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Eduardo De Filippo's

Grand Magic

May 6th - September 29thTom Patterson TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 10 Critics
  • mid 68% of shows in the 2023 season
  • tied for most reviewed show of the season
10 Reviews

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This is a listing for the 2023 season. For the current 2024 shows click here.

The New York Times - Jesse Green

Hoodwinked by the flood of abstractions

…[Antoni Cimolino’s] production of Eduardo de Filippo’s “Grand Magic,” on the same stage as “Richard II,” is flat-out gorgeous — sets, costumes, music, everything — and always legible.

If only the play itself were.

Like “Much Ado,” it turns on a husband’s overweening jealousy, and his wife’s need to liberate herself, in this case with the help of a disappearing act.

Yet the play finally isn’t very interested in its story or even its characters except as vehicles for big ideas about identity and illusion. Playgoers drawn in by the captivating mise-en-scène may soon feel hoodwinked by the flood of abstractions. As a play, it’s its own disappearing act.

I don’t know what will happen to “Grand Magic” next; I barely know what happened during it.

[Note: this review is part of a collection in the CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK]

Read Full Review08/29/2023

Our Theatre Voice - Joe Szekeres

Geraint Wyn Davies is Majestic

“Tremendous elegance and intrigue in this stellar 25-member ensemble cast led by captivating performances of Geraint Wyn Davies and Gordon S. Miller…

Playwright Eduardo De Filippo has crafted a fascinating story that explores the line between reality and illusion. It begs the question, do people mean what they say and say what they mean?

Get ready for a visual treat with Lorenzo Savoini’s stunning set design depicting the luxurious Metropole’s seaside porch.”

Read Full Review07/17/2023

The Guardian - Chris Wiegand

Sophisticated and Intellectually...

“Artistic director Antoni Cimolino has conjured up a sophisticated and intellectually stimulating production that balances daft comedy with poignancy. Like the best of tricks, it catches you off guard….

the cast are uniformly excellent in a production that is as sumptuous as this new playhouse.”

Read Full Review07/04/2023

Ontario Stage - Kelly Monaghan

Great Theatre is No Illusion

“Under the assured direction of artistic director Antoni Cimolino, this production proves that great theatre is no illusion…

Grand Magic was written in the years after the end of the Second World War and scholars have read it as an indictment of fascism and the delusions it foisted on the Italian people. As an American, I found it hard not to see echoes of what is happening in the United States, where millions of people deny observable reality and slavishly follow an amoral grifter and craven politicians who traffic in nothing but lies.”

Read Full Review06/11/2023

Intermission Magazine - Aisling Murphy & Liam Donovan

Emotional Highs and Lows

“…it’s not about intense stagecraft or special effects. It’s about a magician, and not necessarily about the magic the magician does, per se…
it’s much more about the façade of the magician, how they present themselves…

It’s got a lot of the emotional depth of Lear and Casey and Diana, and a lot of the comedy of Spamalot. It’s a human drama brought to life spectacularly onstage. It encompasses all the emotional highs and lows of the Stratford Festival, which I just think is really cool.”

Read Full Review06/08/2023

Stage Door - Christopher Hoile

A Dangerously Manipulative Parasite

“…some the finest acting you will see at the Festival this season…

The role of the magician Otto Marvuglia is complex on many levels and requires an actor of the highest calibre. That it has in Geraint Wyn Davies.

It is simply amazing how Wyn Davies can make us feel such sympathy for such a charlatan as Marvuglia even as we watch him ever so subtly metamorphose right before our eyes from the saviour of a damsel in distress to a dangerously manipulative parasite.”

Read Full Review06/06/2023

The Beacon Herald - Bruce Urquhart

A Must-See Production

“… Geraint Wyn Davies finds a perfect balance between his character’s desperate opportunism and an underlying compassion…

A worthy addition to the director’s body of work, Grand Magic is a must-see production. From its its immensely talented cast to its thought-provoking – and often side-splitting – writing, Grand Magic delivers a truly enchanting experience, leaving the audience both spellbound and, perhaps, a little unsettled.”

Read Full Review06/06/2023

Stratford Today - Geoff Dale

Emilio Vieira Rivals Peter Sellers

“Emilio Vieira could rival Peter Sellers’ infamously silly Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame with his bumbling laugh-inducing Brigadiere, on the scene to bring order to disorder…

Wyn Davies is unquestionably top-notch as an imposing, rather powerful presence whose command of an at times impenetrable dialogue is remarkable…

Yet, with all the continuous references to and verbose explorations of the true nature of the author’s favorite words: reality, illusion, perception along with the magician’s experiment or plan and other redundancies within the text, there seems one item missing – magic.”

Read Full Review06/05/2023

The Toronto Star - Joshua Chong

Juxtaposition of Comedy and Tragedy

“… this is a tale about the magic of the mind — the illusion of delusion…

The ensemble cast never misses a beat and is uniformly excellent (despite some odd choices to have certain characters sport a distinct New York accent). Davies and Miller, in particular, draw on the various facets of their world-weary characters: hard-edged, pitiful, lost, clinging to their illusions to cope with a reality which they cannot accept.”

Read Full Review06/06/2023

The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

Gordon S. Miller is Magnificent

“Calogero [Miller’s character] is very much like the great “gulls” you find in Shakespeare such as Malvolio or Parolles, men with huge character flaws who become the butt of elaborate jokes.

But his deluded character slowly becomes the primary one here – De Filippo following him through comedy to tragedy for two more acts as he struggles with the paradox of how to hold onto his love for his wife while relinquishing his illusions about her. Miller depicts all this magnificently.”

Read Full Review06/07/2023

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