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.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, November 30, 2011

Directed by René Richard Cyr, we are plunged into an unrecognizable reality.
To Dec. 3
Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui (photo credit: Valérie Remise)

Theatre…en français
by Estelle Rosen

Can one fall in love at any age?
Pourquoi Pas? By Norm Foster
Dec. 14-Feb. 4
Compagnie Jean-Duceppe

Audience is main character in Chinese Theatre Party
Dec. 20-23
Espace Libre

Playwright Gaétan Nadeau presents his adaptation of squatting experience in Rome in 2008
Jan. 5-15
Co-pro with NAC Théâtre français
Théâtre Prospero 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

After Dark, November 29, 2011

Come Blow Your Horn
CharPo celebrates
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of The Charlebois Post. Last November 30, I responded to a personal attack by a theatre journalist on colleagues of mine (who were doing volunteer work for the theatre community) by filling a void I felt existed in Montreal theatre coverage.

Monday, November 28, 2011

EVENT: Robinson Crusoe - the Truth

EVENT: Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal Annual Holiday Party and Fundraising Raffle

EVENT: Improspection

The Upstage Interview: Pierre Yves Lemieux (ANA)

l-r Magalie Lepin Blondeau and Dominque Leduc 
(photo: Tristan Brand)

ANA is a bilingual show but everyone will understand.
Upstage Contributor Stephanie Breton spoke wiith  playwright Pierre Yves Lemieux about Scottish-Quebec co-production ANA.  Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo editor-in-chief.

How’s the ANA voyage?

We found an easy way to start the voyage. At the beginning of the process, ANA splits. When she splits, she doesn’t double herself into the same person. She becomes someone totally different. She has a new body, a new language, a new country. In that way each of us were able to  write a lot of different scenes, then combine them afterwards.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Sunday Read: Witchcraft

Responding to Witchcraft
by Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux
Co-director of the Concordia Theatre Department’s Witchcraft and Principal Investigator/Artistic Director of “Hypertext and Performance: A Resonant Response to Joanna Baillie’s Witchcraft” (2009-12). 
(Photos/video stills credit: Nika Khanjani, directed by Louis Patrick Leroux and Cristina Iovita.)

First, there was the call. The Invitation: “We’ve been told that you’re a dynamic research-creation fellow who gets things done.”
-Yes, I guess, but I’m really taken with other projects right now.
- Might you be interested in staging an obscure romantic play by a neglected Scottish playwright who was once considered her era’s Shakespeare. 
- No. 
- You could film the scenes and integrate them onto our hypertext website, for study. 
- No. Really. Filmed theatre never works. 
- You could figure out what works. We want to see it staged, we want to engage with it as a performance object. 
- Well, I don’t know, maybe. Is it any good?
- Closet drama. A bit difficult. Scottish dialect. Great parts for women actors. A bit of everything: it’s called a tragedy but it’s really a melodrama with funny parts…

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Theatre For Thought, November 26, 2011

Ana (photo: Tristan Brand)

It would be ideal if more companies reallocated their funds to allow for a greater integration of design and narrative.
joel fishbane

It’s November’s end and in Montreal that means there’s one last gasp from the theatre world before we all shut down for the holidays. It’s shaping up to be quite the gasp with offerings from Porte Parole, Sidemart Theatrical Grocery and Centaur’s annual Urban Tales. Then there’s Imago Theatre’s latest offering, the eclectic Ana, a bilingual co-production written by Clare Duffy and Pierre Yves Lemiuex. Most of these shows have more in common than the fact they’re opening during November’s final days: many are a manifestation of theatre’s collaborative nature, a terrific example of the truth that theatre is always created in a crowded room.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Blog: The MAP Project - 2011 (Part IV)

The Impression Question 
by Amy Kitz
Step into my time machine folks. I would like to invite you back to a moment many Sunday nights ago, back when it was sunny at 8pm and backyard barbeques were still a dinner option. Welcome to Sunday, Sept 4th, 2011.

Review: Four Minutes If You Bleed

l-r Alex Haber, K.C. Combs, Paula Costain, Amelia Sargisson, Paula Jean Hixson
(Photo credit: Daniel Francis Haber)

Four Minutes If You Bleed, or…
Puck without the Shakespeare
By Byron Toben 

This laugh-a-minute seasonal play is tailored for a Montreal audience. Christmas and hockey sounds like a can't miss proposition. And the delivery of the product, by local playwrights Ned Cox and Alexandria Haber is great fun to watch.

The Friday Five, November 25, 2011

Top Five Ways To Promote Your Play
Let's face it, theatre can't compete with videos of cats on the Internet. A thirty second clip of a cat falling asleep has ten million views, and the last theatre show I was in struggled to fill a house of one hundred. Perhaps the problem lies in promotion. Most theatre shows with a small to medium sized budget will do little in the way of advertising, since most of their funds will be spent paying the cast and crew, then burning what remains in a holy effigy to the God of theatre, Ed Mirvish. But fear not! I've compiled a list of five ways to advertise your theatre show without breaking the bank. 
by Kyle Gatehouse of Matt and Kyle and Matt

CharPo's Real Theatre!, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review: It's Not You It's Me (An Improvised Tragedy)

Kirsten Rasmussen, Dan Jeannotte

An improv nub gets a lesson and is utterly fascinated
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
Except for the two and a half hellish years I studied it in acting school, I like improv. It is theatre on a tightrope. When it's good it's acting with brains. (And you know it—quickly—when there are no brains involved in an improv.) Ask any actor and if he or she answers honestly, they will tell you it is the most difficult thing in the world to do properly. I do not always understand the ground-rules of improv, these days, but the bottom line is still this, with any improv show: are you being delighted?

BREAKING NEWS: Montreal English Critics Announce Finalists

Best actor finalist, Theodore Bikel (r)
(in Lies My Father Told Me, also a finalist for
best costumes, best lighting, best ensemble)
(photo: Andrée Lanthier)

Review: ANA

Six Annas in search of their mother
By Byron Toben

After the world premiere opening of the wonderful, thought-provoking play ANA at Espace Go, I wisecracked that it should be subtitled Six Annas in Search of their Mother.

Later, reading director Serge Denoncourt's program notes, I was gratified to see that he also paraphrased Pirandello to describe the show. The co-authors, Clare Duffy of Scotland and Pierre Yves Lemieux of Montreal spent three years working up a script based on a concept by Clare Schapiro of Montreal
and Muriel Romanes of Scotland.

CharPo's Picture of The Week, November 24, 2011

(Robert d'Entremont, Marcos Santiago, Christien Jadah, Michael Mercer. second row: James Butlin and Parker Dorris.)
(photo credits: Nika Khanjani, directed by Louis Patrick
Leroux and Cristina Iovita) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Cornered

l-r Howard Rosenstein, Chrisopher Moore
(photo credit: Katie Leggitt)

Ringing It
A play about boxing not about boxing
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Cornered, by Jim Burke, is a conversation. Through this conversation we learn what we need to know about the two characters, the old hand Rex (played by Howard Rosenstein) and his sidekick Vinnie (Christopher Moore) - and about the place (a squalid neighbourhood boxing gym). We are meant to ebb and flow along with the gorgeously written dialogue, and tingle at the turns of phrase of the Mancounian (Manchester) accents. And played out over its 50 minutes, this might have emerged as a gem of a production.

EVENT: Robin Hood Redux: There Will Be Tights

EVENT: How We Went To Mars

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, November 23, 2011

Fantasy, puppets, humour, sensuous…
(Photo credit: Pupulus Mordicus)

Theatre…en français
by Estelle Rosen

In recognition of International Handicapped Persons Day, the 5th edition of 
Cabaret Accès-Cible will take place Nov. 30 at Lion d’Or

Celebrate xmas on the street – Mt-Royal – to be specific Concerts, chocolate scupture,  puppet show Le Voyage
December 3-31

Participate in a video installation
To Nov. 27
La Place Émilie-Gamelin

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First-Person: Adam Capriolo-Morris on Playing Shylock

(l-r) Anton Golikov and Adam Capriolo-Morris

How I will Interpret the Role of Shylock
A character outline
by Adam Capriolo-Morris
When I was cast as Shylock, I had to decide how to portray him. This role has caused controversy for centuries; depending on how he is portrayed, the tone of the play can change drastically. If he is played as a villainous Jew, the play appears clearly anti-Semitic; the audience feels sympathy for Antonio, the merchant who was threatened by Shylock, and ignores the fact that Antonio had bullied and abused him. 

After Dark, November 22, 2011

Better Mad Than Sad
Sometimes you just need to go on a tear
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

My doctor told me once, "It's better to get mad than sad." He saw that I was going into a darkness when, instead, I should be telling people what was on my mind, or breaking things, or just screaming from time to time. I was amazed by the advice because - since forever - I have not been guarded about my feelings. My writing used to suffer, from time to time, from stating exactly what was on my mind - it was because I believe one thing profoundly: people are too goddam polite.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Upstage Interview: Paul Van Dyck

Bumbling losers in their own way.

Upstage and Charlebois Post contributor Sarah Deshaies spoke wiith Paul Van Dyck, Director of Cornered. Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo editor-in-chief.

You always have lots of projects on the go. Your current presentation is Cornered, a dark comedy set in a gym. Give us a taste what Cornered is about. 

It’s an award winning script by Jim Burke, an ex-pat from England. He lives in Montreal now. He wrote this play about ten years ago and it did very well. Cornered won Best New Play award in Manchester. This is its Canadian premiere. 

It takes place in a boxing ring but it’s not about the boxers; it’s about the two guys who work the corners; basically they sponge the boxers down between fights. It’s their story. Bumbling losers in their own way.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ford's Focus: Alexandria Haber

Prolific Parent 
by Barbara Ford

Since coming back from summer hiatus, I am fully aware that this is the fourth female theatre profile I’ve written for CharPo but before the opposite sex congregates to raise a unified fist declaring unfair sisterhood bias, take a moment to ask yourself if it’s really fair to hold me responsible for a city overflowing with kick-ass women in theatre! 
Goulem and Haber and Repercussion
Theatre cast

Alexandria Haber started out wanting to act. She enrolled in Concordia’s theatre program and graduated in 1990. One of her first gigs after graduation was with Repercussion’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park which, that year was presenting Macbeth and A Comedy of Errors. While performing on the outdoor stages of a string of Montreal parks, she fell for fellow thespian, Al Goulem. 
Haber and Goulem had two children in quick succession, which kept Haber fairly housebound and in need of an artistic outlet. While pregnant with her second, she started to write. Her first written offspring was a one-woman play called Birthmarks. In 1995, it was chosen in the Montreal Fringe Lottery but the actress who was going to play the part wasn’t able to, so Haber had to step in. Two years later the play was remounted in the Fall for Theatre 1774’s (now Infinithéâtre) November to Remember festival.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Theatre For Thought, November 19, 2011

I believe that corruption is a systemic problem all over the globe today
joel fishbane

One of my favourite Montreal theatre companies is at it again and it’s not a moment too soon. Hot on the heels of the latest scandals regarding Quebec’s construction industry comes a remount of “Sexy Beton”, Porte Parole’s scathing expose of the shameful behind-the-scenes shenanigans that followed the collapse of the Concorde overpass in Laval. The play will tour Quebec until mid-December and the timing couldn’t be better: just as Jean Charest prepares to launch an investigation, playwright Annabel Soutar is already out there showing him how it’s done. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: The Poster

Jade Hassouné in The Poster
(photo: ADARNA Photography)

The Dangerous Subject of Palestine
No matter what you say...someone will be pissed off
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Like abortion or capital punishment, Middle-East politics, specifically those surrounding Palestine, is a subject you do not discuss lightly. Simply, there are tempers ready to explode on both sides of the issue and a playwright needs to wade into these waters eyes-open, aware of the mines everywhere.

Review: Stori Ya

Warona Setshwaelo (Photo: Jaclyn Turner)

Delightful Nuance
Warona Setshwaelo fills the solo leading BTW's season
by Chris Lane

Stori Ya is a one-woman show, written by Joan M. Kivanda and directed by Millie Tresierra, that is currently being presented at MAI theatre by Black Theatre Workshop. Warona Setshwaelo stars as Maria Msondo, an East African woman whose house in Canada is being repossessed. Setshwaelo spends the play transitioning between her principal character of Maria and a collection of other characters who have helped shape Maria, for better or for worse.

The Friday Five, November 18, 2011

by Matt Raudsepp of Matt and Kyle and Matt

Eloise Tree enters her modest apartment and collapses onto her couch, face first.
Eloise: (muffled) hmmpf mm hmm ab tull!
Eloise spins around and falls into Dr. Gully-Veneer's chest.
Eloise: (muffled) grambbmmm hmmpf yub refwoo!

CharPo's Real Theatre!, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: The Merchant of Venice

(Photo credit: E. Julee)

Still Relevant
Dawson explores the dangerous waters of ...Venice
By Byron Toben

First off, congrats to director Jude Beny who had to take over The Merchant of Venice late in the game from 87 year old  Dawson icon Victor Knight. The snazzy production kept Shakespeare's classic moving right along. 

CharPo's Picture of The Week, November 17, 2011

Johanna Nutter in Mon frère est enceinte
(playing Fridays as My Pregnant Brother)
Photo: Susan Moss

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beyond Our Fourth Wall, November 16, 2011

Annual storytelling including playwright Michel Marc Bouchard
Nov. 29 – Dec.17
Grande Licorne (Image: Stéphane Poulin)

Theatre…en français
by Estelle Rosen

Nov. 20 
The Emperor's foolishness
Opera/Theatre Voxpopuli
Théatre de la ville Longueuil

Man depends on self-image which forms in the souls of others, even if it's the soul of a cretin. Witold Gombrowicz
Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
Théatre Prospero

Annual review  edited by Daniel Langlois
Nov. 29 –
Théatre du Rideau Vert

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

After Dark, November 15, 2011

So...we have to be poor?
A recent music controversy points to problems for us all
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

The band Karkwa is terrific. They're fresh, they're brash and they don't need to prove anything to me.

But last week they learned they had something to prove to their fans: their status as cool and indie. Karwa liscensed a song to Coke and Twitter, Facebook and their web page exploded with rage. They were sell-outs, donchaknow.

If I know anything about mid-range Canadian bands (actors, dancers, singers) is that they are not lighting Cuban cigars with rolled up twenties. They tour hard, they promote hard and they work their asses off to get their music onto a disc or over to iTunes. That Karkwa liscensed a song to a megacompany and made some cha-ching perturbs me not in the least. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

EVENT: It's Not You, It's Me (An Improvised Tragedy)

EVENT: Paradise Lost (December 10)

The Upstage Interview: Rahul Varma

Jade Hassouné in The Poster
(photo: ADARNA Photography)

The Sharing of Wisdom
Upstage Contributor Stephanie Breton spoke with Rahul Varma, Artistic Director of Teesri Duniya Theatre about their production The Poster.   Below is an abridged version edited by Estelle Rosen, CharPo editor-in-chief.

Tell us how you discovered this play. It’s a very intense subject.

Teesri Duniya has a history of presenting intense plays. That’s what we’re known for. This play was first produced as L’Affiche. Paul Lefebvre introduced me to the playwright Philippe Ducros and encouraged me to speak with him on the basis of the very strong political value of the play.  

I met wiith Philippe several times. The passion that he demonstrated when we spoke convinced me  there’s something he has to say which should be shared with the community. So I got the rights to get the play translated to English and decided to produce it.