Monday, July 05, 2004

Notes from a Theatre Eater

Believe it or not, I have been to see some theatre lately that didn't take place in a badly-ventilated Fringe venue. None of it ended up on the blog, however... So here are a few notes, because if I don't write down what I've seen, I forget what I've seen.

-- Obsidian Theatre's Consecrated Ground has long since closed at Factory theatre -- I went to see its final performance last month. I didn't think much of the play or David Collins' direction, but the show was worth checking out for some fine performances by Nigel Shawn Williams and Kevin Hanchard in particular. [Here's an interesting interview with playwright George Boyd, by the by.]

-- I did trek up to the Stratford Festival, but only caught Anything Goes and Timon of Athens. I saw them while they were still in previews, so it wouldn't be proper to fully critique them. So I'll say simply that I hope that Anything Goes got better and that Timon remained wonderful.

-- Soulpepper's production of Nathan the Wise plays until the end of the month and the play will probably never be mounted again in your lifetime, so you should go see it. It's a German play from 1769 that feels as if it were written yesterday. It's a comedy about Jews, Christians and Muslims fighting and reconciling in Jerusalem. If it had actually been written yesterday, I think I would have hated it. Since it was written 235 years ago, I loved it. This leads to a question: Why is it that I'll tolerate sweetness and ridiculous deus ex machinations in old plays, but not new plays? I have no answer, but I recommend Nathan the Wise whole-heartedly. William Webster, who plays the sage title character, is a faboo actor in a part that I would think is nearly impossible to play. I left feeling tremendously uplifted.

Okay, so that was totally self-indulgent. Why don't I tell you what I ate for breakfast while I'm at it? Cheerios. With 2% milk. Gee whiz, I'm a regular Terry Teachout today...

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