Necessary Angel has spent this year under artistic director Daniel Brooks workshopping new pieces. One of the highlights was John Mighton 's Half Life , announced last month as a co-pro at the Tarragon next season.
The second collaboration between director Brooks and playwright Mighton, the recent workshop at Theatre Passe Muraille offered some fine moments, especially the sometimes glowing, sometimes tart relationship between Carolyn Hetherington and Eric Peterson as residents in a seniors home. Half Life is the second play this year - the other is Written On Water - that acknowledges that seniors have sexual and other desires. About time we saw that onstage.
Opera hors d'oeuvres
Tapestry's Opera To Go series premiered a quintet of 15-minute works in the Fermenting Room in the Distillery District, an awesome venue for this movable feast of two-handers.
Why movable? The audience travelled around the room to watch the five works, which were splendidly designed by Teresa Przybylski to make great use of the cavernous space. It might initially have looked intimidating as a performing area, but the five singers - Ian Funk, Martin Houtman , Tamara Hummel, Lynne McMurtry and Xin Wang - and a chamber orchestra under Wayne Strongman gave persuasive readings of each show, the clarity of the words negating the need for the flashed surtitles.
At 15 minutes, no show was more than a brief character sketch. The evening's highlights were Koji Nakano's and Kico Gonzalez-Risso's Brush , which gave a sexual and political twist to a pair of Goya paintings; Abigail Richardson's and Marjorie Chan's Mother Everest , a blend of Eastern philosophy and Western ambition; and Sean Ferguson's and Alexis Diamond's The Two Graces , which brought Queen Elizabeth I face to face with a female Irish buccaneer.