Kelly Bedard

Season Ranking: #2 Lady Windermere’s Fan is the best production at this year’s Shaw Festival that is great mostly because of what the company has done with it. Oscar Wilde’s script is fun and full of giddy twists but it’s inventive director Peter Hinton (with an MVP assist from set designer Teresa Przybylski) who makes […]

  Kelly Bedard

Season Ranking: #5 Don’t take the title of this article the wrong way- Old Hat is just fine when it comes to Guys & Dolls. In fact, it’s the only way to do it. A musical so firmly rooted in its time and style shouldn’t really be tampered with. It should just be performed somewhat […]

Season Ranking: #6 I was really looking forward to The Light in the Piazza. I love small, contemporary musical theatre and I’d never seen Adam Guettel’s work though I’d heard wonderful things about it. But it didn’t quite capture me. The classical bent of the music, language-barred lyrics and awkwardly rushed love story just aren’t […]

  Kelly Bedard

Season Ranking: #7 It seems genuinely weird to me that, in a season of 10 shows, Major Barbara is the only George Bernard Shaw text being produced at The Shaw Festival in 2013. Now, I’m not a great George Bernard Shaw fan so that’s not a huge problem for me, it just seems a little […]

  Kelly Bedard

Season Ranking: #3 Every time I’ve reviewed Moya O’Connell in the past, I’ve made some mention of how beautiful she is. The reason I do that is two fold: 1- The major roles in question were Maggie the Cat and Hedda Gabler, characters whose beauty is talked a lot about in their respective plays; so […]

  Kelly Bedard

Season Ranking: #4 When Globe & Mail critic J. Kelly Nestruck reviewed The Shaw Festival’s current production of W. Somerset Maugham’s 1915 comedy Our Betters, he somewhat dismissively declared it outdated and a negative representation of women. This led to a mild hullabaloo as its big name director Morris Panych took the comment too harshly, […]

  Kelly Bedard

Season Ranking: #1 Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia is a genius text written by a genius about geniuses. It gets better every single time I read or see it and The Shaw Festival’s 2013 production easily continued that trend. The play is complicated and rewarding but also fun and diverting. It’s filled with scholarly concepts the full […]

Before we announce the winners of the 2012 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. The MVP of The Shaw Festival’s 2012 season, Ben Sanders’ performance as the enigmatic Alan in French Without Tears remains one of the most memorable I’ve ever seen at the festival. The articulate and self-effacing Best Actor in a Play nominee […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2012 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. A long-time My Theatre-favourite, Mike Shara has become one of Stratford’s most reliable leading men. He’s a consistent charmer and master comedian whose turn as Cornelius Hackl thoroughly stole The Matchmaker from the likes of some of the country’s […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2012 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. One of Canada’s best male triple threats, Kyle Blair already has a My Theatre Award (2011’s Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his role as the Scarecrow in Ross Petty’s Wizard of Oz pantomime). So we weren’t all […]

  Kelly Bedard

Summer for most people is time for pools and barbecues and baseball. And, don’t get me wrong, I both adore and partake in all of those things. But, for me, what makes summer what it is (beyond those iconic Marine Land ads that mark the beginning and end of the season) is theatre. There’s the […]

  Kelly Bedard

By now I’m sure you’ve read all about how great Ragtime is and may be expecting me to disagree. I’m not going to. In fact, I’m going to pile on. No hyperbole here, I promise… Ready? Okay: I have literally never seen one of the festivals (Shaw, Soulppeper, Stratford) pull off a musical nearly as […]

  Kelly Bedard

Would someone please explain to me why His Girl Friday is a play? I get adapting plays into movies, and I even get adapting movies into musicals (so long as the songs are original), but a movie into a play? Chances are there’s no improving on the performances in a movie iconic enough to give […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Shaw Festival’s Hedda Gabler is good but not exceptional, and with a text as brilliant as Ibsen’s that’s not uncommon but always a little disappointing. The legendary Martha Henry’s direction isn’t bold. With fairly conventional character interpretations for the most part and little unexpected in emphasis, she lets the actors and the text do […]

  Kelly Bedard

It takes ages for A Man and Some Women to get going. I was sure it was the worst thing I’d seen in a long time- what with its affected accents, stiff corsets, slow pace and lack of energy- but the further into the play I got the more I started to like it. By […]

  Kelly Bedard

The studio theatre last year was home to some of my favourite Shaw Festival productions. It’s where the festival breaks out of the period mold, drops the accents, and explores a little bit. But it only works if the text being put on is worthy of the creative space, like When the Rain Stops Falling […]

  Kelly Bedard

Director Eda Holmes was very thoughtful in her approach to George Bernard Shaw’s Misalliance. In her director’s note she talks about the idea of experimentation (the mixing and matching of couplings and alliances to see how each turns out) and how she and designer Judith Bowden interpreted that theme into a Petri dish “where all […]

  Kelly Bedard

When Leonard Bernstein’s one-act opera about a crumbling marriage in the 1950s suburbs premiered in 1952, I imagine it was pretty subversive and revealing. The idea of something so flawed yet so seemingly perfect is a fascinating, dark and specifically suburban concept that would have played as insightful and daring back when the suburbs were […]

  Kelly Bedard

Come Back, Little Sheba is a disjointed play. During the first act, it feels like a trivial tragedy not tragic enough to earn that description. The characters are fretting losers with problems so superficial that it’s remarkable how easy they would be to fix. Marie: date nicer boys (and try just one at a time); […]

  Kelly Bedard

Present Laughter isn’t particularly remarkable. It’s a pretty standard Shaw production despite being written by Noel Coward and not George Bernard Shaw (who only wrote two plays slated for the 2012 season, actually). The costumes are pretty, the set is impressive if not interesting and everybody has British accents. Shaw’s Festival Theatre is a typical proscenium arch- […]

  Kelly Bedard

In a season where Stratford is struggling a bit, I haven’t seen a bad Shaw production yet. Ragtime is Fantastic (more on that later) and His Girl Friday is pretty good (again, more to come) but it’s French Without Tears that surprised me the most. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into at […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2011 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present the My Theatre Nominee Interview Series.   In my first season covering The Shaw Festival there was one actor who really stood out as the most eclectic and compelling performer. The chameleonic Steven Sutcliffe stole my attention with a show-saving […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2011 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present the My Theatre Nominee Interview Series. Tomorrow night- March 22, 2012- marks Mike Nadajewski‘s official Broadway debut. His My Theatre Award-nominated role as Peter in Des McAnuff’s smash hit Jesus Christ Superstar is what’s brought him there. Before hitting the […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2011 My Theatre Awards, we’re proud to present the My Theatre Nominee Interview Series. This was my first year reviewing The Shaw Festival, which turned out to be an utter delight. Aside from producing many of my favourite productions of 2011, the festival introduced me to the work […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #1  Of the 11 productions at The Shaw Festival this year, there wasn’t a single one I enjoyed more than the lightening-paced lunchtime one-act The President. The zippy script by Fenrenc Molnar moves so fast that director Blair Williams seems to have choreographed it more than staged it- the entrances and exits are so […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #2 What makes The Admirable Crichton so notable is that it’s the only Shaw Festival production in my top 5 that really fits with the festival’s brand. While not a GB Shaw script, This JM Barrie play enjoys the conventional staging, English accents and Shavian commentary on the class system that proved so ineffective […]