scorpion stings again
It's barely been two months since the Fringe Festival wrapped up and already three hit shows are getting remounted. First came the news that Denis McGrath and Scott White's Top Gun! The Musical was flying down to a production in Houston. Then came word that Rick Roberts's Fish/Wife, winner of the Fringe New Play contest, was coming back to the Tarragon Extra Space beginning October 2.
Now Adrian Truss's Tale Of The Scorpion, an entertaining send-up of pulp fiction stories, is travelling to Los Angeles.
Actor/director Anthony Cistero attended one of the show's sold-out performances at the Fringe, and was so impressed that he and his L.A.-based theatre company decided to produce a six-week run of the show at Hollywood's American Renegade Theatre, beginning October 18.
Truss flies out this weekend to meet the L.A. cast.
Because he knows how to nurture growing talent, David Gardner proved the right choice to direct the Hart House Theatre opener, Shakespeare's Macbeth. He ensures that his mostly young cast tell the story cleanly, deal with the language -- no small accomplishment -- and work up the proper amount of emotion in the fast-moving tale. Gardner also offers his own intriguing touches, like turning the witches into corpse-robbers who roam the battlefield and dashing the hopes of an anxious Macbeth early in the play when the king doesn't choose him as ruler-to-be.
Chris Coculuzzi's Macbeth rightly anchors the production as he grows into a manipulative tyrant and then a tragic but determined figure who realizes what he's done. We even watch a flood of feelings cross his face as he moves deeper into blood. Too bad Pip Dwyer makes a lightweight Lady Macbeth. We'd rather see Laryssa Yanchak, who has only one scene as a moving Lady Macduff, try the role. The show runs to Saturday (September 21). See listings for details.
chris wingfields it
Montreal sees more of director Chris Abraham than Toronto this fall. Abraham is back at the Saidye Bronfman Centre -- where his production of Salt-Water Moon was voted last year's best production by the Montreal English Critics Circle -- to helm Tennessee Williams's autobiographical The Glass Menagerie.
He's got a first-rate cast, including Rosemary Dunsmore as the comic yet heartbreaking materfamilias Amanda Wingfield, Michelle Monteith as her daughter Laura and Damien Atkins as her son Tom.
The talented Dunsmore's done more directing than acting recently in Toronto, though she's back performing at the Tarragon later this season, and her starring role in Wit won raves in Montreal.
Monteith played one of the two young lovers in Abraham's Romeo And Juliet at Resurgence Theatre a few months ago.
But we'd especially love to see Atkins, who's known for his comic work, tackle the tormented Tom, something of a Williams self-portrait.