Monday, September 24, 2012

Openings we're Tracking This Week, September 24-30

Gina Chiarelli in Master Class (photo credit: David Cooper)

Here we go...the season. And what better symbol of the great land we live in than Centaur Theatre's production of August, An Afternoon in The Country. The playwright is the quite brilliant GG-winning Jean-Marc Dalpé, a franco-Ontarian who wrote the piece in French. The work, moreover, is being done at an English-language company in the heart of the New Quebec - Montreal. The cast features two great ones: Chip Chuipka and Clare Coulter. Moreover, the story surrounds that quintessential Canadian thing: a family...and its closet-full of skeletons. 

Well, it was halfway to a musical already, wasn't it, when it was a Whoopi Goldberg vehicle. But the actual musical - Sister Act - will remind you why it's a also a big pile o' entertainment. (Toronto)

Terrence McNally has written many, many haunting plays, even another one with opera as part of the story (The Lisbon Traviata), but we cannot overstate the magnificence of Master Class - a play about Maria Callas. If you do not know La Callas, please Google and YouTube her. She was not only a figure who reigned over the world of opera but also did epic (and quite public) love-battle with Jackie O for the one man she had adored. In the play we see Callas in her waining years. Her voice has gone, but she has been invited to give a Master Class to young students who are seduced and terrified by her at the same time (much like the audience is, all things being equal). This is a real night of capital-T Theatre. (Vancouver)

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