May 3-May 9: Theatre News This Week

Pictured above: The Royal Alexandra Theatre (Edward Burtynsky).

May 3 – May 9


A serious influx of comic talent is coming to town for Sketchfest

the Flirty Boys - Allison Hogg, Alessandra Vite, Ann Pornel and Alexandra Wylie

the Flirty Boys – Allison Hogg, Alessandra Vite, Ann Pornel and Alexandra Wylie

From May 5–14, the annual Montreal Sketchfest will once again host over 60 troupes from across Canada and the U.S. to celebrate the art of sketch comedy. During the fest, guests will have the opportunity to take part in sketch and improv workshops, catch a bunch of hilarious shows and listen in on an expert panel discussion on the state of sketch comedy in Canada.

OFFTA festival celebrates 10 years of hybrid dance/theatre

Although it began in the shadow of the Festival TransAmériques (FTA), OFFTA has since established itself as a full-fledged summer arts event unfolding both indoors at the Monument-National, Théâtre d’aujourd’hui and other downtown venues, and at free happenings in outdoor squares and parks.

Love is in the air, loathing is in the family at Segal Centre

Love in all its myriad forms is celebrated in the delightfully titled musical revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. There’s love on a first date, love at a wedding, love at the breakfast table, love in old age …

Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia is a magical Mexican spectacle

Who else but Cirque du Soleil would cast a performer as a demigod and a cockroach in the same show? Those are just two of the roles taken by Benjamin Courtenay in the Cirque’s new Mexican-themed spectacle Luzia, which opens in Montreal on Wednesday after two weeks of previews.

Review: Geordie director bows out with rousing encore of Beethoven Lives Upstairs

It might be a bit much to compare Dean Patrick Fleming with Ludwig van Beethoven, but his final show with Geordie Productions is kind of his own glorious Ninth.

Review: Robert Lepage and Michel Tremblay explore their memory palaces

There’s a nice irony at the heart of Robert Lepage’s compelling — and surprisingly funny — new piece, 887. It has this most accomplished and technologically evolved of theatre artists fretting over the most basic requirement of putting on a show: remembering your lines.


Lisa Horner to Star in BELLES SOEURS: THE MUSICAL at Confederation Centre

Confederation Centre is proud to present the explosive new musical BELLES SOEURS: THE MUSICAL this September as the closing production of The Charlottetown Festival season. Crackling with electricity and performed by a powerhouse cast and musicians, Belles Sœurs arrives in Charlottetown following stellar reviews and sold-out crowds in Montreal and Ottawa (NAC).

Rewriting Art History and the Bible on Stage with Botticelli in the Fire andSunday in Sodom


Brad Fraser was spotted last week at the opening night of Jordan Tannahill’s new plays, Botticelli in the Fire and Sunday in Sodom, atCanadian Stage. Seeing him couldn’t help but invite comparisons. After all, like Tannahill, Fraser was once the young gay playwright everyone was talking about, the outspoken rebel who wanted to shake up Canadian theatre. (See Tannahill’s 2015 book Theatre of the Unimpressedfor details.)

Tarragon Theatre to Host 2016 Play Reading Week This Spring

We invite you to join us for Tarragon’s annual Play Reading Week, an exciting celebration of plays-in-development by the talented playwrights associated with the theatre. See the latest works from Tarragon Playwright-in-Residence Erin Shields (co-written with comedian Rob Baker), RBC Emerging Playwright’s Competition winner Cliff Cardinal, celebrated actor and playwright Rick Roberts, and the Tarragon Playwrights Unit: Donald Woo, Jenna Harris, Philip McKee, David S. Craig, and Step Taylor.

Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre Will Get a $2.5 Million Facelift

Ontario, Canada’s venerable Royal Alexandra Theatre will get a $2.5 million renovation courtesy of its owners and managers, Mirvish Productions, which has owned the property since 1963.

April 18-24: Theatre News this Week

April 18th – 24th


Last Night at the Gayety: A musical ode to Montreal’s Sin City era when striptease star Lili St. Cyr reigned supreme
by MontrealGazette.comgayety

The men who served up Schwartz’s: The Musical a few years back have returned to the Centaur with a look at another Montreal institution catering to basic appetites. 

William Shakespeare gets a Montreal birthday party

Repercussion Theatre hosts a bash for the bard.

Le milieu artistique régional se rencontre à Lévis
by LePeupleLevis

Les acteurs du milieu artistique et culturel de la Chaudière-Appalaches se réuniront le 6 mai au Grand Village, dans le secteur Saint-Nicolas, dans le cadre du 7e Grand rendez-vous des arts en Chaudière-Appalaches.


Tarragon Announces RBC Emerging Playwright’s Prize Nominees

Tarragon Theatre has announced the six Canadian playwrights nominated for the RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwright Prize, one of Canada’s most prestigious prizes for new artists. The prize has a value of $8000 and includes a year’s worth of dramaturgical support from Tarragon Theatre, as well as a public reading during the theatre’s annual Play Reading Week. The winner will be announced in May, 2016.

Live theatre staging renaissance in Ottawa

The tradition of live theatre is alive and well in Ottawa and showing healthy signs of growth in spite of a multitude of new entertainment choices available to consumers, according to local theatre operators.

Cripping the Arts examines Canadian cultural production through a different lens
by YongeStreetMedia.cacripping the arts

 “We wanted to create an opportunity for cultural producers, both inside and outside of disability arts, to come together and discuss how to curate in an accessible way, the current aesthetic trends in disability arts, and how disability arts is connected to social  justice.”

Let’s fill our arts scenes with diversity of society

As a young theatre student, Lorne Cardinal dreamed of performing Shakespearean plays at Ontario’s internationally renowned Stratford Festival. An older actor chuckled at his ambition. Didn’t Cardinal know indigenous actors like himself never got roles for non-aboriginal characters?

Soulpepper commissions new work, plans to expand and tour to New York

It’s hard to know where to begin with all the major news Soulpepper revealed publicly on Thursday evening at its annual general meeting. The new $50-million building, the $1.25-million in new commissions … or New York?

All Canadian principal cast in new Mirvish musical Matilda
by TheStar.commatilda

Tim Minchin’s Matilda lyrics, with their sweets, treats and creatures, to be sung by Canadian principal cast in Toronto.


Nationwide casting call for the role of Terry Fox in world-premiere Canadian musical

Drayton Entertainment, one of Canada’s leading arts organizations, announced a nationwide search for the actor to play Canadian hero Terry Fox in the theatre company’s world-premiere of Marathon of Hope: The Musical. The production debuts in October at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse in Waterloo, Ontario.


 Comparing the Creative Economies of Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.
by CityLab

The creative economy—which spans arts, culture, media, design, technology, education, health care, and law—is a key economic engine of advanced nations and cities. We already know a good deal about how creative industries stack up within countries. But, until now, a lack of similar data for different countries has made it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately compare the creative economy across nations by industry and city.

O Canada, how can we be like you?

Funding for the arts in Canada is soaring as Australia plateaus. Why are two similar countries treating the arts so differently?