This isn’t your average puppet show! A Canadian theatre legend in his own right, Ronnie Burkett brings his virtuosity back to Ottawa stages once more with The Daisy Theatre, playing until December 18th at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. This NSFK (not safe for kids) show is laugh-out-loud funny and full of surprises given its mostly improvised nature, though the marionettes are certainly worth seeing in themselves. An expert blend of highly technical execution and free-flowing theatricality, The Daisy Theatre shows us exactly why Burkett is the master of puppets.
Tetsuro Shigematsu is a man who is seemingly unable to cry. In his new one-man show Empire of the Son, playing in the National Arts Centre’s Studio space until December 3rd, Shigematsu explores his tempestuous relationship with his father through a series of comedic flashbacks and poignant film vignettes to reveal a deeply pained individual desperate for catharsis. A powerful reflection on grieving and human migration that’s “both physical and psychological” (Richard Wolfe, “Director’s Notes”, Prelude 2016), this piece vibrates with emotion at an intense frequency.
Sock ‘n’ Buskin’s season opener of Macbeth is something of a mixed bag. With performances by some promising newcomers and a troubled relationship with a bold directorial choice, this student production has lots of ambition but lacks real follow through.
If you’re looking for a spot of fun to end your week off right, look no further than Live! On Elgin now hosting the “theatre-y” double bill GRL PWR. Though you only have one more night (yes, that’s tonight) to catch Toasted Theatre Company’s Chocolate Cake and the musical comedy duo Rhythm & Burgundy, the tickets are $18 (food and drink are reasonably priced too) and totally worth it. The atmosphere of Live! (if you’ve never been) is super relaxed making for a great spot to kick back with a couple of friends and a couple of brews and just enjoy yourself for the evening.
indie women productions’ The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (or Bee, as I’m going to call it) presents a high energy combination of musical theatre, black comedy, improv, celebrity appearances, and good old-fashioned nerdiness.
When a young and seemingly naïve Elizabeth I asks her step-mother, the sixth and final wife of the notorious Henry VIII, if she thinks that “girls are smart enough to run a country” one can’t help but cheer and chuckle along with Katherine Parr’s frank response: “Girls are smart enough, they’re just not legal”(emphasis is my own). The Last Wife by Kate Hennig is a brilliant work that explores gender roles, complicates the idea of sexual politics, and also highlights intersectional feminism. Coming off of a wildly successful world premiere in Stratford, this new remount (which enjoyed another sold out run in Victoria, BC) is a triumphant co-production between the Great Canadian Theatre Company and Belfry Theatre and certainly one you won’t want to miss.
Aplombusrhombus blew Fringe audiences away this past summer with their hilarious, yet heartbreaking pantomime show Cardinal and now dynamic duo Madeleine Hall and Mitchell Rose are here at the Fresh Meat Theatre Festival presenting their creepy comedy “Oh No!” said the parrot. Creating a universe in which humor and horror exist on the same spectrum, this piece exists in a certain state of unreality that is guaranteed to keep you entertained. I hope this company continues to produce work in the future because the creativity they are putting out is really worth noting.
Madeleine Boyes-Manseau has created a uniquely extravagant seven-minutes closet/boudoir for this production that, true to its billing, is indeed a highly intimate performance for one. In 7 Minutes in Heaven, Boyes-Manseau explores this theme of intimacy, particularly in its relation to the objectification of our bodies and to desire.
There is a back-story to this piece that informs its content without requiring knowledge of its particulars. I’ll include this back-story later on, because, I’m sure Will Somers is sick to death of explaining this context, and moreover, it isn’t the point. The point is that in this show, Will Somers reveals something truly resonant as he sets out to reclaim his image and “brand” as a performer in the wake of feeling like control over his own name had slipped from his grasp.
Rapscallion Diversion’s Crow’s Nest has its issues in its current 20-minute incarnation, but these issues don’t hide its potential as a more developed, ‘feature-length’ play.