SummerWorks reviews!

Published on: August 11, 2011

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These are tardy! Sorry! Only 4 days left in the SummerWorks festival so if you haven’t been, you’re missing out. Go! Today. Or tomorrow.
The vibe is so special in the audience that it is really something to be experienced. www.summerworks.ca

THIRD FLOOR
Written by Jason Hall; Directed by Ashlie Corcoran; Starring: Kristian Bruun & Kaitlyn Riordan
Let’s be honest; I know most of the people involved in this production. This might lead me to be biased in my opinion of the show, but since I’m pretty judgemental in all facets of life, I think I’m pretty good at being at least more objective (or unnecessarily critical) than most.
Have you ever seen a show by friends or acquaintances? It’s terrifying. If you don’t like it, it’s basically the most awkward thing ever. You don’t want to lie to anyone, but you HAVE to say something positive about the show or risk your friendship. Fortunately, my fear of false post-show compliments was eradicated in the first 10 minutes of the show. I loved it.  I’d read  an earlier draft of the script and was totally taken with it, but Kristian Bruun and Kaitlyn Riordan. (as any good actors would), brought life into the words that I hadn’t foreseen and I laughed and cringed (the intended emotional result) at new moments. Best parts: Jung Hye Kim.’s set design; a fab mix of abstract design and functional set-pieces – and it was pretty to look at. The Direction (Ashlie Corcoran) and Writing (Jason Hall); just when you think you’ve gott he story figured out, you don’t. Getting wacked over the head with a plot twist you didn’t see coming, is the BEST in theatre.
Highly recommend the show. HIGHLY. And that’s a judgemental, objective viewpoint I swear.
I had a gaggle of non-theatre friends who went to see it and they RAVED about if over dinner and drinks for the rest of the night. That is my idea of progress. Love it!     www.knowyourneighbour.ca
THIRD FLOOR is on at the Lower Ossington Theatre, Thurs. Aug. 11 @7pm; Sat, Aug. 13 @7pm;
Sun, Aug. 14 @2pm

YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME
Director: Michael Wheeler; Written & Performed by Tommy Taylor (based on his facebook note of his G20 arrest)
I don’t know about you, but I’m OVER hearing about the G20. Totally over it. So I was wary about going to see this show; I didn’t think I could hear anything about the G20 that I hadn’t already heard, nor did I want to hear more about it.
I was wrong. Tommy Taylor had an instantly charming nature that disarmed by cynicism. He seemed so darn swell.  When I listened to his tales of arrest and police brutality, I was in shock that this could have happened in our city, and in awe that he survived it so well. I was also wrong because although  I had heard a lot about the G20, I hadn’t heard a story of a person falsely arrested and imprisoned during it and I needed to hear the inhumanity of it. Everyone needs to hear the injustice of it. It’s important.  Although we like to think we’re among the most “civilized” countries in the world, we’re still a very fine line away from living out “Lord of the Flies” and YOU SHOULD HAVED STAYED HOME proves that.
Side note: The more I learn about Praxis Theatre, the more impressed I am. They make a concerted effort to push the boundaries of a theatre experience, and modernize it in innovative and unique  ways. ie. upon entry to the show, audience members all got pink wrist bands like those arrested in the G20 did –  this is a small but very cool element to enhance audience experience and bring them closer to the subject matter. I also sat in the designated “tweet-seats” so I could tweet my experience during the show.  Praxis was very open that this tweeting was an experiment and that feedback was   welcome; they had no idea if live-tweeting during a performance would work but they’re not afraid to try it and have it fail. Perhaps this is the secret to their success.
YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME is on at The Theatre Centre Fri, Aug. 12 @12pm (midnight);
Sat, Aug. 13 @10pm

LITTLE ONE
Written by Hannah Moscovitch; Directed by Natasha Mytnowych, Cast: Michelle Monteith & Joe Cobden
Have you ever been in those haunted houses where it’s completely dark and you have to navigate yourself by following a red laser-dot through the rooms? You don’t know where you’re going, or how you’re going to get out but you DO know that there are people who are going to jump out and scare you along the way, except you have no idea when or how, so you’re excited, but stressed the entire time?
That was like watching LITTLE ONE.
The show starts and BLAMMO, you’re in the middle of a shitstorm of emotions, psychological issues and great performances. Michelle Monteith and Joe Cobden played off of each other flawlessly and I hung on every word they said. Some of the directional choices I didn’t fully understand, but that didn’t take away from one of the tightest, seamlessly produced pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a long time. There is A LOT going on in LITTLE ONE, and it’s all done in 50 minutes.
I knew very little about this show going in and that added to my excitement in watching it. I won’t divulge much but will tell you it’s a dark, DARK comedy with highly dramatic moments and you will never know what to expect next. Awesome.
LITTLE ONE is on at Theatre Passe Muraille Thurs, Aug. 11 @10:30pm; Sat, Aug 13 @8pm;
Sun, Aug. 14 @3pm

EURYDICE
Written by Sarah Ruhl, Directed by: Kristina Nicoll,Starring: Caitlin Driscoll, Justin Rutledge, Jesse Aaron. EURYDICE is about music, and the power of love…I think. Those are just guesses because most of the time I was watching it thinking, “What the hell is going on?!”
God bless the talents of Caitlin Driscoll who plays the title role. I was utterly charmed by her innocence. The show has loads of great elements – the ‘chorus of stone’ is very funny…until it isn’t anymore. Jesse Aaron, who plays the lord of the underworld, has great physicality and I have the utmost respect for him making the most of his OTT (over-the-top) dialogue, but the show-stopper was the solo by musician Justin Rutledge who plays Orpheus. I didn’t love Orpheus’ character, nor really understood much about him, but as soon as J.R. opened his mouth and sang, I didn’t care about anything other than what I was hearing and I didn’t want it to end. It was peaceful and haunting and just so beautiful   Overall the show had several elements of greatness and if they were brought together to clarify the narrative and tighten the storyline, it would have made for a much stronger show. But the music was fantastic, and I guess if the director, like Orpheus, wanted to demonstrate the power of music, it was a job well done.
EURYDICE is on at the Theatre Passe Muraille Fri, Aug. 12 @3pm; Sat, Aug. 13 @5:30pm

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