Monday, July 8, 2013

Openings We're Tracking This Week, July 8-14

Julie Tamiko-Manning, Alain Goulem in Midsummer

Shakespeare, Shakespeare everywhere even when you don't see it. Like Maid For a Musket, one of the offerings this year at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. How so? The work is a take on Love's Labour Lost, one of the loveliest in the canon. Writer Lucia Frangione and the company are going with the "loosely adapted" description, but there is no doubt the tale of oaths taken (and tossed aside), of couples and some of the crispest banter in theatre will shine through. (Prescott, Ontario)

First there was Come Blow Your Horn and then the hits just kept coming. Neil Simon makes jillions in royalties (even back in the 70s rumour had it he was pulling down $90K...a week). Why? Because his plays are audience-pleasers of the first order - light, airy and often insanely funny. One of his earliest works, 1966's Star-Spangled Girl, is this with its story of politics, love and the wonderfully silly/wise love-interest of the title. (Perth, Ontario)

And then there is that other archetypal summer play - a combination of silly and Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream. The number of productions of this play CharPo contributors have seen is without number (hell, some of us have even performed in it!). Stylistically, you can go any which way with this one: burlesque, dark, arch-Elizabethan (Stratford did it that way nearly four decades ago), and it's always interesting for spectators and reviewers in the know which way the production will wander. Montreal's Repercussion Theatre has trod this route many, many times before. The cast is first-rate local (Quincy Armorer and Julie Tamiko Manning among them) and  the company hits 25 this year - it should be a party! (Montreal)

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