Theatre in London

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Skin Deep

Reviewed by , April 5, 2014

The appearances we make for ourselves can be more than just visual; they can hide deeper realities we hesitate to admit and the changing times that forces them to surface. This play is an amusing, yet heartfelt, illustration of that as one family struggles to understand each other through their own facades.

In a middle class family, Rachel (Trish West) and Paul (John Garlicki) have the typical concerns with Sarah (Sarah West), a seemingly vain teenage daughter, and Sammy (Angelina Foster del Mundo), a hyper seven-year-old with a superhero kick. It all comes to a head one night …

Gypsy

Reviewed by , April 2, 2014

Too many kids in show business are not in it by their own choice, but, like Judy Garland, are pushed into it by their parents, usually in the form of the notorious stage mother. This play is a classic illustration of that through the life of Gypsy Rose Lee, the stripper who grew up under her domineering mother until she finally found the strength to go their …

Love, Loss & What I Wore

Reviewed by , March 29, 2014

As a guy who prefers to avoid fashion, the feminine interest in clothes is a gender concept that I’ve never understood any more than the male occupation with macho sports. That makes this play all the more powerful revelation, granting a long overdue perspective about such an interest and its legitimate role in femininity and self-identity.

An elderly woman, Gingy (Caroline Dolny-Guerin), tells her life story with both words and illustration of how clothes played a part. Parallel to this, the ensemble plays a whole variety …

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Reviewed by , March 24, 2014

How Do You Spell F-U-N-N-Y?

If you’ve never seen an actual spelling bee, especially those leading to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the U.S., then you probably won’t “get” The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, now playing at the Grand Theatre. In Canada, we don’t take our spelling bees quite as seriously and the competitions don’t have the same exposure as in the U.S.…

Edith Spanner

Reviewed by , March 19, 2014

With our economic troubles, it’s hard enough for people to keep abreast of changing times, and even more so when you feel you’re only part of the past.  This play gives an equally amusing and poignant illustration of that idea, coupled with an intriguing moral ambiguity.

Edith Spanner (Catharine Sullivan), a paperclip manufacturer sales manager with a passion for 1940s vintage films and consumer items, has just lost her job. Her best friend, Myrtle (Alyson Nichols), has just gotten a rich boyfriend, Larry Shapiro (Johnny Bobesich). Upset at these disorienting changes and facing a bleak future, Edith finds …