Monday, March 11, 2013

Openings We're Tracking This Week, March 11-17, 2013

If you were living in a cave or away from all media for the last two or so decades you may not know that Two Pianos, Four Hands is a Canadian cultural phenomenon that has even blossomed beyond our shores. In simplest terms, it is about the love of music. In broader ones, it is about childhood, how people and moments mark us forever, and about how we all have a soundtrack to our lives. The creators of the show, the magnificent Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, are performing their baby again and if you have not seen this work live, thrill yourself. (Vancouver)

God of Carnage has been performed all across the country to riotous acclaim. Is it because it's funny? Absotively! Is it because it is a magnificent showcase for truly great actors? Of course! Is it because the script is a rollercoaster ride of brutal emotions? Indeed! But we suspect it is also because hidden in the explosive 90 minutes are some universal truths about how we communicate with each other and with our children. Two sets of parents meet to discuss the behaviour of their kids. Civility dies. (Calgary)

First there is the title: Ching Chong Chinaman. Yup, fu-GEN Theatre, an Asian-Canadian company, is going to talk stereotypes by presenting a family that is an archetype for immigrant assimilation. (One of them has dreams of being a World of Warcraft champion, fercrissakes!) But the Wongs also break away from the cliché in one awful way - the kids aren't the brightest stars in the academic firmament. The solution, in Lauren Yee's play, is as surprising as it is outlandish...will it work? (Toronto) (Read also actor John Ng's first-person piece about preparing for the opening.)

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