theatre review

Vancouver, BC: A successful Broadway musical with the entire cast as well as the band made up of teenagers?  Seems an unlikely scenario, and yet that was the situation when 13 opened on Broadway in October of 2008

Vancouver, BC: At first glance it would seem that a story set in early 1980s Northern England, about preparing a class of grammar school boys to write university entrance examinations for Oxford and Cambridge would provide little target for heated debate on the way home. However as I and my companion for this evening, a teacher with a life-time of experience in special education,  have previously had many intense discussions on the pros and cons of standardized tests, school report cards and the politics of education politics, I was anticipating his take on the play with great interest and indeed there was much to discuss.

Vancouver, BC. Set between the time of Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974 and the taping of the interviews, FROST / NIXON chronicles the attempts, ultimately successful,  by British satirist and talk show host, David Frost (David Storch) to engage Nixon (Len Cariou) in a series of interviews for television. Both men have much to gain from these interviews.  Frost, whose career seemed to be waning, was hoping to make a comeback as a broadcaster in US televsion. Frost's production support team of John Birt (Damien Atkins) and Bob Zelnick (Michael Healey) urged on by narrator/historian, Jim Reston (Ari Cohen), want to wring an open admission of wrong-doing from Nixon.  Nixon, supported by Jack Brennan (Tom McBeath) wants an opportunity to justify the achievements of his administration and make his own comeback to Washington politics.

Vancouver, BC: I first saw Doubt in New York in July 2005, the year this play won John Patrick Shanley the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Superbly performed, the production was riveting -the tension in the audience was tangible - absolute silence, audible gasps, a few "no nos". I loved the show and rushed off the very next day to the Drama Book Shop to pick up a copy of the published script. As I eagerly anticipated the Arts Club production I wondered whether the play would have the same impact on a second viewing. But even knowing the story line, last night I found the play almost as powerful as before.

Vancouver, BC: In the fifteen books of narrative poems that comprise Metamorphoses, the Roman poet Ovid wrote of the creation of the universe, and the mythology of the gods that played havoc with humankind: “I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms. You, gods, since you are the ones who alter these, and all other things, inspire my attempt, and spin out a continuous thread of words, from the world's first origins to my own time.” (tr. Anthony S. Kline).