Archives for November 2020

do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata: BOOK THIS RIGHT NOW


Clockwise: Amanda Sum, Josh Epstein, Meaghan Chenosky, Chirag Naik

I’ve never posted an emergency review before, but here it is. You’ve got to see do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata and your last chance is today at noon. Here’s where to book your tickets for the livestream.

Based on real-life Craigslist ads and posts, this musical is eccentrically hilarious and, especially in these times of Covid loneliness, heartbreaking.

My favourite ad: “For sale: children’s sized guillotine. It’s only been used once. Recently cleaned.”

Playing a character in her early 20s who’s trying to get rid of her childhood collection of 300 stuffed penguins, Amanda Sum sings a mesmerizingly possessed torch song.

And director Amiel Gladstone creates a final moment that had me sobbing with longing.

Most impressively, the production team has created one of the most impressive online shows I’ve seen from anyone anywhere in the world since the lockdown. For the livestream, musicians Veda Hille and Barry Mirochnick perform on The Cultch’s stage and the five actors — Sum, Meaghan Chenosky, Josh Epstein, Chirag Naik, and  Andrew Wheeler, who are all fabulous — perform in separate pods scattered throughout the theatre.

I think Cameron Anderson was probably in charge of the shooting. I haven’t been able to confirm that, but he’s done other Cultch Covid shows and he’s a frickin’ genius.*

Book your tickets right now. You can thank me later.

DO YOU WANT WHAT I HAVE GOT? A CRAIGSLIST CANTATA By Veda Hille, Bill Richardson, and Amiel Gladstone. Directed by Amiel Gladstone. Presented by The Cultch. Viewed via livestream on Saturday, November 21. Tickets for the last show, Sunday, November 22 at 12 noon.

* Publicist Lisa Mennell got back to me with this (very quickly): “Cameron is indeed our filmographer, but in this case the credit is also shared by the entire team who are mixing the show live: Our Technical Director, Cody Biles, our Head Audios Kyra Soko and Chris Engleman, and Stage Manager, Kelly Barker, who calls all the video switches in real time. As well as our Head Electrician, Kaden O’Reilly, who wired the whole place to connect the pods, which made it possible. Cameron is indeed a genius, and we are so grateful to have him on staff, but I know in this case, it really is a team effort.”

Yes to all of that! And huge thanks to the entire team for pulling off this technical marvel.


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The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye): intelligent and moving

publicity photo for The Red Priest

(Photo of Steve James and Tracy Jennisson by Nancy Caldwell)

The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye) is a smart script and, in this United Players production, it’s being performed by smart actors.

Playwright Mieko Ouchi’s text is about a fictional relationship between Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi and the wife of one of France’s most powerful noblemen. The script identifies this character only as Woman. Her husband has bet the King of France that Vivaldi can teach her how to play the violin in six weeks — at the end of which time, she will perform for the French court. [Read more…]

The Amaryllis takes a long time to bloom



publicity shot for The Amaryllis

(Photo of Shawn Macdonald and Amy Rutherford in The Amaryllis by Emily Cooper)

Michele Riml’s script is a screwball comedy. But director Mindy Parfitt’s production is lacking a screwball: Amy Rutherford is miscast. [Read more…]

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