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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on So Much Theatre

Shenkman Arts Centre turns five!

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Pardon My French are set to take the stage at 2pm to celebrate Shenkman's 5th anniversary. Photo provided by The Shenkman Arts Centre.Pardon My French are set to take the stage at 2pm to celebrate Shenkman's 5th anniversary. Photo provided by The Shenkman Arts Centre.

Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, A. Laramey is a writer who spends far too much time on the internet. You can find her on Facebook. This year marks the 5th anniversary of the creation of the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans, and in the spirit of creativeness, arts and community, Shenkman is hosting a 5th anniversary celebration on May 31st .  And what a five years it’s been! The goal of the centre was “to create a home for arts and culture in east Ottawa,” says Karen Scott-Gagné, Marketing and... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: Hal and Falstaff

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Hal and Falstaff

Review by Brian M. Carroll 175 minutes (including one intermission) | Historical Drama | G Like Shel Silverstein’s poem Hamlet as Told on the Streets, the Company of Fools’ street smart production of Hal and Falstaff is aimed at the rabble: the types of folks who paid a penny to stand in the pit of the original Globe Theatre. Director Margo MacDonald has her actors in lower-class roles gesturing like punks and squatters, while costume designer Vanessa Imeson outfitted them in boots, slashed clothes, studs, pins, tattoos and hair cuts to match. Appropriate... | Continue reading article

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Undercurrents review

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Photo courtesy of Julie LaurinPhoto courtesy of Julie Laurin

Tuesday evening marked the beginning of Ottawa’s third annual undercurrents festival at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (1233 Wellington Street West). Festival Director Pat Gauthier’s  showcase of six theatre productions includes a mix of local and national creations that highlight some of the best cutting-edge theatre in the country. With each show lasting about an hour at the most, very reasonable ticket prices, multiple performances, and productions you might not normally get to see—or know about until after the fact — the festival is one of the most accessible theatre available.... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: Fly Me to the Moon

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Photo credit: Andrew Alexander/GCTCPhoto credit: Andrew Alexander/GCTC

No matter how routine your job, you never really know what you’re going to find when you go in to work. What starts as a regular shift for Belfast home-care workers Loretta Mackie (Margo MacDonald) and Frances Shields (Mary Ellis) quickly turns into a question of scruples when their client dies on the toilet on the day his pension cheque is due to be deposited. The moral dilemma with which the protagonists of Marie Jones’s Fly Me to the Moon are faced grows deeper and deeper as the day goes... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: The Glace Bay Miner’s Museum

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Photo courtesy of the NAC's websitePhoto courtesy of the NAC's website

I’ve listened to my share of Cape Breton coal mining stories, having had an elementary school teacher whose father was a doctor in just such a settlement. Although I found the world laid out in The Glace Bay Miner’s Museum familiar, I also found it fresh and full of life. The Glace Bay Miner’s Museum tells the story of the MacNeils, a Cape Breton coal mining family, from the viewpoint of Margaret MacNeil (Francine Deschepper). Margaret lives in a shack with her bereaved mother Catherine (Martha Irving), her surviving brother Ian (Jeff Schwager)... | Continue reading article

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So much theatre: The Fly with Stones party at the GCTC

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Poster of Stone in His Pockets courtesy of The Gladstone Theatre.Poster of Stone in His Pockets courtesy of The Gladstone Theatre.

One might expect that two theatres located within a twenty-minute walk from one another—and with a similar core audience demographic—would have some kind of frosty, dramatic rivalry. Not so, in the case of the Great Canadian Theatre Company and the Gladstone Theatre. These two theatres have somewhat of a shared history; before the GCTC moved into its current location, the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre at the corner of Holland and Wellington, it occupied the theatre that, after extensive renovations, became the Gladstone. By what we are to understand is happy coincidence,... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: Review of Circle Mirror Transformation

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Screen shot from preview by Andrew AlexanderScreen shot from preview by Andrew Alexander

It is only by looking in a mirror that people can see themselves as they are. In the final play of the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s 2011–12 season, Circle Mirror Transformation, five people’s lives intersect over the course of a six-week community centre creative drama workshop. The class is led by enthusiastic former hippie Marty (Mary Ellis) and attended by her comparably reserved husband James (John Koensgen), recently divorced furniture artisan Schultz (Andy Massingham), ex-New York failed actress and aspiring massage therapist Theresa (Sarah McVie), and introverted teenager Lauren (Catherine... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: King Lear

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Photo courtesy of the National Arts Centre.Photo courtesy of the National Arts Centre.

The final production of this year’s National Arts Centre English Theatre season is Shakespeare’s King Lear. But it’s not just any King Lear; it is King Lear with an all-Aboriginal cast—the culmination of an idea actor August Schellenberg and the late director John Juliani had forty-five years ago – and, on top of that, Aboriginal costumes and setting – presumably the choice of director Peter Hinton. It’s not unusual for Shakespeare’s plays to be re-set in different periods and locales (in fact, these days it’s almost the norm), but there’s... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: Death and the Maiden

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Photo by David Whiteley.Photo by David Whiteley.

Death and the Maiden is set in Chile in 1990, in the aftermath of the Pinochet regime.  Fifteen years earlier, Paulina Salas (Geneviève Sirois) was abducted, tortured, and raped for two months.  A chance meeting has her husband Gerardo Escobar (Chris Ralph), a lawyer freshly appointed to the new government’s commission to investigate the prior regime’s human rights abuses, bring home Dr. Roberto Miranda (Paul Rainville), who Salas recognizes from her past.  In an eruption of years of repressed emotion, she turns the tables on her former captor.  She wants... | Continue reading article

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So Much Theatre: Evolution Theatre’s Mary Magdalene and [boxhead] double-bill

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Photo by Andrew Alexander, courtesy of Evolution TheatrePhoto by Andrew Alexander, courtesy of Evolution Theatre

Evolution Theatre’s double-bill of two very different plays (Berni Stapleton’s Mary Magdalene and Adventures in Sobriety and [boxhead] by Darren O’Donnell) is challenging for both the performers and the audience. Whether or not you’re ready for the challenge will very much determine how much you enjoy both productions. In the single-performer Mary Magdalene and Adventures in Sobriety, Nancy Kenny is the famous former lover of Jesus Christ who stumbles into a modern-day Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after wandering the earth in a boozy wash for nearly 2,000 years. As she struggles... | Continue reading article

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