Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #3 I was dreading Topdog/Underdog. I had to read Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A in school and could not have despised it more. I was anticipating an angry, expletive-ridden, crass 2 hours designed to provoke response through discomfort. It’s possible that the script could read that way, but Philip Akin’s production in the Shaw Festival […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #4 There are a few truly stunning productions at the Shaw Festival this year- the top 5 in my rankings all really impressed. One of the most creative, most interesting, most effectively executed productions I’ve seen in quite some time was When the Rain Stops Falling in the Studio Theatre. With a criminally short […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #5 The new musical from Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli brings something very new to the Shaw, even if the plot is nothing new for musical theatre. Essentially a mashup of Carmen’s tropes and Aida’s plot, Maria Severa tells the story of a young Portugese prostitute (the titular Maria) who falls for a man […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #6 There are a few recurring themes at Shaw this year; the first is conventional staging, the second is excellent design, the third is strong supporting players, the fourth is obnoxiously long productions and the fifth is, well, Shaw I guess. What I mean by that is strong scripts with fantastically clever dialogue and […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #7 The first thing that stands out about The Shaw Festival’s current production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is Sue LePage’s perfect set. Tennessee Williams is notoriously detailed in his stage directions; he describes the feel of the place just as much as the look- the sounds, the smells, the generally intangible. […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #8 Candida is a play that is both fascinating and a little dull at the same time. It’s an inconsequential marital squabble that goes on a bit too long and contains perhaps a bit too much philosophizing on the meaning of love and marriage. It’s also revealing and engaging as a social study and […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #9 My notes on The Shaw Festival’s production of My Fair Lady contain only one word: “Birds!!!”. The reason for this is that there is very little to director Molly Smith and set designer Ken MacDonald’s interpretation apart from the far-from-novel metaphor of birds and bird-related things (various “spread my wings” themes and such- […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #10 Drama at the Inish, a comedy written by Lennox Robinson and directed by Shaw Festival Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell, does nothing in particular wrong. The dialogue is clever, the plotting concise, the staging effective, the set well dressed. The talented cast aptly juggles their quick comic material with excellent Irish accents. But the […]

  Kelly Bedard

Ranking: #11  At 2 hours and 15 minutes, The Shaw Festival’s weakest production of the year drags unforgivably. The story of a weak-willed Prime Minister whose sudden socialist enlightenment causes great tumult, On The Rocks has within it some great themes of idealism in government and the importance of standing for something, but it falls […]