“girls!girls!girls!” Makes the Most of a Weak Script

Cart Before the Horse Theatre Company’s girls!girls!girls! has strong acting and design components going for it, but the production is bogged down by a script that tries too hard to make a statement about juvenile delinquency. In a nameless small Ontario town on a typical Friday night, local teens take over in a no-holds-barred sloshfest, … Continue reading “girls!girls!girls!” Makes the Most of a Weak Script

“The Hottentot Venus- UNTOLD”: Reflections on the Past Gives way to Reconciliations in the Future

As we continue through the 21st century and try to put right the wrongs of past centuries, it’s very easy to point fingers and stay angry. A more productive method, however, is to focus on the healing that needs to happen before we can really move on. The Hottentot Venus – UNTOLD is a show that … Continue reading “The Hottentot Venus- UNTOLD”: Reflections on the Past Gives way to Reconciliations in the Future

Little Shop of Horrors a Delightful Black Comedy

Black comedy often presents a challenge for directors and performers: if you go too subtle with it no one will laugh, but if you’re too heavy handed with it the audience will feel you’re shoving it down their throats. Fortunately with Theatre Kraken’s Little Shop of Horrors, director Don Fex and the performers get the … Continue reading Little Shop of Horrors a Delightful Black Comedy

“A Man of No Importance” Sees Mixed Results

   A Man of No Importance, presented by indie women productions, is a bit of a capricious musical that explores a time, not too long ago, when religion-based intolerance still pervaded most aspects of Irish society. Based on the 1994 film of the same name, AMONI tells the story of Alfie Byrne, a bus conductor … Continue reading “A Man of No Importance” Sees Mixed Results

“Finishing the Suit touches on big themes

With Finishing the Suit, Bear & Co. make a valuable addition to the history of queer theatre in Ottawa. Thematically rich and dealing with important aspects of gay identity and modern British history, Suit suffers from an existential premise that perhaps draws too much attention to itself, though its strengths, as well its strong directing … Continue reading “Finishing the Suit touches on big themes

Faster Than the Speed of Dating Runs Smooth

The last show to open at undercurrents 2017 is the delightfully silly Faster than the Speed of Dating. With its myriad pop culture references and archetypes, some smooth sleight-of-hand, and good old-fashioned clowning, FTTSOD is just the kind of show you want to see while unwinding with a drink after one of the mainstage shows. … Continue reading Faster Than the Speed of Dating Runs Smooth

“Tomorrow’s Child” Sounds Like a Good Idea

*warning: this review contains spoilers* With Tomorrow’s Child, Calgary’s Ghost River Theatre hits on an excellent concept with similarly excellent technical expertise, although some flaws in the dramaturgy prevent this immersive sensory experience from achieving its true potential. Tomorrow’s Child is a dramatization of Ray Bradbury’s short story “Tomorrow Child”, but more importantly it is … Continue reading “Tomorrow’s Child” Sounds Like a Good Idea

But Wait, There’s More! 2 New Shows to Catch at undercurrents this Week

The first week of undercurrents this year has been dominated by solo performances, but as Brotherhood and Vovk move on to new adventures they make room for two more ensemble shows that explore different types of deprivation – one in which the audience cannot see, and one in which the performers do not speak. Tomorrow’s … Continue reading But Wait, There’s More! 2 New Shows to Catch at undercurrents this Week

Real Life Meets Art in Turple’s “Un-Countried”

Theatre 4.669’s Un-Countried, a tale of two East German border guards working a fateful shift and its aftermath, has a serendipitous immediacy in spite of its somewhat conservative dramatic style. Un-Countried, written by Stéphanie Turple, starts off in a cramped East German border office, with two contrasting personalities working the checkpoint: a young and idealistic recruit on … Continue reading Real Life Meets Art in Turple’s “Un-Countried”

“Vovk”: an Intriguing Work-in-Progress

Lana Kouchnir’s Vovk (pronounced voh-vick) is a work-in-progress being presented as part of undercurrents’ Late Night series. In its current iteration Vovk leaves more questions than it does answers, but the content is already fascinating enough that I eagerly anticipate the completed play. Vovk follows Sasha, an burgeoning writer with apparent personal issues, as she goes … Continue reading “Vovk”: an Intriguing Work-in-Progress