Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Amazing Glass.


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Originally uploaded by uncascrooge
Crystal Castles. They continue to enthrall me. I had a fever and a stiff neck this afternoon, but I roused myself and went to see them at Wrongbar tonight.

Alice is like a cult leader. I couldn't help it - I advanced and advanced leaving my friends behind, until I was right up front and being smashed from all sides and just hypnotised, jumping up and down. This is what I hear adolescence was like for some.

In other news, you may be interested to know I gave 3.5 stars to VideoCabaret's Laurier (yes, 3.5) and another 3.5 to Nicholas Nickleby over the past few days. (Perhaps I'm waiting to feel as mesmerised, dazzled, overcome and alive as I did tonight at Crystal Castles to give out that extra .5?)

Compare and contrast: The whole Nick-Nick gets 4/5 in The Sun, while The Star gave the first half 4/4 and the second 3.5/4. Eye gives full marks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Flawed Couple.

My critical debut is in the Globe today, a 2.5 (our of 4) star review of The Odd Couple at Soulpepper (if you want to see my new jowly headshot you'll have to pick up a physical copy). I'm pleased as punch that the Toronto Star's Richard Ouzounian had an entirely different reaction (4 stars!) and that the Sun's John Coulbourn came to a similar rating (3 out of 5) but for entirely different reasons. It would be awfully boring if we all thought the same thing...

Much more, er, interesting than the Odd Couple was the opening night of the Rhubarb festival of new work at Buddies in Bad Times. It was strictly not for review, so all I'll say is that any evening where I can watch a man strip naked, smash eggs all over his body and then describe castrating himself in gruesome detail before pouring tomato sauce over his head is a good one in my books.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oh Canada, Oh Kosovo.

So is Canada going to recognise Kosovo independence at this moment or not? Is Stephane Dion really urging the government to recognise the unilateral declaration of independence right away? What happened to "a UDI as envisaged by Premier Bouchard would not be acceptable in any democracy in the world"?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

An announcement: The next stage.

Someone must teach website designers to spellcheck. See Factory Theatre's Calender and Theatre Passe Muraille's Season Calender. Ar!

Anyway, it's time to stop worrying about these things, take off my subeditor hat and put my full-time writing hat back on. I have a new job: I am, starting Tuesday, the theatre critic at The Globe and Mail.

This week, I boxed up my things, put them on a ship and hopped a plane from London back to Toronto. It was a tough decision to pack things in just as I was feeling settled in England and at the Guardian and finally wrapping my head around the city's sprawling theatre scene, but I am very attracted to the unique challenges of this position. As I blogged four years ago:
A local Toronto actor, who I'll assume wants to remain anonymous, let me in on an interesting local tidbit: One of the backstage toilets in the St Lawrence Centre is named the Ray Conologue, after The Globe and Mail's former theatre critic.

Ah... Something to aspire to.
I am quite, er, flushed to be following in the footsteps of such illustrious predecessors. Now I hope some young Turk (or, perhaps more accurately, young jerk) in the blogosphere will follow in my footsteps and take me to task the way I used to (occasionally) go after Kamal Al-Solaylee on this blog. (Though I did have kind words for him as well.) I am very much looking forward to the slings and arrows and having to unlist my phone number.