Lucas Chartier-Dessert, Karine Kerr in Closer (photo, cropped, by Joseph Ste. Marie)Patrick Marber's Closer is catnip for young companies. In the short life of this website, we have covered a production in Montreal, another in Toronto, there was one in Vancouver last Fall, and now we're back in Montreal with a company appropriately called Raw Productions. Because that is the draw of Closer - it is raw emotional brutality as two couples break apart, come together, and turn dalliance into a blood sport. As Andrew Zadel said of his production, "Closer is a breakneck, blood-and-guts kind of drama: the setup takes only minutes and for the next two hours things fall apart and back together again in many savage ways." (Montreal)
A little more misanthropy is on display in Other People's Money. Here we explore the world of those scummy bastards who buy up companies to resell for parts - the kind who don't give a flying flick for jobs lost, towns devastated and lives ruined simply because there's more money in failure. But what happens when heart gets in the way? This fast-paced gem is - wait for it - a dark romantic comedy. Better: the terrific Ashley Wright plays Lawrence (The Liquidator) Garfield. (Winnipeg)
Yes, it's the Depression, and yes the hoofers are hungry, but besides that there is not a schmick of misanthropy in the gloriously fun 42nd Street. You know the story and if you don't it's where "go-out-nobody-come-back-a-star" comes from. Some people will tell you the current version of an old Ruby Keeler film is only famous because its director Gower Champion died on opening night (making worldwide headlines) but they're cynics. What makes this a blast is tap-dancing, chorines, and songs that will linger in the American Songbook forever: "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me", "We're In the Money", "Lullaby of Broadway" and, of course, the title song. Go! (Brockville, Ontario)
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