Paula’s Picks and Pans – Dec 11th 2013

THEATRE – NOW PLAYING (5 STAR RATING SYSTEM)

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Paula’s Picks and Pans – Dec 4th 2013

THEATRE – NOW PLAYING (5 STAR RATING SYSTEM)

Winners and Losers by Marcus Youssef and James Long. (4 Stars.) Saw this first at Montreal’s Festival TransAmériques. Basically the same show with a few Rob Ford updates. Two friends discussing who and what they regard as winners and losers. Starts out as fun, but grows in tension. Intelligent and witty.(Berkeley Downstairs, www.canadianstage.com, closes Dec. 08.)

God of Carnage by Yazmina Reza. (4 ½ Stars.) Two couples meet to discuss a schoolyard altercation between their children. Funny with a dark edge as civilization breaks down. Sort of a Lord of the Flies for adults. Spirited acting and directing make for a high energy production. (Panasonic Theatre, www.mirvish.com/shows, closes Dec. 15.)

Once, book by Enda Walsh, music and lyrics by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova. (3e  Stars.) This Tony Award-winning musical is more or less faithful to the 2007 Irish movie of the same name in which an immigrant Czech girl helps turn around the life of a disillusioned Dublin street musician. The multi-tasking cast also acts as the orchestra. What worked in the film seems contrived on stage. Folk/rock music is on the dull side. (Royal Alexandra Theatre, www.mirvish.com/shows, closes Jan. 05.)