East-end outdoor theatre company Shakespeare in the Ruff has already begun prepping for its third annual show since its 2012 resurrection, following well-received productions of The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Richard III. Cymbeline will be its 2014 production, and in order to stage the lesser-known Ancient British drama, the company is holding an Elizabethan Gala to raise necessary capital. The food will be prepared by L’Eat Catering; the entertainment will be courtesy of members of the company and a few special guests. A limited number of discounted arts worker tickets are available, so if you qualify, you’ll want to contact the company ASAP.
As the world premiere of a stage adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s famous novel, Soulpepper Theatre’s production of Of Human Bondage is the jewel of the company’s 2014 season. Not that it’s a perfect play—but it does flex the strength of Soulpepper’s acting ensemble, design team, and, well, budget. The arresting opening scene sees the play’s main character, Philip Carey, well-played by Gregory Prest, enter by rising through a trapdoor centre stage while other members of the cast appear to dissect a cadaver (they’re actually crossing bows across a double bass, which is lying horizontally on an operating table). A spotlight casts Philip’s shadow against a red-brick wall, so that the bows appear to saw through his stiff, upright body. Setting the tone for the rest of the production, the scene is striking, but not incredibly subtle.
After a month of “spring break,” Danny Michel’s School Night Mondays return to their weekly residency at the Dakota Tavern. The previous March residency had special guests like astronaut Chris Hadfield and fellow local songwriter Royal Wood, and given that every previous edition has sold out (it’s door tickets only, so get there early), the night is likely to continue to feature quality guests (plus Michel and his band, of course).
Fledgling comedy duo Tall Sigh are doing it for their moms, and all the moms to be, at their Future Mother’s Day Party for Future Mothers. Their host for the evening’s festivities will be Space Rider Dan Bierne; their musical guest will be Sarah Burton; and their sketch openers will be The Palcoholics.
If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace.
“The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon
“In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore
These quotations, which welcome visitors to “Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms.
We’re nearing the end of Tarragon Theatre‘s 2013/2014 season, and it appears we’ve also arrived at the final stage of its theme: love, loss, wine, and the gods. But that doesn’t mean the Tarragon, which has seen some major hits this year in Lungs, The Double, and The Ugly One, is phoning it in. Sean Dixon’s ambitious new script, A God in Need of Help, has produced not only one of the longer plays in the Tarragon season, but also easily the most dense and layered, mixing as it does historical fact and fiction with timeless issues of art, religion, and politics. Fortunately, that makes it the strongest mainstage show of the season thus far (we’ll see how Tarragon’s final show, The God That Comes, co-created by and featuring Hawksley Workman, performs in June).