Review: "Nathan The Wise" at Stratford Festival

Review: "Nathan The Wise" at Stratford Festival

Nathan the Wise’ is a play that requires at least two or more viewings for its rich subtext of the exploration of three faiths. If anything, for a twenty first century audience, the play allows us hopefully to open that discussion of trying to find a common humanity and element that exists between all of us.

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Review: "Henry VIII" at Stratford Festival

Review: "Henry VIII" at Stratford Festival

As we left the auditorium, I heard some audience members behind me say this production was quite a historical lesson.  A young girl and her father sat next to me.  She turned to him at the end and said, “I understood a bit of what was going on”.  I turned to both and thanked them appreciatively for their support of live theatre and for learning a bit of history.

You should come to Stratford and learn a bit about the history of the Tudors too.

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Review: "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at Stratford Festival

Review: "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at Stratford Festival

A rollicking new version of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor swept through the Festival theatre Saturday night as patrons were treated to an evening of bellicose laughter.  Many academics agree that this is not Shakespeare’s best work – perhaps rushed writing.  But on this night a colleague correctly reminded me that, still, it is Shakespeare.

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Review: "Billy Elliott: The Musical" at Stratford Festival

Review: "Billy Elliott: The Musical" at Stratford Festival

Rumour buzzed about Stratford that Sir Elton John was to have been in town for the opening of ‘Billy Elliott’.  He wasn’t present, but what an exhilarating feeling instead in seeing a young performer’s talent soar past the roof of the Festival Theatre. Look out, world, there is Nolen Dubuc who is on his way in becoming a Canadian performer to hit the stages of North America and the world.

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Review: "Julius Caesar" at the Stratford Festival

Review: "Julius Caesar" at the Stratford Festival

The world of political machinations took a precarious turn of events at the opening night production of Julius Caesar at Stratford’s Festival Theatre. Seana McKenna essays the role of the pompously doomed, Ides of March leader who returns victorious from a civil war against the forces of the rival general and statesman, Pompey. Caesar is welcomed back with a mighty popular acclaim from the Roman people. His friend, Mark Antony (a confident and bold Michelle Giroux), offers the crown to his ruler which becomes an issue of contention and alarm among a group of senators led by Brutus and Cassius (Jonathan Goad and a tightly solid performance by Irene Poole) who consider this move by Caesar as politically ambitious and a threat to the Roman government system.

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Review: "Napoli Milionaria!" at the Stratford Festival

Review: "Napoli Milionaria!" at the Stratford Festival

Through all their faults, mistakes and errors, Eduardo De Filippo has written a story of human individuals who have learned to embrace their foibles and weaknesses no matter how awful and terrible in whatever time and place these people find themselves. This production of Napoli Milionaria does appeal to our humanity and, in doing so, this appeal has enabled the playwright “to find an eager audience among all social classes’ as Cimolino writes in his Director’s Notes.

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Review: "The Tempest" at the Stratford Festival

Review: "The Tempest" at the Stratford Festival

Purported to be the last play the Bard had written alone, Stratford’s version of The Tempest captures a sweeping tale of revenge, compassion, empathy and forgiveness now on stage at the Festival Theatre. I can recall reading the rather challenging text during my undergraduate years and remembering there was so much going on at so many levels. It would take a discerning vision somehow to connect all that is going on to a diverse twenty first century audience taste.

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Review: "The Rocky Horror Show" at the Stratford Festival

Review: "The Rocky Horror Show" at the Stratford Festival

Initially I wasn’t too sure if I really wanted to see Rocky Horror again as I felt I had seen it enough already. Director Donna Feore certainly made me feel welcome, when I changed my mind, with the warm invitation in her Director and Choreographer Notes: “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from; right here, right now, you’re family. So come as you are, in whatever you like, and take your rightful place.”

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