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Posts Tagged ‘Chamber Theatre’

Coming Up in February 2017

In Undercurrents on February 3, 2017 at 10:54 am

Sorry I’m late! Already 3 days into the month…that’s, like, half of February! Let’s get it started already!

COLONY OF UNREQUITED DREAMS at the NAC Theatre, until the Feb 11th. So many dreams they formed their own colony!

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEPEOPLE from Eddie May Mysteries, at the Velvet Room downtown every Saturday night. Superheroes and dinner, what more do ya need?

A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM from Taboo Productions, at Academic Hall until the 4th. An LGBTQ retelling of the Bard’s most fantastical outing. So get out there!

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AT HOME AT THE ZOO at the Carleton Tavern, from Chamber Theatre, from the 1st to the 11th. Albee’s Zoo story with its prequel Homelife get the Chamber treatment at Ottawa’s coolest theatre…order a quart and some wings and strap yourselves in!

SCHOOLHOUSE from Kanata Theatre, at the Ron Maslin Playhouse from the 7th to 18th. Will this Schoolhouse rock? Only one way to find out..!

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CRIMES OF THE HEART from Three Sisters, at the Gladstone the 8th to 18th. A gritty drama about the grizzled, veteran cops who tackle to toughest crimes of all…Heart Crimes! Probably.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at the Ottawa Little Theatre, from the 15th to March 4th. Get a Little Harper Lee in yer February, people!

PHANTOM OF THE OPRY from Brett Kelly Entertainment, at the Gladstone Theatre from the 22nd to 25th.

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SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET from Suzart after Dark, at Centrepointe Theatre the 23rd to 25th. The brutal killer with the silly name is back!

UNDERCURRENTS at Arts Court, the 8th to 18th. Hosted by the Ottawa Fringe Festival, the mighty undercurrents festival is back with another sweet, sweet lineup (and also me). Check it out, and plan your month accordingly:

 

THE ELEPHANT GIRLS from Parry Riposte

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TOMORROW’S CHILD from Ghost River Theatre

UN-COUNTRIED from Theatre 4.669

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BROTHERHOOD: THE HIP-HOPERA from b current and Sebastien Heinz.

BURNT from Norah Paton

VOVK from Lana Kouchnir

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FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING from Strange Visitations (that’s ME! And Jodi Morden and Madeleine Hall, too) Pay What you Can, PLEASE COME SEE OUR FUNNY LITTLE SHOW!!

– …plus the INDIGENOUS WALKS walking tours (bundle up!), New Play Tuesday, panel discussions, talkbacks, opening and closing night parties, and all the fun you can handle. Go go go!  Check out the full schedule HERE.

– THEATRE FRANCAIS

FUCKING CARL from Theatre du Trillium, at La Nouvelle Scene the 4th and 5th. Sold-out Fringe hit is back for a limited engagement!

LES PASSANTS from Theatre la Catapulte, at the GCTC from the 23rd to March 12th. A french show at the GCTC? Allons-Y!

– IMPROV AND OTHER STUFF

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CRUSH IMPROV continues their ‘Bout Time tournament thru February, at Mother McGintey’s. Check the calendar HERE!

GRIMPROV, you lads still good for some funny the 1st and last Wednesday of the month at the Cock’n’Lion? Here’s assuming!

THE IMPROV EMBASSY has their usual full roster of events, and their own calendar to boot. Check it out!

More to come!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

Monday Foofarah! – Monday, April 20th 2015

In Foofarah on April 20, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Happy 4/20 everyone! Go drink 4 coffees and eat 20 donuts (that’s the deal with today, right?)

It should be.

It should be.

APED: So the crazy run of an even crazier play has ended at last, as Chamber Theatre Hintonburg‘s production of Eugene O’Neill’s classic THE HAIRY APE, a play I am now very, very much in love with and plan to revisit someday, has wrapped at the Carleton Tavern this past Saturday. We had some good houses, a few small ones, a few packed ones, and gave our all every time. I can’t thank Lisa and Donnie enough for letting me tag along and take this incredible plunge into ensemble, expressionist acting…it’s already hard to imagine just playing to an audience in a classic, proscenium stage. Working the room at the Carleton is such a brilliant, unique experience in theatre, and such a huge part of why I adore Chamber Theatre as a company. Nobody else is taking the chances they’re taking, and it’s gonna be hard not to jump at another opportunity if it comes along. We shall see, as the reading for their next proposed production is coming up in a week and I will happily be at the table for it.

It's got its work cut out for it if it wants to be as fun as this, though.

It’s got its work cut out for it if it wants to be as fun as this, though.

As for the Ape, it will be hard to let it, and my beloved ensemble (Madeleine, Rebecca, Darren, Brent, Laura, Jed, Donnie, Matt, Louis, and Auntie Ellen, plus our crew Lisa, Alain, Glen, Donna, Kristen, Carole and Lesley) go…post-show blues are always hard, something even a raw rookie like me is starting to understand. So to Hell with it, let’s take one last shot at it! Yes, it is officially official…THE HAIRY APE will be unleashed a month today in the Glebe at the legendary Irene’s Pub for a special one night performance, the first ever theatrical production at that venue (we already popped the Blacksheep Inn’s cherry at the start of our run, seems fitting to end it in similar fashion). Looks like I have one more filth shower in my future, and I couldn’t be happier. Well okay, I could, if all of you who sadly missed our Carleton run would do yourselves a favour and come on down to check out one of the funnest and most exciting pieces of theatre this year!

#2FARAH: So in a scant two months, my newest co-creation with my brilliant collaborators (Madeleine Hall, Jodi Morden, and Rebecca Laviolette) at STRANGE VISITATIONS will hit the boards of Studio Leonard-Beaulne for its world premiere at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. This hourlong show, HANNAH & GEORGE, will (hopefully) be a fast-paced, high energy clown love-story and magical adventure-comedy, a childrens show aimed at entertaining kids of ALL ages and winning over even the hardest of hearts. How to celebrate its arrival? The only way you celebrate anything…with Foofarah, of course!

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Yes, it’s that time of year again, as I can now officially announce the upcoming second annual FOOFARAH LIVE! At the Clocktower Brewpub on Bank Street this Monday June the 1st. Consider this my first feeling out to ask for anyone interested in contributing to the evenings entertainment…as per last year, the show will consist of a cabaret-style collection of pieces, anywhere from a minute in length to over 20. Details to follow, but if you’d be interested at all in taking part, send me an e-mail at visitor.tba@gmail.com and let me know! I should stress, this event WILL be, in part, a fundraiser for myself and Strange Visitations on our road to Fringe, so any contributions on your part will be very gratefully voluntary…but if you have an upcoming show as well and would like to give audiences an early taste of it, this is a good (and fun) place to do it! Or if you just have a short bit of fun that doesn’t fit anywhere else, give me a shout! Last year was a blast, and details will follow shortly as to the specifics on this year’s madness. I can tell you that I’ll be bringing out at least one or two of the clown ‘turns’ I worked during my stay at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance (aka the Clown Farm) last summer. I can ALSO tell you that this evening will feature a one-night-only revival of Strange Visitations’ Fresh Meat hit, FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING (among other goodies).

Admit it, you NEED to see this live.

Admit it, you NEED to see this live.

So get in touch with me asap (and some of you I might be getting in touch with to gauge interest) and get in on the Foofarah Funtimes, and let’s kick Fringe month 2015 off with a bang…or at least, the annoying screech of a rubber chicken.

FRIENDS AT FRINGE: Speaking of Fringe (which you cannot do enough), why not shine a wee Visitorium spotlight on one of the many awesome shows I’ll be lucky enough to share the fest with this year?

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My darlin’ little galpal Caitlin is diving headlong into the Fringe this year (with the help of the incredible Hannah Gibson-Fraser behind the scenes) in her one-woman show, CRUSHED, and you can help make it happen for her by checking out her Fund-What-you-Can promotion right here. Then check out her squinky new show website, and get ready for what I expect to be a very smart, sweet and funny show…and Caitlin, consider yourself invited to join us at the Foofarah if you’re into it! 🙂  I can’t wait to see what you guys are cooking up!

And that’s it for this Monday…see you again soon, gang!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Update from the Ape

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Time for a bit of an update from the boards, I suppose…what the Hell, I DO actually pay to maintain this here blog, might as well take it out for a spin every now and again. I have been keeping busy elsewhere, and for once not just taking in theatre. Though I have been fortunate enough to catch kick-ass productions like TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON and THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW in the last little while, and they impressed. Hope y’all made it out while you had the chance!

Ape Final

But speaking of chances, you still have two to catch my main distraction for the last few months, THE HAIRY APE by Eugene O’Neill at the Carleton Tavern. It’s been a wild ride putting up this challenging classic of American Theatre in such a unique and vibrant space as the Carleton, with such a varied and skilled ensemble that local heroes Chamber Theatre Hintonburg have assembled for the task. I’m learning by orders of magnitude with every performance, the kind of things that had not yet been covered in my meagre theatrical training. How do you handle it when you or one of your colleagues misses a line? What do you do if one of your key props is simply not there? What is the etiquette for sharing your green room space with a Darts League? What happens when the hockey crowd on the opposite side of the bar cheers so loud it drowns out our soundscape? How do you handle playing for a small audience…or conversely, the largest one you’ve ever played to?

Donnie Laflamme as Yank in Chamber Theatre's Production of THE HAIRY APE by Eugene O'Neill, 2015.

Donnie Laflamme as Yank in Chamber Theatre’s Production of THE HAIRY APE by Eugene O’Neill, 2015.

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Laura Hall as Mildred.

Long and Yank in unfamiliar territory.

Long and Yank in unfamiliar territory.

Madeleine Hall and Ellen Manchee on Fifth Avenue.

Madeleine Hall and Ellen Manchee on Fifth Avenue.

Donnie Laflamme's Yank takes a turn for the worse.

Donnie Laflamme’s Yank takes a turn for the worse.

It’s been an amazing ride and I can’t believe we only have two shows left (or DO we..?). Our last couple of shows were closing in on sellouts, and we have every intention of finishing strong. The Ape is still hungry for more, so come on out and see what is genuinely one of the most unique pieces of theatre you’re going to catch in Ottawa this year. Donnie Laflamme continues to raise the bar with his powerhouse performance as Yank, practically daring the rest of us to keep up with him. How our director, Lisa Zanyk, managed to keep him and the rest of us on course for all these months is a mystery to me. Thanks to her, my castmates, our glorious crew, the Saikeley family and the Carleton staff, and of course our beloved audience. I am eternally thankful to every familiar face I see coming out to support me in this, as well as the wonderful new faces who have decided to take a chance on live theatre in unique spaces. You’re all the goods. We’ll be back at the Carleton Friday at 6:30 (double-billed that night with the amazing Rocket Rached and the Fat City 8!) and Saturday at 5 (closing night, so PARTY!), so get yer tickets now! We’re gonna pack that joint and rock your collective socks. More to come, and I’ll see you at the Theatre! Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Coming Up in April 2015

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2015 at 8:46 am

More like APE-ril, am I right?  Yes, yes I am.  Here’s why…

apecarletonTHE HAIRY APE at the Carleton Tavern, from Chamber Theatre Hintonburg. From the 2nd to 18th.  It’s finally here!  Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 monster about the forgotten victims of the Industrial revolution bursts to life on the Carleton Tavern Stage in a show you won’t soon forget.  Directed by Lisa Zanyk and starring Donnie Laflame as Yank, with a mighty ensemble cast around him.  See you there!

Louis Lemire and Donnie Laflamme in THE HAIRY APE.

Louis Lemire and Donnie Laflamme in THE HAIRY APE.

TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON at the NAC Theatre. Family drama, with floods. Until the 11th.

GOODBYE PICCADILLY at the Ottawa Little Theatre. More goodness from the OLT gang! Until the 11th.

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW at the Gladstone Theatre, from Vanity Project. Don’t have your ticket yet? Then start your envy, because this hotly anticipated musical is sold out for all seven shows, the 1st to 4th! If you stand outside the theatre, maybe you can hear the Time Warp…

vifVENUS IN FUR at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions. Sexy shenanigans with David Whiteley and Chandel Gambles. The 9th to 18th.

PARFUMERIE at the GCTC. The lawyers are at it again, acting and playing and generally being unlawyerlike. Yay! The15Th (preview show) to 18th.

DIRTY DANCING at NAC Southam Hall. Live adaptation of the famous movie about the improper placement of babies, or something. The 14th to 19th.

grimm bros

THE BROTHERS GRIMM SPECTACULATHON at Algonquin College Studio Theatre (Building N), from Algonquin Theatre Arts. The 15th to 19th. And don’t miss FLYING SOLO, the Gonqs’ end of year monologue ceremony, on the 23rd.

udbUNDER DEREK’S BED at Arts Court Theatre, from Dead Unicorn Ink. The first TACTICS series comes to a close with this monster of a tale from Sylvie Recoskie. The 17th to 25th!

YOUPPI CLUB at somewhere, from Ottawa Stilt Union. An event so mysterious I still don’t know where it is! On the 20th.

THE DOUBLE at NAC Studio. A man and his cello. 21st to May 2nd.

ONTARIO SCENE the 29th to May 10th. Too much to list here, but includes Daniel MacIvor and much more at a multiplicity of locales!  Check their website for all the details!

– THEATRE FRANCAIS

LA SOUPE DE KAFKA at Theatre de L’ile. Until the 11th!

NOUEDS PAPILLON at the NAC Studio. Written and Directed by Marie-Eve Huot. The 11th and 12th.

RICHARD III at the NAC Theatre. Major Franco-Shakespearean production that I really wanna see. The 21st to 25th.

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LE REVE TOTALITAIRE DE DIEU L’AMIBE at Studio Leonard-Beaulne, from Theatre Tremplin and Theatre la Catapulte. The 30th to May 9th.

– IMPROV AND OTHER STUFF

‘BOUT TIME at the Pour House, from Crush Improv. Crush’s legendary 3 on 3 battle improv show temporarily moves digs to this spot while their regular stage undergoes renos. Monday the 6th, Don’t miss out!

GRIMPROV at the Cock’n’Lion, first and last Wednesday of the month.

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EFT-UP COMEDY SHOW at Pressed Cafe, from Experimental Farm Theatre. April 9th!

STAKEOUT at the Lunenburg Pub, from Hall of Justice Improv. On the 12th.

SUNDAY NIGHT FANFICTION at the Lunenburg Pub, from Morning Person Theatre. All the Paul Piekoszewski you can handle in one month! On the 19th.

Always more to come…See you at the Theatre.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Dawn of the Hairy Ape

In Theatre on March 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Well, this is it. A long road, a lotta rehearsal (and that’s Lotta with a capitol L, folks), a few sore throats and a serious wrench later, and Eugene O’Neill’s THE HAIRY APE is finally ready to show its ugly mug to the world. Starting with a special preview show double-bill tomorrow night at the legendary Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield (immediately following the show, castmate Jed Rached will be leading his band the Fat City 8 into a blistering blues set). After that, we hit the just as legendary Carleton Tavern in Hintonburg in Ottawa for a three week run. Now, Ottawa audiences are familiar with the sight of Chamber Theatre at the Carleton Tavern, their main stage for most of their career (tho they’ve played such esoteric venues as Cube Gallery, the Elmdale Tavern, and Collected Works bookstore), but I can pretty much guarantee they ain’t seen anything like Eugene O’Neill’s APE around these parts for quite some time. So far, we’ve been unable to track down any evidence of it having ever even been performed in Ottawa…and if anyone has any knowledge about a past performance, I’d love to hear some specifics! Because this show lives up to its name…it is a Beast, and no fooling. And what the Chamber gang has done with it is going to take this classic of American Theatre and turn it into one of the most energetic and engaging pieces to crash into your senses this season…crash into’em, and beat’em senseless.

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Lisa Zanyk and Donnie Laflamme are the beatin’ heart of Chamber Theatre, and have been working like stokers in the bowels of a ship to bring this classic of American Theatre to life in Ottawa. Donnie takes the lead in the show as Yank, O’Neill’s steel-tough, grimy, iconic everyman champion, and a vicious brute when he wants to be (which is often). One of the most unlikely leads a play has ever had, and Donnie Laflamme is a fiendishly great fit for this hard-luck hero…I can’t think of anyone else in O-Town who has the sheer power to pull it off. Previous collaborators from their production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, Louis Lemire and Matt Smith, are back in this one as Paddy and Long, respectively, two of Yank’s fellow coal-shovelling cronies. Meanwhile, above decks, Laura Hall and Ellen Manchee keep the filth of the stokehole at bay as upperclass Mildred Douglas and her Aunt. It’s Mildred who unwittingly fires the plot into action, indulging herself in some ‘social service’ with disastrous results.

The cast is filled out by a mighty ensemble filling a variety of roles, including my Strange Visitations stage partner Madeleine Hall, plus Rebecca Laviolette, Jed Rached, Brent Rouleau, Darren Jerome and, you know…me. And I’m proud as heck to be part of their gang. I’ve learned a lot working with this team, and look forward to learning even more once we hit the stage.

Myself and costar Rebecca Laviolette, even prettier than usual.

Myself and costar Rebecca Laviolette, even prettier than usual.

Behind the scenes, Matt Smith has done double-duty, composing and creating a soundscape for the show that is a character unto itself and WILL have audiences talking. It’s utterly incredible, and I can’t wait for people to hear it. Our amazing lighting and sound tech Glen Macintosh has cooked up some sounds and sights that are going to make everything we do so, so much better than we alone could have managed. The costumes by Donna Bourgeault are things of beauty (or horror, when necessary), once again making our jobs as actors that much easier. Add in propmeister Kirsten Saar, Box office guru Carole Johnson, and omnipresent Stage Manager Alain Chauvin , and we’ve got a team I couldn’t be more excited to perform with. And, of course, I’d say the Carleton Tavern itself deserves credit as well, because ain’t no stage in town has more character than ours.

As for myself…well, I’m old and cynical and stuff, and refuse to use words like ‘blessed’ to describe my fortunes (tho I may have lapsed into that in the odd sentimental moment in the past, and slap me if it happens again). But, this is a major step on my stumbling, tumbling path towards becoming…whatever, an actor, a creator, I don’t even rightly know. But this has been glorious hard work that I’ve loved every moment of (except for the moments of supreme frustration, but those pass, and the love remains), and Donnie and Lisa are saying nice things about whatever it is I’ve been doing in rehearsal, and I really DO get an awfully big wrench to lug around. And maybe a fav’rit thing of mine has been Lisa’s constant urging us to be louder, and be heard more. Can you even imagine? To a weirdo loner like me who can’t even ask women out on dates or make phone calls to close friends from utter tongue-twisting, nerve-wracking anxiety, having the freedom…the goddam AUTHORITY, even…to speak out, to talk, to be heard is…well, it’s pretty amazing, I don’t mind saying. I don’t know if I’ll ever make a living at this acting gig (probably not), or even a remotely steady paycheck (thin possibility). I only know I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life. Definitely. Or is that too sentimental?

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So join me and the Chamber gang, won’t ya, tomorrow at the Black Sheep Inn, or the following three weeks at the Carleton Tavern, for a piece of brash and raw theatre that won’t soon leave your psyche. This will be a show to remember, folks (and if not, then at least the bar is open, am I right?). Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Monday Foofarah! – March 16 2015

In Foofarah on March 16, 2015 at 10:50 pm

Well, I’m not reviewing anymore, so I might as well use this space for SOMEthing. And the Monday Foofarah, why that certainly is something! It’s ten pounds of something in a five pound bag is what it is! Or IS it..???  Never mind just get your dancin’ shoes on already!

And when I said just now “I’m not reviewing anymore”, well, just take that with an apparent grain of salt, because…

THE BEST HAPPINESS: …I just saw two shows back to back that I simply GOTTA give a little public props to, because I feel a deep, gnawing need to have people fill their houses with adoring fans. First up is a gorgeous little slice of Daniel MacIvor with THE BEST BROTHERS, playing now at the GCTC. Starring John Ng and Andy Massingham as Hamilton and Kyle Best, two brothers who are just similar enough to make their differences all the more grating whenever they try and get along. And as the occasion of their meeting in the play is to handle funeral arrangements for their suddenly departed Mother ‘Bunny’, emotions are indeed flaring a little higher than usual between buttoned down Hamilton and flaky Kyle. And then there’s Enzo, Mother’s beloved pooch who has a tendency to eat all the things, and then defecate them wherever he likes. It’s a trying time.

John Ng and Andy Massingham in THE BEST BROTHERS (pic by Andrew Alexander)

John Ng and Andy Massingham in THE BEST BROTHERS (pic by Andrew Alexander)

A sneaky piece from Danny Mac, BROTHERS starts off looking like a wacky dark comedy, and somewhere along the way shifts into a multilevel character piece and exploration of grief, relationships, sexuality and family, among other subjects. GCTC boss Eric Coates sits comfortably behind the reigns on this one, and couldn’t have asked for a better tragicomic duo than John Ng and Andy Massingham, who play off each other like a human game of ping pong, as well as taking turns giving a posthumous voice to Mother Bunny. It’s a hilarious and touching play whose every moment bears close examination. 2015 is turning out to be a stellar Ottawa year for MacIvor!

Meanwhile, over at TACTICS, the third show in that inaugural series has rolled out this past week at Arts Court, as local heroes May Can Theatre hit the big time with a revamped and reworked version of their 2013 Fringe show HAPPINESS(tm). And while the show is still pretty much the same at its very core, or at least in the same ballpark, this is very much a bran new experience for audiences to take in. And I do mean experience, as Cory Thibert, Tony Adams and director Mado Manseau have turned this darkly comic tale of corporate shilling gone wrong into one of the most wonderfully immersive theatrical experiences of the year.

Tony Adams and Cory Thibert in HAPPINESS(tm)

Tony Adams and Cory Thibert in HAPPINESS(tm)

Working with a budget for likely the first time in their history, May Can puts every cent of it into the production and the results are fantastic, with an eye-popping opening that sets the scene perfectly, with high-octane HPL sales reps Peter Barrel (Tony) and James Lemon (Cory) getting ready to sell the ever-loving shit out of their new ‘Infinity Line’, products specifically designed to make you happier (including the cringe-inducing ‘Happy Hook-Up’). All of this takes place in the studio…audiences are then ushered into the Theatre for a look at what lies beneath the happy face of Pyramid scheming-sales in a genuinely inspired and clever twist in storytelling that goes from hilarious to grim when you’re least expecting it. Aided by some sweet light and projection effects, Cory and Tony deliver what is probably their fullest and most satisfying show to date, and one that should propel them into a new phase of their careers in theatre, if there’s any damn justice in the world. Amazing to think back to when I was sharing a venue with the original prototype of this show at TAN Coffee in Sandy Hill. And very proud of how far May Can has come since then.

YOU DAMN DIRTY APE: Counting the days now until THE HAIRY APE at long last clambers onto the stage, first for a preview show at Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn, and then back in Hintonburg for the full run at the Carleton Tavern. Working with Chamber Theatre for the last several months on this beast of a show has been challenging, frustrating and fulfilling, sometimes all at once, and its hard to believe the end is at last in sight. Donnie Laflamme is poised to once again knock Ottawa audiences over with his performance as Yank, a steel-tough stoker on a liner who has his world turned inside out after a chance encounter with a high-society dame (the seriously amazing Laura Hall).

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Director Lisa Zanyk continues to push the whole cast in wonderful new directions up to the last minute, and I think audiences are going to really enjoy what she’s come up with. Our cast is filled out with Madeleine Hall, Matt Smith, Louis Lemire, Ellen Manchee, Brent Rouleau, Jed “Rocket” Rached, Darren Jerome and Rebecca Laviolette, and rehearsals are starting to really cook as we near the finish line. Now, I’ve got a couple of comp tickets to give away for opening night here at the Carleton on April 2 at 7:30, and that means CONTEST!!!  What do you have to do to get’em? Simple: get out your phones, use the hashtag #ChamberApe, and between now and next Monday post a pic (or a video, if you’re feeling ambitious) of yourself doing your best impression of a Hairy Ape. The winner will be announced next Monday right here…and keep in mind I may post some of the pictures here as well, if we get a good-lookin’ bunch. Trust me, this is theatre good enough to make yourself look silly for. 🙂

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STRANGE VISITATIONS: Even as APE nears its destination, over in Fringe Festival territory my other show, HANNAH & GEORGE, is just starting to pick up steam. Just yesterday I sent in information to be printed in the official Fringe guidebook (guess there’s no changing the name NOW), version 2 of the script is in all of our hands, prop and costume scouting is on and rehearsal spaces are being booked. I am desperately anxious and excited about this show, which is almost a direct descendant of the short piece THE FLOWER I performed as my end-of-semester presentation at the late, great Ottawa Theatre School, so I feel pretty close to it.

Coming soon to a Fringe near you...

Coming soon to a Fringe near you…

Even got assigned my dream venue, the beautiful Studio Leonard-Beaulne on Ottawa U campus, where I’ve seen the likes of Amy Salloway, Celeste Sansregret, Nancy Kenny, Jem Rolls, Margo MacDonald, David Gaines, Peter’n’Chris, Chris Bange, Ken Godmere, May Can Theatre (of course), and so many more do so many amazing and inspiring things. I have a lot to live up to, and I’m confident that with the help of my radiant co-star Madeleine Hall (our third show together in a row, and if that could continue forever, I’d be quite content) and whipsmart director Jodi Morden (who also wowed me in SLB last year with RACHEL & ZOE) we’re gonna deliver something very, very special. Or at least silly. Silly is a good start.

See you next week, gang!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Coming Up in March 2015

In Theatre on March 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Marching into March with a loaded calender of Theatre-stuffs to keep you inspired and giddy.  Take your pick!

sfair

SABRINA FAIR at the Ottawa Little Theatre. OLT takes on the classic romcom, with cockatoos. Until the 7th.

bankrupt

BANKRUPT At the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions and Theatre 4.669. Stephanie Turple’s world premiere comedy, with music from the Peptides. What more ya need to know? Until the 14th.

OBAABERIMA at the NAC Studio. Tawiah M’Carthy’s acclaimed one person show about sexuality and identity. From the 3rd to 14th.

URINETOWN THE MUSICAL at Alumni Auditorium, from Fauteux Productions.  If you’re a fan of musicals about urine, then…well, you might have to crash this one, as it’s already sold out! On the 5th and 6th.

conjure

CONJURE at the Avalon Studio, from Magic Studio Productions. A magical evening with Zach Counsil and Steven Lafond, making things disappear and stuff. The 6th to 8th.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN at Centrepointe Theatre, from Orpheus Musical Society. One of Mel Brooks’ finest gets the Orpheus treatment. The 6th through 15th.

TOUGH! at Algonquin College Studio N118, from Algonquin Theatre Arts. The Gonqs take on George F.Walker. The 11th to 15th.

THE BEST BROTHERS at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Andy Massingham and John Ng in the latest hit from Daniel MacIvor! From the 10th to 29th.

Tony Adams and Cory Thibert in HAPPINESS(tm)

Tony Adams and Cory Thibert in HAPPINESS(tm)

HAPPINESS(tm) at Arts Court Theatre, from May Can Theatre (part of TACTICS). Are you happy? Because even if you are, this show can make you happier. The 13th to 21st.

ACT at Studio Leonard-Beaulne. From Ottawa U MFA candidate Miriam Cusson. The 12th to 14th.

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MY FAIR LADY at the Kailash Mital Theatre (Carleton U Campus), from Balmour Productions.  A classic story gets a modern Arabic twist, for one night only on March 14th!

THE YOUPPI CLUB at Artissimo Cafe, from the Ottawa Stilt Union.  First of a promised series of monthly meetings about…I have no idea. Just be there on the 16th at 7pm.  And don’t forget about the Stilt Union’s weekly Drop-In workout sessions, Sundays at the Ottawa Dance Directive studio!

REXY! at the Gladstone Theatre, from Phoenix Players. William Lyon Mackenzie King, onstage where he belongs. The 19th to 28th.

Tess McManus, sittin' in a tree.  Pic by Tom Benson.

Tess McManus, sittin’ in a tree. Pic by Tom Benson.

STRAIGHT FROM THE HARP at the NAC 4th Stage, from Little Green Hat and Ottawa Storytellers. Tess McManus’ Fringe hit TALES SHE TELLS gets reworked and relaunched with some musical accompaniment from Dawn Bailey and Susan Toman! Only on the 19th.

SUBDEVISION at Enriched Bread Artists (951 Gladstone), from a Ton of Artists.  Three days of Site-
Specific mini-plays in a festival of sheer wonder brought to you by the SubDevision collection of artists, including (but not limited to) Emily Pearlman, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, Skeleton Key, Catriona Leger, and so much more!  From the 19th to the 21st.

Main_Sliders_Figaro_En-1

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO at NAC Southam Hall, from Opera Lyra. Opera! Get dressed up and enjoy. The 21st to 28th.

GOODBYE, PICCADILLY at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Family dramedy to kick off your springtime. The 24th to April 11th.

THE LION IN WINTER at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre. Christmas in the 12th century!  From the 24th to April 4th.

TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON at the NAC Theatre, from Theatre Smith-Gilmour. Southern Gothic tale of tragedy and family all that jazz. The 25th to April 11th.

OTC 2015

OTTAWA THEATRE CHALLENGE at NAC 4th Stage, presented by A Company of Fools. Who will win the Rubber Chicken Award? Find out on the 27th!

Ape

THE HAIRY APE At the Black Sheep Inn, from Chamber Theatre Hintonburg. From Eugene O’Neill, granddaddy of American Theatre. Premiering on the 27th! Continues into April at the Carleton Tavern. And I’ll be in this one, by the by, so get your tickets now! 🙂

GAME OF BONES at the Velvet Room, from Eddie May Mysteries.  Every Saturday night, killer dinner theatre inspired by the classic Fantasy Teevee series SIGMUND AND THE SEA MONSTERS, I think.

– THEATRE FRANCAIS

LA SOUPE DE KAFKA at Theatre de L’Ile. The 11th to April 11th.

LE CHARGE DE L’ORIGINAL EPORMYABLE at Academic Hall. Ottawa U franco-theaatre goodness from director M.Guy Beausoleil. The 24th to 28th.

THEATRE 100 at Studio Leonard-Beaulne. A Collection of one-acts from Ottawa U. The 27th and 28th.

– IMPROV

‘BOUT TIME at Mother McGinteys, from Crush Improv. Reunion Tour vs. The Princess Parade! Monday the 2nd. And Check out Crush’s One-night Fundraiser show for Juvenile Arthritis at O’Grady’s Outpost on the 7th!

A CHEST FULL OF BOOTY at the Lunenburg Pub, from Hall of Justice on the 15th.

GRIMPROV every first and last Wednesday of the month at the Cock and Lion! Wednesday the 4th join them for a bout of ELEMENTAL IMPROV.

shelarious

SHELARIOUS at Pressed Cafe. Hosted by Birds of Prey from Experimental Farm Theatre, an all-gal night of comedy in celebration of International Women’s Day! Sunday the 8th.

MARCH MADNESS WORKSHOP SERIES at the Jack Purcell Community Center, from Experimental Farm Theatre. Improv workshops for all comers, on Tuesday the 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th.

– More to come!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

Strange Visitations

In Theatre on September 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Well, I’m back. Or am I..?

It’s been yet another long absence from blogging SCHOOL FOR WIVES notwithstanding), but this one was, I promise, well worth it. Just recently returned to Ottawa after two weeks on Manitoulin Island (freaking gorgeous) for the Baby Clown Workshop led by John ‘Smoot’ Turner at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, aka the Clown Farm. I write these words to you as an official Baby Clown, and it feels great to have been born again. And I know, lots of you have been waiting for me to write the big post telling all there is to tell about my time there.

Well, THAT’S not gonna happen. Sorry folks, but what happens at Clown Camp STAYS at Clown Camp. The ins and outs of John’s amazing workshop won’t be traded publicly by me (tho buy me a beer later on and you may get a few tidbits). What I CAN say is that it was a thrilling experience that taught me tons, and made me a better performer by miles. I can also say that camping was a helluva lotta fun, and that I still fucking hate mosquitoes. John Turner is an amazing teacher, and working with him was worth every penny and more. The Legion Hall in Gore Bay is a good spot for a cheap drink and darts, and you definitely want a mob of baby clowns to crash your 50’s/60’s themed community dance party. I can tell you that strip Bunny-Bunny is a great way to start the day. And I can tell you that Amaliya, Spenser, Ana-Marija, Verena, Nadine, Ali, Briar, Chrissie, Sonia, Rainey, Alissa, Oliver, Mario and Josh are a brilliant bunch to learn, grow, and papier-mache into the wee hours with. Fell in love with the lot of them, and can’t wait to see them all again some day. Special shoutout to the assistants Val, Donna (of the MISSOULA OBLANGATA), Sandrine (the LITTLE LADY herself), and wonderful boss Jenny. And of course, Paco.

Baby Clown Alley, Manitoulin Style.

Baby Clown Alley, Manitoulin Style.

So what, then? If I’m not writing a tell-all about Clown training, and I seem to have stalled out pretty effectively on the theatre review front (I honestly have nothing booked for the rest of the month), then just what the Hell am I gonna fill this blog with..?

Well, I have a plan. And it’s pretty much going to be to try and match these pages with what I’m actually filling my time with these days…which is, happily, theatre. Not seeing it, but actually making it. Somehow that crazy dream I’ve been nursing for the last few years is starting to come to life, and all of a sudden I’m hip-deep in doing what I love. Very excited to announce that I’m working on not one but two shows as of right now, and I’ll do my best to keep you updated on what’s happening with the both of them as rehearsals march on. On the long path, we’ve just started laying the groundwork on next Spring’s Chamber Theatre production, Eugene O’Neill’s THE HAIRY APE. I’ve been lucky enough to land a spot in the killer ensemble cast, and can’t wait to really start digging into the mad play with Lisa, Donnie and the whole lovable Chamber gang. It’s going to be a long haul (not hitting the boards until next March/April), but I’ll keep you in the loop.

ChamberTheatre

In the much more immediate future, I’m beyond giddy to say that rehearsals are underway for FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, a new show for the third Fresh Meat Theatre Festival that I’m creating with my new ‘Production’‘Company’ STRANGE VISITATIONS (which technically made its debut with last June’s event FOOFARAH LIVE!). The show goes up October 23-25 at Arts Court, and stars myself and the wonderful Madeleine Hall, with Jodi Morden calling the shots behind the scenes. I can say with certainty that I couldn’t be working with a more perfect bunch for this show, and anytime I catch myself wondering just what the Hell I’ve gotten myself into, remembering that I’m working with these two fantastic gals makes me breathe a lot easier.

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, coming soon to a Fresh Meat Festival near you!

FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF DATING, coming soon to a Fresh Meat Festival near you!

I think this is going to be a really special show, and I’m already proud as shit of the work we’re doing. I hope you’ll like it too, and I hope you will all stick around as this blog undergoes a bit of a change over the next few months. I’ll try and sneak in a review or two when I can, and will definitely keep updating with info about new and upcoming shows. But like I say things are changing, and…and I can’t lie, I’m pretty ecstatic about it. It’s the path, gang. Come on along. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid (and Winston)

PS  Anyone know where I can find a cheap STAR TREK ballcap..?

Coming up in April 2014

In Theatre on April 1, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Not much going on in Theatres this month, really…

…April Fools, you dull-witted suckers!  There’s LOTS!  Come along now…

Donnie Laflamme as Willy Loman, in rehearsal for DEATH OF A SALESMAN.  Pic by Jen Vawer.

Donnie Laflamme as Willy Loman, in rehearsal for DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Pic by Jen Vawer.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Carleton Tavern, from Chamber Theatre Hintonburg. After a killer opening week, the Loman family is back for another run at the Carleton Tavern. Plays there from the 3rd to 5th, but returns later on the 25th for a night at Southminster United in the Glebe (15 Aylmer ave., near the Mayfair Theatre) and then on May 1st at the BlackSheep Inn, out in Wakefield! Seriously, do not miss this one, gang. Shows like this don’t come along very often.

DANCING WITH RAGE at the GCTC, from Mary Walsh. Marg just keeps on coming, as the almost sold-out one-woman show from Canada’s comedy legend continues. Check the box office for any last minute seats! Until the 6th.

noirville

MURDER IN NOIRVILLE at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre. Film noir fun in Kanata, until the 5th.

SEEDS at the National Arts Centre Theatre. Another Canuck legend Eric Peterson headlines this biggie about everyone’s fav’rit real life supervillains, Monsanto. Until the 12th.

DRAMA AT INISH at the Ottawa Little Theatre, co-pro with Tara Players. A few more chances to get some Irish on at the OLT! Until the 12th.

hedwig

HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at the Gladstone Theatre, from Vanity Project Productions. Already generating awesome buzz, tickets are moving fast for the hottest musical in Ottawa, starring Tim Oberholzer. Check it out for yourself! 2nd to 5th only.

ruddygore

RUDDYGORE at Algonquin Commons theatre, from the Savoy Society. The first of two operas that I’ve found for the month, some Gilbert and Sullivan coolness to start us off. 3rd to 6th at that big new theatre at Algonquin I haven’t been to yet. It looks cool, though.

Anger in Earnest and Ernestine

THE ANGER IN ERNEST AND ERNESTINE at the Ottawa Backpackers Inn, from Vacant House Theatre. Premiering this week is the inaugural work from a new company I’m especially excited about, so I’m gonna ramble a bit more than usual in this post. Vacant House Theatre is the creation of Karina Milech and Alexis Scott, two graduates of my beloved Ottawa Theatre School and two fabulously talented actors, as should be expected. They were in the same year in the OTS, and were seen by Ottawa audiences in great shows like THE EUMENIDES, FALSE ASSUMPTIONS and THE FARM SHOW. They’ve picked THE ANGER IN ERNEST AND ERNESTINE as their debut play, and are even inaugurating a new Ottawa venue, the basement of the Backpackers’ Inn, for the occasion. It’s a cozy spot as I understand it…only 12 seats per performance (although discounted floor seats may be available to the adventurous theatre-goer), so book your tickets early! The cast also includes OTS vets Nick Fournier and Patrick Kelly, and the troupe has come upon an extremely clever reason for casting 4 actors in a 2-actor play, I can’t wait to see how it works. Directed by the Gladstone’s David Whiteley, this one looks to be a serious don’t-miss-it piece from an exciting new troupe. It plays over three weeks (4th-6th, 11th-13th, and 25th-27th), so you have few excuses to miss out. Say you were there when Vacant House got its start! Well, okay, they had a bit at the OTTAWA THEATRE CHALLENGE last week, but I’ll almost forgive you if you missed it. Though you might have trouble forgiving yourself.

sans sense

SANS SENSE at the Ottawa Dance Directive Studio (the ‘Oddbox’), Arts Court, from We ART. Short works by cool new talent, and featuring the onstage talents of Will Lafrance, Joel Garrow and Marissa Caldwell! From the 9th to the 13th.

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK at the Gladstone Theatre, from Phoenix Players. The Phoenix gang return with the true-life tale of the most famous Belieber of them all (sorry). From the 10th to 18th.

 

2 SMALL BODIES at the Avalon Studio, from New Ottawa Repertory Theatre (NORT). 11th to 20th. Another slice of lighthearted merriment from Doug Phillips and NORT. Bring your tissues.   Sadly, this production has been postponed until further notice.  Here’s hoping they come back soon!

MAMBO ITALIANO at the Algonquin College Studio Theatre, building N. The Gonqs close out their season with a show that I can only assume will include lots of dancing…so, thumbs up! 16th to 19th.

M Butterfly

MADAMA BUTTERFLY at NAC Southam Hall, from Opera Lyra. More Opera, this time from the Lyra gang and what promises to be a lush production indeed of Puccini’s classic. From the 19th to 26th.

MAY CAN THEATRE DOES: FLIP IT! at Arts Court Studio, from May Can. A live improvised game show, featuring special guest, Bloody Underrated’s Al Lafrance!  One night only on the 19th.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at the GCTC.  AKA the Lawyer play, the annual fundraiser event starring some of Ottawa’s gutsiest lawerly types. The 23rd to 26th.

SPRING AWAKENINGS IN SEASONS OF BLOOD at St.James Church (650 Lyon st. in the Glebe), from Third Wall Theatre.  The latest in 3rd Wall’s ‘Empty Space Series’, featuring readings from the work of Henry Beissel.

MY BRILLIANT DIVORCE at the Gladstone Theatre, from 730. Finally, some John P.Kelly in the Gladstone season! Better late than never. 25th to May 17th.

MAURITIUS at the Ottawa Little Theatre. A Cool sounding entry for the OLT’s 101st season…Laura Hall’s in it, so you’ve already got your reason to go. From the 29th to May 17th.
HUFF at the National Arts Centre Studio. Cliff Cardinal brings his acclaimed one-manner to the NAC,and I can’t wait. 29th to May 10th.

Plus the continuing fun every Saturday with Eddie May Mysteries at Scarlett’s Dinner Theatre, at the Velvet Room in the Market.  CLUE-LESS plays on the 5th, with DIAL M FOR MOUNTIE starting up the following weekend!
      THEATRE FRANCAIS

A TOI, POUR TOUJOURS, TA MARIE-LOU at Theatre de L’Ile. Michel Tremblay! Until the 19th.

CHARLOTTE at L’Ecole de la Salle, from Cie Voix Theatre. A show for children playing on April 5th.

UN VIE POUR DEUX (LA CHAIR ET AUTRES FRAGMENTS DE L’AMOUR) at the NAC studio. 9th to 12th.

CARTE BLANCHE at L’Espace Rene-Prevost. More experimental French art and theatre, from the 3rd to 5th.

CE QUI NOUS RELIE at Arts Court Theatre A one-night event. “It started with a genuine desire to meet with teenagers and create a space for discussion and exchange. The concept was full of promise: anything could happen, but nothing was forced. The important thing was to stay receptive to what took shape: a vibrant constellation of personalities, points of view, declarations and opinions. A writer connected the dots with words, and the result was a unique, dynamic and unfettered script that the teens themselves will present in a staged reading for one night only. Come watch and listen!” On the 25th.

ALBERTINE EN CINQ TEMPS at the NAC Theatre, 30th to May 3rd. MORE Michel Tremblay! Whee!

projet turandot

PROJET TURANDOT at Studio Leonard-Beaulne, from Theatre Tremplin w/Theatre la Catapulte. The 30th to May 10th.

     IMPROV and Other Stuff

CRUSH IMPROV has their monthly BOUT TIME at the Mother McGintey’s stage (Heart and Crown Irish Village, in the Market) on the 7th. Plus AL Connors is leading an improv workshop at Centrepointe Studio on the 1th, which you should totally go to.

GRIMPROV plays the first and last Wednesday of every month at the Cock’n’Lion, with this Wednseday’s show titled ‘What Else Could go Wrong?” Find out for yourself!

THE PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS 7th annual gala takes place on April 27th, this time moving to Bate Hall at All Saints Anglican Church, 44 Blckburn Ave. in Sandy Hill.  As good as any reason to go to church, I say.

sq 2014

And finally, April 17th is the STIFF QUICKIES event at Arts Court Theatre, featuring short films, tall drinks, and Ottawa Fringe Festival fundraising all night long. Good fun for a good cause, kids. That’s one to grow on.

As always, if I missed stuff (and I did), let me know and I’ll try and update quick as I can. Have some sweet times in the audience, folks. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

 

DEATH OF A SALESMAN – Q&A with Donnie Laflamme

In Theatre on March 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Donnie Laflamme is a man who loves him some classic theatre. Maybe even as much as he loves vintage cars…I can’t tell, but either way he has plenty of passion for both subjects to go around. He’s brought this fire to bear as he and the company he co-founded, Chamber Theatre Hintonburg, are tackling the modern days epic DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller. It’s quite the challenge, and has been plagued by its share of troubles and traumas, everything from a cancelled initial run and enormous rehearsal process to one its cast members getting hit by a car just a month ago (I’ll let you guess which one). Donnie is the artistic director of Chamber, a professor at Algonquin College, playwright of the beloved MECHANICSVILLE MONOLOGUES series, and will be hitting center stage as world-weary Willy Loman when Salesman premieres at the Carleton Tavern this Wednesday. I fired Donnie a few questions about the show and Chamber, and got some goddam lovely answers in response. Enjoy.

 

Donnie Laflamme as Willy Loman, in rehearsal for DEATH OF A SALESMAN.  Pic by Jen Vawer.

Donnie Laflamme as Willy Loman, in rehearsal for DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Pic by Jen Vawer.

1 – Tell me a little bit about Chamber Theatre, and what makes it unique in the Ottawa Community.

Donnie – Chamber Theatre is unique in that we performed where others did not see the potential to perform or create theatre. I think that has changed, there’s a Joe’s Pub vibe happening in our main venue and the idea of doing a play in a pub is no longer new here, which is good. This production is part of our Mechanicsville Collective ensemble.

2 – Why DEATH OF A SALESMAN?

Donnie – I rented the text Death of a Salesman from Dramatists Play Service because the story is so universal. It calls on the cast to do the simplest yet perhaps most difficult thing, not bullshit anyone with an impossible story line or fake character work. It’s a play it for real or fuck off script. You start off with the usual build a character thing, and then recall what a fuck that whole situation is, then move into pulling the character out of your own experience however you do that and I think it’s different for everyone. No hiding behind physical or emotional décor. I don’t give a shit if I don’t succeed at something, or if anyone else doesn’t for that matter. But nothing less than 100% honest effort is required from the start till end of the productions so that you can hold your goddamned head up after.

Leslie Cserepy (Biff) and Cory Thibert (Happy), in rehearsal.  Pic by Jen Vawer.

Leslie Cserepy (Biff) and Cory Thibert (Happy), in rehearsal. Pic by Jen Vawer.

3 – Any praise or comments about the cast and crew?

Donnie – First, I don’t know anyone else who could have directed it other than Lisa Zanyk. She’s mastered cabaret theatre or whatever you want to call it. When you’ve directed as many plays in tight spaces as she has, who else would you call on to put this together. Plus, the goddamned play is so heart wrenching, once the band starts feeling it, you need someone who’s grown up enough to give a shit about the player’s brains and souls. What we have here is a fully developed worker, a sane director at her full power, who can pay her own way out there in the big bad. The cast and crew have put every ounce of their creative effort and blood, sweat and tears into the sonovabitch of a bastard of a play. Somehow we got the very best everyone had to offer, and that’s the director-not me to be sure. I can’t think of a single thing I’d change about any of it. Everyone involved has made it their business to give their best. There are moments and movements in the piece where the whole truth of life is laid bare by the cast, one in particular that grabs me by the heart and shoves what it means to be a human right in my fuckin’ face. What more could anyone ask them or anyone to do. They are doing it.

4 – How has the extra rehearsal time (due to the delay from the original start time) helped the production?

Donnie – The extra rehearsal time was very wise. I understand that Chekhov, and those who staged his plays, held long periods of rehearsal. We will always use this process in the future, and only work on plays that require this approach. It’s a huge piece, and we gave it what it deserved. I’m not into pulling out a car or motorcycle with a half arsed approach to structure and form-same goes for a play. The director, actors and crew all take this same approach-it’s got to be done right. Yes, and then hide the craft, yes.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN plays from the 26th to 29th of March and 3rd to 5th of April at the Carleton Tavern. Tickets are 30$, and worth every goddamn penny.  Get’em HERE.

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)