What do we mean by “forgiveness” or “redemption”? Prodigal, written and directed by Paolo Santalucia currently being presented by the Howland Company at Crow’s Theatre asks us to consider just that. It’s a curiously structured play. On one level it’s a black comedy about a seriously dysfunctional elite family but there’s an intro to each act in which a preacher exegises on the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Parable of the Lost Sheep. We are invited to compare the characters we are about to see with the dramatic personae of Christ’s teaching. But are they really comparable?”
Here are a few more gigs that I didn’t check in my earlier February post.
This Saturday (18th) at 7.30pm at 918 Bathurst the Happenstancers have a concert. It’s called Hypersuite and it will consist of movements from Bach works for solo instrument interspersed with contemporary works in like vein. Composers to be featured include Ana Sokolovic, Augusta Read Thomas and Elliot Carter. More info and tickets here.
A version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters opened last night in a collaboration between Hart House Theatre and the Howland Company. It’s described as “Adapted and directed by Paolo Santalucia after Chekhov” . What this means is that is given a contemporary Canadian setting with changed character names and so forth. The structural purpose of each scene, pretty much each speech, remains the same but the words are not a literal translation. And, Alex Vershinin is a woman lieutenant colonel in the RCAF which gives a very different spin to her “affair” with Masha.
October 11th to November 6th at Crow’s Theatre it’s Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. “During the chaos of the 2003 American occupation of Iraq the lives of two American marines intersect with an Iraqi gardener as they search through the rubble of war for friendship, redemption, and a toilet seat made of gold.”
October 26th at 8pm at Koerner Hall Philippe Jaroussky is appearing with Ensemble Artaserse. It’s a rare chance to hear somewhat controversial countertemor Jaroussky sing with orchestra in an ideal venue. The concert includes works by a range of baroque composers. Some of the material is relatively familiar; “Cara sposa” from Rinaldo for example, but much is by less well known composers such as Hasse and Ferrandini. Artaserse Ensemble is a leading period instrument band that, besides Jaroussky, has appeared with such singers as Cecilia Bartoli and Andreas Scholl.
October 27th – 30th at Alliance Française it’s Tapestry’s Tapestry Briefs: Les Shorts qui chantent. This will showcase scenes created at the very first bi-lingual LibLab. Direction is by Tim Albery.
October 26th to November 12th at Hart House Theatre, Howland Company and Hart House Theatre have a modern adaptation by Paolo Santalucia of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.
November 3rd at 5.30pm it’s Centre Stage at the Four Season’s Centre, live for the first time in a while. It’s the usual format; cocktails and snacks, a competition for aspiring voices and, for the well heeled, an on-stage dinner.
If you are buying tickets look out for deals. There’s a fair bit of discounting going on. Some shows have clearly sold very well but others not so much. The post pandemic bounce back looks a bit anaemic right now.