Who : Performer in the autobiographical Kathryn: Starring As Herself, At Last , a memoir of her life in musical theatre and her affair with the bottle. Buzz : A surprise discovery at this summer's Fringe, Albertson has the warmth and honesty to make her story a fascinating one. And who else do you know who's worked with Robert Goulet , opera tenor Jon Vickers and (on Broadway) Ethel Merman ?
Who : Playwright/director of The Unforgetting , a strong Depression-era drama about a BC heiress and the secrets she discovers in her past. Buzz : Jury Prize winner for best new SummerWorks script last year, The Unforgetting gets a staged reading in its expanded, two-act form. Can Dilworth and his company, Belltower Theatre , make magic again?
Who : Playwright/performer in Democrats Abroad , about Democrats fleeing Republican America in the near future and making life complicated for a Toronto actor. Buzz : Earle blended politics, performance and morality beautifully in his award-winning hit Radio :30. With the war resistance movement a white-hot issue these days, the timing couldn't be better. Doesn't hurt that director Shari Hollett - who also steered Radio :30 and One Good Marriage - is at the helm.
Who : Writer/performer in The Underbelly Diaries , an autobiographical show about life as a male bodybuilder and sometime gigolo. Buzz : Don't expect Deuce Bigalow. Berg is one of the most original comic acts in the city, and he's developed this raunchy and strangely poetic show at comedy clubs from Toronto to New York and San Francisco. Before he takes it off-Broadway, he's definitely worth catching. But if you're at all prudish, stay away.
Who : Actor in Stori ya , a solo show about a Canadian immigrant, an East African woman whose life has been filled with violence. Buzz : Earlier this year Spencer brought her commanding stage presence to Mad Miss. She'll sure need it for this powerful story of a woman caught between cultures, a figure whose secrets are laid bare in three different languages.
Who : Writer/performer of Little Monsters , a trio of autobiographical tales about the kind of people we don't like but have to deal with. Buzz : Best known locally as a TV actor (Traders), Leavins had a hit with Posterchild at SummerWorks 2003. Let's see if he repeats that success with this new material, developed in an L.A. literary think tank run by the writers of Six Feet Under.
Who : Writer of Essay , which puts academia, gender and power under the microscope. Buzz : Moscovitch presented an earlier version of this play at this year's Rhubarb!, and the Oleanna-like mix of scholarship and sexual politics was engaging. The other artists involved are at the top of the class, including director Michael Rubenfeld (Spain) and actors Richard Greenblatt and Jordan Pettle . Let's see how this new draft scores with crowds.
Who : Writer of Noble Parasites , a sci-fi look at survival and waste in a bizarre dystopia. Buzz : McPhaden's oft-remounted SummerWorks hit Poochwater was set in the past, and this one's set in the future. The jury's out on whether theatre's the best medium for futuristic scenarios. But McPhaden's got a terrific ear, so this horrific universe will probably come to life onstage.
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