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Posts Tagged ‘ottawa theatre school’

One Year Later – Where are we Now?

In Theatre on January 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Feeling a little motivated today, so I wanted to write a quickie post, about the reason I’m feeling motivated. It’s a bit of an anniversary this week, or as I like to call it, a Sadiversary…it was a year ago now that my second home at the Ottawa Theatre School closed its doors forever, and left the Theatre scene in Ottawa the poorer for it. I treated myself to a nostalgic breakfast outing today at our unofficial OTS eatery the Newport, then swung by the old alma mater for a teary look back. I still miss it, and always will.

OTS logo

BUT, as doc Leary reminded us, nostalgia is the surest way to stifle growth, so I cling to my rallying cry of Onwards and Upwards. Because looking back is all well and good on occasion, but it’s the horizon where I’d like to fix my eyes for this post, and see what some of my fellow OTS gangsters are getting themselves up to these days. We’ve lost a few to different shores, of course…good old Drew Moore and Ridergirl Colleen Sutton have both answered the call of the bright lights of Toronto recently, and I hope they own that town within the year (Jonah Allingham has already been softening them up, doing some comedy work at the venerable Second City). And many, including my beloved classmates Kathryn and Dania, are continuing their theatrical education elsewhere…but I know they still think of us from time to time. 🙂

Caitlin Corbett, who with her company HERE BE DRAGONS put on such productions in the past as MORNINGSTAR and IMMOLATION is breaking new ground and putting together a new mini-festival to happen in April, featuring original works based around the common theme of mental illness. This amazing and exciting venture, called THE EDGE OF THE MAP, is currently seeking contributors, and I hope Caitlin and company won’t mind me republishing their open call here:

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Call for Submissions!
Attention all local established and emerging theatre companies! Here Be Dragons Productions will be hosting a three day festival of plays this April (dates to be announced) entitled The Edge of the Map. This festival will be an exploration of the taboo subject of mental illness and mental health. This is a subject that will touch all of our lives at some point or another, whether we ourselves or someone we love suffer from anxiety or depression, OCD or bipolar disorder and many others.
Our hope is to spark conversations about mental health by portraying it as another common aspect of life and by humanizing those touched by mental illness by showing them as complete, fully-rounded people. They live, they work, they laugh, cry, love. They’re just like us. They are us. 1 in 5 Canadians will directly experience mental illness in their lifetime, and all Canadians will be affected through a family member, friend, partner or colleague.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for 6 pieces that are approx. 10-15 minutes in length. The pieces must focus on the topic of mental illness but otherwise we give you total freedom. They can be comedic or dramatic, can take the form of fables or rock operas or slam poetry or movement or anything in between. Submissions will be chosen based on creativity, entertainment value, emotional honesty and respect for the subject. Please be aware that our venue (Club SAW) has only basic lighting. Keep sets and technical needs as simple as you can.
What’s in it for you?
Here Be Dragons operates under a profit sharing module. All door sales will be spilt up amongst the participating companies with proceeds from the bar going to cover the costs of the event.
What should you send us?
A script roughly 10 pages in length. If your work is more movement based or otherwise unconventional and non-script friendly then send us a performance treatment or a one page description of what you plan to do or perhaps a video of past or present work or what ever else you deem appropriate. Please also send us the resumes of any and all artists you wish to involve in the project and a main contact.
Where should we send it? And when?
Please send all submissions or inquiries to herebedragonsproductions@gmail.com by February 2nd (Groundhog Day).
So join us in charting a course off The Edge of the Map!

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Elsewhere, I know the brilliant Michelle LeBlanc can be seen this month in TWO at the Gladstone Theatre. In February, the legend Bobby Robert will be gracing the Ottawa Little Theatre stage in SABRINA FAIR, and Diego Arvelo will be hitting the Gladstone stage running in BANKRUPT. And come April our own Victoria Luloff will be rocking to some very packed houses as Janet in Vanity Project’s highly anticipated ROCKY HORROR SHOW.

This isn’t even touching on Fringe, where I know a gaggle of OTS alum will be turning up, including yours truly who will be debuting a new show with my Fresh Meat collaborators and OTS superstars Jodi Morden and Madeleine Hall (Madeleine and I also will both be appearing this March/April in Chamber Theatre’s THE HAIRY APE, I should gleefully mention). And of course, our teachers from the school are popping up everywhere as well…super excited for Andy Massingham’s turn in Daniel MacIvor’s BEST BROTHERS coming up at the GCTC!

This is almost certainly not a complete list…in fact, any gangsters reading this who have an upcoming project they’d like me to add to the list on this page, drop a comment to me somewhere and it shall be done (likewise if I got anything egregiously wrong so far). Mad love to all my schoolmates, and I hope you’re keeping your heads held high wherever you are. Very, very proud to be counted among you. Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, OTS (and Winston, honorary mascot)  visitor.tba@gmail.com

PS when you’re done here, go and check out good guy Henry Lee’s new Blog, chronicling his life as a late-blooming theatre practitioner, something I can very much relate to. 🙂

Pafiglia

In Theatre on January 10, 2014 at 7:37 am
My first year Ottawa Theatre School class (minus Alex), during the happy, murder mystery times.

My first year Ottawa Theatre School class …Kathryn, me (Kevin), Ashley, Laura, Dania, Julia and Ben (minus Alex), during the happy, murder mystery times.

So this is the last post I ever wanted to write.

It was barely a week ago that I posted a brief summary of my joyous first semester at the Ottawa Theatre School, an acting conservatory program whose work I’ve followed with admiration for years now and that, at age 42, I decided to audition for and enroll in myself.  It was a serious starting over point for me, maybe the most exciting and joyous point in my life.   I learned so much in that all-too-short semester, and could not wait to get back to my teachers and classmates at the studios on Picton ave for the second part of my inaugural year.

But it wasn’t to be.

This week I, and the rest of the students at the OTS learned that, due to an increasingly bad financial situation which had become insurmountable, the Ottawa Theatre School Conservatory Program was forced to cease operations after a decade (although the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama, and its recreational and evening classes IS still going, it must be stressed).  The announcement came on what should have been our first week of classes of the second semester…it was clear that Natalie Hanson and Bruce Bissonnette, the program’s administrators, had been fighting to the last moment possible to keep the school alive. That their efforts were ultimately in vain is a serious blow to the Ottawa Theatre community, and a devastating gutpunch to those of us who called its halls and studios home.  The best time of my life had somehow led me to one of the worst.

But maybe I’m too close to this…maybe I’m confusing the ragged fucking hole that’s been left in my heart at this loss with a perceived hole in the Ottawa Theatre community.  Maybe.  But I really don’t think so.  Ottawa has still some stellar Theatre programs thank goodness, most notably at Ottawa U and Algonquin, but nobody focused on acting in such a specialized and physical manner as the OTS, and nobody but nobody was working so intensively on performance creation, something that to my mind is an increasingly vital tool in any actor’s toolkit in today’s artistic landscape.  It was quite simply a unique and progressive conservatory program, and its loss is one that is going to be felt, and felt hard, down the line.  This school didn’t just turn out great actors…it turned out Creators.

And yes, I know there are several major financial issues still stemming from the OTS closure, and multiple parties affected..hell, I’m one of them.  But this post isn’t about that.  It’s not an expose, or hard hitting journalism in any sense.

This is me, saying Goodbye.

My sense of personal loss at this announcement is…hard to express.  I’ve shed more tears in the last 48 hours than I have in the previous ten years.  When I think of the hours logged, lessons learned, the sweat earned, and the new family I made there, its almost too much to bear now that it’s gone.  When I think of what could have, SHOULD have been yet to come…ouch.  To my beloved classmates…Alex, Ashley, Ben, Dania, Julia, Kathryn and Laura (three of whom travelled from the maritimes just to be part of this amazing program, that’s how hardcore we are)…I’m so sorry I won’t get to continue growing and learning with all of you.  I guess we didn’t manage to be the class of 2016 after all, but you’ll all be in my heart forever.  I’ve been a bit of a loner all my life, never really fitting in…the handle ‘Visitor’ seemed way too apropos at times.  But with you guys I felt, for one shining moment in my life, like I was where I belonged.  Like the visit was over.  I will hold on to each precious memory of our time together like my life depends on it.  Thank you for making me part of your family.  We were amazing together.  And we would have been a FANTASTIC 3rd year class. 🙂

The Second year Superstars, good guy Henry in absentia.

The Second year Superstars…Sidney, Alexa, Chelsea, Phil, Aidan, Lauren, Nadine and Kelly. Good guy Henry in absentia.

And for all the second and third year gangsters who blew me away with work I was chomping at the bit to learn all about…God damn, thank you for being so inspiring.  Your incredible end-of-semester masques were something to see, and rising to the challenge of how high you collectively raised the bar was a fight I was really looking forward to.  I’m so sorry that three of the planned productions will now not see the light of day…but at least the amazing SYLVIA made it to the stage.  If you missed this show folks, then…wow, you fucked up.  If anyone from the Gladstone or GCTC is reading this, you could do a lot worse than to consider programming it into your next season.  I’m dead serious.

Bobby, Madeleine, Jeremie and Jerushah...year 3 gangsters!

Bobby, Madeleine, Jeremie and Jerushah…year 3 gangsters!

To the amazing instructors who taught me so much along this path, and who helped me become more than I thought I could be…I am so grateful.  I found funny, angry and sad inside me that I never knew I had…I sang and danced and bent in ways I honestly didn’t think I was capable of.  You helped me overcome limitations, discover hidden talents (and hidden flaws!) and open doors to me that are going to change the way my life proceeds from here on out.  An extra special and heartfelt thanks to the ones who stuck it out to the end, difficulties and all.  It mattered, I promise.  And I thank you for everything.

And to the staff…Debbie, I will dearly miss seeing your smiling face behind the front desk every week.  Hell, I’ll even miss co-op kid whose name I always forget.  Natalie, thank you for fighting so hard for us, every day.  We noticed, and we thank you.  Bruce and Andy…please know that you helped make me a better person, as well as a much better actor.  I kinda love you for that, and I always will. Please be well, and take care…you’ve all earned a rest.  We owe you a huge debt of thanks, and that’s the truth.  Your work at the OTS, and the school itself, won’t soon be forgotten.  Promise.

There’s so much more, and I could go on for days and days, but let’s face it…I’m just postponing the inevitable.  Thank you Ottawa Theatre School…for the great days I spent following your grad classes and their awesome shows (UNDER MILK WOOD, GLITCH, THE SUICIDE, WE WANT LIFE, FARM SHOW, and THE EUMENIDES to name just a precious few) and the amazing students, actors and creators who came out your doors, year after wonderful year.  I call many of them friend today, and I couldn’t be prouder.  Thank you for letting me in to share in the magic, even for so short a time. I spent precious little time as an active part of this program, but I learned a helluva lot. Even in the painful days following its closure, I’ve learned things…like it isn’t so bad to be filled with sadness, if that sadness is born of love.  I won’t lie, I’d wanted so, so much more from this school I love so much…but sometimes the gifts the Gods give us are tricky beggars.  And if the launchpad to the rest of my life is shorter than I’d hoped, then I suppose I’ll just have to jump a little higher now that I’ve reached the end.

Closing Night at Sylvia...oddly fitting, I suppose. Alex, Kathryn, Ashley, Ben, Dania, Laura...it's been the best.

Closing Night at Sylvia…oddly fitting, I suppose. Alex, Kathryn, Ashley, Ben, Dania, Laura (and you too, Julia)…it’s been the best.

Thank you, OTS…I’ll do you proud.  I won’t forget.  And we’ll meet again.  Thank you so, so much.  Thank you.

Goodbye.

PS: If any previous years worth of OTS gangsters have group class photos they’d like me to add to this post, send’em my way and I’ll happily add them. 🙂  visitor.tba@gmail.com

Updated: Got the first submission!  Here’s the epic class of 2012, when they were just raw first year recruits (and Bruce is in this one, Yay!  Thanks, Jonah!

Class of 2012

Unzipping the Cat – my 1st Semester at OTS

In Theatre on January 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

So I had a whole post almost ready to go, talking about my first semester as a full time student at the OTTAWA THEATRE SCHOOL acting conservatory.  And I’m scrapping it, because it just didn’t feel right.  Too pretentious or something, I dunno.

But I still wanted to give at least some kind of blog shoutout to the school that has helped make this past year without doubt the greatest one of my life thus far.  Because when I ended up auditioning for it at the start of the year, I really and truly didn’t have much of a plan in mind…it was sort of just the next step in this whirlwind theatrical path I’ve been on since 2008, when the Ottawa Fringe Festival changed my life for the better.  I suppose I didn’t even really know if I was planning on becoming a professional actor…I was just moving forward fast enough so that I couldn’t convince myself to fall back.  Something my life up until then had been all too full of.

But since entering the school, and meeting my amazing classmates Alex, Ben, Ashley, Kathryn, Julia, Dania, Laura, and Proteus (not to mention the 2nd and 3rd year gangsters, Chelsea, Nadine, Kelly, Sidney, Henry, Aidan, Phil, Lauren, Alexa, Bobby, Jerushah, Jeremie, and of course Madeleine), I’ve been through a hell of a lot.  Some tough times, some REALLY tough, but some, if not most, incredible.  I got to perform in short pieces that I had to create myself, and it felt so damn good.  Pieces that I love, some that I plan to return to in the future (you haven’t seen the last of Roscoe P.Lucifer, gang, let me tell you).  My end-of-semester Vocal Masque ‘The Flower’ is something I’m intensely proud of, and I can’t wait until next semester when I start getting the more specialized physical training that will help make that piece so much better.  I can’t wait.

I don’t want to get into too many specifics about the school year (what happens at OTS stays at OTS, you understand…at least until it’s been properly rehearsed), but there’s one story that I just have to share…it involves a daily routine we were all to bring in and essentially mime for Bruce Bissonette’s acting class.  I picked my coming-home drill of petting Winston just the way he demands, then feeding him.  But when we presented, Bruce then asked us to introduce an unseen twist into the proceedings…could be anything.  For some reason, literally the ONLY twist onto this routine that popped into my head, and thus the one I used, was that while petting Winston I came across a zipper on his back.  And upon unzipping him, it turned out there was a bird inside all along, just wearing a cat suit.  Apparently this is the sort of thing that goes on in my head, and  ‘unzipping the cat’ has since become almost a catchphrase in our class for trying to add something unusual to a bit or a scene.  I encourage you all to try and work it into your daily routine too.

There are a lot of reasons I picked the OTS as my destination…great profs one and all, and thanks so much to Bruce, Andy, Doreen, Kristine, Kate, and Rachel for all the valuable lessons so far.  But it’s the students I’ve met along my path that steered me here…I recently did my end of year wrap-up post on this blog, and here’s a partial list I compiled along the way of theatre from 2013 featuring OTS students, alumni, or faculty:

RiderGirl
Metamorphoses
Skin
Absurd Person Singular
Summer of ‘34
Arms and the Man
the Comedy of Errors
MorningStar
the Day we Grew Wings
Proud
Temp
the B Team
Who Will Separate Us
Foundations
War of the Worlds: A Radio Play
Loyal Opposition
So2Speak
Collapsible
the Vanity Project
Emissions
Die Zombie Die
Mercutio and Ophelia
the Tragicall Historie of Nick Wade

And of course the OTS shows themselves, THE FARM SHOW, FALSE ASSUMPTIONS, and SYLVIA.  Not a shabby or small list (and I’m likely missing a few), and these folks make me darn proud to be among their number.  There’s only a few days now until second semester start up, and I’m anxious to get back to it.  Because I finally have a plan!  It turns out…I’m going to be an actor.

A GOOD one, to be specific.  In for a penny, after all…

Peace, love and soul, and keep on unzipping the cat,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

OTS logo

Puppy Love

In Theatre on November 16, 2013 at 1:48 am

So here’s something I haven’t been talking about, on the rare occasions I’ve actually been posting on this chud/blog the last few months…the fact that I’m currently a full-time student at the Ottawa Theatre School.  And there IS a big post coming about that once winter vacation (aka start working 5 days a week time) comes along, I promise.  But in the meantime, tonight I finally got to catch the first of the 3 shows being performed this season/school year by the amazing 3rd year theatre gangsters.  And I’ll admit, at first I had told myself I would not be reviewing the OTS shows this year…after all, as a student there now, it’s hard to pretend I’m not biased.  Then I thought about it for a second, realized I don’t get paid for this shit, and that I can be as biased as I GOD-DAMNED WELL PLEASE, thank you very much.

The new show at my alma mater is SYLVIA by A.R.Gurney, directed by Peter James Howarth.  Starring the killer graduating class of Bobby Robert, Jerushah Wright, Madeleine Hall and Jeremie Cyr-Cooke, SYLVIA tells the tale of New York couple Greg and Kate (Jeremie and Bobby), recently moved to the big city from the suburbs, kids finally off to college, and looking to focus on their up-and-coming careers.  The plan seems to be going well until Greg finds Sylvia (Madeleine Hall), a seemingly lost dog who befriends him at a local park, and their bond is instantaneous.  He brings her home to a decidedly unimpressed Kate, and the battle of wills begins between wife and dog.  Throughout the struggle, we also meet a well-read fellow dog owner, a snobby NY socialite, and a marriage counsellor, all brought to the stage by the mighty Jerushah Wright.  Al this under the impeccable stage direction of OTS legend Jodi Morden (okay, now my bias is REALLY showing, but y’all know Jodi is the goods, am I right?  I’m right.) and splendid lighting of John Solman.

Jerushah, Jeremie, Madeleine and Bobby (somewhere down there), the cast of SYLVIA at the OTS.

Jerushah, Jeremie, Madeleine and Bobby (somewhere down there), the cast of SYLVIA at the OTS.

Staged almost-in-the-round, this show is an excellent spotlight for the Fantastic Four comprising the grad class this year.  Jeremie Cyr-Cooke, frosted hair and all, makes for a great Greg, mid-life-crisis-ing his way through his newfound relationship with his beloved stray.  Bobby Robert brings teacher Kate to splendid life, her adoration of Shakespeare and structure shaken to the core by the mangy mutt her husband brings home.  Jerushah Wright is a joy every time she steps onto the stage, especially as zenlike dog afficionado Tom, regaling the waiting Greg with occasionally questionable wisdom.  But in a show about a talking dog it really does, in the end, come down to the dog.  And Madeleine Hall is just bloody brilliant as Sylvia, giving one of my seriously fav’rit performances in a good long while as the loving, indulgent, and sometimes foul-mouthed titular pooch, constantly in motion and almost impossible not to watch on stage.  She scratches, barks and scampers with irresistible sincerity, her ponytail ears flopping all the while.  It’s a performance to fall in love with, and if you see it and DON’T, then I honestly just don’t want to know you.

sylvia
Gurney has crafted a clever, warm and human script about the relationship between man, woman and dog, and the OTS gang have, in my lovingly biased opinion, done it serious justice.  If you aren’t a dog person, this show just might remedy that situation.  And if you are, why haven’t you seen it yet??  SYLVIA plays until the 23rd at the Ottawa Theatre School (294 Picton Ave. in Westboro), and it really is a joyous time.  So be joyous, my friends, and I’ll see you at school.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Coming Up in November 2013

In Theatre on November 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm

New Month, and this one’s all November-y!  Let’s see what terribly exciting stuffs await (hint: LOTS of exciting stuffs)!

PRINCESS T at Academic Hall, from the Ottawa U Drama Guild.  A cool as beans adaptation of Puccini’s TURNADOT, from the swell kids at Ottawa U (And starring Visitorium fav’rit Danielle Savoie!).  Plays until the 2nd.

TARTUFFE at the National Arts Centre Theatre.  Last chance to catch a pretty great Andy Jones take on Moliere, with the new NAC Ensemble.  Until the 2nd.

wotwpg
WAR OF THE WORLDS: A LIVE RADIO PLAY at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions.  A short run for this rare Halloween version of the radio play, featuring Zach Counsil, Michelle leBlanc, live foley and a slew of CBC all-stars!  Until the 2nd.

DEADLY MURDER at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Twists and turns and murderly fun, OLT style.  Until the 2nd.

MERCUTIO AND OPHELIA at the Avalon Studio, from Fireflood Theatre.  A Few more chances to see what happens when Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet get their wires crossed.  The 1st thru 3rd.

YOU FANCY YOURSELF at the Great Canadian Theatre Company.  A terrific one-hander from Maja Ardal about schoolyear life abroad.  Until the 3rd.

occupyme

OCCUPY ME at the Ottawa Theatre School Studio, from Counterpoint Players.  Two shows, one night only of Bronwyn Steinberg’s one-woman yoga activism hit from SubDevision and Ottawa Fringe.  Only on the 2nd!

FREUD’S LAST SESSION at various locations, from 9th Hour Theatre.  Last month to check out the epic Freud vs.CS Lewis scrap!  On the 2nd, 8th, 15th and 16th…locations and showtimes HERE.

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THE EXTREMELY SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL at Arts Court Theatre, from New Theatre Ottawa.  Back for a second incarnation with a host of new short original plays from local artists like Lawrence Aronovitch, Karen Balcome, Tim Ginley and more!  Guaranteed fun time.  Until the 10th.

WHERE POPPIES BLOW at the GCTC Studio, from Salamander Theatre. A special showing of Salamander’s young audience show, lest ye forget.  Matinee of November 3rd.

AGNES OF GOD at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre.  John Pielmeier’s contentious play about religion, obsession, and other dinner table subjects. From the 5th to 16th.

THE LAST OF JANE AUSTEN at the Gladstone Theatre, from Phoenix Players. Two ladies try to train a boxer…I forget which Austen that was.  From the 6th to 16th.

paradise-large
STILL LOOKING FOR PARADISE at the Ottawa Little Theatre from Full Moon Rising Productions. A new Ian Stauffer play, as well as a fundraiser for the Ottawa Mission. 6th to 9th only!

so2speak

SO2SPEAK at the Avalon Studio, from incite:LAB.  A new black comedy from Tim Ginley, and director Stewart Matthews.  8th to 10th and 15th to 17th. Check out their preview video if you still need convincing:

HAMLET (SOLO) at the NAC Studio.  OMG It’s back!  Raoul Bhaneja performs the entirety of Zombie Bill’s masterpiece all on his lonesome, no set, no effects.  Bloody inspirational.  From the 12th to 23rd.

MOMMA’S BOY at the Raw Sugar Cafe, from Bear and Co.  A delightful slice of musical romance and drama as Bear brings back their Fringe show for one night only in town.  Catch it on the 13th!

THE 7 PERSON HIGH CHAIR PYRAMID HIGH WIRE ACT at Arts Court Theatre, from Missoula Oblongata.  Also playing for one night (the same night, sheesh!), the oblongata gang returns after merriment a couple years back with THE DAUGHTER OF THE FATHER OF TIME MOTION STUDY.  Expect surreality and amazingness.  On the 13th!

ALL GALL at St.James United Church, from Third Wall.  An evening of French short works from the 3rd Wall gang, part of their continuing EMPTY SPACE reading series.  Only on the 13th!

sylvia

SYLVIA at the Ottawa Theatre School Studio, from OTS.  This is the big one!!  First show of my new home’s season, featuring the awesome graduating class of 2013/14!  Come on out and see A.R.Gurney’s comedy about a family driven apart by a man and his dog.  From the 14th to 23rd!  Note: if you don’t come to see this, I will have to assume you don’t love me anymore.

8 WAYS MY MOTHER WAS CONCEIVED at the Gladstone Theatre. A one woman show from Michaela di Cesare, trying to disprove her Mother’s claims of immaculate conception. From the 20th to 23rd.

YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME at Arts Court Theatre, from Praxis Theatre.  A touring hit about shenanigans at the G20, hitting Ottawa for a limited engagement.  Come get your protest on!  From the 20th to 23rd.

LEGALLY BLONDE at Centrepointe Theatre, from Orpheus Musical Society.  Hey, they took that movie about the pretty girl who became a lawyer and gave it some songs! And people like it! Maybe you will too!  From the 22nd to December 1st.

OLT_101st-posters_3
CHRISTMAS BELLES at the Ottawa Little Theatre.  Some holiday themed fun from OLT.  Bring your own Egg Nog (but don’t, really).  Starts the 26th thru December 14th.

GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA, GOOD MORNING JULIET at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Time-warping Shakespearean fun from Ann-Marie MacDonald.  From the 26th to December 15th.

DOAS poster in jpg

DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Carleton Tavern, from Chamber Theatre.  Willie Loman finally gets his day in Ottawa, at the venerable Carleton Tavern!  A not-to-be-missed show from the 27th thru December 7th.

And at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh (39 Dufferin) there will be an evening of previews of works-in-progress from CONNECT DANCE and the OTTAWA STILT UNION on the 30th, which sounds like some sweet fun to me.

– THEATRE FRANCAIS

VISAGE DE FEU at the NAC Studio.  Until the 2nd!

CENDRILLON at the NAC Theatre. A new spin on Cinderella, from the 6th to 9th.

LA FA LE DO at L’Ecole de la Salle, from Theatre la Catapulte and Theatre Francais (Toronto).  The 6th to the 9th.

OSCAR from Theatre de L’Ile.  From the 6th to December 14th.

LE PROJET LARAMIE from Comedie des Deux Rives, at Academic Hall.  A franco-translation of The Laramie Project from the Ottawa U gang.  From the 19th to 23rd.

cbnov2013

CARTE BLANCHE at Espace Rene-Prevost.  New Works from Guy Perrault, Annie Cloutier and Dinorah Catzalco, from the 21st to 23rd.

OBALDIA THEATRE (ou THEATRE EN FOLIE) at the Shenkman Centre Richcraft Theatre, from Theatre du Village.  From the 20th to 23rd.

PETIT BONHOMME EN PAPIER CARBONNE at the NAC Studio. Storytelling and wee puppets! 29th and 30th.

– IMPROV

CRUSH IMPROV continues to march on unabated, with a host of fun times coming in November, including:
– ‘BOUT TIME on November 4th at Mother McGinteys (Heart and Crown, Byward Market). The regular 3 on 3 battle continues!
SPOTLIGHT ON...Andrew King, November 14th at Centrepointe Studio.
– Workshops!  Improv Foundations on November 1st and 22nd at the Centrepointe Studio Theatre and Chamber Room, respectively. Also, Sketch Writing workshop on the 24th at the Avalon Chaplin Studio.  Trust me, Crush gives good workshop.

Updates as I hear stuff, as always, now get on out and see some shows!  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

the War of the Tractors

In Theatre on April 25, 2013 at 8:29 am

Still behind on my reviews here, it’s getting bad folks.  Not even gonna bother trying to do my usual PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS writeup…but let’s face it, I shouldn’t even have gone without my perma-date Nadine Thornhill to dance with.  I was all grumpy and lonesome…should’a gone to Burlesque instead.  Ah well.  Loved the hula-hoop bit, tho.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of actual theatre to go and see, which is keeping me hopping.  After catching Algonquin Theatre’s FLYING SOLO show on Monday (and hopefully I’ll have time to write something about that soon), last night was my first chance to run over to my soon-to-be Alma Mater at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama, for the last of three public shows from the graduating Ottawa Theatre School class.  They’d previously done the Greek classic THE EUMENIDES and Lawrence Aronovitch’s world premiere FALSE ASSUMPTIONS, and now, as is appropriate, it was time for something completely different.  An apt description, I think, for the great Canadian staple THE FARM SHOW.

A collective creation, spearheaded I do believe my one Miles Potter for Theatre Passe-Muraille in Toronto back in the 70’s, FARM SHOW is an amazing piece that feels part verbatim, that provides an incredible opportunity for the OTS kids to really stretch out and show what they can do. Entering the Studio with a rousing victory cheer and introducing themselves, the gang soon launches into a series of vignettes and stories collected from Clinton, Ontario about the great highs and terrible lows about rural farm life.  Comparable to UNDER MILK WOOD from two years past, this show is a brilliant showcase for the talents of the graduating class, and they hurl themselves into the challenge immediately, transforming themselves into chickens, tractors and cows as the scene requires.  Director Andy Massingham, a lad who knows a thing or two about physical theatre, is just about the perfect helmsman I can think of for this piece, and it shows.

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Every actor gets a chance to shine in this show, from Nick Fournier’s harrowing account of baling hay to Alis Rainier’s cautionary tales about the darker side of farm living.  Holly Griffith and Dilys Ayafor have a mightily memorable over-the-top battle as a pair of clashing tractors at a Farm equipment show, huffing and snarling with a gusto that brought me back to pro wrestling in the 80’s (honestly, they should have had someone taking bets in the audience).  Tiffani Kenny steals a beautiful moment as eccentric collector of oddities Harry Thompson, and Alyssa Gosselin makes merry as aging matriarch Alma Lobb (lots of Lobbs in this show…lots and lots of Lobbs, oh yes).  Hannah Gibson Fraser gets a marvellously manic monologue as a struggling Farm Mom, Alexis Scott as yet another Lobb gives an epic retelling of a cavalcade of town weddings, and Karina Milech gets a couple of memorable turns both as a travelling preacher and Clinton outsider Charlie Wilson.

This is a terrific joy of a show, with some especially impressive physical teamwork, mirroring the collective origins of the show itself.  Toss in a few musical numbers, some from the original script, some added by director Massingham, and some amazing insights and windows into the realities of rural farming life that every Canuck needs to see, and you have just about the best all-around theatrical bet in town right now (and that’s saying something).  I’d see this one again in a second, and I just might have Saturday night free, so we shall see.  Kudos to Andy and the gang for a dynamite show (and yes, it’s fun for the whole family, even..!) that ends this OTS season with a bang.  Or at least, a resounding Moo.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

the Radium Girls

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2013 at 1:13 am

Gonna try and get this one done old school, stayin’ up late and powering it out before I pass out and have to go to work in the morning.  Mostly because I have to head out to the Ottawa Theatre Challenge tomorrow night and I don’t wanna drag my laptop along with me to work (it’s HEAVY!! *pout*).  We’ll see how successful I am…I’ve been wimping out and leaving my reviews to the next day for a while now.  But I feel inspired.

Is my inspiration partially on account of tonight’s show was the latest from the graduating class of theatre gangsters from the Ottawa Theatre School?  And the fact that as of today, I’m a registered student in the 2013/2014 1st year class (OH yeah, I done paid my deposit up LIKE A BOSS this morning)?  Or is it because Nick Fournier, the sole male specimen in said class, is gonna be one of my most excellent co-stars in our upcoming Fringe show this summer?  And can I convince ANYone out there that I’m even remotely unbiased or professional or critical or whatever?

Ah, who fuckin’ cares, when did I ever let my obvious cheerleader tendencies stop me?  I clearly love me some OTS, and I was out at the Gladstone theatre tonight to check out the second show from the graduating class this year, the world premiere of Lawrence Aronovitch’s FALSE ASSUMPTIONS.  A bit of a co-pro with Plosive Productions, a collaboration that got them not only the lovely Gladstone theatre for the week but the terribly talented Teri Loretto-Valentik in the director’s chair, FA tells the tale of the life and trials of legendary scientist Marie Curie.  Played by Hannah Gibson-Fraser in a demanding and nearly perfect performance, Marie’s story is overseen by a rather unlikely group, a trio of fellow female scientists, all criminally underrated in their time as Curie was (and a trend that is by no means dead today, in case anyone was questioning this plays relevance).  Investigating and observing Marie’s story from an unidentified, otherworldly plane are Hypatia of Alexandria (Karina Milech), Countess Ada Lovelace (Alexis Scott) and Rosalind Franklin (Holly Griffith), who make for a rather wonderful group of narrators indeed.  They guide us through Curie’s life, from her humble beginnings in Poland with sister Zosia (Tiffani Kenny) to her fateful meeting in Paris with future husband and scientific collaborator Pierre (Nick Fournier), who would help her to sift through a few metric tons of Pitchblende and discover Radium, which would turn out to be both a blessing and a terrible curse.  Even as Marie is watched over by her trio of non-temporal peers, she’s hunted and haunted by the mysterious Grace (Alison Rainer) and her gaggle of ‘Radium Girls’, seeking some hard answers of their own for Marie’s discoveries.

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ASSUMPTIONS is a very smart and important play…I heard one woman in the lobby after the show rather adamantly insisting it should be required viewing, and I’m not sure she’s wrong.  Not that I didn’t have an issue or two with the mechanics of the work itself, but on the whole it’s a bloody impressive piece.  Marie and her ghostly chorus are onstage for pretty much the 2-hour duration of the play, in a very dense script from Aronovitch, and they acquit themselves wonderfully.  As mentioned, Hannah Gibson-Fraser is just fantastic as Marie Curie, selling the great lady’s almost obsessive discipline along with her more relatable human frailties.  And as her great love Pierre, my man Nick Fournier is a smashing leading man and enjoys some amazing chemistry in his scenes with Hannah.  As for our chorus (not really, but it’s what I like to call them), our three ghostly guides are what take this play from a dry bio into something really special.  The clashes and alliances between them are wonderful to watch…Karina Milech’s majestic Hypatia jibes beautifully with Alexis’ romantically-minded Ada Lovelace, and both of them have marvellous back and forth with Holly Griffith’s Spock-esque Rosalind, who may hold the ultimate secret of the play in her hands.  And a special shoutout to final cast members Alyssa Gosselin as a dedicatedly persuasive American Journalist, and  Dilys Ayafor, who appears as not one but two separate male suitors of Marie’s.  She be SMOOTH, and that’s the truth.

I could go on, like about how impressive is it that the gang got Attila Clemman’s sweet-cool set in place in the astonishingly little time they had, or the great job they all did, some with multiple roles.  But why bother?  I’ve already admitted my bias, and all I can tell you is I had a great damn time and hope you follow my example and head out to FALSE ASSUMPTIONS in its world premiere run this week only at the Gladstone!  Funny, insightful and overdue…check it out.   Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Coming Up in February 2013

In Theatre on January 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm

On account of I haven’t posted anything in a week and a half, and I’m starting to question my own existence as a result, I’m gonna try and get the ‘Coming Up’ post done and posted a wee bit early.  And there was even stuff TO talk about!  A wicked ‘Bout Time workshop with Crush Improv (I made someone laugh!), ALTHEA at the Saw Gallery from Inverted Tree (short but sweet), and that whole ‘getting cast in a Fringe show’ thing…but we will talk more of THAT at a later date.  In the meantime, get ready to scream and shout, because it’s FEBRUARY IN OTTAWA!!!  And, as we’re about to see, that’s a much more awesome thing than it sounds like.

— ENGLISH THEATRE —

– BLUE BOX at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, from Nightswimming and Carmen Aguirre.  You have until the 3rd to find out why Carmen Aguirre is so much better than you (and she is).

BAT BOY THE MUSICAL at the Gladstone Theatre, from Black Sheep Theatre.  Until the 2nd, one of the funnest musicals of them all comes to a close, and if you miss it, I’ll never forgive you (neither will Bat Boy).

BatBoyPosterrevised

METAMORPHOSES at the National Arts Centre, from NAC English Theatre.  The swimming pool show!  Ovid!  Alix Sideris is in it!  And I’ll know more once I see it in a few days, but go!  Until the 16th.

THE LAST DROP at schools across the region, from Salamander Theatre.  Touring schools, but with one public performance on the 2nd at the OSSD, (EDITED: sadly, I am informed that the public performance has been cancelled.  As usual, schoolkids get ALL the good stuff!) this Natalie Joy Quesnel-helmed show about a fish and scientist fighting over a glass of water promises to be something memorable. So if you, I don’t know, run a school or something, BOOK THIS SHOW!

RABBIT HOLE at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre.  From the 5th to 16th, family drama from David Lindsay-Abaire that sounds pretty gut-punching.  Gonna try hard to make it out to this one.

BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions.  Chris Ralph flies solo (well, with a pianist, and director supreme Teri Loretto-Valentik) in the Canadian musical classic.  From the 8th to 23rd.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at the Ottawa Little Theatre.  The NAC had their crack, now it’s OLT’s turn with their take on Jane Austen’s love-romp fluffstravaganza.  From the 12th thru to March 2nd.

GOD OF CARNAGE at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre (GCTC), from Third Wall.  They’re back!  With the Ontario premiere of Yasmina Reza’s hit show, and the Avengers-league cast of Duckworth, Ellis, Watt and Koensgen leading the charge.  From the 12th thru March 2nd.

THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS from Algonquin Theatre.  The Gonq kids are back for another season, kicking off with some Commedia courtesy of director Catriona Leger!  From the 13th to 17th.

THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS AND OTHER STORIES from Ottawa Theatre School, at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama.  A little Munsch action for ya, from the OTS gang.  Family fare from the 16th to 23rd.

SANCTUARY SONG at the National Arts Centre Studio.  An opera for children, about an elephant.  Sold!  The 16th and 18th.

INNOCENCE LOST at the National Arts Centre.  Beverly Cooper’s dramatic retelling of the true story of Steven Truscott.  From the 27th to March 16th.

And for something of interest to fans of both French AND English Theatre (you should be fans of both, by the way), the PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS will be announcing their 2013 nominations on the 26th at Mercury Lounge.  C’mon out and tart planning what to wear to the gala!

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Oh yes, I hadn’t forgotten about it!  (Although to all the people who’ve been talking about it like it’s the only thing going on in Ottawa theatre this month…please see above).  Here’s the goodies coming up any second now from the third UNDERCURRENTS Festival, running from the 5th thru 17th…all shows taking place in the GCTC Studio (or maybe the lobby, as in the case of BREAD):

SKIN from Deluxe Hot Sauce.  Insanely cool sounding theatre from the Saucies, featuring original music composed by mapping each performers skin.  Starts the 5th, ends the 16th.

THE PUBLIC SERVANT from Theatre Columbus. Billed as a tragi-comedy about the life of a female federal employee, Theatre Columbus has the years to prove they mean business.  And they were smart enough to bring Sarah McVie along on this one!  Starts the 5th, ends on the 17th.

BREAD from Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride.  Bake bread in the lobby with Ruby and Seth!  Short and lively theatre that I expect you will remember always (very limited seating!)  Starts the 5th, ends the 17th.

LADIES OF THE LAKE from Skeleton Key. The secret origin of the Lady of the Lake?  If it’s from Kate Smith and Catriona Leger, then I believe it.  Starts on the 6th, ends the 16th.

HIP HOP SHAKESPEARE LIVE MUSIC VIDEOS from 411 Dramaturgy.  First of two returning Fringe hits, Dave and Mel’s inspiring collage of Bardic song parodies is a major crowd pleaser. Starts the 6th, ends the 17th.

LITTLE ORANGE MAN from Snafu Dance Theatre.   The other Fringe showstopper…one of the best things in the history of ever, featuring the inimitable Ingrid Hansen as Kitt.  Starts on the 7th, ends on the 14th.

LITTLE ILIAD from Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell.  Cool people tell me this innovative, two-man show is one for the ages, and I can’t wait.  Runs twice nightly, because they don’t have enough headphones (you’ll see).  Starts on the 8th, ends on the 13th.

— FRENCH THEATRE —

V COMME CANARD at Theatre de L’Ile. Until the 16th.  Comedy like only the French can do it!

VIPERINE at the NAC studio.  Until the 3rd, family drama aimed at a young audience.

L’ARAIGNEE at L’Espace Rene Prevost.  Until the 2nd…new stuff from Elise Gauthier, yay!

20,000 LIEUES SOUS LES MERS: L’HOMME FACE A  LA NATURE at Arts Court Studio, from Creations in Vivo.  2pm on the 10th, 16th and 17th, in asscociation with Chill Factor!  Live action Jules Verne for the win!

UBU SUR LA TABLE at the NAC Rehearsal Hall A.  From the 12th to the 16th.  Puppet theatre of the insanely cool sounding variety.

KIWI at the NAC Studio.  From the 20th to 23rd…a ‘fairy tale devoid of fairies’, for ages 12 and up.

OULIPO SHOW at the NAC Studio.  From the 27th to March 2nd, a supposedly amazing display of French linguistic acrobatics…so I may need to have a spotter for this one.

—OTHER STUFF—

IMPROV : Crush Improv will be back with another Bout Time on the 4th, this time upstairs at the Foolish Chicken!  Two brand new teams, so how can ya lose?  And GRIMPROV, another Improv gang that have lost their home recently (RIP Imperial Tavern), relocated at the last minute this month to the Cock and Lion, and I’ll keep this spot updated with where their next show will be.  Crystal Basement…is your show at Atomic Rooster on the FIRST Tuesday of the month, or the last..?  I get confused easily.

COMEDY: CRACKING UP THE CAPITAL hits town from the 5th thru 9th, featuring such visiting comedy dignitaries as Colin Mochrie, Deb McGrath, Big Daddy Tazz and many more (including a head to head bout with the Carleton U. and Ottawa U. improv teams, moderated my Mochrie his own self).  Comedy fans take fuckin’ note!

DANCE : FACE 2 FACE from NAC Dance and a variety of supercool international artists, putting on a mini-Fringe of Dance goodness.  The shows…STILL STANDING YOU, THE MOST TOGETHER WE’VE EVER BEEN, HOW ABOUT YOU?, and T.+ BERNADETTE and THE ENCHANTED ROOM sound absolutely unmissable…which is why I have no intention of missing them, and you’d be a loon to pass this up too.  At the NAC Studio, ODD Dance Studio and Arts Court Theatre from the 5th thru 9th.

MUSIC: The Winter Edition of the OTTAWA JAZZ FESTIVAL hits town from January 30th until February 2nd, with a whole lotta sweet sounds at venues at the Mercury Lounge, Dominion Chalmers Church, Academic Hall and the NAC 4th Stage.  I’ll be making my music-review debut at this shindig, so I hope come of you will make it out!

— OTHER OTHER STUFF —

Someone just kindly pointed out a small  little winter festival in town this month, called WINTERLUDE.  Maybe you want to check some of the million or so activities this slightly gigantic event has going on, as well as their newer sister festival CHILL FACTOR.  Keep your eyes peeled on the weekends at Marion Dewar plaza, or Jacques Cartier and Confederation Parks, and you just might see the Ottawa Stilt Union prowling around, looking cool. In fact, here’s a recently added list of their appearance times!

You might also be interested in hitting up DIRTY DOZEN, the 12th anniversary shindig in honour of Venus Envy‘s 12th year in operation.  Gonna be some sweet burlesque, including my pal the Mighty Afrodite, at Babylon nightclub on Saturday the 16th.

(This is the part where you tell me what I missed, and what cool goings-on Ottawa needs to know about.  Movies, Dance, spoken word, you name it, I’ll pimp it, just drop me a comment/tweet/e-mail/whatever.  Also, whatever new stuff I find (or, ahem, remember) along the way will go here.  Check back as often as it please ye.)  In the meantime I am DONE, because it’s gotten warm out and the furnace still thinks it’s minus 30-something. Phew!  Peace,love and soul, y’all,

Kevin Reid, aka The Visitor (and Winston)

Hell Hath no Furies

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

It got a bit messy this week at my day job drudgery….I’ve whined about it already here and elsewhere, you’ve likely had your fill.  Well, so had I, and a night off with some good theatre was just what Doctor McHate-Your-Job ordered!  Luckily for me, it was that magical time of year when the graduating class at the Ottawa Theatre School begins putting on their slate of public performances, and ya know I love me my OTS gangsters.  A quick trek out to Westboro to my old alma mater at the OSSD brought me to the lovely Natalie Stern Studio, where the evening’s show, THE EUMENIDES, was going up.

Technically part three of Aeschylus‘ classic Greek trilogy (do I even have to mention it was a tragedy?   Come on, it’s Greek) The Oresteia, following the hilarious events of AGAMEMNON and THE CHOEPHORI…think lots of war, murder and revenge, and you’re getting warm.  Our story picked up with Orestes (Nick Fournier) on the run after having murdered his Mother Clytemnestra (Hannah Gibson-Fraser).  Sure, she’d killed his Father, and Sun-God Apollo (Alexis Scott) totally made him do it, but it turns out matricide is kind of a bugaboo with the Furies, a cabal of nightmare women from the bowels of the Earth who you do NOT want to get on the wrong side of.  The lot of them (Dilys Ayaforq, Karina Milech, Alyssa Gosselin, Alison Rainier, Hanna Gibson-Fraser again, and Holly Griffith, who also does double duty as a priestess in the opening scene) relentlessly pursue Orestes to Athens, where he appeals to the Goddess Athene (Tiffani Kenny) for justice, whatever that may end up being.  Athene, not being a small thinker, decides to invent the modern legal system right then and there to settle the dispute.

It was great to finally see this class of kids in action, and in such a cool beans show to boot.  Director Jodi Essery, a new and welcome addition to the OTS, put the gang to pretty solid use, and made a highly engaging spectacle out of Aeschylus’ well-aged work.  Right off the bat, I have to applaud the gaggle of Furies, who quickly became probably my fav’rit ever onstage chorus…they were ultracool and scary as Hell, and I had a hard time taking my eyes off of them anytime they were about.  Dilys Ayaforq was especially impressive as the head Fury, and Milech and Gosselin also did great work, slinking around joined at the arm.  Terribly creepy and fun, folks.  And wow, Alexis Scott makes for a bloody fantastic Apollo, swaggering about the stage like Han Solo after he’s just nailed Princess Leia.  It’s a great performance, and one of several…Griffith’s opening monologue is a stunner.  This is a terrific show that still holds up after, what, a thousand years?  Depending on what part of the world you’re looking at, the arguments in this show about Justice vs. the Law are just as important as ever.

Also? Kickin’ beard, dude.

Essery’s direction is spot-on, making sweet use of the cozy studio space.  The costumes are WICKED cool (the program only mentions a costume ‘consultant’, Deborah Hoeberg, but all props to her!), and really help sell the mood.  And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention stage manager Jodi Morden, herself a former OTS kid come back to help guide the talented new crop.  If you want to support new, exciting theatre (you do), and especially show some love to the great Ottawa Theatre School program (you REALLY do), then you need to get yourself out to catch this show while it’s here.  You’ve got until the 24th…don’t miss out, or the Furies’ll getcha (sorry, cheesy ending…sometimes I just can’t help myself)!  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

Coming Up in November 2012

In Uncategorized on November 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm

THIS is the month, folks.  If you don’t do at least six cool things this month, you should probably shout harder for help, as you’re almost certainly trapped under something heavy and need assistance.  Are you ready for it?  Here we go…

GLACE BAY MINERS’ MUSEUM at the National Arts Center, until the 3rd.  Last chance to see the Canuck classic, beautiful set and all.
THE DEATH OF DRACULA at the Gladstone Theatre, from Phoenix Players.  Until the 3rd, vampire fun from the good eggs at Phoenix!

JULIUS CAESER at Centrepointe Studio, from the Ottawa Shakespeare Company.  Also until the 3rd, see what some of the biggest buzz in Ottawa theatre is all about!

YOU NEVER CAN TELL at Elmwood School Theatre, from Linden House.  And still until the 3rd, terrific GB Shaw piece with wee Jenny David knockin’em dead.

IF WE WERE BIRDS at Academic Hall, from the Ottawa U Drama Guild.  Still again until the 3rd, probably the starkest piece of theatre O-town’s gonna see this year.  Daring stuff from the guildsters!

THE HOLLOW at Ottawa Little Theatre.  Until the 10th, Agatha Christie done fun.

FLY ME TO THE MOON at the Irving Greenberg Theatre, from the Great Canadian Theatre Company.  From the 1st thru 18th, the dynamic duo of Margo MacDonald and Mary Ellis get the John P.Kelly treatment, and the result is a must-see.

AGNES OF GOD at the Irving Greenberg Studio, from 9th Hour.  Playing from the 1st to the 10th, rising stars 9th Hour have been putting out good shows, and I doubt they’re stopping now.

KASPAR HAUSER at Old City Hall, from Anthropos Theatre.  Glen Williamson’s one-an show comes for one night only, on the 2nd.  I caught his FAUST, and the dude knows his storytelling.

CINDERELLA at Arts Court Theatre, from Opera Lyra.  An abridged, family-friendly operatic version of the classic tale, on the 3rd, 4th and 9th!

THIRSTY at the National Arts Centre Studio.  From the 5th to the 17th, and featuring the great Andrew Moodie, Jackie Richardson and more!

MARY’S WEDDING at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre.  From the 6th to 17th, a cool sounding show set on the eve of WWI.

WHERE POPPIES BLOW from Salamander Theatre. Publicc performances of this special show at Beechwood National Memorial Centre on the 7th, then at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama on the 10th, then touring schools across the reegion.  Don’t miss out!

PADRE X at the Canadian War Museum, from Looking Glass Productions.  Playing the 8th (7:30), 10th (1:30 and 7:30) and 11th (1:30), the award-winning one-man Fringe drama from Marc Moir returns!

THE EUMENIDES from Ottawa Theatre School, at the OSSD.  From the 12th to 24th, the first show from this years graduating class of OTS gangsters hits the stage, and I can’t wait!

TONGUE AND GROOVE at Collected Works Bookstore, from Chamber Theatre.  From the 21st to Dec 1st, exciting new stuff from Chamber, in a cool new venue!

NOVEMBER at the Gladstone Theatre, from SevenThirty Productions.  Starting on the 21st thru next month…John P.Kelly is back already, and he’s bringing Todd Duckworth as the president along!

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at the National Arts Centre Theatre.  Starting on the 21st…Alix Sideris is back, Alix Sideris is back!!  Yay!!

FOOTLOOSE at Centrepointe Theatre, from Orpheus Musical Society.  From the 23rd thru Dec 2nd…it’s a musical about Footloose!  That’s all I know!

DAVID’S REDHAIRED DEATH at the Vanier Community Centre, from Suspension Theatre.  From the 27th to Dec 1st at 8pm (plus 2pm matinee on the 1st), ginger fun from some raucous newcomers!

THE NUMBER 14 at the Irving Greenberg Theatre, from GCTC and Axis Theatre Company.  Frm the 27th thru Dec 16th.  One of the most anticipated shows of the season!

7 STORIES at Saw Gallery, from Red.Collective.  from the 22nd to 25th, the Reddies are back with some Morris Panych for y’all. *UPDATE*  This show has sadly been cancelled, but is being replaced by a show from Red.Collective the following month.

MR.PIM PASSES BY at Ottawa Little Theatre.  Starting on the 27th, the centennial season marches on, courtesy of AA Milne.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Glebe Community Centre, from the Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group (GNAG).  From the 29th to Dec 2nd, Xmas musical fun from director Eleanor Crowder.

Also, from the 16th-17th, 23rd-24th, and 30th-Dec 1st, Ottawa U will present WORKSHOP II – 4TH YEAR ONE ACTS in Studio Leonard-Beaulne, featuring plays directed by cool beans grad students (is that right..?), for FREE!  How can you say no??

…And that’s not all!!  Here’s what’s coming up locally in THEATRE FRANCAIS:

SOUS-SOL A LOUER at Theatre de L’Ile.  Playing all month long, a really fun sounding show in the prettiest little theatre around!

LE VENTRILOQUE at Studio Leonard-Beaulne.  From the 8th to 10th, Larry Tremblay’s play in one of my fav’rit spaces.

ABC DEMOLITION at La Nouvelle Scene, from Theatre de la Vielle 17.  from the 14th-24th, and featuring the great Paul Rainville! And Annick Leger, who I don’t know, but I bet she’s great too!

UNITY MILLE NEUF-CENT DIX-HUIT (Unity 1918) at Academic Hall, from Comedie des Deux rives.  From the 20th to 24th, and directed by doctor Joel Beddows himself!
INVENTION DU CHAUFFAGE CENTRALE EN NOUVEAU FRANCE (14th to 17th) and LA SCAPHANDRIERE (28th to Dec 2nd) at the NAC, from NAC French Theatre.  Still haven’t caught any of the NAC French productions…hoping to correct that soon!

ZONE at la Nouvelle Scene, from Theatre la Catapulte and Theatre Francais de Toronto.  From the 28th to Dec 1st, from the companies that just brought us the amazing ALBERTINE EN CINQ TEMPS!

…But wait, there’s more!  IMPROV more!!

CRUSH IMPROV has a stellar month planned, starting with a workshop on Nov 5th at the Hintonburg Community Centre, with Kirsten Rasmussen, who seems to have REALLY pretty eyes. *sigh*  Following that is the monthly ‘BOUT TIME battle at the Elmdale Tavern, featuring returning champs TWO AND A HALF WOMEN taking on GRIMPROV (who will still be hosting their own shows the first and last wednesday of the month at the Imperial on Bank street!).  Crush will also be returning with their SPOTLIGHT ON… show at the Gladstone, this time on the 24th (following that evenings performance of NOVEMBER) and guest-starring Nicole Milne!   And hey ho, THE BRAD MACNEIL is returning, the show AND the man himself!  The latest installment of the live chat show will take place on the 22nd at Mercury Lounge, and he’ll also be hosting a workshop of his own at Arts Court Library on the 24th.  He’ll also be joining in the Spotlight fun, so don’t miss him!

This isn’t even mentioning the Dance stuff going on..like Ottawa Dance Directive‘s ROAD TRIP from the 1st to 3rd at Arts Court,and POLITICAL MOTHER and 2 AND 4 from NAC dance.  Plus there’s THE CASE OF THE PEKINESE PEREGRINE wrapping up from Eddie May Mysteries in the Velvet Room, courtesy of Scarlett’s Dinner Theatre.  Or the GLADSTONE UNPLUGGED benefit concert/variety show on the 10th!  Or the UNDERCURRENTS launch party on the 15th at GCTC!  Or RAG AND BONE puppet theatre for the kids..!

Seriously, folks, I am SO TIRED from writing this post.  Just go out and support some local theatre, all right?  From the  length of this entry, you’d have to try pretty hard NOT to see some cool shows this month.  Don’t let me down!  And let me know what I missed (I know there’s SOMEthing).  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)