Bed & Breakfast: Don’t spend the night

The Arts Club is presenting Bed & Breakfast at the Granville Island Stage.

Five shades of grey: Mark Crawford and Paul Dunn wear Dana Osborne’s costumes on her set. (Photo by Moonrider Productions)

The title is a spoiler.

The show is called Bed & Breakfast for Christ’s sake so, when gay couple Brett and Drew spend their first half hour onstage together dithering about whether or they’re going to open a B&B, I felt like screaming, “Haven’t you read the program? Haven’t you seen the posters? Get on it with it!” [Read more…]

The Orchard (After Chekhov): hobbled by imitation

Loveleen comforts Kesur in Sarena Parmar's The Orchard (After Chekhov)

The Orchard (After Chekhov) is at its best when it’s quiet—like in this exchange between actors Parm Soor and Laara Sadiq. (Photo by David Cooper)

 

There are good bits, but overall it’s a mess. And the primary faults are in the writing and direction.

In The Orchard (After Chekhov),Sarena Parmar, who grew up in Kelowna, resets Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in the Okanagan in 1974. The central characters are no longer aristocratic Russian landowners; they are South Asian-Canadian farmers, Sikhs from the Punjab.

It’s a clumsy fit. [Read more…]

The Shoplifters: return it

The Arts Club is producing Morris Panych's new play The Shoplifters.

Patti Allan gives you something to watch in The Shoplifters (Photo by David Cooper)

Morris Panych’s The Shoplifters is so slight that it almost doesn’t exist—although it does contain the beginning of an idea. That idea is about the injustice of capitalism.

Dom, a zealous security guard who’s training in a Superstore kind of place, apprehends a savvy old crook named Alma, who has a choice cut of steak shoved up her skirt. He has also caught Alma’s younger pal Phyllis shoplifting and he’s feeling pretty proud of himself. But Otto, the guard who’s training Dom, takes a larger view: he encourages Dom to ask himself, “Who are the real thieves?” [Read more…]

True Crime: whydoit whodunnit

The Arts Club and Crow's Theatre are presenting True Crime at the BMO Stage.

True Crime looks cool. (Photo of Torquil Campbell by Dahlia Katz. Design by Remington North)

 

 

The animating argument of True Crime is that audience members are complicit in a moral transgression. I don’t buy it. So, philosophically, the show is boring to me. But True Crime does deliver beautifully worked surfaces.

Torquil Campbell, who performs the solo text, created it with director Chris Abraham in collaboration with composer Julian Brown. It centers on Campbell’s fascination with Christian Gerhartsreiter, a con man and impostor who was convicted of both kidnapping and murder and is now incarcerated in Ironwood State Prison. [Read more…]

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