What exactly is the truth of a work of art, and how much licence does someone have to create that truth? Those are some of the questions raised in Neil LaBute 's The Shape Of Things . The premiere piece by Nervemeter , the show closed last weekend.
In it, a nerdy undergrad named Adam meets a compelling Eve -- actually, it's Evelyn, and she's an art major -- and is seduced by her into changing his spots. Getting fit, having plastic surgery, rejecting his best friends -- there's nothing's he won't do for her. Turns out he's her thesis project.
Though the script is overlong and sometimes predictable, director Alexandra Seay 's production, involving the audience in the action and featuring a simple but striking design that turns the theatre into an art gallery, resonates on several levels.
Tara Yelland 's Evelyn is nicely confrontational and manipulative, but we need more sense of the character's emotional ambiguity in her final scenes. As Adam's best friend, Robin Archer develops a menacing, game-playing quality that succeeds well, while Elizabeth Helmers strikes the right tentative qualities as Archer's fiancée.
It's Julian DeZotti 's Adam, though, who gives The Shape Of Things its strongest dramatic structure. He mines the work's comic and dark moments with sharp skill, morphing from a shy, nail-biting security guard to an angry pawn who still needs Evelyn.
Looking for a quick trip to New York's Metropolitan Opera without the cost of flight and hotel?
This year the Met offers six live Saturday-matinee broadcasts in cinemas across North America, two of them in Toronto. Beginning December 30 with a shortened English version of Mozart's The Magic Flute , directed by Julie Taymor (The Lion King), the productions include Bellini's I Puritani , Tan Dun's new opera, The First Empero r, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin , Rossini's The Barber Of Seville and Puccini's Il Trittico .
Among the starry performers are Anna Netrebko , Placido Domingo , Renée Fleming , Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Juan Diego Fl-rez .
The local theatres are the Cineplex Odeon Sheppard-Grande and the Paramount. Tickets are available online at www.cineplex.com.
The first word of composer Patrick Cardy 's adaptation of The Snow Queen is "Imagine." Indeed, audience members are encouraged to use their imaginations in this musical version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, presented last week by Alon Nashman and the Tokai String Quartet . In a marvellous environment with white cloth covering everything -- the stage, even the music stands -- like snow, Nashman and the musicians blend their talents to tell this tale of friendship and loyalty. The words, spoken and given physical presence by Nashman, and the tunes, sometimes astringent, sometimes melodic, create a magical world.
Nashman's charm as a storyteller wins over the audience, and he interacts with the string players, three of whom enter the story as characters. Add Andrea Lundy 's rich lighting and you have a theatrical performance that's far more than a concert version of the fairy tale.