Shakespeare’s ‘problem’ play gets powerful reading

Shakespeare’s ‘problem’ play gets powerful reading

When Shakespeare penned The Merchant of Venice somewhere during the 1590s, there were few Jews in England – they had been thrown out by the King in the late 13th century. But the hatreds and prejudices that these unfortunate people faced were still fresh enough for the Bard to write what has been termed his […]

REVIEW: Shakespeare comedy goes disco

REVIEW: Shakespeare comedy goes disco

The Merry Wives of Windsor, one of two Shakespearian plays featured this summer by Edmonton’s Freewill Shakespeare Festival, was a commissioned work – by a patron no less than Queen Elizabeth I. Her Majesty loved the portly, sack-quaffing knight that Shakespeare created for his Henry IV, Part 1 and further developed in Henry 1V, Part […]

Dated musical sparkles at Mayfield

Dated musical sparkles at Mayfield

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is one of those small, Off-Broadway musicals that just keep coming back. They are inexpensive to produce and proven crowd pleasers. The show is the summer offering at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre. It runs until July 30. With book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro (Memphis, Nice Work If […]

Jana O’Connor comedy a Teatro triumph

Jana O’Connor comedy a Teatro triumph

I haven’t laughed so hard at the Varscona Theatre … well, since the last play by Teatro La Quindicina. The current production of the screwball comedy Going, Going, Gone! at the Varscona Theatre until July 1 launches the writing career of a radiant new comic talent. Jana O’Connor is a long time member of the […]

Classic Carousel colossal challenge

Classic Carousel colossal challenge

When it debuted in 1945, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel reset the bar for musical theatre. Up until then, most Broadway shows featured flimsy plots on which to hang great songs by Cole Porter or Rogers and Hart. R & H turned to Liliom, a serious 1909 play by the Hungarian Fernec Molnar. Molnar’s dark tale […]

REVIEW: Talking Turk a delightful entertainment

REVIEW: Talking Turk a delightful entertainment

You remember Zoltar the Talking Turk. In the penny arcades of yore, he was the dapper Eastern-looking chap in the turban who sat in a glass booth. You’d put in your coin and Zoltar would jerk into life. A crystal ball would be lit by an eerie, red mystic light and the seer would forecast […]

Splashy modern Ibsen still pining for the fjords

Splashy modern Ibsen still pining for the fjords

In his new production of Henrik Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea, director Michael Bradley has blown the accumulated dust from the 1888 classic and, with bows its creator, turned it into a perfectly respectable tale for modern audiences. The U of A Studio Theatre production runs at the Timms Centre for the Arts until […]

Bonnie and Clyde musical shoots to kill

Bonnie and Clyde musical shoots to kill

Bonnie & Clyde: The Two-Person, Six-Gun Musical has been bouncing around the North American theatre scene for nearly 20 years. Seeing possibilities for a small musical featuring just two performers, theatre enthusiasts Andrew Philip Herron, Doug Ritchie and, later, off-Broadway producer Will Pomerantz, put together a show that played with varying degrees of success. Reviews […]

REVIEW: Smart Art

REVIEW: Smart Art

Art, a French language work by Yasmina Reza (translated by Christopher Hampton) opened in Paris in 1994 and quickly became one of the most produced plays in the world. It has won awards everywhere (including the Oliver in Britain and a Tony in America) and was a sure-fire audience hit. Shadow Theatre and veteran director […]

Citadel’s Austen powers a ripping yarn

Citadel’s Austen powers a ripping yarn

In 2008, the Citadel Theatre charmed Edmonton audiences with a memorable stage version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Beyond the main element of Austen’s durable book (published in 1813 and her best known work), the success of that production was something of a tribute to the theatre’s ace production unit working at full, flat […]

REVIEW: Cinderella a real Cinderella story

REVIEW: Cinderella a real Cinderella story

In 1957, I joined over an astonishing 100 million North Americans to watch a live, black-and-white telecast of a new Rogers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella. The show featured that rising new Broadway star, a pre-Oscar Julie Andrews. The design was spectacular and the music was lovely – although not really up to the best of […]

Rock opera dares to suggest Jesus human

Rock opera dares to suggest Jesus human

When Jesus Christ Superstar was released in 1970, it was condemned by many Christian groups because it dared to suggest that Christ was human and Judas was a tragic figure. At the time, lyricist Tim Rice observed, “It happens that we don’t see Christ as God, but simply the right man at the right time […]

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