Monday, February 18, 2013

Openings We're Tracking This Week, February 18-24

My Funny Valentine

A celebrated production, And Slowly Beauty..., is coming to the big city this week. What can we say about it? How about we let our Ottawa Editor-in-Chief Jim Murchison talk about the production: "Maureen Labonté’s translation of Michel Nadeau’s beautiful piece breathes with vital characters. It weaves the lives of real people with the characters in Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters skillfully. It is respectful to Chekhov without stooping to idol worshipping. This play grabs you equally by your heart and your funny bone and pulls you in for a deep, satisfying kiss. If it’s your first play it is probably the beginning of a long love affair." We don't think we need to add anything, now, do we? (Toronto)

The 39 Steps is Hitchcock, yes, but also an uber-exercise in timing, quick-change! The play has been a huge hit wherever it's been as it delights spectators with a great story and the delicious spectacle of four actors playing 150 characters. The tension is real - audiences are at the edge of their seats as, most likely, is the director. (Here's some trivia: the French-Canadian production was produced by Oscar-winning producer Denise Robert and playwright Steve Galluccio.) (BC - on tour)

My Funny Valentine is not a happy night at the theatre but it is, sadly, still, a necessary one. It starts with a true story - a teenage boy who asks another boy to be his Valentine and who, the next day, is shot twice in the head by the object of his affections. The play, however, only starts there and playwright Dave Deveau uses the event to explore the life around the tragedy and, in a feat of meta-theatre, turns the focus on journalists, himself and even the audience as we must all face how our grief at such stories is, in effect, a kind of grisly delight over them. (Vancouver)

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