PLAYBILL: From tragedy comes comedy

PLAYBILL: From tragedy comes comedy

It turns out that Taylor Swift isn’t the first person in the history of the world to create art inspired by heartbreak. About 500-something years ago, a British playwright named Will Shakespeare had a torrid love affair with someone else’s fiancé – and as one might expect, it ended badly. But then he finished Romeo […]

PLAYBOT: Fringe held over!

PLAYBOT: Fringe held over!

Fringe or death?! Oh, you choose death? Well then, death by Fringe! It only feels like death. It’s just withdrawal pains after another Fringe come and gone: 2,000 plays in 200 venues over 20 days, so do the math. I am PLAYBOT. I don’t do math. I make jokes and rewrite press releases. Also poetry: […]

PLAYBILL: Phantom on our mind

PLAYBILL: Phantom on our mind

“In sleep he sang to me, in dreams he came … ” Now you see: Right there your interest is piqued, isn’t it? Andrew Lloyd Webber is a genius. “… and now I find the Phantom of the Opera is THERE” – and there’s that dramatic dominant major seventh note we all know and love […]

PLAYBILL: Cirque du Soleil a new paradigm

PLAYBILL: Cirque du Soleil a new paradigm

No more performing elephants, no more bags of peanuts to feed the elephants, no more tigers jumping through flaming hoops, no more clowns whose job it is to shovel horse poop, no more picketing by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – the conquest of circus entertainment is complete. As the Ringling Bros […]

PLAYBILL: Mirthful murder mystery mayhem

PLAYBILL: Mirthful murder mystery mayhem

Things are lighter in the summer – clothing comes to mind. Now think of other things robbed of gravity with the addition of summer: Summer school, summer romance, summer theatre. Hey now: Would you accuse playwright Stewart Lemoine and his Teatro La Quindicina theatre company of being “light”? Certainly their work is often light-hearted. Also […]

PLAYBILL: The Sterling Awards before the storm

PLAYBILL: The Sterling Awards before the storm

It’s obviously now OK to say the f-word in polite company – because the Edmonton production of a play called Stupid Fucking Bird swept the 2017 Sterling Awards. Honouring the best in Edmonton theatre among polire company at the Mayfield Theatre Monday night, there were seven awards given to this spin on Anton Chekhov’s The […]

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 […]

PLAYBILL: Shakespeare rocks

PLAYBILL: Shakespeare rocks

Some people say that maybe William Shakespeare wasn’t such a big deal after all, and therefore maybe his work shouldn’t be taught in schools at the expense of other worthy or more modern playwrights – or remounted again and again to promote 500-year-old sexual and racial morals in one Shakespeare festival after another. To those […]

PLAYBILL: Nnnnnnnnext!

PLAYBILL: Nnnnnnnnext!

Here’s a fun tip for budding artists, a little “life hack”: The concept of “spring” may be used as metaphor for birth. You see, old life must rust or burn out or fade away to make room for new life, for the next, smarter generation to come. It’s the circle of … er, life! In […]

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 […]

PLAYBILL: Teatro’s Talking Turk, take two

PLAYBILL: Teatro’s Talking Turk, take two

Teatro La Quindicina are a bunch of bloody contrarians. While other Edmonton theatre companies are winding down their seasons, playwright Stewart Lemoine’s quirky little troupe is just getting started. May 26 at the Varscona Theatre marks their opposite-world season opener: a Lemoine revival called The Salon of the Talking Turk, starring Mark Meer in the […]

PLAYBILL: Yo Mama

PLAYBILL: Yo Mama

Who are these ladies – dames, gals, broads, girls, skirts, chicks, women – who call themselves “Hey Ladies”? It turns out the three Edmonton performers either are mothers, have mothers or both – so it works out. The Mother’s Day edition of their semi-improvised variety-talk show plays Friday at the Roxy on Gateway. It’s not […]

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