Monday, July 1, 2013

Openings We're Tracking This Week July 1-6, 2013

Jem Rolls

When one of our greatest novelists, Timothy Finley, took one of his occasional forays into theatre people paid attention. But when he wrote his seminal Elizabeth Rex, he inscribed his name in the volume of great Canuck playwrights forever. It is a surprising work about Elizabeth I appearing suddenly in the lives of commoners (actors) and demanding entertainment - distraction from the woes of her life (including the imminent beheading of the man she loved and who betrayed her). What follows is an evening of theatrical magic, with passion, AIDS metaphors, and identity woven into the mix. (Vancouver)

Jem Rolls is one of the world's great performance poets and we are very lucky that he dives into the Canadian Fringe circuit each year. Reactions to his relentless, flood of words have had widely varied reactions over the years, but please accept the word of a wide variety of CharPo reviewers who have become his staunchest fans: his performances are feats of strength for both artist and audience. Prep for his journey in Canada by having a look at a set of poems he allowed us to publish  ...then sit back and enjoy. (Toronto)

Taming of the Shrew is one of those plays that goes tick-tick-tick...BOOM!! F'r'instance check out the two-dozen comments on this review we did of a Montreal production of the play last year.  However, a subsequent production in Ottawa went under the radar largely, we think, because of the all-male cast.  The bottom line: Shrew has become a play where anything can happen - from a toxic reaction to utter delight. Father wants to get rid of bitch-on-wheels daughter, offers a dowry, a rascal accepts the offer and the "taming" begins. It will be interesting, also, to see what this slice-down to 90 minutes will do to the controversy. (Toronto)

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