The big news in theatre as far as I’m concerned is Nina Arsenault’s The Silicone Diaries, which officially opened at Buddies last night after two oversold previews. Apparently, most shows of the limited engagement are already sold out, and Buddies even added a performance on Sun Nov 22 to meet demand. The run can’t be extended due to bookings in the space, but rumours are already circulating that Buddies will be bringing the show back next season into the larger Mainspace (it’s currently in the somewhat claustrophobic cabaret space).
And the show? Well, I saw it in previews and was delighted. Nina’s an engaging performer telling a compelling story. Beg, borrow, or barter to get tickets to this.
Also at Buddies is Nightwood’s reinvention of Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel No Exit. I haven’t seen this (and unfortunately won’t get a chance to), but everything I’m hearing about it says that it shouldn’t be missed.
A reinvention with a more tenuous Buddies connection is Necessary Angel’s Hamlet at Harbourfront, which was workshopped at Buddies earlier this year. I enjoyed the workshop, and people I know who’ve seen the final product are telling me I should see it again. Queer interest: This Hamlet’s definitely got somthing going on with his doomed best friend Guidencrantz (get it?), and there’s apparently a lot of stage nudity (more than in the workshop).
Last week I told you I was going to the opening of the Mirvishes’ production of My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, but I almost didn’t make it. Friday before the opening, critics were uninvited for no given reason (I was allowed to watch because I don’t criticise on this blog). Having watched the sold-out performance, it’s hard to understand why. The show’s roots in the Fringe Festival are still obvious in the minimal staging and design, but it’s not like the show isn’t ready for prime-time. And audiences loved it. It’s a pure, happy little musical about love, tolerance, and coming out, and in the wake of equal marriage losses down south, its message is still quite timely.
Finally, speaking of musicals, I finally made the trek up to North York to catch Dancap’s Jersey Boys — I know, only a year and a half late. The good news is that the musical is still going strong and doesn’t fail to entertain. The“boys”give impressive performances as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons — sometimes funny, sometimes compelling, and always eager to entertain. It’s not hard to see why audiences are still reacting so well to this show. It’s certainly worth the trip to North York Centre.