Even if you haven’t seen the eponymous film, I’m sure you’re familiar with the premise of Calendar Girls: a group of middle-aged women create a risqué calendar for charity whose popularity exceeds their wildest dreams. It’s an interesting story filled with moments of laughter, love, and life. Audiences of all ages have been pleased with this light-hearted fare from the Ottawa Little Theatre so far and I’m sure you will be too.
Should you see it? Our latest reviews.
Through a twist of circumstance starting with his master’s estate and assets seized by the crown, Will Somers becomes fool to King Henry VIII. A tough job with a high turnover rate, Somers isn’t expected to last much beyond a fortnight but through his sharp wit he manages to keep the monarch smiling while deftly navigating political entanglements so as to avoid the executioner’s axe long enough to take us through the story of six wives, three children, and the life of his king, employer, and friend.
Rather than being so much about Will Somers, Will Somers is, in fact, more the tale of Henry VIII as told through the eyes and the life of his favoured fool.
And all history should be told this way.Read the full review.
Sometimes, a lance is just a lance; this isn’t one of those times.
Pierre Brault, writer of and sole performer in Will Somers: Keeping Your Head!, offers up an evening of ribaldry and tongue-in-cheek wit as he imagines the precarious career of one of England’s most infamous court jesters, who managed to live through one of England’s most lethal eras without, literally, losing his head.
Are you satisfied with your life? Tuesdays with Morrie at The Gladstone is the life lesson we all need.
1979, Mitch Albom hits university. Like so many of us, he’s just trying to keep his head down. His life changes when he steps into the classroom of Professor Morrie Schwartz, a man who won’t let him hide away and who quickly becomes a good friend and mentor. As Mitch says, he takes every class Morrie offers. Once he graduates, Mitch moves on, as we all do, and falls out of touch despite a promise not to. The next time Mitch crosses paths with Morrie, it’s after Morrie’s been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Morrie’s disease comes with a terminal prognosis but the lifelong teacher’s greatest lessons are still to be taught.
So… if I just tell you to go see this show, is that enough?
Read the full review.
Wow. It’s two days after I saw Perfect Pie at Arts Court and I’m still haunted by that story. Ottawa’s been blessed with some great theatre this season, but nothing has compared to this. Abandonment, betrayal, loss, anger, fear, compassion, friendship, forgiveness: distill these words down to their truest, rawest meaning and you approach what Perfect Pie was able to do.
It was a pleasure to have the chance to revisit a book that I had enjoyed in my youth, and I feel that SevenThirty Productions has done a wonderful job of performing Mitch Albom and Jeffrey Hatcher’s stage adaptation of Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie.
For those who haven’t read the 1997 bestseller, Tuesdays with Morrie is the autobiographical tale of Mitch Albom’s experiences as he reconnects with his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, who has been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Where Mitch had once seen an energetic man who loved to dance, he is now faced with someone who can no longer shift in his seat without assistance.
However, despite being close to death, Morrie has refused to give up on living, unlike Mitch, who has given up on his own dreams to tow the corporate line. As fate reunites these two, Morrie finds himself teaching his final class to one of his favourite pupils, a class on life, love, death and everything in between, so that Mitch just might learn to cherish the wealth he doesn’t need a paycheck to prove.
Orpheus’s troubled A Chorus Line doesn’t make the cut; underscored by lack of meaningful characterizations.
A Chorus Line opens at the beginning of a day long audition for eight spots in the chorus of an upcoming Broadway production. It ends at the end of the day with some dreams fulfilled and others crushed.
Orpheus Musical Theatre has a solid reputation. They attract the very best from Ottawa’s pool of community theatre actors, dancers, and singers. Their company of volunteers put their all to ensure high quality direction, dance, and production values. Some of my most glowing reviews have been for their shows (Footloose, The Drowsy Chaperone) and they introduced me to my top musical love (RENT).
So I want to say it’s not Orpheus’ fault that A Chorus Line left me bored and knowing that I’ll have forgotten it in a week. The cast was fine, the singing was fine, the choreography was fine, there’s even a few laughs to go around, but for a proven and loved musical like A Chorus Line, I feel I should have gotten more out of the experience than I did.
A gambler, convicted felon, and probable psychopath thinks he’s found an easy out to his five month sentence in a work camp and plays up his violent outbursts to get himself sent off to a minimum security mental institution. There, he forms an immediately antagonistic relationship with the nurse in charge and bad things happen.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a classic novel that was quickly adapted for Broadway, and also spawned a multiple Academy Award winning movie. It has good pedigree and On Stage reviewer, Caitlin Oleson covered OLT’s opening night with nothing but praise. Go give her review a read for that take on it because I thought, in all frankness, that it was pretty much horrible.
They Won’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! by Algonquin College’s Theatre Program is one that’s worth paying for.
In Dario Fo’s They Won’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!, economic desperation and tough working conditions set the stage for work stoppages and grocery store riots. On one particular day that sees both, Antonia happens to be at the local grocer’s when the shoppers – outraged by further increased prices – decide that they will set their own prices this time. Caught up in the moment of pay what you can groceries, Antonia comes home with bags and bags of food – including for pets she doesn’t own.
Her trouble, she realizes when the fervor wanes, is that her dudley do-right of a husband will divorce her, turn her in, and/or lock himself in the cupboard if he finds out what she did.
So a lie is born.Read the full review.
“Butcher” is riddled with suspense and mystery, which explains why the GCTC’s synopsis was so vague. To say say much more, you’re almost obliged to reveal some of the unexpected plot twists that this show has in store for you, but I’ll try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Detective Lamb, played by Sean Devine, has had the most unusual parcel delivered to him at the station: an old man in a Santa hat and a weathered old military uniform. The old man cannot speak English; the only form of identification he has on him is a butcher’s hook hung around his neck and the business card of local lawyer Hamilton Barnes speared on its point.
While Barnes, played by Jonathan Koensgen, can’t understand why the man would have had his business card, he agrees to stay on with Lamb on this lonely Christmas night to see if the interpreter that’s en route can reveal anything about the man.
However, it’s soon becomes apparent that the old man isn’t the only one with secrets.
Rick Miller’s return to the Nation’s Capital is trumpeted with a resounding sound as he bounds onto the National Arts Centre English Theatre stage with an energetic euphoria in his one man show Boom. Boom spans the period of the early 1940’s to the late 1960’s delving into the political, social and artistic spectrum of the Baby Boomer Generation and how it’s come to shape future generations in its innovations.Read the full review.
Could there be a better place for dreams to come true than on Broadway? While San Antonio, Texas may not be next highest on the list for wish-fulfillment, that’s where Lisabette Cartwright, Holly Seabé, and Casey Mulgraw find themselves in order to star in a production of Anton Chekov’s The Three Sisters.
Each one following a personal dream, they become part of a collage of desires and drives. Unfortunately, as the play runs into problem after problem, they’re forced to admit that even a unified front may receive only an imperfect reward for its troubles.
You know that ‘equal amounts of excitement and trepidation’ feeling when one of your favorite books gets turned into a movie? I had that at The Ottawa Little Theater recently and am pleased to report I left smiling. This was the best show I’ve ever seen at the OLT and I implore you to get tickets immediately.
Since being forced to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in high school English class, it has been one of my favorites. The American classic follows conniving convict R. P. McMurphy’s stint in a mental institution where he meets the men who live in the shadows of mental illness – and under the oppression of the ward staff. The exacting authoritarian Nurse Ratchet runs the show with sadistic, strict regimes that even the head doctor is too scared to protest against.
McMurphy’s goal is ostensibly to get under the nurse’s skin and end her administration, but his underlying purpose is to return a sense of dignity to the men around him. It’s this message that stole my heart and had me worried about the recent production since it’s a big request for any company to fulfill.
Read the full review.
Yet again, Undercurrents 2016 serves up a wonderful selection of performances. From the comedic, to the interactive, to the incredibly thought provoking, this year’s festival has provided a little something for everyone, and with enough variety to actually sit through and have an entire evening of it.
According to festival director Patrick Gauthier, one thing you can expect is a focus on “women’s voices and stories,” with more than 7 in 10 of this year’s writers and directors being women. And truly, they have created some of the most impressive performances in this festival so far. In the second week, Circle Circle’s A Man Walks Into A Bar and La Fille Du Laitier’s Macbeth Muet deserve a special mention.