Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Theatre Critic....

In the past two weeks I have gone to three plays, so I figured I better put all that "theatre-going" to some good use, and do a few little reviews.

.King Lear.
Bard on the Beach

I am usually a really big fan of Bard on the Beach. I mean, how could I not be? Shakespeare in the park overlooking English Bay. I'm not going to lie though. Watching "King Lear" was well...interesting. As usual, they did a modern re-invention, so the great King Lear was pushed in a wheelchair. Normally, I am all for interpretations, keeps it interesting. But this one was pretty "art-house". There was even music. I was so undecided when I left the theater that I went home and read all six reviews written. They pretty much fell on all sides of the spectrum, both love and hate. "Those who hate it are calling it "King Lear: The Musical". Then others loved the play and thought the interpretation was brilliant. It's like watching a movie you love on screen. It's always tough seeing it being portrayed through someone else's eyes. That being said, Christopher Gaze (Mr. Bard on the Beach, and my favorite local celebrity) was an unbelievable King Lear and rocked the final scenes with all the grace and passion I could have hoped for. So should you go see it? Maybe, I'm not sure. I'll let you know after I watch "Twelfth Night" next week, which of the two is a more of a "crowd pleaser". Shakespeare as a crowd pleaser? You better believe it.

.The Back Kitchen Release Party.
Arts Club Theatre: Granville Island Stage

All the conditions for watching this play were right. I had just spent a lovely date day on Saturday with Matt, and we got student rush $20 tickets. (if you are a student, and don't know about student rush, you better click on this link) So I was already in a good mood. Then, this little play pulled out a big surprise and really delivered. It's about a traveling band from Newfoundland working its way across Canada to honor a deceased band member. I know, I thought it sounded a little lame on the playbill as well. But the actors/musicians really draw you in with their songs, and their story. It was charming, heart-warming, and funny. That's a pretty good combination in my books. So maybe go, (and if you do, let me know, because I can get you five dollars off) or get your parents to go. But heed the Arts Club warning: "Warning: There is offensive language in the play (but not too offensive because it is spoken in a charming Newfoundland accent). Oh that made me chuckle. I really do love the Arts Club. At this play, I also won free tickets to a play in the fall because I raised my hand. Some guy shouted out, but he lost. Yes, that's right. So, maybe it was the night that was awesome and not the play? Hmm.. No, it was the play too. I'm going to go ahead and say it's the "sleeper-hit-of-the-summer". Best phrase ever.

.The Producers.
Arts Club Theatre: Stanley Industrial Stage

On Sunday, we went to this play with Jenny and Nathan. And it delivered. Big time. This play is so off-the-wall and has Mel Brooks in every inch of it. The premise is that two producers are looking to find a play that will flop so that they can make millions. They find "Springtime for Hitler". There's some context for you. I laughed pretty hard. The production of it was really well done. Lots of singing, dancing, choreography that make musicals the great thing that they are. I was impressed. I was especially happy because it means that when these folks put on "Les Miserables" next year, we might be in for a treat. But as for this play, if you can take a little blurring of the appropriateness lines, and appreciate Mel Brooks, you are in for a treat. But your pocket book will take a little hit. I had to warn you.

So there you go, a few theatre reviews. I get that they might be a little accessible than the ol' movie reviews, but I figured, hey why not? And expect a full Bard on the Beach report after Sunday, whether you like it or not.

Go see some Vancouver theatre.
It's a good time.


Rita's World said...

Hi Sharelle!
I would dearly love to see some Vancouver theatre this summer. I'm quite upset about missing out on Bard on the Beach this year.

How is the SFU classroom treating you? Anytime you want to take a vicarious trip to Korea, you know where to come!

btw, awesome blog...I think I was feeling some "blog envy" reading through it! :)

M-Thiess said...

nice job sharelle. you made me want to go....

are you going to see any of the productions at the Malkin bowl in the theatre under the stars? I think us Howie women are going to keep our tradition alive & go see "annie get your gun". which happened to be the first show we ever saw there together, many moons ago.