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This is the age of the auteur opera director. With the endlessly repeating standard repertoire a fact of opera life, companies are now searching for productions that give a fresh take on the classics. New opera, of course, is always going to be fresh.

Thus, directors and their visions are what drive opera productions these days. The COC’s winter season provides a textbook case of what works and what doesn’t.

Canadian director Atom Egoyan has done a superb job in finding a fascinating –Read More

Recent Blog Posts

I’ve Been a Bad Girl

i’ve fallen behind on my website. The problem is, I’ve been researching a big story which required mega interviews and a lot of organization. Plus being out every night at some theatre somewhere. I just ran out of time. Poor excuse, maybe. But true.

I will catch up by Thursday night..

P

Website Update

The end is in sight. My reconstructed website is almost ready. Just a few kinks to straighten out. I’m in Aruba in January, so the official relaunch will be early in February, when everything should be ironed out.

Long story short – my original web designer disappeared with all the pass codes, and so began my year of website hell. I’m almost out of the woods.

Best of the season to all.

P.

By way of explanation…in matters concerning this website

My redesigned website will officially relaunch in February, 2014. (Ah shucks! I’m at my timeshare in Aruba for most of January.) The new feature is Paula’s Picks, in which I rate plays that I’ve seen, while doing previews of upcoming dance and classical music events. Now why don’t I rate dance and classical music, you might ask? Because, dear friends, dance and music have short runs. I will, however, be doing long reviews of most shows, both theatre and music, –Read More

The Latest Good, Bad and Ugly

Of matters various.

The Canadian Stage production of Venus in Furs is stupendous theatre. It is a run don’t walk. Heart-stopping performances, and utterly intriguing playwriting. Erotic without being graphic. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife.

The Sandra Bullock/George Clooney film Gravity was one of the worst films I saw at TIFF. Bad acting and poor scripting. There is only so far that special effects can carry a terrible movie. I don’t get the hype and the gaga reviews.

Great dance shows –Read More

Recent Reviews

Dance Review – Mirvish Productions/Heartbeat of Home

What a difference 20 years makes. Heartbeat of Home, the new show from the team that brought you Riverdance two decades ago is an immensely enjoyable, professional-looking, polished dance show where everything hangs together as smooth as silk. The music score is sensational and the band it hot. It certainly deserves a long shelf life.

Now for full disclosure. I never warmed up to Riverdance with its pretentious, obscure narration, the staccato dance numbers that seemed gerrymandered together, particularly the –Read More

The 3rd Annual King Edward Tea Society (KETS) Awards for Theatre, 2013

The 3rd Annual King Edward Tea Society (KETS) Awards for Theatre, 2013 were compiled on Monday, December 30, 2013, during high tea in the lobby of Le Meridien King Edward Hotel, Toronto.

The jury members were Paula Citron and Lynn Slotkin.

 

THEY BROUGHT GLORY TO THE STAGE CATEGORY

Theatre by Committee Award: PASSION PLAY (by Sarah Ruhl, Convergence Theatre, Outside the March, and Sheep No Wool Theatre Company).

Flamboyant Pop Icon Award: OF A MONSTROUS CHILD: A GAGA MUSICAL (written and directed by –Read More

Concert Review – Great Songs of Italy with tenor Richard Margison and the Ontario Philharmonic

I had heard through friends that the Oshawa-based Ontario Philharmonic was not your average community orchestra, and that turned out to be correct. In fact, OP is a crackerjack professional orchestra. The guest concertmaster was none other than the excellent Marie Bérard who is concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. It’s hard to imagine Bérard affiliating her brand with a no-name outfit. In reality, OP is festooned with musicians from the COC and National Ballet Orchestras. –Read More

Dance Review – Claudia Moore Moonhorse Dance Theatre/Escape Artist

Veteran dance artist Claudia Moore is celebrating her 60th birthday with four world premieres by heavyweight choreographers. It is a fitting tribute to a great dancer who has enriched the dance scene of this city for many years.

Three of the four dancesmiths (Susanna Hood, Christopher House and Paul-André Fortier) have taken a similar tack in how to move a 60 year old body through space. They have all used well-defined gestural language to anchor their post-modern movement. While the –Read More