Happy Wednesday, everybody.
Thursday? Sorry about that. It might take a while to get back into a regular groove, especially since I’ll be mostly sans internet for a month. Sigh.
There is, however, a lot going on this week – including a little thing called the Undercurrents theatre festival – so let’s jump right into it.
Bridging the Gap
We published a new feature article this week. Bridging the Gap introduces you to Robin Guy, producer and founder of Three Sisters Theatre Company, who just opened their first production, Marion Bridge, at The Gladstone.
Six years ago, the company gave birth with Birth, a Vagina Monologues-esque look at the rigors and rewards of pregnancy (featuring staged scenes instead of long speeches). Guy put it on as a fundraiser for an educational obstetrical conference. Okay, not exactly Broadway, or even The Bronson Centre, but the eight female actors involved put on a heck of a show and the reception was good enough to inspire Guy to try her hand as actor-producer again.
Read the full article: onstageottawa.com/bridgingthegap
On Stage This Week
Let’s get the big one out of the way first, shall we? Now under the management of Ottawa Fringe, Undercurrents takes a new home in Arts Court with 9 shows and over 30 performances starting now and running through February 21st.
Make sure you check out the full breakdown in our listing article: onstageottawa.com/shows/undercurrents2015/
The School For Lies (one week only!)
Presented by the Algonquin College Theatre Arts program, The School For Lies is a hilarious adaptation of Moliere’s The Misanthrope, directed by Catriona Leger.
From Allan Mackey’s review: The cast of The School for Lies is wonderful from top to bottom. Particularly the show’s leads. Trevor Osbourne and Ryan Young have it locked in from lights up as Philinte and Frank. It’s immediately a good job when the actors are just as good to watch when they’re not speaking and are reacting to goings on – such as when Oronte is reciting his poetry early in the show and Philinte desperately wants Frank to find something positive to say yet is horrified he won’t. (onstageottawa.com/theschoolforliesreview)
As you’ll see, there is quite a bit to choose from this week. Still, I recommend trying to make these guys part of your weekend schedule. Especially given the low ticket price, this is worth the time.
The School For Lies runs now through February 15th. (onstageottawa.com/shows/theschoolforlies)
Marion Bridge (opens this week)
As noted, Daniel MacIvor’s Marion Bridge – about three estranged sisters reuniting after many years – opens this week at The Gladstone.
When was the last time you saw a drama about three distinct, complex women that had nothing to do with their relationships with men? In this lyrical, poignant, and funny play by award winning Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor, a family crisis brings three sisters – an actor, a nun, and a recluse – together in their childhood kitchen in Cape Breton for the first time in years. An assertively comedic drama about making the best out of life, Marion Bridge follows the reunion of the three sisters as they laugh, cry, fight, and ultimately forge forward.
Marion Bridge runs at The Gladstone now through February 21st. onstageottawa.com/shows/marionbridge
Kick-Ass Plays For Women (one-week only)
Running at the Avalon Studio this week is ToTo Too Theatre’s latest, Kick-Ass Plays for Women, featuring three short plays in one fine show.
An embittered widow lies in wait at her husband’s grave for the appearance of his mistress & encounters more than she expected. Kelli can’t wait for the blind date her friends have set her up on until it turns out to be a lesbian named Arlin. Jaime faces off with her sister Jo, and a trio of sardonic puppets about the cause of Jamie’s self-destruction, and the loss that has brought her to the edge.
Kick-ass Plays for Women runs one weekend only, February 13th through February 15th. onstageottawa.com/shows/kickassplaysforwomen
The NAC English Theatre’s 2014/15 Ensemble assemble once last time in the political drama, Stuff Happens, based on the backroom conversations and dogmatic aspirations of those within the Bush administration post-9/11.
From Matthew Champ’s review: The best part of this show was its integration of technology into the stage. The setting itself was extremely simple, yet its sheer backdrop that allowed media to be displayed throughout the show was by far the most engaging piece in this artistic puzzle. It made up for the over the top wordy narrations that held no true significance to the story. (onstageottawa.com/stuffhappensreview)
Stuff Happens – which has already polarized our comments section – continues its run now through February 21st. onstageottawa.com/shows/stuffhappens
Night Sky (final week!)
Night Sky, produced by Kanata Theatre, continues its run for one last weekend. After a devastating accident, university professor and astronomy scholar Anna struggles to find her words again in the black hole of aphasia.
From Robyn Lester’s review: I just couldn’t shake the feeling that this play is unfinished; however, there’s undoubtedly the foundation of something there. Despite this, the actors performed as well as they could given the material they had to work with. Tania Carriere in particular stood out with her masterful portrayal of Anna. (onstageottawa.com/nightskyreview)
Night Sky runs at the Ron Maslin Playhouse in Kanata through until February 14th. onstageottawa.com/shows/nightsky
Propeller Dance (one weekend only!)
Something of a special event, the Great Canadian Theatre Company will be hosting Propeller Dance for their show: FUSE.
This trio of contemporary new works are a journey of love, togetherness and connection that reflect the reality and diversity of our bodies and minds” says Renata Soutter, Co-Artistic Director of Propeller Dance. The pieces include As We Go, I Need You?, and The Long Road. For I Need You?, the company dancers shared their essence through movement with Ottawa composer and musician, Jesse Stewart, who created a soundscape using his unique instruments and an on-stage interaction with iPads
Fuse runs at the Great Canadian Theatre Company for two nights, February 12th and 13th. onstageottawa.com/shows/fuse
On Stage this Month
Just in case I don’t get another weekly out in February – hopefully I’ll have one out next week with some thoughts on undercurrents, but we’ll see how my internet situation treats me – I wanted to throw out mentions to two other shows opening in the next couple of weeks.
Sabrina Fair opens at the Ottawa Little Theatre on the 17th and runs through until March 7th.
Bankrupt opens The Gladstone on the 27th and runs through March 14th. (Ending just before my birthday.)
Check back here for show listings and reviews as we get closer and the shows open.
And that’s all I’ve got for you this week. Thank you again, so very much, for reading. Especially if you actually read this far down. Virtual high five for you.
Get out and see some theatre and let me know what you’re seeing, what you’re loving, and what you’re thinking. You can get in touch with me through any of the usual channels: down in the comments below or on twitter @thatmackeyguy
Until next week, keep being awesome and I’ll see you at the theatre.