Thank you for reading On Stage Weekly, your look at what’s going on in Ottawa theatre week-to-week.
The Ides of March are just about upon us, which also means I have a birthday coming up sometime in the next few weeks. On that note, if you’ve been wondering what to get me, I like to keep things simple. If you’ve been enjoying receiving or finding this weekly newsletter useful, all I’d like you to do is talk to your friends about On Stage Weekly, find just one person you know who isn’t signed up to the newsletter, and get them to join us.
If everybody’s able to do that, we’ll double the number of people reading On Stage Weekly by the end of the month.
Now, question for you:
What are your favourite one-person shows? I’m conducting an informal survey based on an observation and conversation I had recently and I would appreciate hearing what your top one-man or one-woman shows are to help support or defeat my thinking. (As a side question; what are your thoughts on one-person shows in general? Love ’em or hate ’em?)
You can reach me by any of the usual means, email, twitter (@thatmackeyguy), or leaving a comment over at On Stage. Make sure you let me know the name of the show and the performer in case I’m not familiar with it. I’d love to know why you loved the show, but that’s not a mandatory part of the survey. Also, feel free to list off more than one. I’m more interested in knowing what you loved than in just your top show.
I’ll talk about the results and my initial observation next week. For now, let’s get on to this week’s silliness. No, really. At least three of the four big shows running this week could be described as good silly fun.
On Stage This Week
Monty Python’s SPAMALOT (last week)
Arthur, to the Lady of the Lake: “I thought you were a fairy.”
Lady of the Lake: “No, that’s Lancelot.”
That, along with such gems as The Song That Goes Like This, Don’t Fail Find Your Grail, and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, are just a few examples of the profound silliness you’ll find at Orpheus Musical Theatre’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot.
If you’re a fan of such silly fun (that really is profound at times), this show won’t do you wrong. Orpheus brings its usual high quality to the silly script with some great voices, some strong performances, and some of the just plain absurd production design that the show demands. There’s also a very fun surprise bit of audience interaction.
FROM VALERIE CARDINAL’S REVIEW: This energetic cast is definitely up to the task – I’m impressed that the excitement level didn’t waver throughout the entire show. […] Spamalot is a fast-paced, proudly silly and energetic show sure to please any Broadway fans. The audience and the cast feed off each other nicely in a loop of goofiness that made for a fun evening. (onstageottawa.com/spamalotreview)
Don’t fail, find your grail, and find your way to Centrepointe Theatre before March 16th if you want to see Spamalot before it’s gone.
Full details: onstageottawa.com/spamalot
Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates (opens this week)
The title may bring to mind Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates is exactly like that. … Except that there’s no Shakespeare, no romance, and more pirates.
Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates is a – somewhat unscripted – play by two of Ottawa’s great comedic actors, Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas. With direction by AL Connors, this show, about two pirates who have been banished to the crow’s nest until they can learn to get along with one another, is nearly guaranteed to be a riot. And guaranteed to be at least slightly different every night.
It opens at The Gladstone Theatre on Thursday, March 13th and runs through to March 29th.
Full details: onstageottawa.com/muchadoaboutfeckinpirates
The Magician’s Nephew (one week only)
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, 9th Hour Theatre Company launches its 2014 season based on Lewis’ works, kicking off with The Magician’s Nephew from The Chronicles of Narnia.
“The Magician’s Nephew is the tale of a boy named Digory and his friend Polly who are tricked by his whimsical Uncle Andrew into embarking on a series of magical adventures, including an encounter with the selfish Queen Jadis from an enchanted declining land.”
The show – which will feature a nine-foot mechanical lion puppet of Aslan – runs in the Centrepointe Theatre Studio through March break, the 12th through the 16th, with shows running at 2pm and at 7pm most days.
Full details: onstageottawa.com/themagiciansnephew
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (one week only)
If you were disappointed that Much Ado was going to have a low/no Shakespeare quotient, rest assured that the latest show from Sock ‘n’ Buskin should help fill your bard quotient for March.
“This magical play follows three story lines that become intertwined by the mischievous interventions of faeries: the troubles of four conflicted lovers, the jealousy and competition between the fairy King and Queen, and the comical efforts of a rag-tag group of working-class citizens trying to put on a play for the Duke’s wedding.”
Sock ‘n’ Buskin promises that this whimsical classic “is sure to be a fast-paced and hilarious show that breaks all the rules you thought you knew about Shakespeare.”
It runs at Carleton University’s Kailash Mital Theatre Thursday through Saturday.
Full details: onstageottawa.com/amidsummernightsdreamsocknbuskin
And that’s this week On Stage. Don’t forget to send me a reply and tell me your favourite one person shows. Also feel free to let me know what you’ll be seeing this week and what you’ve been loving, or not, in Ottawa theatre. Join the discussion and let me know in the comments below.