Posts Tagged ‘theatre la catapulte’

I don’t know what the birds signify!

In GCTC, Theatre on February 25, 2017 at 6:38 pm

I’ve been in a bit of a theatre funk, post-Undercurrents. Is that okay? It seems a bit selfish, frankly, but being able to share the festival stage with the kinds of big shots and talented magillas that we did was pretty amazing, and the post-show ennui is a force to contend with (note: I know totally forgot to do a blogpost about my show, Faster than the Speed of Dating, being part of the 2017 Undercurrents Festival, so if the above confuses you, don’t worry, I just suck at marketing!). But funk or no funk, Theatre stops for nothing, especially not whiny suckybabies like me. And hey, is that my 1st GCTC opening night show in almost 2 years I see before me? Well hot damn, so it is. Right, funk over, let’s get to the show!

The show, 5th up in the 16/17 season and a bit of a milestone in even GCTC’s long history, is LES PASSANTS from the mighty Theatre la Catapulte. And yes, as that company name implies, this is indeed a French language production (no catapults though, here’s hoping for next time), first ever at the Irving Greenberg Theatre. Seems a little silly to think about it, but there you go…and if this is the beginning of a GCTC francotheatrical tradition, then it’s off to a terrific start. As was easily predicted from the involvement of Catapulte, Luc Moquin’s PASSANTS is a terrific show.

Featuring a cast consisting of Melanie Beauchamp, Benjamin Gaillard, Andree Rainville and Yves Turbide, and directed by Jean Stephane Roy (also the AD of Catapulte), Les Passants is made up of a series of vignettes and scenes each shining its own light…be it satirical, slapstick, serious, ironic, or all of the above…on human interconnectedness (or lack thereof, aka solitude). A somber opening featuring a ride on the river Styx (or something similar from Dante’s Inferno) and a lone man trying to remember his way and his why, quickly give way to lighter fare including the recurring romantic misadventures of the Waldo-esque Bernard and the series of women he tends to drive away with overzealous ardor. Or a mismatched long-term couple venting their mutual frustrations via interpretive dance. Or a fantasy vs.reality look at knocking on a strangers door in search of romance.


There’s a lot covered in PASSANTS’ 100 minute runtime, and if you don’t find something that relates to your experience, you might want to leave your house more. Not that homebodies aren’t covered well too, like the middle aged gent who realizes that, despite his best efforts, he just doesn’t (gasp!) like reading as much as he used to. The quartet cast slides effortlessly (probably not, of course, but they make it look as easy as falling off a log) between multiple roles and styles, be it deadpan serious or over-the-top goofy, assisted by a terrific overall production. Brian Smith’s set is all-encompassing and out of the way at the same time, and the lighting from designer Chantal Labonte is nothing short of astounding. The great Vanessa Imeson impresses as always with a dizzying array of costumes that seem to never run dry. And big thanks to Lisa L’Heureux, whose English translation of the script runs constantly over the stage, making this French production as inclusive as anyone could hope. No excuses, Anglos!

LES PASSANTS marks an exciting milestone in local theatre, and hopefully not a one of a mind event. I’ve long touted the wonders of French Theatre and the dazzlingly different sensibilities they bring to the theatrical table, and this show is as solid a proof of that as any. Check it out while you can at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, then check out something else! Ottawa U is presenting LE CHANT DU DIRE-DIRE next week at Academic Hall, and I’m calling that a good next step. Heck, I’ll be there. Allons-Y au theatre! Peace, love and soul,

Kevin R

PS now, back to our regularly scheduled funk:

La Princesse T

In Theatre on May 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Gonna be a busy week…just realized it’s the first of the month and I haven’t prepped my stoopid ‘coming up’ post yet, so I got THAT to get to. But I suppose first things are, as always, first, and I should likely ramble and rave about the show I saw just last night before looking ahead. Especially when there’s so much goodness to look back on!

I was definitely looking forward to the show last night…it was a bit of French theatre for one thing, always a pleasure, even if my Anglo ears sometimes have trouble keeping up. This one was from the kids at Vanier’s le Theatre Tremplin (in association with Theatre la Catapulte), who brought their funky Franco HAMLET to bear last year in Studio Leonard-Beaulne, where this year’s offering also took place. The show this time around was Marc LeMyre’s LE PROJET TURANDOT, originally performed at la Nouvelle Scene back in 2001, if I’m remembering correctly. Inspired by the legend of Turandot (made most famous by Puccini’s opera, and seen just last year in Ottawa U’s cool production PRINCESS T), the story follows a cold and cruel princess who steadfastly refuses to take a suitor. LeMyre’s script plays whimsically with this premise, throwing a secret love affair into the mix, and director Benoit Roy amps up the absurdity level to make this a mighty fun TURANDOT indeed.

projet turandot

We meet up with the titular Princess (Chantal Tokarsky, all dolled up and reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland) as she’s romping with her secret love, high-strung Mandarine (Heloise Drouin), evading Turandot’s Father the King (Catherine Caron) and trying to figure out how to get out of his demands that the Princess take a husband. Turandot has a plan, however, and while it’s a bit radical, Mandarine eventually comes on board. Part of it includes getting some dupe to answer her questions three and become her groom…I think (I might have missed some crucial parts of the text at this junction, but we’ll just carry on and pretend everything’s normal, okay? Okay.). All of this leads to a lot of dramatics, shouting, occasional visits from a pair of weirdos in a box (Tania St.Jean and Marc-Andre Tessier, almost stealing the show), at least one inspired musical solo, and a wise and mysterious sage (Nicolas Tremblay-Foisy) who just might hold the key to the whole mess.

The Princess (Chantal Tokarsky) being the center of the universe in LE PROJET TURANDOT.   Photo by Martin Cadieux.

The Princess (Chantal Tokarsky) being the center of the universe in LE PROJET TURANDOT. Photo by Martin Cadieux.

Even as someone who misses the odd word here and there, this is a ridiculously fun show that plays out like the best kind of children’s theatre (there were several little ones in the audience opening night, and I definitely recommend it for young AND old), with a colorful set, great costumes from Annie Cloutier and a gorgeous soundscape by Venessa Lachance. Chantal Tokarsky is a perfectly charming and self-centered leading lady, barely able to express affection for anyone besides herself. Something that clearly annoys the heck out of lovably fierce Mandarine, aka Heloise Drouin, very nicely balancing doting affection with barely restrained rage. Catherine Drouin is just goddam marvellous as the dotty King, likewise Nicolas Tremblay Foisy as the deliberately obscure Sage (both of them sport smashing beards worth the price of admission all by themselves). And Sylvain Sabatie as clueless but manly Calaf is a wonderful jolt to the show, like a child’s idea of what a Prince should be. It all adds up, combined with Roy’s direction and LeMyre’s funny text, into a joy of a show that breezes by all too quickly in an hour and a half. I liked it so much I’ll even test my French for the occasion….PROJET TURANDOT est un joyeux spectacle…drole et absurde dans les meilleur facons. Si tu n’a pas un souris sur ton visage durant cette production, je pense que ta bouche ne fonctionne plus.

Translation: GO SEE IT. You’ll be glad you did. Playing until the 10th at SLB! Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

PS apologies for my French up there if it’s completely terrible.  Taking baby steps over here.

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.


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 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 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!

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.


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)


Coming Up in March 2014

In Theatre on February 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Theatre Marches on!  See what I…oh, never mind.  Let’s just get a jump on what’s happening in March, starting witht he fact that there’s only the first of the month left to catch ENRON at the NAC Studio, and more importantly (for me) the TROIS (THREE) mini-festival at Arts Court Studio, featuring GRIMprov in the gloriously goofy START START ENERGY OFFICERS, May Can Theatre‘s harrowing WHAT ABOUT HORSES?, and Dead Unicorn Ink‘s ensemble dramedy ACCEPTABLE APPEARANCE THEORY, co-featuring myself and the OTS Orphanage Players!  Come on out, enjoy 3 beers for 10 bucks, and watch 3 cool shows!!

Bobby Robert (back only), Aaron Lajeunesse, Victoria Luloff and Patrice Ann Forbes i THE ACCEPTABLE APPEARANCE THEORY from Dead Unicorn Ink (photo by David Pasho).

Bobby Robert (back only), Aaron Lajeunesse, Victoria Luloff and Patrice Ann Forbes i THE ACCEPTABLE APPEARANCE THEORY from Dead Unicorn Ink (photo by David Pasho).

Oh, and some other stuff is happening too…

UNDERBELLY at the Gladstone Theatre, from Black Sheep/Stars and Hearts.  An unmissable adventure into the mind of William Burroughs, courtesy of the amazing Jayson MacDonald!  Until the 8th.

Jayson McDonald in UNDERBELLY (photo by William Beddoe)

Jayson McDonald in UNDERBELLY (photo by William Beddoe)

HALF LIFE at the Ottawa Little Theatre. A meditation on memory from the kids at LOT.  Until the 8th.

JESUS EVEN LOVES A CRAZY HORNY FEMINIST at Arts Court. One woman fun from Jen Hayward, from the 3rd to 5th.

THE BALD SOPRANO at Academic Hall, from Unicorn Theatre.  Martin Glassford helms this piece’o’Ionesco over at Ottawa U.  From the 4th to 8th.

Bald Soprano

SPAMALOT at Centrepointe Theatre, from Orpheus Musical Society.  Bring out your dead!  From the 7th to 16th.

THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW at the Centrepointe Studio Theatre, from 9th Hour Theatre.  Some Narnia for young audiences from the 9th Hour gang! From the 12th to 16th.

JERK IT – MAY CAN DOES MASTURBATION STORIES at Arts Court Library.  Pretty much what the title says, folks…May Can Theatre gives us the dose of sleaze Ottawa needs.  The 13th only!

MUCH ADO ABOUT FECKIN’ PIRATES at the Gladstone Theatre, from Parry Riposte Productions.  Richard Gelinas and Margo Macdonald as clowning pirates, directed by AL Connors.  Seriously, there’s no good reason to miss this, people.  The 13th to 29th.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM at the Kailash Mital Theatre (Carleton U), from Sock’n’Buskin.  A Shakespearean capper to the Sockies’ 70th season!  From the 13th to 15th.

DANCING WITH RAGE at the GCTC.  Real life canuck superheroine Mary Walsh brings the pain.  From the 18th to April 6th.

BREAK BEFORE BEND at Centrepointe Theatre, from Edge Youth Productions.  18th to 19th, teen musical theatre at the ‘pointe.

FRANKENSTEIN at the Algonquin College Theatre.  It’s alive…and it’s directed by Zach Counsil! 19th to 23rd.


THE DUMB WAITER at the Avalon Studio, from Third Wall Theatre.  The 3rd Wall gang returns to the stage with some classic Pinter, in the intimate Avalon.  From the 21st to 30th.

MURDER IN NOIRVILLE at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre.  Hardboiled fun out Kanata way, from the 25th to April 5th.


DRAMA AT INISH at the Ottawa Little Theatre, from Tara Players and OLT. Actors vs.Ireland!  From the 25th to April 12th.

A LA RECHERCHE DE ESCARGOTS/SEARCHING FOR SNAILS at Arts Court, from the Ottawa Stilt Union. I don’t even WANT to know details about this bilingual show…the imagination of the Stilters is always worth the wait.  From the 25th to 30th.

SEEDS at the NAC Theatre. More Canadian star power as Eric Peterson tackles Annabel Soutar’s tale of Man vs. Monsanto.  26th to 12th.

FAMILY IN A BOX at the Glebe Community Centre, from GNAG.  Multigenerational drama from the Glebe’s very own theatre gang!  From the 26th to 29th!

DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Carleton Tavern, from Chamber Theatre.  You can’t keep a good salesman down!  Chamber’s new take on the Loman family hits the tavern from the 26th to April 5th.  And trust me, it’s gonna be worth the wait.


THE OTTAWA THEATRE CHALLENGE on March 27th, at the NAC 4th Stage.  Combat, theatre style! So, expect some mimework.


CONFIDENCES TROP INTIMES at Theatre de L’Ile.  Ends on the 1st…dernier chance!

UN at the NAC Studio. 5th to 8th.

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

MARIUS ET FANNY at Salle Odyssee.  the 21st and 22nd, part of Francofete!

LEO at Shenkman Studio, from Theatre la Catapulte and MIFO. The 21st and 22nd.

JEUX DE MASSACRE at Academic Hall, from Theate de la Licorne.  Ottawa U’s awesome French contigent comes out to play, from the 25th to 29th.

I’m missing a couple things here and there and will update shortly…stay tuned, and as always, drop me a line, here, on Facebook, or Twitter, if I’ve missed anything (which I totally have).  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.

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.


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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.


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.


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.


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)

Coming Up in October 2013

In Theatre on October 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hey, the coming up post doesn’t involve that much work, I can still manage THAT!  A few days late, sure but who’s counting?  Here’s the lowdown for October:

PRIVATE LIVES at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions.  Noel Coward continues his rampage of mannered destruction, at least until the 12th.

A LIFE IN THE DAY at the Cumberland Heritage Museum, from Vintage Stock Players. Some outdoorsy theatre in Cumberland, with complimentary Apple Cider!  The 4th and 5th!

AND SO TO BED at the Centrepointe Studio, from Restoration Players, Goya Theatre and Suzart. A restoration musical, and why not? From the 9th to the 12th.


THE WEIR at Richcraft Theatre (Shenkman) , from Tara Players.  A welcome spot of Conor McPherson for your Octobeer.  From the 10th to the 12th.

SPARKS at the Avalon Studio, from New Ottawa Repertory Theatre.  The inaugural show at the new Avalon space in the Glebe, which is reason enough to go right there!  From the 11th to 20th.

YOU FANCY YOURSELF at the Great Canadian Theatre Company.  Maja Ardal couldn’t be stopped a second time, and is back with her previously scheduled one-woman show, starting on the 15th.


DEADLY MURDER at the Ottawa Little Theatre.  Some Deathtrap-esque mystery as the 101st season continues!  From the 15th to Nov 2nd.

FREUD’S LAST SESSION at Various locations, from 9th Hour Theatre.  Freud vs. CS Lewis!  Check the 9th hour showlist for places and dates, ass it continues it’s marathon tour!

TARTUFFE at the NAC Theatre.  Moliere goes Newfie in this adaptation from Andy Jones and the NAC Players!  From the 15th to Nov 2nd.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE CASE OF THE HANSOM CAB KILLER at the Gladstone Theatre, from Black Sheep Theatre.  Chris Bange’s Fringe hit comes to Ottawa for two weeks, playing from the 16th to 26th.

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE at Arts Court Theatre, from Opera Lyra.  A little G&S to liven up your Fall!  the 19th and 20th.

TOLSTOY’S TREASURES at St. James United Church in the Glebe , from Third Wall.  Kristina Watt, Mary Ellis and James richardson do some dramatic readings of Tolstoy’s short works, part of their ongoing EMPTY SPACE series.  On the 23rd!

MERCUTIO AND OPHELIA at the Avalon Studio, from Fireflood Theatre.  Another Fringe winner featuring a Shakespearean fanfic mashup you’ll want to see, now with 100% more Holly Griffith.  From the 25th to 27th and Nov 1st to 3rd.

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LLOYD GEORGE KNEW MY FATHER at the Elmwood Theatre, from Linden House.  A bittersweet comedy from the Linden House mob, playing the 22nd to 26th, and 31st to Nov 2nd.

PRINCESS T at Academic Hall, from the Ottawa U Drama Guild.  A particular Princess indeed picks a husband.  Hijinks ensue!  From the 29th to Nov 2nd.

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS at the Gladstone Theatre, from Plosive Productions.  The radio play takes a turn towards Halloween, with some Welles on Wells action. Plays the 30th to Nov 2nd.

THE EXTREMELY SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL at Arts Court Theatre, from New Theatre Ottawa.  The mini-festival within an evening returns for a second incarnation, with  a cascade of short original plays from local authours for your edification.  Preview on the 30th, regular run from the 31st to November 10th.

cca 2013

I’m a little too late with some of this stuff, going on as I write this, but there’s still time for lots of great national comedy, happening at Arts Court, Centrepointe, and wherever.  Check the website for deets, and I’ll see you at great shows like THRONE OF GAMES and OF MICE AND MORRO AND JASP!


Yay, it’s back and bigger than ever!  Playing for two weekends over the 17th to 19th, and the 24th to 26th, the little festival that doesn’t give a fuck is taking over the Lunenburg Pub to bring you the best ad brightest of Ottawa Youth theatre!  Hosted by GRIMPROV and 2 ½ WOMEN, and featuring debut shows like WHO WILL SEPARATE US?, MANIMALES, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, FAR & NEAR & HERE, WAKE, TEMP, MOTION PASSED, THE B-TEAM, FOUNDATIONS, FORSAKEN DAUGHTERS OF WINTER, SCARS and UNTITLED, UNPUBLISHED AND UNSETTLED from a who’s who of local talent (including May Can Theatre, Little Green Hat, Dead Unicorn Ink and so many more).  Who exactly is doing which show and when? Stay tuned for a big preview post about the festival in the weeks to come, telling you all (I hope…I’ve been awfully blog-lazy these days).


LE CHATTE ET LE HIBOU from Theatre de L’Ile, until the 12th.

L’IVRESSE DES PROFONDEURS at l’Ecole de la Salle, from Theatre la Catapulte.  The 19th only!

POMME at the NAC Studio, from Isabelle Payant and Patrick Conan.  The 26th and 27th.

VISAGE DE FEU at the Nac Studio, the 30th to Nov 2nd.  Directed by Joel Beddows!

Plus, Crush Improv will be having their regular ‘BOUT TIME event at Mother McGintey’s on the 7th, plus their post-PRIVATE LIVES show at the Gladstone on the 11th.  And their debut cage match style CAPITAL CRUSH hits Centrepointe Studio on the 25th! Plus on the 28th they’ll be back at the Heart and Crown for the MATTHEW THE BRAVE benefit show, a fundraiser for a tough little kid with some serious medical woes, so it’s a pretty good excuse to get your improv laff on.  Probably more stuff too, but I’m almost out of coffee so it will have to wait!  See you soon, Ottawa.  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Le Danois Melancolique

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

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

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


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

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

Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)

Coming Up in May 2013

In Theatre on May 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

Gadzooks, it’s May and festival season is gearing up!  Is that Fringe I see on the horizon..?  But first things first, as there’s plenty of goodness in May to get through first!


THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at the Gladstone Theatre, from Bear and Company.  Until the 4th!  Last chance to see a cool all-dude cast turn the tables on of Billy Shakes’ least feminist production.

A TASTE OF THE WILDCAT at the Museum of Civilization, part of Northern Scene.  Also until the 4th, a sweet-sounding bilingual recreation of a genuine Northern diner.  Check the site for times in French or English!

BIG MAMA! THE WILLIE MAE THORNTON STORY at the National Arts Centre.  Big brash blues bonanza that’ll get ya on your feet.  Until the 11th.

COME BLOW YOUR HORN at the Ottawa Little Theatre.   Also until the 11th, OLT does the 60’s and holy Hell, I haven’t seen this one yet!

JUSTICE at Arts Court Theatre, part of Northern Scene.  More SCENE goodness, from the 2nd to the 4th!


FREUD’S LAST SESSION at various locations, from 9th Hour Theatre.  CS Lewis vs. Freud!  Come see the limited public performances of this touring show, check here for venues and times.

TULUGAK: INUIT RAVEN STORIES at the National Arts Centre Studio, part of Northern Scene.  Two performances on the 4th (which according the the NAC website are already sold out, so take heed), family friendly native tales with performers from Nunavut to Greenland.

SCI-FI DOUBLE FEATURE at the NAC 4th Stage, part of Northern Scene.  Ingenious live puppet performance from Ramshackle Productions!  Two performances on the 4th.


WHITE RABBIT, RED RABBIT at the Arts Court Library, from a Company of Fools.  The Fools get serious with this groundbreaking play, featuring a new actor doing a cold read every night.  Check the schedule and pick your fav’rit performer to turn out for!  From the 7th to 25th.

THE BEST MAN at the GCTC.  The annual Lawyer Play for charity returns, so get on out to see some local bigwigs take their turn on the stage for a good cause, with some help from director Pat Gauthier.  From the 8th to 11th!

TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT at SAW Gallery, from Red.Collective.  More verbatim-style goodness from the Reddies, from the 9th to 12th.

A FLEA IN HER EAR at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, from Kanata Theatre.  A hearty farce to get your springtime underway.  From the 14th to 25th.

MISS CALEDONIA at the National Arts Centre Studio.  Melody Johnson charmed the shit out of me with this show at Summerworks, and you better believe I’m coming back for more.  From the 14th to 25th!

IN THE NEXT ROOM (or THE VIBRATOR PLAY) at the Gladstone Theatre, from Same Day Theatre (with Plosive and Counterpoint).  Bronwyn Steinberg returns to direct this, the secret origin of the vibrator. You know you want it!  15th thru June 1st (preview 14th).

EMPTY SPACE FINALE at Glebe St. James United Church (650 Lyon Street South), from Third Wall.  A local touch for 3rd Wall’s final reading series of the season, spotlighting Ottawa Authours.  The 22nd only!

STEEL MAGNOLIAS at the Ottawa Little Theatre.  The 100th season continues!  Beauty parlor gossip  fun starting on the 28th.

CAROUSEL at Centrepointe Theatre, from Orpheus Musical Society. Starting on the 321st, Orpheus gives a classic a new spin.

And that’s not all…

The 15th Annual YOUTH INFRINGEMENT FESTIVAL is back, bigger than ever!  Producer Christine Hecker’s upped the show count and extended the run for this anniversary year, so there’s no excuses to not get out and see what the excitable, hopped-up rugrats of Ottawa Theatre have up their sleeves.  On the roster this year…THE PRETENDERS by John Ryan, FINAL SPARKLE ASCENSION by Victor Armstrong, A BATTLE OF DEMONS by Euan Wheaton, IT’S WHAT DR.JENKINS WOULD HAVE WANTED by Matt Hertendy, EVERYBODY LIMBO! By David Coleman, BEARSNAKE, also by Matt Hertendy (who’s just showing off now, honestly), NEBRASKA by Tony Adams, MOUNTAINS by Maddie Stephens, THE PERFECT PITCH by Cory Thibert, and PRIDE AND JOY by Kyle Cunningham.  All shows have three performances over the fest run, from the 8th to the 18th at Arts Court.  And one of’em is going to win a remount at Fringe in June!  Get on out and support the kids, eh? And speaking of kids…


The OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL returns to Lebreton Flats from the 28th to June 2nd, with a sweet roster of family-friendly shows from all over, and amazing performers (including some homegrown heroes).  Shows include Mi Casa’s wonderful COUNTRIES SHAPED LIKE STARS, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (already programmed as part of  next year’s NAC season) from BC, GHOST AND LADDERS and EVOLUTION OF BBOYING from Quebec, A SONATINA from Denmark, and STEP AFRIKA! From the US of A.  Bring the little ones!

And don’t forget KLEO’S WAKE, part of the Ottawa Stilt Union Fundraiser on the 10th at the New Ediburgh Community Centre, 255 Mackay st.  Wake was one of the highlights of last years SubDevision, don’t miss this chance to catch it again (and other fun stuffs)!

Also, May 29 at 10 AM in Arts Court, get set for the official OTTAWA FRINGE FESTIVAL LAUNCH!!  Yes, the best time of the year is almost upon us…come on out and see what’s gonna be rocking your world in June!



HAMLET at Studio Leonard-Beaulne, from Theatre Tremplin, avec Theatre la Catapulte. A French translation of the bard’s most famous bit of angst, and I can’t hardly wait.  From the 1st to 11th.

IK ONKAR at Academic Hall, from Theatre la Catapulte.  One night only on the 4th!

LA NUIT JUST AVANT LES FORETS from NAC French Theatre, venue to be announced!  More great French Theatre, from the 14th to 18th.

LA PORTEUSE DE PAIN at Theatre de L’Ile.  Not sure yet what this one’s about to be hones,t but the Ile always puts on good stuff.  From the 15th thru next month.

L’ARCHE DE NOEMIE at Au Cafe Show.  Reprise of an amazing show presented recently at Ottawa U, from the 15th to 24th.  Facebook event page right here.

*** IMPROV ***

CRUSH IMPROV is back with ‘Bout Time on Monday the 6th, and this month they return to familiar ground at the Elmdale Tavern Oysterhouse!  I wonder if I can still bring in Hintonburger..?

More updates as I get showtimes, from good folks like MISSION IMPROVABLE (MI-6), GRIMPROV and CRYSTAL BASEMENT!

More to come and updates as I discover stuff, or you tell me about it!  See you out there this month, hey gang?  Peace, love and soul,

Kevin Reid, 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 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)

5 x Albertine

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2012 at 1:54 am

Day two of my first hardcore theatre weeks in WAY too long, and it’s feeling good, folks.  I’m still trying to decide if I’m seeing five shows this week or six, and either way…yay ME!  And if you know me you know that ain’t a sentiment I express too often.

Tonight, I’m expressing that yay about some other people, namely the cool kids at Theatre la Catapulte and Theatre Francais de Toronto, who just co-produced the premiere of ALBERTINE EN CINQ TEMPS, de Michel Tremblay, that I just caught tonight at La Nouvelle Scene.  It’s the latest in a series of co-productions both companies are undertaking, and take it from me, Ottawa…it’s a good thing they did.  As a general rule, I seem to be very impressed with Franco-Theatre, even given my somewhat spotty conversational French. This time, however, I came prepared!  I read up on an English translation of Tremblay’s piece (which would actually be the 3rd Tremblay play I’d seen, but only the 1st in his native French…after the NAC’s ST.CARMEN OF THE MAIN and Chamber Theatre’s great MARCEL PURSUED BY THE HOUNDS), and it was an impressive read.  After getting through it, I could not WAIT to see how Catapulte and friends carried it off.

A brilliantly framed character piece, ALBERTINE tells the life of the titular character in exquisitely theatrical form, hearing from the character in 5 different decades of her life, all at the same time.  Alongside them all is sister Madeleine (Genevieve Dufour), never changing herself even as she listens to the laments of all 5 iterations of her tragic sister.  We  start with Albertine at 30 (Melanie Beauchamp), still hopeful but filled with a terrible darkness that threatens to overwhelm her.  Albertine at 40 (Celeste Dube) is at times 30’s dark mirror (they stare one another down more than once in the show), consumed with anger and bitterness.  Albertine at 50 (Patricia Marceau) is almost jarringly happy, until we realize what a terrible price she paid for that contentment.  At 60 (LynnTremblay) everything has gone wrong again, soothed only by a parade of pills from a friendly doctor.  And Albertine at 70 (Marie-Helene Fontaine) seems the most grounded of all, finally looking back on her mess of a life with something like perspective.  It’s one of the most beautifully-crafted character pieces I could even imagine, and it’s imagined into pretty amazing reality here by director, and Catapulte Artistic Director Jean Stephane-Roy.

It’s hard to pick out or spotlight a performance here, because all 6 actors are so uniformly great.  I expect that the acting lineup for this play will look extremely similar to the nomination list for next year’s Prix Rideau Awards for French Theatre, Female.  There wasn’t a sour note in the bunch, and there were plenty of moments to shine.  Celeste Dube as the combative Albertine at 40 was a Helluva sight to see, and Albertine at 70 Marie-Helene Fontaine was easily one of the crowd’s fav’rits.  50’s Marceau was a cocky bombshell, perfectly content in her own carefully shielded world, and 30’s Beauchamp had just the right level of explosive lurking underneath her surface.  And 60’s Tremblay was amazing, snaking along the pared-down stage, dispensing slurred wisdom that none of them wanted to hear.  Bloody incredible, right across the board.

Albertine at 30, played by the wonderful Melanie Beauchamp. Photo courtesy of Sylvain Sabatie!

After reading the script (and knowing how wonderfully INSANE French theatre can get) I was actually kind of surprised how low-key Brian Smith’s lovely set was…until a few minutes into the show, and I understood how brilliant and wonderfully insane lighting designer Benoit Brunet-Poirier’s overhanging army of lightbulbs were going to transform the set, and the whole production. The effect they had…so cool.  I swear, if the show run weren’t so short, I’d catch it again..tho I believe it WILL be playing again in Toronto next year.  Hmmm…

An amazing text by Canadian legend Tremblay is brought to incredible life here, by the kind of talent you only ever dream you had backing you up.  I continue to wish my French language skills were better than they were, and French theatre is the best reason I’ve ever found to brush up.  I wish I had a good pull quote to give you in French, but I’m not quite there yet.  Heck, I asked a girl to be my date for this show in French, and…well, wow.  Let’s just say I went alone, okay?  Best I can do is this…

C’est Fou comme c’est Bon!

Peace, Love and Soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

PS: the show runs until Saturday, but check before heading out…I think some shows are already close to selling out (and rightly so)!