I have had some fun theatrically recently and am so excited to tell you about it.
First off, Come fromAway: a musical I loved in its pre-Broadway run at the Royal Alex is now opening on Broadway. It is set during the aftermath of 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland and showcases the incredible hospitality and resilience of the spirited locals. If you are in New York, make sure you see it
Two weeks ago, I went to Halifax to see Kim’s Convenience at the Neptune Theatre. I always love an excuse to go to Nova Scotia and my friend Kat has long been this ground-breaking production’s stage manager. Though I had seen it before in Toronto ( with Ins Choi, the playwright, playing prodigal son, Jung), it was a fresh and exciting experience to see a few new cast members. This show, too, is headed to New York this summer ( huzzah for Canadian theatre on Broadway).
And, as always, Halifax was good for my writing chops. I wrote a ton while there….
We are so lucky to live in a time and age where theatre is broadcast on cinema screens. I absolutely salivated when I heard that the National Theatre was producing Amadeus, which remains one of my favourite plays of all time. And I was stoked to see it at a theatre a few weeks ago. It is a tale of madness and religion and obsession and art and the play has freer range to delve into all of these themes in a way that the (also excellent) film doesn’t. To add, they really amped up the use of Mozart’s music, with a mobile orchestra on stage. I liked it so much, I am pipe dreaming a trip to London when it plays again next winter….
As a musical theatre NUT, I have always wanted to see Cabaret –especially the definitive Roundhouse Production that plays on the popular Sam Mendes direction from the mid-90s. It is here for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stop at the Princess of Wales while on a national tour. I was blown away by the production and the hefty conceptualization of the show but also how chillingly and potently relevant it is to current political tenets. Honestly, this is why I love theatre: it says things in a big and broad and brash way with stop lights and pageantry. A magnificent production.
Last night, I was SO stoked to attend a production of Measure for Measure by Toronto’s new Groundling theatre company. I also enjoyed the chance to see a show in the Winter Garden. I have been there quite a bit the past few years for tour and research, but most of what I see at the double-decker, is in the Elgin. Readers of Herringford and Watts will know that I think it is the most beautiful place in the world. So magical, I set numerous Jem and Ray scenes there---
Last night, the intimate audience sat on stage in scaffolded rows while the action took place at the lip of the stage and the empty, gorgeous flora fantasia stretched out in its glimmery coloured lanterns and draping vines. This was a Shakespeare I had never seen live before and, as per his magic, it stretches out before you, you quickly becoming accustomed to the rhythm of the language and picking up with its ebbing speed.