Monday, June 18, 2012

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

Aaron Krohn as the king (photo: Andrew Eccles)

Let's start with this: the movie of Kiss Me, Kate stinks on ice. It is so dull and stagebound and the only time it comes alive is when Ann Miller goes mental (though Howard Keel is handsome and we melt when he sings). This is not at all like any stage version which jumps in your face and has all the fun of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, Damon Runyon-esque loan sharks and - what can be better? - Cole Porter music. ("Brush Up Your Shakespeare", anyone?) (Edmonton)

Shakespeare's history plays are not for everyone (but you only have to read one to be seduced). The most approachable - and probably the most performed - is Henry V. It's vast, it can be hilarious (yes: hilarious!), it's human and it is so gorgeous that it can literally bring tears to your eyes. O for a muse of fire...! Des McAnuff, the company's exiting artistic director, signs this one. (Stratford)

No one would class The Millionairess among Shaw's top crowd-pleasers (we suspect the big three are Pygmalion, Man and Superman and Major Barbara), but it is a fine work and bubbles - as all GBS's works do - with exceptional wit and a story that is simply a pretence for dialogue that will dance in your head for an awfully long time. (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

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