All posts by Dana Lacey

Frost/Nixon – Canadian Stage Company

By Dana Lacey

Eavesdropping on theatre-goers at Canadian Stage Company’s presentation of Frost/Nixon made me feel incredibly young. People were asking each other where they were during what would turn out to be the most-watched interview ever, and I wasn’t even a fetus yet.  Full disclosure: I was born in the 80s. I wasn’t around during most of television’s big-time events: Other than September 11th, I can’t think of a single time I’ve been really moved by something on television. Sometimes I’m jealous that I wasn’t anywhere when Kennedy was shot, and that I missed out on the paranoia-fuelled days of Watergate. Reality television didn’t centre around singing back then, but was just a tacky. Frost/Nixon captures that perfectly. Continue reading Frost/Nixon – Canadian Stage Company

Wild Dogs – Nightwood Theatre

By Dana Lacey

It wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen before. Wild Dogs is a set of monologues woven together, often competing with each other. The premise, straight from the playbill: “each evening at dusk, six people gather at the edge of the woods calling their dogs back–dogs that have turned wild.” Relationships bloom as the group battles loneliness and loss,
trying to understand why their dogs left them and just what it means to be wild.

The play is an adaption of Helen Humphreys’ novel, and fans can appreciate that all of the play’s dialogue is lifted directly from the book. The result? Not quite play, not quite book reading, Wild Dogs is simply staged poetry (“To be wild is to live by instincts, not imagination.”) It’ll make you uncomfortable in an eerie, I’m-learning-something-about-myself way.

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King Lear – Hart House Theatre

Review by Dana LaceyBenjamin Blais and Thomas Gough from Hart House production of King Lear

Its hard to review a play by a dead genius, and King Lear is one of Shakespeare‘s best. If you’ve ever seen it before, you know three things: the banter is hilarious, the insults viciously entertaining and the script entirely too long.  The Hart House production stays pretty true to all of these things.

The ultra-brief plot: King Lear wants divide his kingdom to his three daughters, and as you can imagine some feelings end up hurt. Alliances are formed, evil plots are devised and disguises are worn, while Lear becomes increasingly senile. The action is oh-so-good, and the violence is cartoon worthy, full of sword fights and eye gouging (“out vile jelly!”).

If you don’t already know the story, its easy to get confused by Billy’s meandering plot lines and there’s a huge chunk in the middle where politics overtake the action.  The friend I brought really wished there were two intermissions. Full disclosure: I love this play and have seen it performed many times, but have never made it through an entire show without dozing off.

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Crackwalker – Staged and Confused

By Dana Lacey

Crackwalker freaked me out before they’d killed the houselights. At first glance the set was beautiful: a dozen light bulbs hung overhead, sending an eerie but soft glow over everything. First the small details kicked in: a battered couch, balls of newspaper, an old chain-link fence…then the one that’s hardest to miss: a giant, bearded and filthy man wandering slowly back and forth, trenchcoat hanging open, the occasional guttural growl coming from a face hidden beneath a hood. He’ll spend most of the play slumped drunkenly in a corner. This was the Crackwalker, I suppose.

Continue reading Crackwalker – Staged and Confused