Tag Archives: review

New Ideas Festival: Heart beats, blue feels & the big sleep in trippy, darkly funny Week Three program

Review of New Ideas Festival 2017 – Week Three.
Main program (4 short plays) runs to Sunday, March 26, with a one-time staged reading of Catherine Frid‘s Thistlepatch on Saturday at noon.

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Alumnae Theatre Company continues its 2017 edition of the New Ideas Festival (NIF) with a trippy, darkly funny Week Three program, the final week of the fest. The annual festival includes three weeks of short new plays and full-length readings, including four plays and one reading each week, running in the Studio space.

Beat by Dale Sheldrake, directed by Josh Downing. Alone and injured following a near fatal car crash, Evelyn 1 (Jackie Mahoney) is beside herself, as she listens to her heart/inner voice (Evelyn 2: Laurel Schell). Taking stock of her life as she waits for help to arrive, she’s forced to face her inner demons and addictions. Darkly funny, sharp and theatrical; with some lovely spoken word dialogue and strong performances from Mahoney and Schell.

The Ballad of Sadie Wong by Andrew Lee, directed by Cassidy Sadler. Film noir detective story meets modern-day romance when day-dreamy…

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Filed under 2016/17 season, New Ideas Festival 2017

Passion, perception & revolution in New Ideas thoughtful Week 2 program

Review of New Ideas Festival’s Week Two lineup. Playing to Sun March 20.
A different lineup runs March 23-27 for Week Three!
http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/new-ideas-festival-2016.html

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NIF 2016Alumnae Theatre continues its 2016 programming for its annual New Ideas Festival (NIF) of short new works with an engaging Week 2 program in the Studio space this week. Here’s what’s happening this week:

Housekeeping (by Jean Koppen, directed by Anne MacMillan). Three cleaners find something unexpected in a wealthy client’s home and their everyday routine is thrown into disarray as they debate the moral and ethical implications of their discover and what to do about it. At times darkly funny, the play highlights the stark realities of class, precarious work and distrust of a justice system that treats the rich differently from the rest of society. Really nice work from the cast: Morna Wales is tough, but fair and circumspect as Arlene, the veteran on the team; Aleksandra Maslennikova’s Jo is sharp, wary and cunningly resourceful; and Behiwot Degefu does a great job with the wide-eyed, irreverent and strong-willed…

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Filed under 2015/16 season, New Ideas Festival

Alternate realities, masks, mysteries & secrets in NIF Week One program

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nif 2015Alumnae Theatre Company kicked off its 27th annual New Ideas Festival (NIF) – three weeks of short new plays – last night, with four engaging, intriguing and enjoyable plays about connections:

Inheritance (by Tabitha Keast, directed by Matthew Hines). Two sniping siblings preparing a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for their parents get a surprise of their own as family secrets are revealed – the kind that rewrite family history. Nice work from the ensemble in balancing the comedy with the family drama in this piece: Nicole Belfer as the upbeat, spontaneous sister; Kenny Hayes as the uptight, control freak brother; Lavetta Griffin as their direct, assertive mother; and Kalman P. Nagy as their gentle, discrete father. Nothing brings out how people really feel than an unexpected and startling revelation.

The Indigo Forest (by Bridget Erin, who came in all the way from Louisiana to see the opening, directed by…

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Filed under 2014/15 Season, New Ideas Festival 2015

A darkly funny & eerie look into the mind of Lizzie Borden in Blood Relations

Blood Relations : Part drama, part mystery, all compelling. “Did you, Lizzie? Lizzie, did you?”

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Blood RelationsSo, first, a confession: I’d never read or seen Sharon Pollack’s Blood Relations. Not until last night, that is, at Alumnae Theatre Company’s opening night, directed by Barbara Larose, assisted by Ellen Green.

We are in the Borden home in Fall River, Massachusetts, 10 years after Lizzie Borden’s acquittal of the brutal double murder of her stepmother and father. Ragtime music fills the theatre and, in the dim pre-show lighting onstage, you can make out the main floor of the home: dining room and parlour, separated by a dark wood finish staircase. Down stage right is a pigeon coop; down left is a garden with a stone bench.

The ever present question: “Did you, Lizzie? Lizzie, did you?” sets the scene for a memory game of storytelling, played by Lizzie (Marisa King) and her friend/lover The Actress (Andrea Brown), taking the audience back in time to the circumstances leading…

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Filed under 2014/15 Season, Blood Relations

Rave reviews for “Rabbit Hole”

Audiences have been extremely complimentary about Alumnae Theatre Company’s currently-running production, David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole.   Check out the event on Facebook!

Howie (Cameron Johnston) gets a little frisky with Becca (Paula Schultz) in "Rabbit Hole".  Photo: Dahlia Katz

Howie (Cameron Johnston) gets a little frisky with Becca (Paula Schultz) in “Rabbit Hole”. Photo: Dahlia Katz

Now the critics are weighing in – MyEntertainmentWorld: http://www.myentertainmentworld.ca/2014/04/dont-miss-alumnaes-rabbit-hole/

LifeWithMoreCowbell:  http://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/climbing-out-with-humour-rage-alumnae-theatres-rabbit-hole/

There are 4 more performances; Wed – Sat of this week.  8pm each night.  Wednesday tickets are 2-for-1; $20 on the other nights.  Purchase tickets online at www.alumnaetheatre.com OR reserve seats by e-mailing reservations@alumnaetheatre.com and pay cash at Box Office.

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Filed under 2013/14 Season, Rabbit Hole

Sex, magic, intrigue & spies in New Ideas Week One program

Week One reviewed!

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NIF2014-banner-1024x725A new year and another edition of Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival of original, short plays.

Caught the Week One program last night. Sex, magic, intrigue and spies figured prominently in this week’s roster of plays – here’s what was on the menu:

Be Careful, There’s a Baby in the House, by Nicholas Sgouros and directed by Seane M. Speake, is a sharp, fun commentary on modern family life. What starts out as a pre-planned – and secret – night of passion becomes something else entirely. Sex After Kids meets The Honest Toddler. Nice work from actors Andre de Carvalho, Caroline Concordia and Sara Jackson.

Elsa and Marigold, by Marissa Spada and directed by Janet Kish, is the story of two hormone-driven, romantic-minded and curious teen girls whose attempt at creating the perfect man takes an unexpected turn, all under the cloaked and watchful eye of…

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Filed under New Ideas Festival 2014

Review of New Ideas – Week Two

Apologies – I posted a link to this review on Alumnae Theatre’s Facebook page on March 19, but seem not to have re-blogged it anywhere else. Mea culpa!

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Another series of fine works in progress at Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival (NIF) Week Two program this week.

The Deepest Trench (Chloë Whitehorn, dir. by Justen Bennett) is a sharp-humoured three-hander, an “almost love story” featuring a brother (Ryan, Ryan Bainbridge), sister (Kate, Stephanie Barone) and sister’s BFF (Emma, Jen Viens) – with relationship dynamics shifting when Emma comes to live with the sibs. The witty repartee includes some fun current event and pop culture references (the new Pope, the Bugs Bunny Abominable Snowman episode and Buffy ep. 4.04), as well as some very sweet in-jokes between Ryan and Emma. Ryan’s sweet, sensitive nature appears at first to be in direct contrast to the women’s brasher, aggressive approach to life – but things can change when times get rough and life-changing situations are at hand. Lovely use of storytelling. Excellent ensemble. Interested to see where this goes.

Two…

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, New Ideas Festival 2013