Anon(ymous): no need to introduce yourself

 

Studio 58 is mounting Anon(ymous)

These two can act: Ashley Cook as Nobody and Isaac George-Hotchkiss as Pascal.
(Photo by Emily Cooper)

If good intentions were all that mattered, Anon(ymous) would be worth seeing. [Read more…]

The Double Axe Murders: one would be more than enough

Rusticate Theatre is presenting The Double Axe Murders at the Gateway Theatre.

All dressed up for the potential bloodbath. (Photo of Ashley O’Connell and Yoshié Bancroft by Kayla Isomura)

I think The Double Axe Murders wants to be atmospheric but, in this production at least, it’s not. [Read more…]

The Sound of Music: decorative Nazis, delirious music

The Arts Club is presenting The Sound of Music at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre

Houston, we have lift-off!
Maria (Synthia Yusuf) and the von Trapp children sing “Do-Re-Mi”.
(Photo by Emily Cooper)

Going into the Arts Club’s production of The Sound of Music I could hardly have been more resistant. I doubt you could find a more conventional, less adventuresome Christmas show. And the politics of The Sound of Music are weird: it tells the story of the Nazi invasion of Austria — without so much as an oblique reference to the persecution of Jews or any of the other groups the Nazis were rounding up and terrorizing at the time. The Sound of Music examines the Anschluss from the point of view of the Baron von Trapp, a nobleman of extraordinary inherited wealth who seems to object to the Nazi presence primarily on the basis of territoriality — and the Nazis’ rudeness.

So, you know, I was grumpy.

But I’ll be damned if director Ashlie Corcoran’s production didn’t win me over. [Read more…]

Crystal Pite’s Body and Soul

Crystal Pite's Body and Soul is playing at the Paris Opera

“She has shown us before how skilled she is at evoking both the individuality of the mass and the individual within the mass.”(Photo by Julien Benhamou, Opéra d Paris)

 

THIS IS A GUEST REVIEW BY MAX WYMAN

What has made Crystal Pite “one of the dance world’s most sought-after artists” (The Guardian) is not simply the ravishing movement sequences that she invents. Her dance-works are animated thoughts about the complicated miracle of being human in the universe—ongoing statements from an evolving worldview. She seems to want to touch the core of meaning, to glimpse, even for a moment, the why of it all (or not even that—the what of it all, the mechanics of existence). Through simple and unaffected images and metaphors that she manufactures from the unique language of human physicality—from dance—she invites us to join her in considering the enduring mysteries of the human condition. [Read more…]

Kuroko: All dressed up

Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre is presenting Tetsuro Shigematsu's Kuroko at The Cultch.

The weapons are virtual. Is the relationship real? (Photo of Kanon Hewitt and Lou Ticzon by Chris Randle)

Sure, Kim Kardashian wears great clothes, but does she have a soul? There’s a similar problem — although it’s not nearly as severe or creepy — with Kuroko: the production is stunning but, narratively and emotionally, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s script is perfunctory. [Read more…]

Turn of the Screw: Fails to twist

Aenigma Theatre is producing Turn of the Screw at Studio 15

If you want to scare me, lull me first. (Photo of Sara Roa and David Bloom by Javier R. Sotres)

There’s too much too soon. [Read more…]

Escaped Alone: But we’re in this together

 

 

Western Gold Theatre is presenting Escaped Alone at PAL.

Lena (Anna Hagan), Vi (Jenn Griffin), and Sally (Eileen Barrett) pretend life is normal — even though the world is burning. (Photo by Javier Sotres)

Go see this show. Because you should never ever turn down a chance to see a play by Caryl Churchill. She’s been one of the most exciting dramatists in the world for the last 40 years, and she will fuck you up — and reward you — every single time.

In Escaped Alone, Churchill takes on the coming apocalypse. [Read more…]

Certified: You’d be crazy not to see it

Touchstone Theatre is presenting Jan Derbyshire's Certified at the Vancity Culture Lab.

Jan Derbyshire: let her tell you a story, let her sing you a song. (Photo by Ben Laird)

Jan Derbyshire’s Certified is pretty much perfect. And how often do I get to say that?

Certified is about Derbyshire’s journey with mental illness and mental health, but it’s not one of those stories that collapses into the horrors of madness. Derbyshire allows herself to be vulnerable, but she’s also levitatingly funny. And she changed the way I see the world. [Read more…]

Frankenstein, Lost in Darkness: waiting to be found at Pacific Theatre

Pacific Theatre is presenting Frankenstein as a radio play.

Tariq Leslie as Frankenstein’s creature. 

Taking in Frankenstein: Lost in Darkness is very much like sitting around a fire on a winter evening and listening to a storyteller who is very good — if a little long-winded. [Read more…]

China Doll: Could I get some dramatic tension with that?

The Gateway Theatre is presenting Marjorie Chan's China Doll.

Jennifer Tong as Su-Ling and Manami Hara as Poa-Poa in the too-simple world of China Doll.
(Photo by Tim Matheson)

Oh man, why do such poorly written plays get produced? Yes, Marjorie Chan’s China Doll is admirably feminist and admirably inclusive of underrepresented experience, but it’s also boring. [Read more…]

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