Blind Date – Laughing at Someone Else’s Nightmare

by Ron Finnigan Edited by Brie McFarlane On December 6th, I was part of the "voyeurs" watching performer Tess Degenstein, in the role of Mimi, go on a blind date with a man named Paul selected seemingly at random from the audience. This was not rehearsed. Paul had no idea he would be chosen when … Continue reading Blind Date – Laughing at Someone Else’s Nightmare

EMBEDDED CRITICISM: Critics Become Stagehands for a Night

Blind Date @ GCTC November 30-December 17, 2017 Previews November 28 and 29 WHAT IS EMBEDDED CRITICISM? The traditional model for theatre criticism (and other art forms) involves a separation between artist and critic. The artist(s) create(s) a piece of theatre and present it, the critic attends the performance and writes their review, and never … Continue reading EMBEDDED CRITICISM: Critics Become Stagehands for a Night

“Ordinary Days” Goes Small and Wins Big

Musicals, with their outrageous sets and costumes, 11 o’clock numbers, and dance breakdowns, aren’t a common sight at Great Canadian Theatre Company. Their current production of Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, however, shows that none of those things are necessary to produce quality musical theatre that still maintains a significant degree of theatricality. Ordinary Days follows … Continue reading “Ordinary Days” Goes Small and Wins Big

“Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion” – a Review

Written by Ron Finnigan Edited by Ian Huffam Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion is a play presented at the NAC from October 3rd to 14th, 2017. I had the pleasure of attending the performance on October 11th, which included a talk-back with the performers after the play. In the program handed … Continue reading “Sir John A: Acts of a Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion” – a Review

“King of the Yees”: A Noble Attempt at Merging the Social and Aesthetic on Stage

The latest production of the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre season, Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees, reminds me of the division between social drama and aesthetic drama that can help us to talk about the different ways in which we view and interpret theatrical productions. While this show is a boon to Artistic Director … Continue reading “King of the Yees”: A Noble Attempt at Merging the Social and Aesthetic on Stage

“You Are Happy”: An enigma inside a Rubik’s Cube

by Ron Finnigan Edited by Brie McFarlane You Are Happy is an English translation of the Rébecca Déraspe play “Deux ans de votre vie” currently being presented at GCTC until October 8th, 2017. Upon entering the theatre, I was struck by the unusual set design which reminded me of a solved Rubik’s Cube with the … Continue reading “You Are Happy”: An enigma inside a Rubik’s Cube

Musical Stage Company Navigates Problematic Stereotypes with Strong Female Lead in “Onegin”

The National Arts Centre’s English Theatre kicked off their newest season Friday night with Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone’s foot-stomping new musical Onegin. Based on the verse novel Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin as well as Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s opera adaptation, The Musical Stage Company (in collaboration with NAC English Theatre) have respun this classic tale … Continue reading Musical Stage Company Navigates Problematic Stereotypes with Strong Female Lead in “Onegin”

I Ain’t Sayin’ She a Gold Digger: A Brief Analysis of Odyssey’s “Amorous Servant”

For many Canadian arts communities summertime usually means theatre in the park. This tradition, hearkening back to Ancient Greece, seeks to bring audience members out of the ‘black box’ and into the open air where the natural elements often heighten the artistic experience. Ottawa in particular is known for having a wide variety of theatre … Continue reading I Ain’t Sayin’ She a Gold Digger: A Brief Analysis of Odyssey’s “Amorous Servant”

“The Amorous Servant” another feather in Odyssey’s cap

The Amorous Servant is an excellent example of what makes Odyssey Theatre’s Theatre Under the Stars program so enjoyable. Besides high artistic quality on stage, the company itself does an admirable job of anticipating patrons’ needs in an outdoor performance environment. The Amorous Servant is an 18th century comedy by legendary Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni, … Continue reading “The Amorous Servant” another feather in Odyssey’s cap

‘Midsummer Night’ Keeps the ‘Dream’ Alive

This year’s Torchlight Shakespeare production from A Company of Fools continues their proud tradition of fun and fast-paced classical theatre, with only a hint of growing pains as they bring new performers into their fold. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays, and in many ways is an ideal play for … Continue reading ‘Midsummer Night’ Keeps the ‘Dream’ Alive