Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Late Theatre Tuesday: Sexy Saidye

Over the past five years or so, the Saidye Bronfman Centre has become the more excited of Montreal's establishment English-language theatres. I mean, Centaur's got an okay 2004-2005 season lined up, but nothing there has got my interest like these three plays from the SBC's 2004-2005 season (which was announced today):

1) "Martha Henry’s debut at the SBC, in a solo performance of Rose, directed by her long-time friend and collaborator, Diana Leblanc."
-- True, when the SBC brought Uta Hagen in for Donald Margulies' Collected Stories a couple of years back, it was sucky: a great actress past her prime in a crappy play. But this time around we've got a great actress still in her prime working with solid material. (Please: do not try to convince me that Margulies is a good playwright.)

2) "In 2004-05, [Gravy Bath director Madd] Harold will make his [SBC] main stage debut, directing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, starring Gareth Armstrong, of Shylock fame, and featuring Governor General Award winner, Douglas Campbell."
-- Considering the incredible things Harold has done with the rag-tag ensemble that is Gravy Bath, I'm pumped to see what he'll do with these actors and a good budget/rehearsal period. It'll be particularly interesting to see what comes out of the clash of old Shakespeareans (Armstrong and Campbell) and the new Shakespearean (Harold).

3) "In early 2005, the SBC will present Infinitheatre’s production of Death and Taxes, written and directed by Montreal’s own Guy Sprung, noted author, director playwright, award-winning screenwriter, and cultural critic."
-- Sprung is a little hit-or-miss in recent years, but he remains one of Canada's most vibrant theatre artists. I still vividly remember his billingual production of Beckett's Endgame at the Fonderie Darling.

Anyway, here's the SBC's full press release for your reading pleasure.

Post-script

By the way, don't buy in the SBC's "Sunday @ The Saidye" business. Don't EVER go to the theatre at the SBC on a Sunday if you are under the age of 60... The senior citizens will chatter and they will complain loudly during the blackouts and they will snore. And that's their right. They've been through a lot: wars, depressions, whathaveyou. But there's no reason for you to have to put up with it.

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