Edmonton downstage | 04.20.2015

  • Opening this week:
    • Marathon by TJ Dawe at the ATB Arts Barns April 17 and 18, including a workshop on Developing a Creative Practice on April 18.
      • Watch out for my preview of the show publishing later this week.
  • Closing this week:
    • Belinda Cornish’s Category E at the Varscona until April 18.
    • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Walterdale Theatre until April 18.
    • Armstrong’s War by Colleen Murphy, presented by Theatre Network at the Backstage Theatre at the ATB Arts Barns closing April 19.
      • Although I previewed the show, I didn’t get a chance to check it out until last week. The show is, of course, another great one from Theatre Network. The set-up of the show leaves a lot of room for assumptions about the characters: a young soldier (Jamie Cavanagh) in a hospital recovering from the injuries (mental? Physical?) he sustained in Afghanistan is assigned a reader to “lift his spirits” who ends up being a too-perky, wheelchair-bound pre-teen Pathfinder (Eva Foote). But Murphy’s script destroys any preconceptions you might have within the first few minutes and we get to watch the two young people explore and debate what it means to be courageous. The development of the relationship between the two characters is very realistic, both in the way they physically relate to each other and in the way their information and stories are revealed. My one criticism is that the play ends on a note that’s a little cheesy, but that’s mitigated a bit by the soldier’s final movements around his hospital room just before the lights go down, which add a beautifully ambiguous end to the show.
      • Check out Liz’s review of the show, Colin’s, and Bruce’s at Vue Weekly.
    • Winners and Losers at Citadel Theatre until April 19.
    • Two One-Way Tickets to Broadway’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman at La Cité until April 19.
  • Also closing this week is the Varscona Theatre! The venue will be closed for renovations for about a year, while the members of the Varscona Theatre Alliance move across the street to The Backstage Theatre.
  • Although the show is closed, check out Kristen’s thoughts on Arcadia and why it’s such an engaging show.
  • The Citadel Theatre is looking for two intern directors for next season.
  • On a side note, my friend who also used to review theatre for Sound + Noise has started a blog about theatre in Calgary – check it out at ctownplayhouse.com.
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