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Archive for February, 2015|Monthly archive page

The New Path

In Theatre on February 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm

So that was a swell UNDERCURRENTS festival, wasn’t it? Terrific shows like SPIN, MUCH ADO ABOUT FECKIN’ PIRATES, PUNCH-UP, LOVE+HATE, FAR & NEAR & HERE, MARATHON, AIR, JERK IT and UN CABARET TRENDY-TRASH SIGNE LES POIDS PLUMES (which I apologize profusely for missing…I suck very terribly) made for one hell of a good time out at Arts Court, the new home of Undercurrents. Next up there, I believe, will be the return of May Can Theatre‘s revitalized HAPPINESS(tm) as the next phase of the TACTICS series. Can’t wait to see how the gang has transformed this piece, which was terrific to begin with.

IT'S GONNA BE SO GOOD YOU GUYS!!

IT’S GONNA BE SO GOOD YOU GUYS!!

So if there’s no new show review, what’s with this post? Well, that’s kind of the point. As many of the folks reading this may already know, I’ve been slowly getting into the performance and creation part of Theatre here in Ottawa…even now I’m in rehearsals for Chamber Theatre’s production of THE HAIRY APE, and in early production of a new Fringe show, HANNAH & GEORGE, with my own Strange Visitations team. And over the last 2 weeks, while I was struggling to finish a workable 1st draft of said show, and kept having to put it aside to write reviews for Undercurrents, I came to a very clear, if sad, realization. And that’s that I can’t keep writing reviews.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to (and plan to) get out to see as much theatre as possible, for the rest of my life. And hopefully along the way, do what I can to promote said shows on this very blog, which I have every intention of continuing in one form or another. But the mental resources dedicated to crafting and writing show reviews, meagre as mine are, just can no longer be spared if I’m going to give my new work…the actual creating of theatre…the attention it needs. To say nothing of just how weird it’s gotten, reviewing people who are now friends, and even peers. It will mean the decidedly unpleasant reality of (gulp) passing on free tickets, and wish me courage there, gang, because it won’t be easy. But I just wanted to kind of publicly make this announcement, pretentious as it is, that I’m ending this chapter of my online life for the foreseeable future. And it’s been grand, you guys, it’s been just grand. The amazing shows and performers I’ve seen in the last 5 years are beyond my abilities to properly describe (but feel free to scroll back through the archives and read my attempts to do just that), and it has been my honour and privilege to share my love of their work with a larger audience here. The lot of you have made a lonely loser like me feel very, very welcome, and I can’t thank you enough for that. I hope we continue to grow and hang out together as I wobble down this scary new fork in the road, trying to find my way. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Coming in March and April!

Coming in March and April!

Coming in June!  Also, I now only perform in shows that begin with the letter H, apparently.

Coming in June! Also, I now only perform in shows that begin with the letter H, apparently.

Undercurrents 2015 Part 3: Spinathon

In Theatre on February 19, 2015 at 11:25 am

Another day, another day at UNDERCURRENTS 2015. So I’m already calling it a good day. Even better because this was a day with two brand new shows for me…one an Ottawa premiere, and one on it’s last of only two days in town (apologies for not getting it on opening night you guys), and both exceedingly well worth it. Check it out…

First up was Evalyn Parry‘s SPIN, a terribly effective and delightful ode to two of the loveliest things around…Bicycles and Feminism. Who knew they went so well together? Well, Evalyn Parry for one, who takes the center stage for this semi-musical theatrical love letter to the history of the Bicycle and its inextricable link to Women’s emancipation in North America, under the direction of Ruth Madoc-Jones. With the accompaniment of musician Brad Hart on the bicycle (not a joke…Brad expertly uses an actual bicycle onstage, tricked out as a musical instrument in ways that positively MUST be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated), Parry takes us through time to the days when women first took to the streets on these revolutionary contraptions, long skirts and corsets and all, and just what implications that had for the future. It culminates in the epic tale of the clearly superhuman Annie Londenderry, who in 1895 said ‘Fuck It’ and took off for over a year to ride around the world on her lonesome in a tale that makes me feel very much like the wimp that I am.

I don't actually have any promo photos for these shows, so please enjoy this picture of a Bicycle!

I don’t actually have any promo photos for these shows, so please enjoy this picture of a Bicycle!

Another musical entry in this years festival (with the Peptides’ LOVE+HATE), SPIN is a goddamn wonderful storytelling adventure, with our charismatic guide Parry leading us from era to era with a wink and a song, aided by a series of enjoyable images on a backscreen projection courtesy of designer Beth Kates. Bring some extra cash to the show when you come…you WILL want to pick up a CD or two on your way out. Beautiful, engaging and inspiring…time for me to finally fix my own bike up this year, methinks. I feel a ride coming on.  And don’t miss Parry’s directorial work soon at the NAC Studio, when OBAABERIMA hits in March!

A pause then, as the good guys at Dominion City Brewing treated us theatregoers to a free Beer sampling in the lobby in between shows. A little cramped, but a tasty, buzzy time for sure. And I say ‘a little cramped’ because the studio, normally the Undercurrents bar area, was off limits just now as it was being set up for the final show of the night, and a very special event indeed.

That show was MARATHON, all the way to Arts Court from Tel Aviv for a unique performance piece that seriously lives up to its name. Created and directed by artist and choreographer Aharona Israel, this in-the-round show features performers Ilya Domanov, Merav Dagan and Gal Shamal in near constant motion, ever running, leaping, dancing, ducking and running again in a unique blend of dance and theatre that’s exhausting just to watch, much less perform. Marrying several different tracks (get it?) of narrative as each of our protagonists experiences their own version of what it means to them to be Israeli, the show goes from gorgeously manic to disturbingly intimate without any word of warning. And while my knowledge of geopolitics may not be sharp enough to have picked up on every allusion in the script, I was still in seventh Heaven during this show…I felt like I was watching a whole new form of theatre being created, and I loved it. And my crappy old cellphone even came in handy!

Actual action shot taken by Merav Dagan with my phone during the performance.  Keep yours charged for this one, gang!

Actual action shot taken by Merav Dagan with my phone during the performance. Keep yours charged for this one, gang!

Sorry again that Ottawa audiences don’t have any more chances to catch this show, as I believe it is off to Vancouver next for the Chutzpah! Festival….any readers out west, don’t miss out! For myself, I’m honoured I got the chance to catch this innovative and energizing piece of theatre history…I won’t soon forget it.

Another day at Undercurrents down…time is running out, but there’s still lots of great theatre left to catch (with May Can’s tantalizing JERK IT series starting up tonight too!), so catch it while you can! Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Undercurrents 2015 Part 2: Much Ado about Feckin’ Punch-Ups

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Pardon the somewhat lateness of this one, real life does intrude like the violent pest that it is. But this post starts on the day of Valentine, the Patron Saint of lovers and the Antagonist Saint of Whiny, Lonely Losers…I won’t say which camp I belong to, but let’s just say it’s the second one and distracting myself with sweet and funky theatre seemed like the right thing t do (it almost always is, really). So it was off to Arts Court for my second visit to Undercurrents 2015, and more rollicking theatrical action.

Feckin Pirates (cred Pascal Huot)

A pair of Feckin’ Pirates (Pic by Pascal Huot)

First up that night was a return trip to the high seas as an Ottawa fav’rit show got itself back onto the stage. After a successful slot in the Gladstone’s season lineup last year, Parry Riposte’s MUCH ADO ABOUT FECKIN’ PIRATES was ready to make its assault on Undercurrents. Pairing Ottawa Theatre royalty Margo MacDonald (back in Undercurrents after helping kick it off years ago with the great SHADOWS) and Richard Gelinas as two squabbling pirates, bound and confined to the crow’s nest for fighting over the fate of a parrot, the show (directed by AL Connors) takes a very unique approach to its storytelling. Following a structure, and yet also mainly improvised based on suggestions the audience votes on ahead of time, Margo and Richard are practically immobile for 95% of the show, relying solely on their improvisational wits and fake pirate accents to keep the audience rapt with attention. Thankfully, watching these two bicker and snipe and make up nonsense about prates is something I could watch for hours on end. They even managed to seamlessly weave tentacle porn into the show I caught, so clearly I can die fulfilled anytime now, I don’t know about you. All I do know is that you’d be a right knave if you missed your chance to see these two ridiculously gifted comedians do what they do best…argue like pirates. They should bring this show back EVERY year.

An intermission then, during which I happily caught another performance of Trevor Copp’s wordless physical theatre show AIR, and I greatly benefitted from a repeat viewing (oh, he was making a FIRE! Got it, Stag Hunter, got it) no to mention catching a new short piece, FLIGHT, that he hadn’t performed when I first caught his show. Very brilliant and inspiring.

Soon after it was back into the Theatre for Theatre Brouhaha’s much-acclaimed PUNCH-UP by writer/director Kat Sandler. Starring Caitlin Driscoll, Colin Munch and Tim Walker in a King of Comedy-esque misadventure of hilarious proportions. Lonely schlub Duncan (Walker) falls head over heels for ‘the saddest girl in the world’ (Driscoll), and makes a bet that he can make her laugh…and if he can’t, the consequences are dire indeed. To help him on his bizarre quest, he kidnaps down-on-his-luck comedian Pat (Munch) to teach him how to be funny. We quickly learn, however, that Duncan is completely unable to understand even the most basic rudiments of comedy, and the simple desire to make someone laugh becomes an epic, Herculean task, and might just get a few people killed.

broupu

This show deserves all the hype its gotten and a few barrels more…Kat Sandler is clearly a mad genius, and she’s assembled a perfect cast for one of the funniest shows you’ll ever see. Improv mainstay Colin Munch is viciously funny as the glowering, bitter Pat, paired magnificently with Tim Walker’s inhumanly inept Duncan, who only seems to be able to make people stop laughing at him when he’s actually trying to make them do just that. And Caitlin Driscoll’s tragic Brenda is the walking, talking example of one of the points about comedy Pat tries to explain to Duncan…the sadder her life gets, the more we in the audience can’t help but laugh. Maybe we’re all just awful people, but we’re awful and laughing, so I’ll take it. As I write this there’s only one more showing of PUNCH-UP in Undercurrents, and whatever you have to do to make it out to that show, DO THAT THING.  This is dark and funny at its darkly funniest.  Rather perfect for Valentine’s Day, really…

I’ll be back at Undercurrents on Wednesday myself, to catch two more new shows (and maybe taste some beer from them Dominion City folk in between)…hope to see some of you folk there. Get on out and support the brightest spot in a cold, cold February! Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Undercurrents 2015 Part 1: Far & Air & Love (+Hate)

In Theatre on February 13, 2015 at 7:34 pm

I don’t know how to start this thing off today (700+ blogposts on this thing, surely you’re all wise to my smarmy little writer-tricks by now, right?) so let’s just jump right in…UNDERCURRENTS is back again, Ottawa’s dapper, smashing little juried Theatre festival that makes February all warm and snuggly for a couple of weeks. There’s a sweet lineup once again, courtesy of fest director Pat Gauthier, plus a whole new home at Arts Court, as Undercurrents cozies up to its new Mommy festival, the Ottawa Fringe. Last night was opening night, with a packed house all evening, and maybe the beer was having a little trouble pouring that smoothly, but the theatre was rolling out JUST right.

First up was Ottawa fav’rit Thunk! Theatre and their newly expanded and revamped FAR & NEAR & HERE, originally produced as a 20 minute entry to the Fresh Meat Festival 2 years ago. Created by and starring Thunk’s titanic tag team of Geoff McBride and Karen Balcome, the show follows the weird long-distance friendship (romance?) of Ned and Ted. Ted (Balcome) is a pragmatic list-maker and Aquatic artist from Near, while Ned (McBride)is somewhat misanthropic writer and Boat-builder from
Far…which is quite far from Near. After a brief chance meeting in Here, Ned and Ted strike up a postcard friendship that leads to their decision to meet up for Ned’s Birthday halfway between Far and Near, in Here. Which also happens to be in the middle of the Ocean.

Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride of Thunk!

Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride of Thunk!

Thunk! shows are like a warm hug to your soul, and F&N&H is no different. Gorgeously written, magically staged (you can very much feel the touch of director/dramaturge Emily Pearlman throughout) and of course wonderful performances from Geoff McBride and Karen Balcome, two immensely likeable creators with talent to match their charm. Some epic sound design from the ever-impressive AL Connors, plus Seth Gerry’s terrific lightwork makes this just about as good a start to Undercurrents 2015 as you could beg or scream for.

A brief intermission, and the second Act of the evening got underway, this time in the Studio, where Trevor Copp of Tottering Biped Theatre took to the stage for AIR, a pay-what-you-can show that is a pretty towering display of talent indeed, and whatever you CAN pay, I hope it’s a lot because his dude’s worth it. Featuring a trio of short, wordless, very physical character pieces of limitless imagination, brought to frickin’ beautiful life by Trevor and his clearly enchanted frame (plus director Richard Beaune, natch). The storylines ranged from a man stalking a Stag to the real answers you need about Death, and maybe you’ll follow every moment and maybe you won’t, but it’s easy enough to just lean back and wonder at the artistry on display. I do recommend either getting a good seat up close, or getting to high ground for a good view…you’ll want to be able to see every moment that Trevor brings to life up on that stage. Very impressed.

LOVE+HATE from the Peptides (image by Bonnie Findley)

LOVE+HATE from the Peptides (image by Bonnie Findley)

One final show for the evening back in the Theatre, as a Fringe fav’rit from last year made its triumphant return to the stage. Local musical superheroes The Peptides were back with their unspeakably entertaining LOVE + HATE, and there’s just nothing bad to say about this Goddam fun show. To anyone kvetching about Ottawa being a boring town, I present to you this show…watch it, then slink back to whatever desolate Hellhole you come from and bemoan the fact that there are no Peptides there to make life worth living. Tackling a variety of topics on the human condition, with more classical theatrical elements interspersed with a pop-noir rock concert, it’s a sight to see (and hear, oh yes, to hear) from beginning to end. While each member of the sizeable combo is clearly a musical prodigy in their own right, as a whole the Peptides prove to be a slickly oiled Theatre group to boot, tossing out choreographed dance numbers, comic scenes, live foley sounds and more with seemingly effortless appeal. Kitschy, kinky musical fantasticalness. I said it.

That was it for opening day, except for the hopping afterparty, which was a blast for everyone (and a somewhat grim discovery of the advanced state of my social anxiety for me, oh well), and a great capper to a kick ass opening night. I’ll be back tomorrow for a few more shows, best wishes and broken legs to the good folk playing there in the meantime! Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

3 Sisters and a Bridge

In Theatre on February 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm

After a rather dark day in Canadian Theatre, and one in which I made much less progress at writing my own upcoming piece than I should have, a night out with some rock-solid theatre was exactly what my poor withered soul needed. Thank goodness that out past the blustery snow a-falling, such a piece of theatre was waiting for me at the Gladstone. Specifically with the Three Sisters Theatre Company and their new production of Daniel MacIvor’s MARION BRIDGE.

Directed by local hero Bronwyn Steinberg, the show follows a trio of sisters from out East, forced (in various states of willingness) to reunite after an undisclosed span of time to visit their rapidly ailing Mother. Agnes (Robin Guy) is the toughest fit of the bunch, very reluctantly back from her new home in Toronto and bringing the chip on her shoulder and ever-present flask along with her. She clashes immediately with calm and collected Theresa (Shawna Pasini), who found God long ago but still can’t shake the role of family peacemaker. And odd sister out Louise (Cindy Beaton) only seems to want to obsess over her various teevee shows, or attend mysterious ‘prayer meetings’. Time passes, simmering feuds come bubbling to the surface, and Mother’s hieroglyphic notes start piling up as the sisters try and make sense of who they are, and what the Hell happens next.

The Sisters MacKeigan (Cindy Beaton, Shawna Pasini and Robin Guy...pic by Resonate Photography)

The Sisters MacKeigan (Cindy Beaton, Shawna Pasini and Robin Guy…pic by Resonate Photography)

It all adds up to a terrific Goddamn show, anchored by three very strong performances from the ‘sisters’. Robin Guy (also wearing the Producer hat on this show) is a fierce and vulnerable Agnes, utterly likeable even when she’s being a belligerent drunk. Shawna Pasini’s quietly distressed Theresa simmers wonderfully, in what is maybe the toughest of the three roles to tackle. And if Cindy Beaton doesn’t charm the Hell out of you with her stoically earnest Louise, then I don’t know what kind of monster you are, but not the cool Godzilla kind, that’s for damned sure.  Probably a Ghoulie or some such lame business.

MarionBridge-4x6

Bronwyn keeps MacIvor’s strong script moving fluidly and with down-home (and back East) charm to spare, never delving into sentimentality, though occasionally dipping a toe lovingly in the waters. A sweet set from designer Andrea Steinwand puts the icing on the cake, and caps off a strong and achingly heart piece that you really need to make time to see. Ignoring that it’s an all-too rare instance of a play spotlighting the lives of women almost completely removed from their relationships with men (although you shouldn’t actually ignore that, because it’s TREMENDOUSLY IMPORTANT), this is just a beautiful and funny story, told exceptionally well, that begs to be shared. So come and do that. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

PS: There’s a pretty sweet Maritime-themed art exchibit n in the Gladstone lobby for the duration of the show run, plus some Rum’n’Coke drink specials at the bar.  Y’know, for a well rounded evening out. 🙂

S*** Happened

In Theatre on February 9, 2015 at 1:51 pm

It was a trifle bananas at the National Arts Centre this past Saturday night. Shows in every theatre, fancy parties in dress mask, Winterlude nonsense, the Rosetta Persons band (that’s their name, right?), a goofy DJ in the lobby even…the joint was jumpin’, and no mistake. It took some maneuvering for myself and my uber-talented (if somewhat fragile) Fringe collaborator Madeleine Hall to make our way into the theatre for the latest entry in the NAC’ English Theatre season. But we done it, and without a moment to spare!

The latest show on the big stage is David Hare’s STUFF HAPPENS, a dramatic retelling of some of the worst offences of the infamous George Dubya Bush administration…and boy, do they have a lot to choose from. It was one of the things I’d been concerned about heading into this one…that the show would merely be taking potshots at a group of politicians so infamous and damned by history already that it’d be like lobbing beach balls at a barn door. How could you possibly miss?

But Hare has more depth in his storyline than that, offering a meticulous blow-by-blow look at the event’s of 9/11 and the ensuing ramp-up to war in Iraq. Director David Ferry puts the hefty NAC ensemble to good use, with a few talented add-ons to flesh out the massive cast of characters. It reminded me a little of their recent ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS in sheer scope, and like Alice, we’re definitely down a rabbit hole here. All the more spooky because this one was real.

stuff-happens__large

Following the rise in power of Dubya (Stuart Hughes) and his manipulation of world events to achieve his aims, the show uses a variety of POV’s to tell the labyrinthine story. Of course, we follow the main players on their respective paths…Bush is backed by his cohorts Donald Rumsfeld (Greg Malone, who masters the classic Rumsfeldian nonspeak of talking at length and saying absolutely nothing), Dick Cheney (Paul Rainville, snarling it up), Paul Wolfowitz (Andy Massingham) and Condoleeza Rice (Karen Robinson), as well as his chief ally in the push to war, British PM Tony Blair (Christopher Morris). Along the way he’s hampered by various parties, like French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villlepin (Peter James Howarth) and weapons inspector Hans Blix (David Warburton) who wants nothing to do with all the politicization of his efforts. In the middle of it all, in a sense, is the altruistic Colin Powell (Andrew Moodie in a sensational turn), a staunch advocate of doing things the right way who slowly but surely lets his principles slide by the wayside in one of the most engrossing arcs in the whole story. Some of the more effective moments in the lengthy show are actually random moments from lesser players and ordinary citizens, offering their commentary on what is happening in the world around them, most memorably for me Natasha Greenblatt as a Palestinian scholar and Amy Matysio as a British woman in New York. But other great moments abound, like Bush and Blair scheming and plotting amidst a living forest comprised of the other members of the ensemble.

This is a helluva show to see, a lot thanks to some sweet set and light design from Gillian Gallow and Glenn Davidson. The story is presented inn a very documentary-style format, which could lead to a few spots of lag in the daunting 3+ hour runtime…but thankfully (or woefully, depending on how you look at it), the Bush administration has no shortage of dire events to fill it all to the brim and more. A clever framing sequence with Herbie Barnes as a Janitor, sweeping up the neverending debris and offering prophetic words, works beautifully. Strong performances and important subject matter throughout in a strong show that is a fitting final showcase for this year’s ensemble. I’d let myself forget a lot of the horrorshow that this time in history entailed…this show is a fantastic reminder that we can’t let ourselves do that. The next Iraq War is always looming, just around the next corner. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Lost in Stars

In Theatre on February 5, 2015 at 5:31 pm

It’s been a while, and if anything I swear it’s gotten further away than it used to be, but I still took the plunge the other night and braved a blizzardy ride on OC Transpo to make it out to Kanata for a spot of theatre at the spiffy Ron Maslin Playhouse. And while it ain’t exactly easy making ones way into the RMP on foot (Kanata is, in general, not geared towards pedestrians I find), I somehow managed to make it inside, and tried not to think about how long it would take me to get back home afterwards.

But first things first, and that thing was NIGHT SKY by Susan Yankowitz, and directed by Alain Chamsi for Kanata Theatre. The story follows Anna (Tania Carriere), a brilliant if self-absorbed Astronomy Professor on the verge of worldwide fame resulting from a paper she’s working on. Another result is a massive strain on her relationships with daughter Jennifer (Alexandra Dunlop) and opera-singing boyfriend Daniel (Allan Ross),as well as a mild case of professional jealousy from fellow Astronomer Bill (Harold Swaffield). All of this is thrown for ten thousand kinds of loops when Anna is in a traffic accident that renders her aphasic…unable to find the words with which to give her thoughts form, essentially a prisoner in her own mind. Anna’s life makes a massive shift, including a new speech therapist (Shelley-Jean Harrison), fellow patients like Lucy (Cheryl Zimmer), and numerous strangers who are less than understanding of someone who has trouble making themselves understood (including multiple characters played by Julia Koppernaes, among others).

night sky

Aphasia is a disorder that is as misunderstood as the heavens that Anna spends her life studying, and the comparisons are woven nicely into the text and production, aided by some gorgeous galactic imagery projected on the back stage. Tania Carriere, a Kanata theatre vet, delivers impressive work as the omnipresent Anna, especially in the clearly tricky second and third acts when her words are failing her and her life is, if not unravelling, then rapidly reconstructing into something new whether she likes it or not. Ross and Dunlop are likewise solid as Anna’s family unit, never fading peacefully into the background and continuing to challenge Anna despite her own struggles. Swaffield has some calming and clever moments of narrative, using the motif of delivering lectures to further the overarching metaphor of the stars, even merrily involving Schrodinger’s Cat into the mix. And Cheryl Zimmer delivers some awesome work as Lucy, quietly and efficiently stealing scenes here and there with just a word or two.

NIGHT SKY is a strong entry from Kanata Theatre, a little slow in parts here and there but with its aim settled firmly enough among the stars that it can’t help but lift you up just a little by the end. It was, I confess, worth the trip out (tho I’m still deciding about the 2 hours it took me to get back home, oy…). Peace love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Coming Up in February 2015

In Theatre on February 1, 2015 at 10:07 am

Good old February…short but always sweet for us theatre types, weather be darned. Who worries about freezing half to death when there’s awesome theatre to be had? Some kinda jerk, I bet.

MOSS PARK at the GCTC. Still time to catch the latest bit of George F.Walker in this 2-hander from . Until the 8th.

night sky

NIGHT SKY at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre. The 3rd through 14th.

STUFF HAPPENS at the NAC Theatre. A little walk down memory lane, George W.Bush style, with the NAC ensemble as our guides, from the 3rd to 21st.

MarionBridge-4x6

MARION BRIDGE at the Gladstone Theatre, from Three Sisters Theatre. A new company brings us some classic MacIvor…who could ask for more? From the 11th to 21st.

SCHOOL FOR LIES at the Algonquin studio Theatre N112 (Building N), from Algonquin Theatre Arts. The great Catriona Leger directs the kickoff play of the Gonq’s new season! From the 11th to 15th.

THE QUEEN OF PARADISE’S GARDEN at the NAC 4th Stage. Andy Jones doing puppet Theatre for kids, which should be about as memorable as it gets. The 16h and 21st.

sfair

SABRINA FAIR at the Ottawa Little Theatre. The classic tale (best known courtesy of Audrey Hepburn and Hollywood) gets some OLT lovin’ to brighten up your winter. From the 17th to March 7th.

MARAT/SADE at Academic Hall, from Ottawa U. I’m not writing out the whole actual name of this play from Peter Weiss (directed here by Third Wall’s own James Richardson, en route to his MFA), so go see it and I’m sure it will be on the program. From the 24th to 28th.

bankrupt

BANKRUPT at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions. New Semi-Musical featuring Ottawa superstars the Peptides! From the 25th to March 14th.

ZOO STORY/IT’S WHAT DR.JENKINS WOULD HAVE WANTED at 241 Residence Commons (Carleton Campus), from Sock’n’Buskin.  A One-Act Double Bill from the Sockies for a mere 5 bucks!  The 25th to 28th.

GAME OF BONES at the Velvet Room, from Eddie May Murder Mysteries. The popular dinner theatre romp continues every Saturday…based on the classic fantasy teevee show MANN AND MACHINE, I think.

Don't have an image file for the sexy new logo, sorry.  Old school it is!

Don’t have an image file for the sexy new logo, sorry. Old school it is!

February means the return of Ottawa’s sweet Independent Theatre Festival UNDERCURRENTS, this time making its Arts Court debut as a satellite of the Ottawa Fringe Festival. And as usual , a might fine lineup to look forward to. The fest runs from the 12th to 21st…check the website for full schedule info!

Balcome and McBride, finding themselves.

Balcome and McBride, finding themselves.

FAR & NEAR & HERE from Thunk! Theatre. Expanded and reborn from their original run at the Fresh Meat Festival two years ago, Thunk! Is back to make some magic courtesy of Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride.

MARATHON from Aharona Israel. Described as an “authentic process of increasing attrition happening before your eyes, in real time” So, yeah, don’t miss it.

broupu

PUNCH-UP from Theatre Brouhaha. A comic smash at the Toronto Fringe, this Kat Sandler creation is gonna be just as big a hit in Ottawa.

MUCH ADO ABOUT FECKIN’ PIRATES from Parry Riposte. Margo McDonald and Richard Gelinas return as bickering, improvising pirates in a show that basically writes itself. Diddling a likelihood.

LOVE+HATE from the Peptides (image by Bonnie Findley)

LOVE+HATE from the Peptides (image by Bonnie Findley)

LOVE + HATE from the Peptides. A hit at last year’s Ottawa Fringe, you don’t wanna miss this return appearance of the Peppies musico-theatre extravaganza. You really don’t.

SPIN from Evalyn Parry. Because not enough theatre incorporates bicycles, and Ms.Parry is here to solve that problem!

AIR from Tottering Biped. Expansion, Descent, Ascent, and flight…all yours at PWYC pricing!

ji

JERK IT from May Can Theatre. Anonymous tales of masturbation read aloud, because sometimes theatre really is that Goddamned simple.

UN CABARET TRENDY-TRASH SIGNE LES POIDS PLUMES from les Poids Plumes. I won’t even venture a guess as to what this one-night only French cabaret adventure will consist of, only that you probably want to be there to find out.  And speaking of French Theatre…

– THEATRE FRANCAIS

LA CORNEILLE at Theatre de L’Ile.  Until the 28th.

LES GRAND-MERES MORTES at the NAC Studio. For young audiences, the 14th and 15th.

LE PROJET BOCAL at the NAC Studio. The 18th to 21st.

L’HISTOIRE DU GRILLON EGALE DANS UN SALON at the NAC Studio. 28Th and March 1st.

– IMPROV AND OTHER STUFF

‘BOUT TIME at Mother McGinteys, from Crush Improv.  3 on 3 Improv action!  Monday the 2nd.  And Crush will also be hosting a one-day Improv Workshop with Colin Munch on the 14th.

DJUSTICE UNCHAINED at the Lunenburg Pub, from Hall of Justice Improv. On the 8th.

eft

EFT-UP COMEDY SHOW at Pressed Cafe, from Experimental Farm Theatre. On the 12th.

First and last Wednesday of the month at the Cock’n’Lion, from Grimprov.

DON’T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB at the NAC 4th Stage, from the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.  Anjual fundraiser featuring MC Pierre Brault and a host of Ottawa’s Finest, plus food and bevvie from the Clocktower Brewpub and Thyme and Again!

FUSE at the GCTC, from Propellerdance. Multidisciplinary and inclusive dance goodness, on the 12th and 13th.

More to come!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)