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Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog: Christine Rodriguez on The Arrangement (Part I)

“What’s The Point?”
by Christine Rodriguez

This past June, I was in an off-Fringe production of a play entitled Callback about life in the theatre written by Bill Svanoe.  At one point in the play, Ed, the director, tells my character Judy, an actress, that in his last production, the playwright “kept asking everybody:  Will the New York Times like this?”  I guess, as the playwright, I’m at that point in the production of The Arrangement wondering: Will The Charlebois Post like this? Will the Charlebois Post even show up? Will anyone show up..?

Review: Chi of Shaolin Tale of the Dragon

(Photo credit:

The Friday Five, September 30, 2011

Top 5 Parts for Little Person Actors.
There’s an old saying in theatre, “there are no small parts, only small actors”. But that’s not exactly true, is it? First of all, the expression itself was only made up to bullshit theatre divas into thinking their shitty parts were actually worth a damn. There are indeed small parts, small insignificant parts that no self-respecting actor would be caught dead playing. But there are also small actors. Not “small” as in petty or shallow (all actors are petty and shallow), but small as in little. The following are the five best parts for little person actors. 
By Matt G of Matt and Kyle and Matt

CharPo's Real Theatre, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: All I Want Is U2

Cédilot (Photo: Louis Longpré)

An artist traces his life...and the iconic band's
by Christopher Lane

Mainline Theatre is currently staging a new show called All I Want is U2, in conjunction with Théâtre Sans Fond. This one-man show is performed by its writer, Laval native Stéfan Cédilot, and directed by Stéphanie Pelletier. All I Want is U2 tells the story of the band as seen through the eyes of the playwright, a longtime fan. Through a mix of storytelling, lecturing, acting, music and video, Cédilot takes the audience through his experiences discovering and following the band’s evolution up to the present day. He shows how his experiences with U2 were continually changing as the band changed.

CharPo's Picture of The Week, September 29, 2011

David Babcock's charming photo of Daniel Brochu and Danielle Desormeaux
in Geordie's production of - what else? - The Little Prince!

Artists' Blogs

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

EVENT: The Sixth Annual Montreal Improv Festival

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, September 28, 2011

A look around and out
by Estelle Rosen

This column has been rechristened Beyond Our Fourth Wall and will now bring you theatre of interest in French.

A Cuban family emigated to Florida shortly before the 1929 Depression and try to maintain the tradition of producing hand rolled cigars. 
Theatre du Rideau Vert

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

After Dark, September 27, 2011

I Confess
Reflections on Springer, reality TV, tragedy and theatre
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

I am going to be attending and reviewing Dan Bingham's play, Adopt This!, later this week. Bingham's piece played the Fringe here, made a lot of noise (we gave him five Charpies out of five - our rating system) and he decided to revive it. It is the story of living as an adopted child and then meeting the biologicals. In it, I've been told, he reveals his heart.

But he does it with humour. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Upstage Interview, Jean Asselin

Theatre Etiquette as Told Through The Art of Mime

Literature is an accident to theatre while the body is really the substance. 

Upstage Host Eric Sukhu spoke with Artistic Director of Omnibus Theatre Jean Asselin about the International Mime Festival of Montreal RIMM 5. Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo Editor-In-Chief.

I was there on Monday for the opening at Espace Libre; such a wonderful space. Does Omnibus occupy the entire building?

We use it for the mime company, plus mime school and theatre. This allows us to produce and present our shows in the same theatre.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Thread, September 25, 2011

The Thread

This week there has been a summit of English-speaking artists where all sorts of issues were discussed. One well-known artist in the milieu asked us if we thought it was just one big schmoozefest. As we like our pets and children, let us throw this question to you. Do you think these events accomplish anything or are they, as some suggest, a largely pointless exercise? Discuss.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Theatre For Thought, September 24, 2011

The thrilling conclusion to my life in theatre school…
joel fishbane

During my second year of theatre school, I read “True and False”, a book by David Mamet that should be required reading for anyone contemplating a life in the arts. Mamet abhors theatre schools but I have to give mine credit in one respect: if it wasn’t for them, I’d never have decided to be a writer.

During out first year at school, I penned the books and lyrics to a musical in the hopes of one day finding a composer. I gave it to one of my teachers, David Warrack, a man who has been the lifeblood of Canadian musical theatre for almost forty years. Later, he told me that the musical was one of the best things he had read in years. Having reread it recently, I see he was just being kind, like when you give a drawing of a stick figure to your mother and she hangs it on the fridge. But the result was the same. I had been encouraged and if you’ve ever been bored during one of my plays, David Warrack is partly to blame (so is my mother, but that’s another story).

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Friday Five, September 23, 2011

Five Theatre Superstitions Explained
The theatre has a storied history of tradition and superstition, with most contemporary theatre companies still abiding by age-old superstitious practices. Many would call this kind of behaviour childish or naive, and many more would probably call it superstitious, traditional or age-old. Before you start throwing around hurtful labels, join me on a journey into the past as we uncover the truth behind these hugely stupid delusions.
by Kyle Gatehouse of Matt and Kyle and Matt

CharPo's Real Theatre!, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Theatre For One

Theatre For One is precisely what it says it is
by Estelle Rosen

Picture this: you’re sitting in the Concordia University Sculpture Garden Courtyard, chatting with others waiting in line.

You’re escorted into a small telephone size booth. Makeup mirror lights are on; music is playing. Lights gradually lower. Music fades.  All reminiscent of  a theatre experience. Except usually other theatregoers are there as well.  But this is Theatre For One. And you’re the One.

CharPo's Picture of The Week, September 22, 2011

A more buffo moment from Opéra de Montréal's Nozze di Figaro;
Robert Gleadow as Figaro (l), Julie Boulianne as Cherubino
(photo: Yves Renaud)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beyond the Fourth Wall, September 21, 2011

Journees de la culture 3 days of free events exploring arts and culture
by Estelle Rosen

Photography / Art / Workshops 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Feature: Nicole Cabell, soprano

(Photo: Devon Cass)

The reluctant diva
American soprano Nicole Cabell brings star-wattage to L’Opera de Montreal’s season-opening production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro
By Richard Burnett

Montreal audiences have been clamouring for American soprano Nicole Cabell since she made her one-shot appearance at L’Opéra de Montreal’s Gala back in 2005 – the same year Cabell won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

Cabell now finally makes her company debut as La Contessa Almaviva in Mozart’s masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which originally premiered at Vienna’s Burgtheater in May 1786 and was last produced at L’Opéra de Montréal in 2003.

After Dark, September 20, 2011

The Dark Comedy of Forbidden Words
Comedy goes where theatre fears to tread
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

I entered into an email correspondance this week with a highly talented young theatre artist who refered to my editorial, from last week, and how much he had liked the quote from Patton Oswalt. He added that in his life he finds himself quoting standups more often than he quotes theatre.

Monday, September 19, 2011

EVENT: The Arrangement

The Upstage Interview, Christine Jones

A video clip from the current Broadway production of American Idiot with Christine Jones' Tony-winning work in full evidence

It Doesn't End With a Tony
Upstage Producer and Charpo Editor-In-Chief  Estelle Rosen spoke with Christine Jones Artistic Director of Theatre For One being presented at Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts Sculpture Garden Courtyard. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ford's Focus: Joan MacBride

(Photo: Sabrina Reeves)

Joan McBride Sticks to her Turtle
When I told my mother at the end of high school that I wanted to be an actor, she told me to get on a bus and go to New York.  In other words, "over my dead body..."
by Barbara Ford
[Ed: read the PS]

At the age of four when Joan McBride launched into the rehearsal process of one of the numerous pageants she organized, this particular ‘spectacle’ based on the well-known script about a reindeer named Rudolf, she realized the leading role was curiously un-cast.  Not to worry: her seasoned team of five and six-year-old thespians unanimously voted her  to lead Santa’s sleigh and they were off to the races, or rooftops as it were, in true Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland neighbourhood theatre style.  It was a circuitous route from there to professional actor, director and John Abbott theatre professor, but an interesting one that most recently landed her and her 2010 graduating class on the roster of performers at the recent 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a national first for any Canadian college group. Way to celebrate the John Abbott Theatre College’s 40th anniversary!

“When I was twelve years old, I saw a professional production of The Sound of Music at the old Her Majesty’s Theatre” [situated at the corner of Guy and St. Catherine Streets], “that totally captivated me.  When I told my mother at the end of high school that I wanted to be an actor, she told me to get on a bus and go to New York.  In other words, ‘over my dead body; you’re going to be a teacher and that’s that!’”

The Thread, September 18, 2011

The Thread

Previous discussions have established that Montreal English-language theatre needs a space. We narrowed down the place for this space to in or near Quartier des Spectacles (metro, services, audiences). Now, be realistic while you dream: what MUST this space have and what WOULD BE GREAT to see in it? (Example: parking/a café-terrasse) Discuss.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

News: QDF launches fall calendar

Geordie's Little Prince

By Byron Toben
The 39 year old Quebec Drama Federation has  always been a valuable umbrella for
English-speaking theatre groups. It really became a major focal point a few years ago when former head ELISE MENARD inaugurated its quarterly Theatre Calendar. This handy palm sized guide has become indispensible to local theatre fans and aficionados. Its influence has grown under the current executive director, JANE NEEDLES, especially with the QDF's increasingly useful web site and the fun filled public launches. The Fall 2011, held at the Centaur, was a festive occasion for le tout théâtre

Theatre For Thought, September 17, 2011

More thoughts, comments and failed love affairs from my days in theatre school…
By Joel Fishbane

There were about sixty students in my school and most of them were girls, and by girls I mean dancers and by dancers I mean that subspecies of femininity known for their agility, athleticism and grace. There were nine other boys in the school, many of them were gay and I’m told that those who weren’t have since come out of the closet. I’m the last hold out and every now and then I get an email that’s completely blank except for a question mark. They don’t need to write the question; I already know it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Friday Five, September 16, 2011

Did you know that the word “theatre” is actually an acronym? Most people don’t know the history. The name given to this form of live performance was originally written as “T.H.E.A.T.R.E. T.H.E.A.T.R.E.”. When deconstructed, it spells out sentences explaining the discipline. The following five historic couplets have defined an art form for eons - literally millennia.
by Matthew Raudsepp of Matt and Kyle and Matt

CharPo's Real Theatre!, September 16, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First-Person: Don Anderson on the meeting about Hudson Village Theatre

It May Take a Village Part II
The Meeting on September 11, 2011
by Don Anderson

The difference in tone, atmosphere and energy between the Hudson Village Theatre’s Board of Directors meeting last week and the meeting at the Hudson Community Centre last night, was remarkable. I recognized three senior Board members in attendance. This, I felt, was promising.

However, the big questions were: Would there be the same outcome from this meeting? Would the community come together and start solving the problems? What about the various stakeholders who felt ignored and betrayed? Had they, in fact, been ignored and betrayed?

Beyond The Fourth Wall, September 14, 2011

Workshop leader Adam Kelly

Fall workshops
by Estelle Rosen

State of the Arts Summit

PWM's Tadoussac Residency

Found in Translation
Tadoussac Residency 2011: a marriage of two solitudes
joel fishbane

Playwrights are converging on Fletcher Cottage this week, an out of the way reserve in Tadoussac, Quebec. With them is an army of artists of a different sort, ones who have the difficult job of making sure their work is never noticed. These are the translators, those oft-forgotten wordsmiths who ensure that dialogue glides off the page in a tongue the playwrights don’t speak (or at least, don’t speak well). Many metaphors can be given to describe the relationship between author and translator but at Tadoussac only one really applies: it is a marriage of two solitudes. Not English and French, but writer and writer. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

EVENT: QDF Fall Calendar Launch

After Dark, September 13, 2011

Enough With The F*&?@#$ Circuses, Already!
The goddam song says, "Picture yourself" not "Picture us"!
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

"Cirque du Soleil is catnip for old people...[It's] what a Gay French dude sees in his head when he's tired and horny. There's a naked guy in a trapeze with his dick flapping around and there's a hedgehog with a boner on a tricycle and three clowns are jerking off on a ghost...everything in Cirque du Soleil is wet and French and Gay and on fire at the same time." Patton Oswalt

Monday, September 12, 2011

News: Uncalled For to appear in Toronto's Next Stage Festival

Montreal darlings, the improv group Uncalled For, will be part of a huge lineup at the Next Stage Festival in Toronto In January. They will be presenting their hit show, Hypnogogic Logic, last seen here at Centaur's WildSide Festival.

Next Stage, produced by the Toronto Fringe, brings together a wide assortment of productions from across the country.

Next Stage announcement from TAPA.

The Upstage Interview, Dan Bingham

From Ronald Reagan to Facing the Hecklers

Upstage Host Eric Sukhu spoke with Dan Bingham about his solo show, Adopt This. being re-mounted Sept. 29-Oct 1 at Theatre Ste-Catherine. Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen CharPo Editor-in-chief.

The handsomest man in Montreal theatre is with us in studio.

You can almost hear me blushing if that’s possible!

Breaking News: Paradise Lost wins big at Atlantic Fringe

Paul Van Dyck's solo, Paradise Lost, has won the Best Production prize at the Atlantic Fringe Festival which closed this evening.

Lost had already won awards from The Montreal English Critics Circle (MECCA) and also for its run in New York, this last winter.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Thread, September 11, 2011

The Thread

The ghost of fiscal restraint hovers over all of us. But a shiny, new theatre season is about to get underway. Consumers, like the companies themselves, have to prioritize and decide where they will spend their theatre pennies. We are presented with exciting fare at the main houses and surprises all through the year from the small companies. So...

Where are you going to be spending your hard-earned cash this season (main houses, small companies, French theatres, etc.) and why? Discuss.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Theatre For Thought, September 10, 2011

In which I continue to reminisce about my days in theatre school….
joel fishbane

My acting teacher’s name was Ron and he passed on a lot of practical information, most of which I was still use. A typical class involved a student performing a monologue and Ron pointing out all the ways he could make it better. That was how it was: you were never “wrong”, but you were always in need of improvement. But though I admired Ron, I would be lying if I said we got along. We did not. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Friday Five, September 9, 2011

Five Unconventional Characters that should make it to Broadway
Most Broadway shows these days are adapted from movies and TV shows. Even Pee-wee Herman has his own Broadway show (a kids’ show host, inextricably linked to taking his penis and balls out in public). If he can make it to the Great White Way, then there’s plenty of room up there for these unconventional fun-loving characters. 
By Matt G of Matt and Kyle and Matt

CharPo's Real Theatre!, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Processed Theatre spells success with Bee musical 
A spelling champion manqué contemplates the glories of Putnam County
by Sarah Deshaies

I’m a spelling bee champion manqué. Always an overachieving know-it-all in elementary and high school English, I now copy edit my campus newspaper, own my own special edition of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and follow the AP Stylebook on Twitter. Sad to say, I narrowly avoided the advent of the Canspell competition. 

CharPo's Picture of the Week, September 8, 2011

The terrific graphic designed by Julian Stamboulieh for Art Goes on Vacation from Astra Theatre

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First-Person: Don Anderson on the situation at Hudson Village Theatre

First-Person: The Situation at Hudson Village Theatre
It May Take a Village
by Don Anderson

[Editor's Note: We asked Don Anderson, as an actor who had performed at Village Theatre and as an active participant and very keen observer of the situation, to write a first person piece of the entire story. He very kindly agreed to do so.]

The Decision:
Three weeks ago, Andrew Johnston, the Artistic Director of the 148 seat Hudson Village Theatre, was summoned to an executive meeting of the Board of Directors of the theatre. In a radio interview Johnston, who’s been AD for almost 8 years, later described being asked by the President of the Board, Clint Ward to come to a local golf club to discuss “the current financial crisis at the theatre and a possible solution”. Immediately agreeing to the meeting, albeit with three hours notice, Johnston asked Ward what was to be discussed in order to prepare any necessary figures, proposals or plans. He was told to simply show up.

EVENT: Celebration: Broadway!

Beyond the Fourth Wall, September 7, 2011

Literature is great but does anything beat comics?
Lecture – Art Spiegelman - Sept 24 – 4pm  
Concordia Hall Building

Fall Season Begins…
by Estelle Rosen