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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Theatre

Magnetic North: Up to Low is a joy to watch

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Photo by Sarah HoyPhoto by Sarah Hoy

For the past several years, Janet Irwin has worked towards bringing an Ottawa literary classic to the stage.  Fast forward to today, and the playwright’s vision is now a reality with her adaptation of Up to Low, which is playing at Arts Court until June 6 as part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Set in 1950 and based on the popular book of the same name by Ottawa author Brian Doyle, this great production tells the story of how Young Tommy (played very well by Lewis Wynne-Jones) takes a life-changing trip... | Continue reading article

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Magnetic North Festival: From brilliant street theatre to great stage shows

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Fiamma! An Operascape
Image: Courtesy of Mercury Opera (Edmonton)Fiamma! An Operascape Image: Courtesy of Mercury Opera (Edmonton)

For more than 10 years, the Ottawa-based Magnetic North Theatre Festival has brought great performances to audiences in the National Capital Region, as well as communities across the country. What makes Magnetic North unique from other theatre festivals in Canada, however, is its special mandate to travel across our vast land.  While the festival takes place in Ottawa every second year (including 2015), in other years it occurs in other communities. Since first launching in 2003, the festival has gone to Edmonton(2004), St. Johns (2006), Vancouver(2008), Kitchener-Waterloo(2010), Calgary(2012) and Halifax (2014).... | Continue reading article

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Theatre in the Raw with Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune

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David Whiteley as Johnny and Alexis Scott as Frankie, photos by Julie LaurinDavid Whiteley as Johnny and Alexis Scott as Frankie, photos by Julie Laurin

If you’re looking for an entirely different kind of night out you have to check out Vacant House Theatre’s Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune which opened Thursday May 21 at 122 Stewart St. That’s right, 122 Stewart. Vacant House is inviting you right into Frankie’s basement apartment for an altogether immersive theatre experience. In the intimate comedy written by Terrence McNally and set in New York City in 1987, we meet Frankie and Johnny, everyday people who work at the same diner and who, in the very... | Continue reading article

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Q&A with Kid in the Hall, Mark McKinney

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The Kids in the Hall. Photo by David Hawe, courtesy of The National Arts Centre.The Kids in the Hall. Photo by David Hawe, courtesy of The National Arts Centre.

Comedy fans in Ottawa will soon have a chance to revisit a nineties classic. The sketch comedy show Kids in the Hall was renowned for bringing absurdist humour and unrepentant Can-Con to the world. The Kids in the Hall will be bringing their live show to the NAC on May 24th. Apt613 spoke with Mark McKinney, who you may know better as the Chicken Lady, about life on tour, growing up in Ottawa, and his new show, Superstore, which will be airing on NBC. Apt613: How has the tour been... | Continue reading article

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End of Civilization: A terrific Ottawa premiere at The Gladstone

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Geoff McBride, Catriona Leger and Brad Long in George F. Walker's, The End of Civilization. All photos by Julie Le Gal.Geoff McBride, Catriona Leger and Brad Long in George F. Walker's, The End of Civilization. All photos by Julie Le Gal.

Either you love Toronto playwright George F. Walker’s gritty dramas with their oh-so-dysfunctional characters or you hate his pitch-black works littered with f-bombs, guns and booze.  Personally, I can’t get enough – there aren’t many other writers who explore the underbelly of Canadian society with so much empathy.  And humour. So I was thrilled that Same Day Theatre was presenting The End of Civilization, which is the one play of his 1990s 6-play Suburban Motel series that I hadn’t seen.  For some reason, it’s never been performed in Ottawa.  And it very... | Continue reading article

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Breaking the Code: A look into life of Alan Turing + chance to see Enigma machine up close

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All photos by Maria Vartanova, courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre.All photos by Maria Vartanova, courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre.

Last year the highly popular movie The Imitation Game introduced the masses to the story of Alan Turing and his work cracking the Nazis’ “unbreakable” Enigma code in WWII. It was estimated that cracking Enigma shortened the war in Europe by two years. But Hollywood demands nonstop edge of your seat excitement and sometimes, especially when the subject is the tedious work of code breaking, that kind of mass appeal comes at the cost of historical accuracy. That’s where the theatre comes in.  Director Klass van Weringh has brought Hugh... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa’s Children’s Festival offers magical joy

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Video of Les Parfaits Inconnus courtesy of YouTube My daughter’s eyes sparkled — her mouth open in disbelief — as she witnessed the remarkable acrobatic routine that was taking place on stage. With five chairs stacked like a game of Jenga beneath him, the performer used his impressive strength to balance himself like an Olympic gymnast.  Adults and children alike were gobsmacked by the amazing display of skill by the Quebec circus arts ensemble Les Parfaits Inconnus, which combine music, acrobatics, juggling and comedy to produce one mightily impressive show. Welcome to... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ce weekend?

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Adam Saikaley performs at CUAG as part of Good Afternoon. Photo by Sacha Vreca.Adam Saikaley performs at CUAG as part of Good Afternoon. Photo by Sacha Vreca.

The weekend is here, the weather is great, and there are a whole lot of awesome things happening in the city – it’s good news, all around. There is a vernissage happening for Graphis, tonight at Studio Sixty Six. This is a great opportunity to check out some of the work of our local graphic designers; Daniel Moisan of Animal Haus, Pascal Huot & Isaac Vallentin of LOG Creative Bureau, and Ben van Duyvendyk. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 70th anniversary of the Canadian Tulip Festival, taking place in... | Continue reading article

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Graceful Rebellions offers unique view of Afghanistan

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Photo of Shaista Latif by Shy AlterPhoto of Shaista Latif by Shy Alter

When you hear the name “Afghanistan” what image comes to you mind?  The Taliban?  Opium warlords?  The Canadian military base in Kandahar? For many people, all they know about this landlocked country is what they read in newspapers, hear from politicians or see on TV reports.  But what about regular Afghan people, what is their world like? In her one-woman show Graceful Rebellions,  which is playing at the Arts Court theatre today and Friday, playwright and actress Shaista Latif offers a rare window into the daily Afghan reality by telling... | Continue reading article

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Cirque Mechanics thrills audience with death-defying tricks

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All photos from cirquemechanics.com.All photos from cirquemechanics.com.

When I was a kid, I wanted to join the circus. Not because I had a horrible life that I needed to escape from, quite the opposite. I had loving and indulging parents who encouraged me to join gymnastics and pursue acrobatics, but it wasn’t enough- I wanted to be Robin from Batman, without, of course, ever losing my family in some horrible circus accident. Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk reinforced all of the ideals I had as a child toward the circus and acrobatics, and for a live audience. The... | Continue reading article

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