You know the story of the Salem witch trials, possibly through Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible. Writer/performer Nicole Brooks offers a different take on the material in Obeah Opera, which looks at the goings-on in Puritan Salem from the viewpoint of the community’s Caribbean slave women. The show, an a cappella presentation with a racially diverse, all-female cast, had a terrific workshop a few years ago, and this marks its premiere, presented by Culchahworks Arts Collective and Panamania in association with Nightwood Theatre and b current Lezlie Wade directs. Opens August 4 and runs to August 8 at the Young Centre. 416-866-8666, youngcentre.ca.
Puppets plumb Shakespeare
This year’s outdoor Shakespeare in the Ruff is a striking version of Shakespeare‘s Scottish play, performed by five human actors and a variety of puppets. Dubbed Macbeth: Walking Shadows, the adaptation emphasizes the fragility of the title character, a figure made of wood and paper. Directed by company head Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, the actors – Alexander Crowther (in the main role), Tara Koehler, Kaitlin Morrow, A.J. Richardson and Kaitlyn Riordan – share the grassy stage with figures designed by Zach Fraser, whose puppets contributed to the success of the Fringe hit …And Stockings For The Ladies. Performances begin August 13 and run to August 30 in Withrow Park, south of Danforth, east of Logan. shakespeareintheruff.com.
Made in Brittain
Even in his season-and-a-half with Saturday Night Live, comic Paul Brittain made a mark with his characters “Sex” Ed Vincent (a shady middle-aged sex counsellor who conducts his sessions in hotels), Lord Cecil Wyndemere and his impressions of people like Johnny Depp and James Franco. Now Brittain descends on Comedy Bar and Bad Dog Theatre for a weekend of shows that include guest spots on Catch23, MANTOWN, Filthy and Sunday Night Live. He’ll also do two full-length shows as “Sex” Ed Vincent. August 7 to 9 at Bad Dog Theatre and Comedy Bar. Check baddogtheatre.com and comedybar.ca.