This theatre buff cannot help herself: I must comment. I miss the experience of writing about the plays I have seen. The reality is that the revision of this current manuscript requires more creativity than I had expected. I’m trying to develop my ability to show more and tell less. Time is too scarce to write reviews. Having said that, what I’m about to do in the next few paragraphs is to tell you, nay urge you, to take yourself to the theatre. There are some spectacular plays on stage at both Shaw and Stratford this summer.
My absolute favourite is Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell. It’s a marathon performance of Olympian theatrical skill. Gray Powell is onstage throughout the entire performance, and I swear he speaks two-thirds of the lines uttered. When I have the script in hand I will do a count.
Cyrano de Bergerac is a fine piece set in the 1600s. It’s a tale of unrequited love, and it is brilliantly performed with Tom Rooney in the lead role. Kate Hennig of the Stratford trilogy translated and adapted this show.
Mother’s Daughter closes the circle on the story Kate Hennig opened with The Last Wife. While The Virgin Queen addressed the early days of Queen Elizabeth I, Mother’s Daughter answers questions about Mary, the first of the two queens spawned by Henry VIII. It’s well-told; I was engaged.
Even though I have given up on most musicals (Come From Away, Billy Elliott, and The Last Ship being recent exceptions) Brigadoon was lovely. It’s romantic and the music is hummable. I was enchanted with the notion of time travel.
The Ladykillers was frenetic fun with split-second timing.
And finally, anyone who has ever thought their family of origin was dysfunctional will appreciate the complexity of The Glass Menagerie. For some time, I have admired the range and skill of Julia Course and Andre Sills. They each have an extraordinary skill to breathe life and nuance into challenging characters.