PLAYBILL: Art for art’s sake

PLAYBILL: Art for art’s sake

Any artist who’s ever been turned down for a grant should feel their blood boiling over Art. As will the characters in Yasmina Reza’s play – the English translation at the Varscona Theatre April 26-May 14. Starring local familiars Glenn Nelson, John Sproule and Frank Zotter in this Shadow Theatre production, the story revolves around […]

PLAYBILL: Superstar rises at Mayfield

PLAYBILL: Superstar rises at Mayfield

Jesus Christ Superstar is the best musical Andrew Lloyd Webber has ever made. FACT. Oh, you don’t want to argue around this time of year, when in some households the annual screening of the 1973 feature film starring dreamy Ted Neeley is as close to religion as they’re going to get all year – and […]

PLAYBILL: 9 Parts of Desire has many faces

PLAYBILL: 9 Parts of Desire has many faces

Nine very different Iraqi women lead lives as normal as they can manage in the years between the two Gulf wars – imagined by Heather Ruffo in her discussion-provoking play 9 Parts of Desire. The playwright was inspired and disturbed by a trip to an art museum in Baghdad, and from extensive interviews with area […]

PLAYBILL: Go Into the Woods, we dare you

PLAYBILL: Go Into the Woods, we dare you

There’s a weird sort of fractured hindsight at work in the musical Into the Woods. We’ve all seen it – in our bedtime stories. Written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, this award-winning musical is a willy nilly hodge podge of almost every Grimm fairy tale that has since made into an sanitized-animated feature by […]

PLAYBILL: Elektra electrifying

PLAYBILL: Elektra electrifying

Today’s spooky teens have nothing on the ancient Greeks. Kids in those days didn’t have smartphones – just lots of time on their hands and easy access to a wide variety of poisons and deadly weapons. Got a lot of rending and hewing to do. Edmonton Opera’s latest show Elektra is about as edgy as […]

PLAYBILL: Sexual tourism takes a hit

PLAYBILL: Sexual tourism takes a hit

Sex is good. Tourism is good. Now put the two together and what do we have? A bunch of creepy perverts going to Thailand or wherever to hire prostitutes that would be legally underage in North America. Off with their heads! The perverts … not the girls. So in case we’re not riled up enough […]

Ah, Romance! welcome as spring breeze

Ah, Romance! welcome as spring breeze

“In spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” burbled Tennyson in 1835. Apparently, so does the fancy of Edmonton’s accomplished Plain Jane Theatre Company, whose latest offering Ah, Romance! A Revue of Song, Dance and Other Passionate Musings, is on stage at the Varscona Theatre until Feb. 25. The Plain Janes, […]

PLAYBILL: Let’s talk about love

PLAYBILL: Let’s talk about love

There have been more love songs on the subject of love than any other self-referencing genre, such as rock ‘n’ roll songs about rock ‘n’ roll, or dance songs about dancing – although “love” is technically not a musical genre, so never mind. OK: There are more love songs than any other kind of song. […]

PLAYBILL: Fashionable Cinderella

PLAYBILL: Fashionable Cinderella

Let’s face it: Most Cinderella stories do a bad job when it comes to the clothes. It’s usually set in medieval times, first of all, when muddy rags were all the rage. And trained magic birds can only do so much: Sewing her frumpy, froofy, glittery, totally unsexy gown in story after story. The pretty […]

PLAYBILL: The end of the world as we know it

PLAYBILL: The end of the world as we know it

A group of scientists sequestered in a secure facility in the Far North are tasked build a device that will destroy the sun. Why? Who knows? But Star Killing Machine a musical comedy! How’s that for a twist? They can make anything into a musical comedy these days – and the world is better for […]

PLAYBILL: Awkward encounters

PLAYBILL: Awkward encounters

A Muslim, a Jew, an African-American and a white person have a heated conversation over dinner in New York City. What could possibly go wrong? Didn’t you listen to your mother?! No sex, politics or religion at the dinner table! All the characters in Ayad Akhtar’s explosive drama break mom’s rules in a play that […]

PLAYBILL: Christmas wholesomeness

PLAYBILL: Christmas wholesomeness

‘Twas the night before wombat and all through the snerse, not a weeful was starping, not even a cherse. The weppels were hung by the stabbage with hair, in the clam that snat eelix would carter the snare. And nox in her keppitch, and meal in my lap, was flopping and keeling like mice in […]

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