Face the dusk: off the couch everyone, and into the theatre this weekend

Daniela Vlaskalic in Dora Maar: the wicked one, GAL Productions with Hit & Myth. Photo supplied.

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

Our outdoor colour scheme has gone monochromatic; something weird has happened to the evening lighting. There is an obvious fix: face the gathering darkness, arise from the couch and go to the theatre.

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There’s been a heartening proliferation of new plays so far this month (with more to come). And three of them are ending their runs this weekend, so it’s the moment to show some hustle. 

•At Workshop West, a new Beth Graham and Daniela Vlaskalic play, Dora Maar: the wicked one, gets an exceptionally  charismatic performance by Vlaskalic as the French photographer — a brilliant innovator in her own right, who finds her wings melted by a relationship with the most famous artist in the world, Pablo Picasso. As Dora Vlaskalic single-handedly conjures the exuberant, glittering world of Paris in the ‘30s, on the brink of a cataclysmic darkening toward the end of the decade. And then, the artist who inspired and documented Picasso’s great anti-war painting Guernica found herself tumbling into obscurity. A riveting story, elegantly staged by Blake Brooker in a GAL/ Hit & Myth production. The 12thnight review is here, and an interview with the co-playwrights and director Brooker here. It runs through Sunday. Tickets: workshopwest.org.  

Davina Stewart in Squeamish, Northern Light Theatre. Photo by Ian Jackson, Epic Photography.

•At Northern Light Theatre, Squeamish, a creepy solo thriller, has its doubts about the much-vaunted quest for self-knowledge. It’s a bona fide 90-minute tour de force, starring Davina Stewart as a therapist sitting in the shadows tells the story of her own first-hand experience of the aftermath of a funeral. And it escalates — from unsettling to disturbing to horrifying. Aaron Mark’s play is an experiment in seeing what words, storytelling, can do to your equilibrium. 

Read the whole 12thnight review here (and an interview with Stewart, director/designer Trevor Schmidt, and stage manager Liz Allison-Jorde here). It runs through Saturday at the Studio Theatre in the ATB Financial Arts Barn. Tickets: northernlighttheatre.com.

Steven Greenfield, Andrea House, Elena Porter in The Wrong People Have Money, Shadow Theatre. Photo by Ian Jackson, Epic Photography.

At Shadow Theatre, Reed McColm’s The Wrong People Have Money — the title, admit it, a phrase we all regularly use and sigh — spins a comedy from a university class assignment that gets co-opted by big money. The proposition: relocating Greenland a couple of thousand miles south in the Atlantic to a more hospitable tourist-friendly location. The fun is in the comic performances, led by Julien Arnold as the star professor, Andrea House and Steven Greenfield as his go-fers, Linda Grass as the mysterious and glamorous capitalist, and Elena Porter as a lawyer with ethical concerns that are ignored by everyone in the play. Read the full 12thnight review here, and an interview with the playwright here. It runs through Sunday at the Varscona. Tickets: shadowtheatre.org, 780-434-5564.


playwright Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman. Photo by Hannah Endicott-Douglas.

A new Canadian holiday musical starts previews Saturday at the Citadel, the theatre that commissioned it, in a Daryl Cloran production. Almost A Full Moon is by the notable playwright Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman, a triple-generation story set to the songs of Hawksley Workman’s 2001 Christmas album of the same name. 12thnight talked to the playwright here. It runs through Nov. 27. Tickets: 780-425-1820, citadeltheatre.com.

At the Mayfield, Vegas Live! is up and shaking its sequins (through Jan 27), with a new holiday Will Marks/ Gerrard Everard gathering of hits from the pop, rock, soul, country repertoires. Tickets: mayfieldtheatre.ca, 780-483-4051.

The Thousand Faces Festival turns the big one-o with CanNatyam: Classical Dance, a showcase of five styles of Indian classical dance, tonight (Nov. 4) and Sunday at La Cité francophone. Tickets: TIX on the Square (tixonthesquare.ca). 

At Concordia University’s CUE Theatre, the run of Meg Braem’s Chrysothemis, a student production directed by Patricia Darbasie, ends on on Sunday. See history’s most famous dysfunctional family, the House of Atreus, from the perspective of Electra’s older sister Chrysothemis, the obscure sister who didn’t even get her own Greek play — till now. Tickets: TIX on the Square (tixonthesquare.ca) or at the door.  



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