Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Nominated this year for Outstanding Performance in a Musical for his role in The Shaw Festival’s Sweeney Todd, Marcus Nance has one of the most memorable voices in Canadian musical theatre- a rich bass that could charm just about anybody […]

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. This is Jennifer Dzialoszynski’s third nomination in a row. Well, third and fourth, really, since she’s nominated in two different categories- Outstanding Supporting Actress for her scene-stealing turn as Laertes in Shakespeare Bash’d’s Hamlet then for Outstanding Actress as no-nonsense Vivie […]

  Kelly Bedard

“Master Harold”… and the Boys This South African-set one-act by Athol Fugard takes a long time to get going but, once it does, it’s a gut punch. The idea is that James Daly’s charming brat Hally is super chummy with the two black men who work at his family’s diner (his parents are offstage dealing […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for God In commissioning Lisa Codrington to adapt Shaw’s short story about a missionary-raised black girl searching for meaning in the African jungle, artistic director Jackie Maxwell kills a whole host of important birds with a single stone: 1- Find a memorable and entertaining one-act for […]

  Kelly Bedard

I’m calling the Shaw Festival’s Uncle Vanya a “must-see” without having really seen it. I’ve attended the show twice and can, by cobbling some pieces together, confidently say it’s the brightest light of their generally disappointing season. But I’ve never seen it the way you will see it if you do as you’re told and […]

Two classics- one British, one American- both, in their way, about growing up and letting go. They both feature real-life couples as their young lovers and both are currently playing on the Royal George stage. That usually would be where the comparison ends but, for her production of Shaw’s contemplation of the worth of women, […]

  Kelly Bedard

It’s tempting to criticize Peter Hinton’s new adaptation of Alice in Wonderland for its emptiness. There is no real story, no great moral, no particular meaning, not even a coherent character to invest in beyond Tara Rosling’s cute but fairly blank-slate Alice. That feels like a flaw of the production but, let’s just be honest, […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. The detail in Eo Sharp’s sprawling, modern set for Peter Hinton’s reimagined modern take on Pygmalion at the Shaw Festival was incredible. We interrogated the Outstanding Design nominee about what the post-its in Higgins’ office said and what […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. We’ve interviewed quite a few Shaw company members this year and we asked each of them about their favourite productions in the 2015 season. Helmed by Outstanding Direction nominee Vikki Anderson, Top Girls was one of the most-mentioned […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Shaw festival stalwart Tara Rosling contrasted a larger-than-life performance as the legendary Patient Griselda in act one of Top Girls with a heartbreaking naturalistic turn as a wounded woman in the second act in one of the most […]

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. One of the Shaw Festival’s most consistently wonderful leading men, Outstanding Actor nominee Patrick McManus highlighted one of the festival’s biggest hits of 2015 as a completely redefined Henry Higgins in Peter Hinton‘s insightfully modern Pygmalion. Can you remember […]

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series Winner of the 2012 Best Actor MyTheatre Award for his performance in French Without Tears, Shaw Festival favourite Ben Sanders returns to the Nominee Interview Series to discuss a season during which he appeared in no fewer than […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. The great Martin Happer battled himself for his spot in this year’s Outstanding Supporting Actor race after delivering two performances at the Shaw Festival in 2015 that were nearly impossible to choose between. Ultimately, his grand, silly, and […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Sweet Charity is never our favourite musical but the sublime Julie Martell made Charity herself one of the great heroines of 2015 with her dynamo performance in The Shaw Festival’s production helmed by Morris Panych. In addition to […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. One of The Shaw Festival’s brightest ingenues, the delightful Kate Besworth is best known for playing kids. In the case of her Outstanding Actress-nominated performance this year, the kid in question was the intrepid and heroic Molly who […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. The Shaw Festival under Jackie Maxwell always has wonderful roles for women, never more so than in 2015’s Top Girls where Fiona Byrne shone as a complex and grounded career woman trying to connect with a life she […]

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Back in the Nominee Interview Series for the second year in a row for another standout comedic turn at the Shaw Festival, the brilliant Outstanding Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Dzialoszynski takes us into the wacky world of You […]

  Kelly Bedard

I have a theory about the (arguably, I guess) three most important theatre companies in Ontario. In any given season, if one of the three companies is under-performing (as one inevitably is), the others raise their game (to compensate? compete? rub it in their face? who knows). They seem to rotate- in a superb Soulpepper […]

  Kelly Bedard

Oh, Peter Hinton, where would the Shaw Festival be without you? Pygmalion is exactly the sort of “ugh, this again?” play that the festival has no realistic way of avoiding, but that’s why they need Peter Hinton. A rare director of grand ambition, a Peter Hinton production is never boring, never simple, never lazy. Even […]

  Kelly Bedard

This is literally the only badly executed play at the entire Shaw Festival this year. Do you know how impressive that is? Most ten-play seasons have a hit or two and maybe a handful more that are merely pleasant, then at least a few duds. But Light Up the Sky, that’s it this year for […]

  Kelly Bedard

There are two issues to address here. 1) The Shaw Festival’s production of Sweet Charity is pretty good. 2) Sweet Charity is a piece of illogical, misogynistic nonsense and, though it has a fun song or two, no smart and interesting company should be programming it over the hundreds of wonderful (both lesser-known and far-more-popular) […]

  Kelly Bedard

Do you remember that play you saw when you were a kid? The one that captured your imagination and convinced you that there was no magic quite like the magic of the theatre? You remember it; it’s the reason you grew up to be someone who would find their way here, reading this review. For […]

  Kelly Bedard

This really excellent Shaw season is remarkable for many reasons but perhaps the most notable (at this particular moment in Canadian theatrical history) is its focus on and opportunities for women. They are muses (The Divine) and heroes (Peter & the Starcatcher), complex ingénues and feisty matriarchs (Pygmalion, The Lady from the Sea), scene-stealers (You […]

  Kelly Bedard

The full title of the Shaw Festival’s latest studio theatre offering is almost as long as its running time (a whopping 3 hours and 50 minutes): The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. Besides the fact that most plays in the studio have no intermission and this one […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt was the last production I saw this year at the Shaw Festival (I’m reviewing out of order because this simply couldn’t wait). Before I saw this world premiere (four years in the making by Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard and translator Linda Gaboriau), I was already considering the […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Stratford Festival is having some women issues this year with a season that includes a dispiriting number of plays with misogynistic themes and not enough female-led works (though the late openers may help matters, hopefully). In contrast, at least in my opinion, The Shaw Festival is killing it on the female front despite the gender […]