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The Addams Family

Reviewed by , September 20, 2014

How can a half-hour television series, broadcast in black and white and cancelled after two seasons fifty years ago, still hold appeal for a modern audience?

It comes down to character, and does The Addams Family ever have a bunch of them. Which is a good thing, because the musical’s overlapping cookie-cutter storylines on their own wouldn’t make it past a pilot episode.

Loosely narrated by Uncle Fester (Ben Kopp), the play doesn’t pull specifics from any particular episodes or the two films (its Wikipedia entry says it’s based on artist Charles Addams’ drawings). It certainly seems like it does, and perhaps other family sitcoms like The Brady Bunch and The Simpsons to boot. The characterizations are closely based on their filmed incarnations: for example, …

Shadfly

Reviewed by , September 18, 2014

[Disclaimer: The reviewer contributed to Tinkerspace's crowdfunding campaign for this production.]

Tinkerspace Theatre’s debut production, Shadfly, is a fictionalized biography of Austrian painter Egon Schiele. It continues a recent minor trend of locally-written artist profiles, including Jason Rip’s bios of painter Paul Peel (Grey Days Preferable, revived by AlvegoRoot Theatre at this year’s Fringe festival), poet Arthur Rimbaud (I Is Another), and poet and author Roy McDonald (Beard, also recently revived by AlvegoRoot), and John Krisak’s The Peeled I, about Canadian author and essayist Robertson Davies. While there are similarities to each of those pieces in Erin J. Walker’s play, Shadfly is its own creature.

Walker, Tyler Graham (who plays Schiele), and several of the supporting …

Mr. Burns: a post-electric play

Reviewed by , August 29, 2014

Listing all of the Simpsons references present in Mr. Burns: a post-electric play would take more space and time than it takes to actually watch the two-hour production. And it’s a mug’s game: anyone intrepid enough to undertake such a task will invariably have a friend or coworker who’d pick out six more that he missed—you know the one. It begins with a group of survivors of a recent (and ongoing) pandemic trying to remember the plot to the fifth-season episode Cape Feare: that’s the one that parodied the 1962 and 1991 versions of Cape Fear, featuring Sideshow Bob and songs from The Mikado. [You're the one, aren't you? --ed.]

Fittingly, given The Simpsons‘ skewering of popular culture, Mr. Burns owes …

Lotus

Reviewed by , August 11, 2014

Hopegrown Productions is a young theatre company (in their second year) based out of Montreal.

Its founders are Lindsay Huebner, Miriam Cummings, and Samantha Megarry, all 2013 graduates of the theatre performance program at Concordia University.

Last year, they showcased Around Miss Julie, an hilarious college comedy filled with theatrical references.

This year, they present Lotus, a drama/thriller radically different from their previous work.

Megarry mentioned that as a young company, they want to try different genres and not be confined to a single trademark. Hopegrown Productions is dedicated to finding relevant stories with powerful female characters, but this year’s production confirmed that they are also committed to staging relevant theatre of any genre.

It is definitely working: Lotus is a strong script …

Ten Chimneys

Reviewed by , June 22, 2014

The art of acting is to present oneself into a role and live it to the best of your talent. However, when you place too much emphasis on your art over real life, you learn you are forever improvising, with reality writing the script. This play is an amusing and touching comedy of an actors’ household of people trying such a situation and facing their own troubles with it.

In 1938, the noted acting couple Alfred Lunt (Simon Goodwin) and Lynn Fontanne (Dinah Watts) are researching their roles for Anton Chekhov’s The