As of January 7, 2013, this website will serve as an archive site only. For news, reviews and a connection with audience and creators of theatre all over the country, please go to The Charlebois Post - Canada.

Search This Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

CharPo's Picture of The Year, 2011



Jacklyn Turner's beautifully lit theatre photo which tells a story all by itself.
The Arrangement

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best Pictures of The Year - Part IV

We will be publishing the best picture of the year December 29; until then...



A very simple but effective photo from Mary's Wedding
from Persephone Production
(the colour vs. b&w effect can be created with
at least one easy-to-use app: ColorSplash)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Pictures of The Year - Part III

We will be publishing the Picture of the Year December 29; until then...



The cast of Book Club(photo credit: Darren Ell)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Best Pictures of the Year - Part II

Best Picture of the Year will be published December 29...until then:




Joanne Sarazen from MainLine's Sexy Dirty Bloody Scary!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Theatre For Thought, December 24, 2011

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
joel fishbane

The Best-Of list is a rite of passage for the weekly columnist and, like most rites of passage, it can be both annoying and instructive. What can really be accomplished by trying to remember some show you saw in February? On the other hand, if you do remember a show you saw in February, that definitely says something about the show. 
Still art is a subjective thing. Saying something is “the best” is a pretty definitive thing to say about something that, at the end of the day, still comes down to a matter of taste. 

With this in mind, I’m not calling this a “Best Of” list. Think of it as my equivalent to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens: in other words, these are simply a few of my favourite things.

Best Pictures of the Year - Part I

The Best Picture of the Year Will Be Published December 29! Until then...



Christopher Moore in a rehearsal shot from Sala XVIII  from Canis Tempus at Theatre Ste-Catherine

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Friday Five, December 23, 2011

5 gift ideas for theatre-lovers
There’s something for everyone in this collection of theatre-related gift ideas…
by Matt G of Matt and Kyle and Matt 

1. Oedipus Rex, the Boardgame. 
Roll the dice and travel across the beautiful Grecian landscape, but don’t land on Tragic Flaw or you start right back at the beginning. Be the first to have sex with your mom and kill your dad. Fun for the whole family!

Charpo's Real Theatre, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Album: Bugs Burnett goes to the MECCAs (All photos by Richard Burnett.)


Ranee Lee (nom, best female actor) arriving at the party

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, December 21, 2011

(photo credit: Yan Turcotte)
Multi-installation piece examining desire to live or die. 
Jan. 17-21
Théâtre La Chapelle


Theatre…en français
Continuing our look at January productions.
by Estelle Rosen

Young man tries to adapt to returning to Quebec after spending 6 months in a studio in Rome.
Jan 5-15
Théâtre Prospero

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

News: MECCAs Party

The entertainers: Matt and Kyle and Matt
(l-r or r-l)

Greeks and Geeks
by Sarah Deshaies

While Medea may have tragically lost it all - her husband, her children, her sanity - Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre’s production of the Euripidean hit at The Centaur picked up a pair of accolades at Monday’s MECCA ceremony, snagging the Best Production award. 

France Rolland, who humbly declined to go on stage for the acceptance of the Production award, was anointed Best Actress for her fiery portrayal of Medea earlier in the evening, saying of her alter ago, “I loved every second I spent on stage with her.” Rolland triumphed over Ranee Lee in Black Theatre Workshop’s A Raisin in the Sun, and Michaela di Cesare in 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived.
Theatre Ste-Catherine was nicely packed from wall to exposed brick wall for the 14th edition of Montreal English Critics Circle Award, recognizing the best in English theatre in Montreal for the 2010-2011 season. 



After Dark, December 20, 2011

RAW Theatre
Two experiments were my most thrilling theatre events of the year
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Nearly two decades ago, when Steve Galluccio was just at the beginning of his illustrious career, he was the star of the Montreal Fringe scene and I coined a term for the kind of theatre he did: Gonzo. I was removing the word from its Hunter S. Thompson journalism context and back to its original meaning of "crazy and eccentric". It was a term whose time had come: it described the wild, funny and highly theatrical works of the various Fringe festivals and can even be used for the works of Charles Busch (Vampire Lesbians of Sodom) or even Charles Ludlam (The Mystery of Irma Vep). The word stuck to my career and Galluccio's and I'm a little proud of it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

News: MECCAs Awarded

MECCA WINNERS
2010-2011 Season

The presentation of the 2010-2011 MECCAs (Montreal English Critics Circle Awards) took place Monday December 19, 2011 at Theatre Ste-Catherine in Montreal.

Hosts/Presenters, Matt (Raudsepp)  and  Kyle (Gatehouse) and Matt (Gagnon) presented awards for
 8 categories. Previous Revelation Award winner Paul Van Dyck presented the Revelation Award. Last year's winner for Best Production Andrew Shaver presented the Best Production Award.

WildSide Coverage

The Upstage Interview: Alex McCooeye on The Pit and The Pendulum
Friday Five, Wildside Edition
Picture of the Week, January 5, 2012 (Wildside edition)
Video: Publisher's Suggestions
First-person: Kirsten Rasmussen on blink blink blink
Interview: Manon Beaudoin on Queen of Hearts
Video: Teaching Hamlet
********
Reviews:
blink blink blink
Bliss
Bifurcate Me
Countries Shaped Like Stars
Dick Powell's In The Mood For Jazz
Pit and the Pendulum
Queen of Hearts
Teaching Hamlet
A Thousand Paper Cranes

The Upstage Interview: Manon Beaudoin on Queen of Hearts (WildSide)


Patient Doctor Nurse Patient...
Upstage and Charlebois Post contributor Sarah Deshaies spoke with playwright Manon Beaudoin about Queen of Hearts presented as part of WildSide Festival. Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo editor-in-chief.


UPSTAGE
One of the darker stories in this year’s Festival Is Queen of Hearts. Tell us about this story.

BEAUDOIN
The evacuation of a town in Lebanon during the 2005 bombing was reported in The Globe & Mail. That story became the basis for this play. For some reason, a psychiatric hospital wasn’t evacuated, leaving the mental patients on their own. A few nurses stayed behind to take care of them.

A week later when people returned, they didn’t know who was insane and who wasn’t because the nurses were stealing medication from the patients to deal with their exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration. I use that as a trampoline for my story. 

One of the nurses is trapped in a room for seven days with a patient who thinks she’s a doctor and tries to cure the nurse. The two women stranded together create a friendship at the same time. 

At the start of the play, the nurse gets stabbed with a fork to the heart.  A fork flew into  my heart, she says. As the nurse weakens, everything she says is surreal.

Dealing with the fine line between sane and insane, it’s a fragile and beautiful story with a tinge of dark comedy. We’ve presented this play in Toronto; audience responded well; they found it a touching play.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Sunday Read: Kirsten Rasmussen on Blink Blink Blink (WildSide)


Blink Blink Blink.
My initial idea was to have a motivational speaker commit suicide on stage during her speech...hard to sell as a comedy.
by Kirsten Rasmussen

I had been for a while musing over a show about a self-help guru. I have admittedly in my life time read a few of those self help, guide to success sort of books. Blegh!  That’s what I feel about them now, blegh! Because at one point or another I realized that I had squandered a pretty penny and a lot of time reading these books. And had they really helped me? I don’t think so!  I mean, I could have been bettering my mind, reading deep into the sordid history of Canada, and instead I had wasted all this time reading about how Eckhart Tolle found enlightenment by living on a park bench for a year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Theatre For Thought, December 17, 2011

GEORDIE VS. THE MECCAS
joel fishbane

My fellow columnist Richard Burnett already weighed in on the upcoming MECCA awards in Montreal and I’d be remiss if I didn’t do the same, mostly because while I agree there was a misfire in the nominations, I disagree with him on how. Richard’s misfire was the absence of The Lion King from the category of Best Visiting Production; but I simply can’t agree that Segal’s production of Lies My Father Told Me wouldn’t have been nearly as good without Theodore Bikel. Mr. Bikel essentially rehashed the same role he’s played two thousand times before – Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. He did it well, but then after two thousand times, that’s hardly a surprise. Why reward him for something he perfected years ago? 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Friday Five, December 16, 2011

Five Ways to be a Good Scene Partner
There are a lot of unwritten rules of theatre etiquette, especially when it comes to performing a two-hander. Here are five ways to ensure a solid and lasting relationship with your scene partner. 
by Kyle Gatehouse of Matt and Kyle and Matt

1. Learn Your Partner's Lines
This is useful so that you can silently mouth them in time with your partner as they deliver them. This way the audience is impressed that you know both your own lines and your partner's. Also, it makes you look like a big stupid who isn't paying attention to what their mouth is doing during the scene and it throws me off when I have to look at your idiot lips mouthing my lines, Mark.

CharPo's Real Theatre!, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Everything in The Garden

(photo credit: Maxime Coté)

How does Jenny’s Garden Grow? 
The Golden Age...that never existed
by Nanette Soucy

Richard is a man with an idea of manhood that dates from a golden-age that had become mythical, even by the 1960’s where his story takes place, and when Edward Albee adapted Everything in the Garden for an American audience.  A man has a good job, a nice life, a kept wife who keeps house and up with the Joneses. A real man commands respect from his wife, his son, his neighbours.  

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, December 14, 2011

Bertolt Brecht  & Kurt Weill
Jan 24 – Feb. 11
Usine C (photo: Angelo Barsetti)

Theatre…en français
We take you into the new year as we wrap up this one
by Estelle Rosen

To get away from summer heat, 3 couples leave the city to enjoy a night in the forest communing with nature. They get more than they expected.
Jan 17 – Feb. 11
Espace Go


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

News: QDF Winter Calendar Launch

Kirsten Rasmussen in blink, blink, blink

It Is The Very Model Of a Modern Major Winter Launch
By Byron Toben

Just as the Charlebois Post has become the “go to” blog for Montreal area English theatre (and in just one year!), so has the Quebec Drama Federation’s quarterly Theatre Calendar, become the indispensable handy printed guide to local theatre-goers. Started some years ago by former QDF head Elise Menard, it has blossomed under current director Jane Needles. In addition, she has instituted party-like launches where - shades of  Fringe for All - some companies in the forthcoming quarter can strut their stuff with
short excerpts.

After Dark, December 13, 2011

Opera Dei
It's not all that difficult to like
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

In an episode of the late great Malcolm in the Middle, Dewey, the ten year old, a musical genius, is bored and decides to channel surf. Suddenly he falls upon an opera and stops clicking and soon he is weeping with joy...or even ecstasy. The episode is a classic called Dewey's Opera and I understood it right into my guts. That's how it happens: you are swept up, you are astounded, you can't quite believe it - it is as if you are hearing it for the first time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Upstage Interview: Jennifer Tarver


Out on a Limb
Upstage and Charlebois Post contributor Sarah Deshaies spoke wiith co-Director Jennifer Tarver about  the National Theatre School production of Edward Albee’s Everything In the Garden. Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo editor-in-chief.

UPSTAGE
Before we talk about the play, I’m interested to know how co-directing with Susanna Hood came about.

TARVER
It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for the last few years since we’ve been working on each other’s projects. She’s more dance based. I work as a stage director in both theatre and opera.  

She has come on as a choreographer to projects I’ve been directing. In reverse, in her projects she’s created, I’ve come on as a directorial eye and dramaturgical input. We never had the opportunity to work on a piece together from scratch. 

When NTS asked me to do this play, I called Susanna to see if she’d like to co-direct this play with me.  Working with students gives a lot of freedom in terms of what you can do.  It’s possible to go out on a limb since students are generally receptive to  new approaches and new ideas. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Sunday Read: Interview with Emma Tibaldo


Heading Towards the big 5-0
Emma Tibaldo talks about Playwrights' Workshop Montreal
by David Sklar

CharPo Contributor David Sklar interviewed Emma Tibaldo, Artistic Director of Playwrights Workshop Montreal (PWM). She has worked with practically every Montreal theatre company and dozens of local and national playwrights including Ned Cox, Alexis Diamond, Alex Haber, Arthur Holden, Amanda Kellock, Johanna Nutter, Greg MacArthur, and David Sherman. PWM will be celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2013.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Theatre For Thought, December 10, 2011

YES, SHAKESPEARE: THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS
joel fishbane

Don’t tell my rabbi, but I have a particular fondness for the Christmas season – and yes, it is the Christmas season, no matter how many people say “Happy Holidays”. Christmas is the event that will define the next three weeks of your life; even if you choose to ignore it, you can’t escape the fact that you still have to choose to ignore it. It’s there and it’s not going away. Unless, that is, you’re in a theatre. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

News: Robert Lepage's Ring loses Levine

(GLC) Robert Lepage's much-anticipated Ring Cycle, set to open at the Metropolitan Opera in April, will be missing a vital element - the conducting of the Met's musical director, James Levine. Levine has removed himself from the rest of the Met season and into the next to tend to back problems which have plagued him for years.


Levine, one of the foremost interpreters of the Wagner opus, will be sorely missed. The replacement conductor for the April-May Ring Cycles will be Fabio Luisi. Luisi, who was head of the Staatskapelle Dresden, was named principal conductor at the Met in September 2011


Review: Urban Tales

The Danger of Chocolate
Centaur renews its annual Tales
by Sarah Deshaies

Watching Urban Tales is like taking a bite of sweet chocolate, and having your tongue taste a bitter cacao centre. Slightly shocked at first, you swirl the taste around, and let it slide down your throat, and ultimately, it warms your belly.

The Friday Five, December 9, 2011

FIVE GREAT THEATRE EXPERIENCES THAT WEREN’T THEATRE AT ALL
Inadvertent drama is happening all around us. The following are five “shows” I’ve suddenly found myself thrust into as a reluctant, yet eventually fascinated and riveted, audience member.
by Matt Raudsepp of Matt and Kyle and Matt

CharPo's Real Theatre!, December 9, 2011


Thursday, December 8, 2011

EVENT: MECCA Awards

Last Year's MECCA Party
Big winner Andrew Shaver (l) and Holly Gauthier-Frankel (photo: Liesl Barrell)


Review: Whiteman’s Whiskey Comedy Revue: One of Everything for the Boys



Where The Boys Are
A Festive revue just in time
by Chris Lane

Sidemart Theatrical Grocery’s latest version of their Whiteman’s Whiskey Comedy Revue, entitled One of Everything for the Boys, is simple, charming and wonderfully entertaining. It is a witty and clever piece of satirical theatre which is hard not to like. 

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


Kevin Fauquembergue's hilarious photo from John Abbott's 
production of the Eduardo de Filippo ensemble classic Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, December 7, 2011

Helen’s younger brother arrives during dinner covered in blood.
Orphelins (photo credit: Rolline Laporte)
Jan. 10-Feb. 18 La Licorne

Theatre…en français
by Estelle Rosen

Sasha, a young man trying to find his mother, who left when he was a child.
Jan. 10-Feb. 4
Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui

Based on author Agota  Kristof’s book about troubled Russian children who try to survive the after effects of a merciless war.
Jan. 12-20
Théâtre de Quat Sous

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

EVENT: QDF Winter Calendar Launch

After Dark, December 6, 2011

The Year That Was
The Five Stories of the Year
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

When the year comes to an end, arts writers like to make lists. Yes, part of it is laziness, but I assure you there was nothing easy about making this list of the five most important theatre stories of the year. For one thing, you know someone is going to chime in with THE story you missed seconds after the posting goes up (feel free in the comments section at the end of this article). For another, because of the huge hole in theatre coverage in this country (or all arts coverage, actually), regional stories which would have national importance if they were reported become invisible until their impact begins to crack the foundations of our national culture.

So, brace yourself. It's personal, it's national, it's global. And it's in no particular order...

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Upstage Interview: Sidemart Theatrical Grocery


How Stupid It Can Get
Upstage Contributor  Alison Louder  spoke wiith  SideMart Theatrical Grocery about Whiteman’s Whiskey Comedy Revue.  Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo editor-in-chief.

UPSTAGE
Tell us about Whiteman’s Whiskey Comedy Revue.

SIDEMART
The show is based on 1950s format of a lot of white performers being on TV such as Dean Martin and others. A satire on inherent racism and sexism that was prevalent in a lot of the old comedy that people took at face value.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Sunday Read: Big Plans



BIG PLANS AT THE FREESTANDING ROOM
A Theatrical Experiment
by Jeremy Taylor and Tanner Harvey
(photos courtesy of the company)

Every experiment needs a hypothesis. 

Ours went like this. If we open a show after only six days’ rehearsal, we’ll give our audience something more raw, more alive, and more exciting than what they’re used to seeing.

It’ll be anything but the safe, over-rehearsed presentations which have so become the norm in this biz.

That’s what our hypothesis said. And we looked at one other and weren’t convinced.

The hypothesis continued. If we rehearse during the days of the run, it hypothesized, then the show will evolve over the course of the week, making for a different show each night and a unique experience for each audience.

And so we thought about that.