Archive for the ‘Theatre Francais’ Category

Coming Up in March 2018

In Improv, Theatre, Theatre Francais on March 1, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Three of these posts in a row? Man, I must be bored. And if you are too, you’re in luck, because here’s a boatload of awesome theatre to catch this March!

DEAD ACCOUNTS at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Not quite dead yet..! Until the 3rd.

LAUREN AND AMANDA DO IT at Live! On Elgin, from Toasted Theatre. One-night only remount of their Fringe smasheroo, to celebrate their 2nd (or maybe 3rd?) anniversary! On the 1st!


THE NORMAL HEART at the Gladstone, from TotoToo Theatre. Imagine if it were the ‘Nermal’ Heart? And it was about that weird little sidekick cat character from Garfield?? Be a totally different show! The 1st thru 10th.


UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER at Centrepointe Studio Theatre, from the Meus Productions. A Disney-themed sketch show for the whole family, for 2 nights only! The 1st and 2nd.

A CONFESSION at Academic Hall, from Fillum Productions and Achilea Endeavours. A one-shot benefit performance of a Tolstoy tale, starring Peter Howarth and directed by Julie LeGal! On the 3rd at 2pm.


THE INUIT STORY at Arts Court Theatre. Nunavut Sivaniksavut students tell their story through throat-singing, storytelling, dance and more! The 5th and 6th.

HOW BLACK MOTHERS SAY I LOVE YOU at the GCTC. I bet they say it all cool and stuff. From the creator of DA KINK IN MY HAIR! The 6th to 25th.


GODSPELL at Centrepointe Studio, from Ninth Hour. Are you ready for some happy, harmonizing hippies? Because here they come! The 8th to 17th.


GREASE at Centrepointe Theatre, from Orpheus Musical Theatre. I hear the chicks will…enthusiastically applaud for this show. Good luck getting tickets! The 9th to 18th.


YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN at the Kailash Mital Theatre (Carleton U campus), from Carleton U Musical Theatre Ensemble. Singing and dancing, good grief! The 9th and 10th.


A NIGHT IN NOVEMBER at the Gladstone. Pierre Brault challenges the establishment with this show about November…in MARCH! Take that, calendar industry! The 12th to 17th.

Cheers to Sarajevo FINALPoster-page-001

CHEERS TO SARAJEVO at Academic Hall. One night only on the 13th!

THE ELEPHANT MAN at Glebe St.James United Church, from Sock’n’Buskin.  I’m hoping it’s a musical like in The Tall Guy, but I’m sure it’ll be fine played straight too.  From the 16th to 24th.

CARAVAN OF ILLUSION at Academic Hall, from Ottawa U Unicorn Theatre.  Travelling artists hit a fork in the road!  The 20th to 24th.


A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Do you think the streetcar drives under elm trees, making it kind of a crossover with Desire Under the Elms? Think about it. From the 21st to April 7th.

CARRIED AWAY ON THE CREST OF A WAVE at the NAC Theatre.Come get ‘carried away’ by the magic of theatre (they should totally put that on their posters for this show). The 21st to April 1st.

little one

LITTLE ONE at Live! on Elgin. More Moscovitch, and all the Lydias you can handle! the 22nd to 24th.



SLOWCOOKER at Black Squirrel Books (1078 Bank) from New Theatre Ottawa. A night of new play readings in this first installment of a great idea from NTO!  The 23rd.


STAGE KISS at the Gladstone, from Phoenix Players. Sarah Ruhl is back, and she’s brought some kissing with her this time! The 23rd to 31st.



ARSENIC AND OLD LACE at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre. Because it’s nice to know how best to accessorize with old lace. The 27th to April 7.


THE OTTAWA THEATRE CHALLENGE at Arts Court Theatre, hosted by a Company of Fools.  The annual theatre smackdown in honour of World Theatre Day, with multiple companies vying for the ultimate prize, the coveted rubber chicken award!

 – Theatre Francais


MONDMANN – MOON MISSIONS LUNAIRE  at la Nouvelle Scene, from Theatre du Trillium.  Werner von Braun and the race for the moon! The 6th to 10th.

MAGIE LENTE at the NAC studio. A show about mud and all that that entails! The 10th and 11th.


SOUFFLER LA VEILLEUSE at la Nouvelle Scene, from Theatre de la Vielle 17.  French adaptation of Arthur Milner’s GETTING TO ROOM TEMPERATURE. The 14th to 24th.

– BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!! Starting the month off right, we have the OTTAWA IMPROV FESTIVAL, hosted by those beauties at the Improv Embassy and featuring such comedy stalwarts as Crush Improv, Kirsten Rasmussen, Coko and Daphney, Big Bang, Quest Friends Forever and more! Check their website for full listings…runs from the 1st to 3rd at Arts Court.

OIF 2018

Of course there’s also the regular monthly adventures in Improv from the Embassy (including a one-night only return by Fringe hit XAVE RUTH on thee 24th), Crush Improv, Grimprov, Outtake Improv, Crystal Basement and probably more.  Check ’em all out if you need a giggle or three in these troubled times!  Also plenty of cool events at Live! on Elgin that I haven’t listed above (like the regular Monday night Fanfiction series!).

Ottawa Storytellers has several events, including their (Un)Told series, some business about Norse Gods (but not the new THOR movie, sorry…tho that’s out on blu-ray any day now!!), plus this one here I have a cool graphic for!  Check them all out!


Damn, this is taking a long time…I think SOMEthing is happening tonight and tomorrow at the new theatre space in Arts Court and Ottawa U?  Someone send me a link! And tell me what else I missed, hey gang?  And don’t complain that there’s ‘nothing to do’ this March. Shut up and see some shows!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

Le Danois Melancolique

In Theatre, Theatre Francais on May 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Always nice to find out about a cool-sounding production, even if it IS at kind of the last minute (seriously, I BEG you people…).  And a cool French production at that?  Shit yes, I’m in…as people may have noticed, I’m falling a bit shamefully behind on my posting these days, and could use something awesome to write about.

The awesome came at one of my fav’rit venues in the whole wide world, Studio Leonard-Beaulne on Ottawa U. campus, courtesy of Vanier-based company Theatre Tremplin in collaboration with Theatre la Catapulte.  Deciding that it was no longer acceptable to let Bear and Company have all the Shakespearean fun this week, the Tremplin gang got themselves a French translation of HAMLET, the bard’s angstiest bit, courtesy of Jean Marc Dalpé.    Making delightfully innovative use of the space and sparse staging, director Dillon Orr (recently doing wonderful things with Obviously A Theatre Company) sets the scene for a pretty damn killer evening of theatre.  And the best part is, English speakers can just waltz on in and not worry about missing any of the language…it is, after all, HAMLET.  I think you know the story.


…And, since I just talked myself out of doing my usual ‘quick plot summary’ bit, I’m free to chat about other things.  Like the nice, low-key twist with several classic male roles being cast as women, and acknowledging it in the updated text to boot…Polonius, played by the terrific Jocelyne Lachance, is now Mother to two daughters, Laertes (a fierce Marie-Eve Fontaine) and Ophelia (the always wonderful Chloe Tremblay), instead of Father to a son and a daughter.  It’s no big, I say, and integrated into the show so smoothly you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t already familiar with the story (which, okay, you totally are, but you see where I’m going).  And otherwise, things proceed quite according to legend…our grim hero Hamlet (Antoine Cote-Legault, knocking it outta the park), aided and abetted by his best pal Horatio (Sylvain Sabatie) tortures himself working up the nerve to revenge himself upon his Father-killing Uncle Claudius (Jean-Phillipe Houle, a great presence on the stage…and Robert Lalonde is dandy too as the ghost of Hamlet’s Pa).  And his issues with his Mother Gertrude (Chantal Tokarsky in an impressive performance) run deep indeed, especially given her whole ‘married to the villain’ status.  Along the way there IS some levity…Jean Charbonneau and Guillaume Saindon have lots of fun as the travelling actors, while Eric Beevis and Alexandre Gauthier make a very merry Rosencrantz and Guildenstern indeed.  Add in some sweet lighting from Sophie Ducharme and opulent music from composer Venessa Lachance, and you’ve got a pretty stellar production That is so very worth your time to catch.  Did I mention cookies and coffee at intermission?  Because those were pretty fucking amazing cookies.

HAMLET is my third Shakespeare of the year so far, and it’s got a very good fighting chance at being my fav’rit come year-end.  Ottawa is a good town for some Bard, and it’s nice to see our Franco-buddies getting in on the fun.  More, I say!  The show runs until the 11th at SLB, 20 dollars at the door (or I think you can buy online in advance).  Do yerself a favour and give it a look.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Temps et la Chambre

In Theatre, Theatre Francais on April 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Missed a day of posting there (actually a few days, but who’s paying attention?) So I have to hurry and get this one up before I get too far behind.  And I definitely wanted to get something written about what I think is the last show of the season from Ottawa U’s Theatre de la Licorne.  This latest offering is Botho Strauss’ LE TEMPS ET LA CHAMBRE, in a translation by Michel Vinaver, and directed by the increasingly impressive Eric Perron.

Now, be it a combination of my still-poor French skills, and the fact that Botho’s play is on e heck of a mindbender in and of itself, I can’t comment TOO closely on the plot…I THINK I got it, but just in case I’m completely off-base, I’ll stick to the basics.  The play is comprised of two acts, radically different and yet strangely connected.  The first, more surreal act (and hence my fav’rit) starts out with two men (Patrick Potvin and Guillaume Saindon) in a room…one constantly watches the room itself, while the other always looks out one of the huge windows.    As they watch, the front door keep son buzzing, and more and more oddball characters start filing in.  Marie (Chloe Tremblay), who seems to have some connection to the place, and soon becomes central to most of the action.  Plus there’s a couple of strangely menacing, yet childlike figures in trenchcoats (Chancard Lemvo and Alexandre Bazinet), a fellow who’s misplaced his watch (Nocolas Tremblay-Foisy) and the hyper, flirtatious mystery woman following him about (Virginie Houet).  All this plus a brief visit from a sleeping girl (Alex Beraldin…at least, I think that was her) and the heavy-coated fellow carrying her (Alexandre-David Gagnon).

temps chambre

I missed some (a lot) of the dialogue in this act, but was enjoying the ambience far too much to care.  The beautiful set, lights and sounds all coalesced with a stage full of strong performances to create a first act that was truly something special to witness.  Moody, funny, harrowing, often all at once, and featuring a wonderful final moment.  Act Two turned everything on its head, and I don’t want to give any more information than that to A) avoid spoiling the fun, and B), again protecting myself in case I got everything completely wrong.  Probably.

Perron puts together a very intriguing show, and hats off to the wunnerful Chloe Tremblay, who always seems to be on stage when I see great French theatre at Ottawa U.  And Virginie Houet has some great comic moments in act one, as does Patrick Potvin.  Very good stuff, and I’d love to hear from any actual French-fluent fans as to what THEY thought of it.  The rest of you, you still have until the 6th to catch this one over at Acadmic Hall.  And if you needed even more incentive…they have ice cream. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)


In Theatre, Theatre Francais on February 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm

A late-night quickie post for you all, because I gotta work early and the show I’m writing about only has one performance to go.  Time is of the essence, yo!  And even though it’s a show billed as being aimed at ages 12 and up, I can honestly vouch for the ‘and up’ part.  Having burned my way through pretty much every scrap of English Theatre this town has to offer LAST week (and I even saw GOD OF CARNAGE a second time last night, in volunteer capacity), it was time to head on back to the NAC for some more in their French series, which in my brief time attending has impressed the Hell out of me.  Tonight’s show was in the studio but, this being French Theatre, of course they couldn’t just let us in the front door.

Just follow the signs...

Just follow the signs…

Down the stairs we were brought (the second time in a row that’s happened at a French NAC show, and I kinda like it…), then told to take off our shoes and make our way into the studio from the rear of the stage for Daniel Danis’ KIWI, where actors and puppeteers Dany LeFrancois and Sara Moisan of la Tortue Noire were awaiting, peddling a table full of knickknacks and apparent junk to the entering crowd.  Some of the folks really got into it, haggling for this and that while the show waited to begin.  Eventually we settled down, the backdrop went up, and a beautiful and heartfelt story started to unfold.

My poor French notwithstanding, it seemed to be the tale of young runaway Kiwi, who is taken in by an underground (literally) collective/gang.  Her saviour is punk hero Litchi, who takes a quick shine to blue-bonnetted Kiwi.  Stealing and prostituting themselves to survive, and under constant threat by the secret police (who want to clear they land they’re occupying to build an Olympic Village), the entire story is told via adapted objects on and under the main table (a theme at NAC French Theatre?), including a lot of finger figures, licence plate buildings, and the most sinister fucking Mickey Mouse EVER.   Featuring scenes of absolutely childlike imaginative beauty (how they pull off a day in the park is just gorgeous) to desperately stark and brutal reality, this is DIY theatre that’s right up my alley.  Reminiscent once again of Ottawa’s Mi Casa Theatre, which is a VERY GOOD THING, need I remind you.  LeFrancois and Moisan are utterly charming as our somewhat hard luck heroes, assisted ably by some killer sound and lighting from Michel and Isabeau Cote, all under the direction of Guylaine Rivard.  A solid show, clocking in at less than an hour, but it’ll stay with you for plenty longer.  It’s always great to be reminded how few limits there really are on storytelling, and la Tortue Noire do that impressively in KIWI.

As I said, as of this writing, there’s only one more performance at the NAC, Saturday night at 8pm. Even if your French sucks, I’d urge you to check it out.  And remember to wear clean socks.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Ubu, King of the Table

In Theatre, Theatre Francais on February 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm

If May Can Theatre and Mi Casa got together and had a hyperactive French love child, it would be le Theatre de la Pire Espece. Last night I hopped over to the NAC to indulge in a little Franco-theatre, which I’m increasingly becoming convinced is an absolute necessity for any theatre fan with even a smidgen of French language skill in them.  The current show was UBU SUR LA TABLE, based on the 1896 French play UBU ROI (Ubu the King) from Alfred Jarry.  To see this show, the audience is led away from the main theatre and even the studio, down the stairs, past some likely curious customers in le Cafe, through a door marked ‘must remain closed at ALL times’, and into the bowels of the NAC itself until we reach the mythical land known as Rehearsal Hall A.  There, on a makeshift stage littered with props, and standing behind a simple table draped with a black cloth, are Olivier Ducas and Francis Monty.  Together, and armed only with an array of household objects and their oodles of talent and charm, they retell the farcical tale of the rather nutty Pere Ubu (here personified as a sort of sauce decanter).


Urged by his wife, a dishrag, to assassinate the king and seize his throne, Ubu leaps to power along with his right hand man, a hammer.  The entire tale gets told in this fashion, culminating in a huge battle scene with legions of fork soldiers astride baguettes, egg-beater helicopters raining squishy-tomato death, and Ubu trying to avoid comeuppance at the hands (sort of) of the Kings son, an upside-down teapot.  It’s insanely inventive and entertaining stuff that seems almost impossible to dislike, and even with my meager French skills I had no problem following along.  Jarry’s tale plays with theatre and lifts liberally from Shakespeare and others, and Olivier and Francis have a ball adding their own jabs and gags into the mix. Having performed this piece some 700-odd times, they have a clearly polished rapport with each other and aren’t afraid to improvise. The result is an absolute giddy, childish joy, and one that shouldn’t be missed.  English theatre fans, I’ll say it once again…if you’re missing French theatre, you’re missing out, period.  See this show (twice nightly tonight and tomorrow)…and watch out for flying spoons.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)