Sunday, 11 March 2018
Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Since I missed Women's March II, Saturday, sending pink camelias to those who are organized enough to get themselves into downtown Toronto to take part. There in spirit.
Since we are not a month out of Xmas, the plan was black coffee for supper so went with The Magic Oven’s Lamb wrap proving that one should only order a menu item once. Not that the wrap lacked for anything, but the perfection of that first order remains with me: a soft, warm, granular wrap perfectly packed with a generous portion of seasoned lamb, onion, and arugula, graced with hot, crispy fries. While tasty, this second wrap was under-filled, leaking precious seasoning, and the wrap had been warmed to the point of crisp. By its very nature, wraps should completely surround the contents, securing one's clothes from greasy runoff. The Oven does produce excellent dishes, the pizzas look fantastic, and there is a brisk take-out trade. And it’s conveniently located next to Coal Mine Theatre with whom they partner.
Developed such a thirst, as everything from cognac to martinis to vodka is consumed over three hours that a G & T was in order. One thing though, I respectfully call on the theatre company to ban all food and drink. Spilled water, dropped cups, and soddened programs are not wanted here.
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Sunday marked my second visit to Shaw Fest 2017, this time to see the much-anticipated Madness of King George III by Alan Bennett. This is the first season under the artistic direction of Tim Carroll who is on some kind of mission to completely erase any trace of former director, Jackie Maxwell.
We are going through a period of overindulgence. It starts innocently enough by staging a 19th century costume drama in the present day. I'm good with that. However, let us not discuss the modern staging of Macbeth--Africa at Stratford Festival. We then bring characters on stage to interact with the audience while they take their seats followed by audience participation and before you know it, the house lights are up for 2:45 hours and you're paying more attention to the on-stage audience than to the actors.
In describing the new season's philosophy, Carroll uses the analogy of a garden, giving full license to directors to express this philosophy and continue throughout the season to revisit the play and see how things evolve (grow). As one reviewer noted, very few of us are likely to see a play twice in one season. And isn't the purpose of previews to iron out the kinks? Isn't that why we have preview pricing?
Sadly, this production has evolved into a panto. Panto is at best ludicrous comedy, frivolous farce, and ramshackle antics. All descriptions found in the following reviews.
Nestruck at The Globe and Mail
Smith at The Hamilton Spectator
Alan Bennett's words require minimal staging. A reading of George III was performed at Stratford years ago. No costumes, no lights, no bloated production.
I do welcome cast and creative introducing the shows this season. For most of us, the people in black are a mystery; it's nice to see fresh faces and get their perspective. And it's a good idea to go beyond the playbill although Shaw Fest does produce a comprehensive playbill. How cosy do we want to get, though?