Archives for July 2017

Two Gentlemen of Verona: boredom and brilliance

Bard on the Beach presented Two Gentlemen of Verona this summer (2017)

Nadeem Phillip and Charlie Gallant are the handsome—and unwoke—gentlemen.

Thanks to director Scott Bellis, silent woman make the loudest statement in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Warning: I’m going to give away some major plot points here, but I will not give away what makes their realization so wonderful in this production.

This comedy is famously problematic because of its bizarre treatment of an attempted rape. Proteus and Valentine, the eponymous two gentlemen, value their friendship so highly that, when Proteus sexually assaults Silvia, who is the object of Valentine’s romantic aspirations, Valentine is enraged, but only for about 20 seconds. When Proteus begs his forgiveness, Valentine not only bestows it, he also jovially offers Silvia to his friend “All that was mine in Silvia I give to thee.” But Proteus chooses Julia, the woman he previously abandoned to pursue Silvia. As the men celebrate their acquisitions, the women stay mute. [Read more…]

Mary Poppins at TUTS: the reason for living

Theatre Under the Stars presented Mary Poppins in Malkin Bowl.

You really will feel grand when this Mary Poppins holds your hand. (Photo by Tim Matheson)

This is what life is for. Really. I’m not exaggerating.

This realization hit me as I was in Malkin Bowl watching the Theatre Under the Stars production of the musical Mary Poppins. The backdrop behind the number “Step in Time” was soaked in indigo lighting that was more seductive somehow for being outdoors. Sensual in itself, the natural setting highlights the beauty of artifice, the joy of human self-expression. In front of that fake blue sky, there was a cheesy—lovely—curtain of stars, bright reminders of the invisible stars above our heads. I was sitting next to someone I love—my ex’s 18-year-old daughter—in a community that I love, Vancouver. And I was watching a damn good show. What could be better? [Read more…]