Surreal antics and yodel queens combine in New Cackle Sisters: Kitchen Chicken


New Cackle Sisters: Kitchen Chicken | L’orchestre d’hommes orchestres | The Cultch | York Theatre | April 2 – 6, 2019 

Dancing chickens, spray bottles of wine, and Cheese Whiz art — just a few of the joyously weird sights in this delightful orchestra that caters to all the senses. By the end of the show, the smell of roasted chicken fills the theatre and audience members have been treated to various delicacies such as lettuce wrapped hotdogs, mashed potato cones, and cups of tea with a whipped cream rim. But it’s not what’s on the plate that’s important — it’s how it gets there.

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Gross Misconduct is sharply written with plenty of suspense and superb acting


Gross Misconduct | SpeakEasy Theatre | Gateway Theatre | March 14 – 23, 2019

Meghan Gardiner’s sharply-written Gross Misconduct is a difficult yet important story about sexual assault that explores the complex consequences and repercussions for all involved.

In a stark jail cell with two white boxes serving as beds and harsh fluorescent lighting, Deke (Ian Butcher) enjoys his silence. He tells the guard, Gareth (Scott Bellis), “I haven’t had a cellmate since —…” The unfinished sentence begins to build the suspense as we wonder why Deke is in prison.

Read more: Gross Misconduct is sharply written with plenty of suspense and superb acting

Yoga Play parodies the commercialization of yoga


Yoga Play | Gateway Theatre | February 7 – 16, 2019

Playwright Dipika Guha’s Canadian debut, Yoga Play, takes aim at corporate culture, the false authenticity of the yoga lifestyle, and cultural appropriation. The themes and comedic material are all stacked in favour a great play, but the narrative remains on the surface; instead of delving deeply into the issues this production takes a more slapstick approach that didn’t resonate with me.

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Over the top Hitchcock parody The 39 Steps is full of laughs


The 39 Steps | Circle Bright Productions | Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre | March 1 – 10, 2019

It’s 1935 in an old cinema, and the opening credits of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps roll. Just as we get into the first scene, there’s a technical issue and the film stops. A few enthusiastic audience members decide to do the show live instead. After all, says one woman, they’ve seen it 50 times.

The audience members are among us in the theatre and make their way to the stage to put on their own version of the classic film that is a loving parody with everything full of exaggerated slapstick.

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Circle Game gives new life to Joni Mitchell classics


Circle Game | Firehall Arts Centre | January 12 – February 9, 2019 | On tour around the Lower Mainland February 14 – March 26, 2019

Joni Mitchell’s songs are full of classic themes of love, environmental consciousness, and social justice. In this marathon musical, her songs have been updated and reimagined with new arrangements or musical styles, and sometimes with new narrative interpretations. Mitchell’s words still retain a great deal of relevance for today’s generation, and Circle Game reminds us of her wisdom.

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