises to be a gold mine for fans who can’t get […]