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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Theatre

Freud’s Last Session is a thought provoking and stimulating play

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Photograph by Claude Hache.Photograph by Claude Hache.

Well, this was a pleasant surprise!  When asked by Apartment613 to review 9th Hour Theatre Company’s production of Freud’s Last Session, I had heard of neither the play nor the company.  Fortunately, I checked out the company’s website and decided to go. The 9th Hour Theatre Company is three years old, and its mandate is the exploration of issues of faith through the arts.  Freud’s Last Session was an excellent choice for the company.  Written by Mark St. Germain, it won the 2011 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play.  It’s a fictional meeting between... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Little Theatre offers a thrilling evening of Deadly Murder

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Deadly Murder, a mystery by David Foley.  Photo by Maria Vartanova.Deadly Murder, a mystery by David Foley. Photo by Maria Vartanova.

A night of fast-paced double crosses, psychological twists and Manhattan murders are taking centre stage at  the Ottawa Little Theatre. Set in the luxury apartment of Camille, a Manhattan socialite of “a certain age” (played by Kim Strauss), Deadly Murder gets straight to business with Camille attempting to divest herself of one-night stand waiter Billy (Connor Marghetis) who, in turn, most ungallantly rejects this post-romp dismissal.  Attempted offers of “cab-fare” escalate to sex tape blackmail and the summoning of security guard Ted (Tim Finnigan). Revealing himself as an accomplished hustler, Billy... | Continue reading article

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NAC production of Tartuffe uses Newfoundland wit to transform Molière’s classic play

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Left to right: Petrina Bromley (Dorine) and Andy Jones (Tartuffe).  Photo by Andree Lanthier. Left to right: Petrina Bromley (Dorine) and Andy Jones (Tartuffe). Photo by Andree Lanthier.

There is a strong case to be made that Canada’s best comedians come from Newfoundland.  Whether it’s Canadian humour icon Rick Mercer, or the inimitable Mary Walsh, the Rock has produced some of this country’s greatest comedic voices. Among this group of talented performers is Andy Jones, former member of the legendary Canadian humour troupe CODCO.   With cutting-edge skits that were far ahead of their time, Jones tackled such issues as homophobia, the priesthood and his beloved province of Newfoundland. Jones is now bringing his sharp Newfie wit to... | Continue reading article

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Maja Ardal enthrals audience with delightful solo show

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Photo of Maja Ardal by GCTC/Andrew Alexander.Photo of Maja Ardal by GCTC/Andrew Alexander.

Several good plays have been performed in Ottawa over the last few months.  While some have been quite enjoyable, (others not so much), up to now no recent theatrical production in the city could be called a true standout. This has now changed with You Fancy Yourself, the award-winning solo show written and performed by Maja Ardal, which is playing at the Great Canadian Theatre Company until November 3. Based on Ardal’s childhood, this semi-autobiographical account tells the story of the fictional Elsa, a young girl who moves from Iceland to Scotland... | Continue reading article

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Review: Sherlock Holmes – The case of the Hansom Cab Killer

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Credit: Christopher Bange in Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hansom Cab Killer. Supplied photo.Credit: Christopher Bange in Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hansom Cab Killer. Supplied photo.

One of the essential ingredients for a successful live comedy is audience involvement.  I don’t mean audience members being brought up on stage; I mean pervasive and sustained audience laughter at whatever is happening on stage. Unfortunately, on opening night of Black Sheep Theatre’s farce Sherlock Holmes – The Case of the Hansom Cab Killer, which is playing at The Gladstone until October 26, the audience was disengaged. Some of us laughed some of the time, but despite the best efforts of Chris Bange, Emily Windler and Brian Kuwabara, this... | Continue reading article

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FreshMeat: Serving bite-sized theatre with a brew

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Photo courtesy of Dead Unicorn Ink.Photo courtesy of Dead Unicorn Ink.

Grab your drink and take your seats as FreshMeat2 Theatre rolls in to town for not one but two consecutive weekends October 17-19 and 24-26. The pop-up festival brings 14 top theatre companies together to showcase brand spanking new short and sharp edgy works in a single, comfortable and ‘serving’ venue. Keeping it fresh the 14 companies are split over two weekends – so it’s a completely new experience any time you drop in. The 7 companies selected per weekend (Thursday-Sunday nights) perform a total of 4 brief, 20-minute, pieces per... | Continue reading article

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Plosive Productions presents a new take on Private Lives

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Photo by Andrew Alexander. From left to right: David Whiteley (Elyot), Alix Sideris (Amanda).Photo by Andrew Alexander. From left to right: David Whiteley (Elyot), Alix Sideris (Amanda).

Craig Walker directs Noel Coward’s Private Lives in an interesting fashion – one which all audiences may not agree with but which I enjoyed.  Instead of treating the play as a glittering bauble of witty repartee – a comedy about a devil-may-care pair of sophisticated lovers – Walker treats it as a dramatic comedy in which we’re intended to sympathize with the plight of two people who can’t live without each other but can’t live with each other, either. Since this is a very popular play to stage, you’re probably familiar... | Continue reading article

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Sook-Yin Lee plays with memory and narrative in two Ottawa exhibits

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Artist Sook-Yin Lee, Photo: Caroline RyanArtist Sook-Yin Lee, Photo: Caroline Ryan

Sook-Yin Lee is a force to be reckoned with. She’s a musician, writer, director, actor, broadcaster, and visual and performance artist. I caught up with her while she was in town for the opening of her new photography exhibit We Are Light Rays and the one-night performance of her multimedia work How Can I Forget? We’re seated in the exhibition: intimate, darkened and close “a strange space-room” as Lee describes it. On the wall is the photographic series; back-lit displays on light boxes that run in a line around the... | Continue reading article

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Only two more sleeps until Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau

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Marc Adornato will be showing Wood; The artwork of Marc Adornato at Greyarea in the Hintonburg zone. Photo from the NBOG website.Marc Adornato will be showing Wood; The artwork of Marc Adornato at Greyarea in the Hintonburg zone. Photo from the NBOG website.

Rest up, friends. Starting at 6:21pm this Saturday, the city will be hosting Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau (NBOG) – it’s the biggest all-night art party you’ve been waiting for! With over 100 projects from local, national and international artists working in animation, audio, film, fine craft, installation, new media, performance, photography, sculpture, spoken word, textile, and a variety of other visual art forms – it’s the perfect opportunity to engage with the city and catch some innovative artistic practices at the same time (and stay up ’til 4:22am with 30,000 of your... | Continue reading article

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Weekend roundup: What to do in Ottawa

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Soak up the summer-like weather while you can, Ottawa – the leaves, they are a-changin’. If you want to be outside as much as possible, run around the city for Nuit Blanche all Saturday night. There will be art, music, crafts, beer – and it is all (mostly) free! In the market, Victoire Boutique to host Behind the Seams, a “slow fashion” performance, China Doll will throw a Crafts & Drafts party,  DJs Hobo and Sweetcheeks will host the A/V Room at Brixton’s, and there will be much more! In the music world,... | Continue reading article

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