Back at it

Forgive my absence over the past two weeks, but even declared theatre junkies need a vacation once in a while. Mine came in the form of lions and leopards and elephants all courtesy of the remarkable and beautiful country of Kenya. Sadly the safari is over, I survived the 22 hour flight home yesterday and once I shake the jet lag I’ll be back to reviewing as usual.

There were four plays that I missed being out-of-town and all four are coming to a close this weekend or shortly after. Between taking a day or two to recalibrate and getting ready for the next round of productions, I decided that I only had the bandwidth to see one of them. My choices were, Double Indemnity at Vertigo Theatre, Pink Sugar at Theatre Junction GRAND, A Steady Rain at EPCOR Centre’s Motel or Hamlet also at Vertigo Theatre.

I saw A Steady Rain in New York with Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman a couple of years ago and while both actors did a fine job, I wasn’t a big fan of the play. I found it to be wordy without necessarily being interesting and infused with shock value more for the sake of  sensationalism than a compelling story arc. Ok , so that was out.

Double indemnity, to be frank, just didn’t interest me all that much no matter how gorgeous I hear the set design is. With Terry Gunvordahl as the designer I have no doubt that the stage looks spectacular. But I need more than that – so pass on that one.

So it came down to a play I know very well to one I haven’t seen before – the famous story of a troubled Prince or a play about stolen body parts. And while I wish I could see both Pink Sugar and Hamlet, I’ve decided that Hamlet it is. Mostly because of the onslaught of emails I received from sources I trust telling me it is a must see on several fronts and also because I’m a fan of The Shakespeare Company’s work and am eager to see their first production with Haysam Kadri as Artistic Producer and director.

Yes, I am having guilt pangs at missing Pink Sugar. And given the right circumstances MIGHT be talked into squeezing it in. But I’ll need your help with that. Please, if you see it and feel it is something I should catch, drop me a line and let me know. Unfortunately I won’t be able to offer up full reviews for either production because of timing issues, but every show I see does become eligible for our annual Calgary Critics’ Awards.

Look forward to your thoughts and see you in the theatre!


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