Isherwood reviews “Hirsch” and “A Word or Two” noting that both shows “reorient our perceptions of where much of the magic really comes from, at least in the theater.” He praises both adding “Hirsch” is a “quirky, engaging biographical study of the life of the Hungarian-born director John Hirsch”.
Gerard, the chief U.S. drama critic for Bloomberg News, writes about several Stratford productions in this critical round up. He likes Henry V, Cymbeline, Pirates and Hirsch. He’s less fond of 42nd St. and dismisses Wanderlust as “a total misfire.” Read more about Wanderlust’s mixed reviews HERE
“The actor not only recreates Hirsch but also steps outside that role to become himself, an actor who reveals the way that the director affected his life and career. Always a generous artist, Nashman never shies away from providing personal details about both men’s lives.”
“If you want to make great art, you need a way in, and the war is a big, big way in to many works of art. Not all – I wouldn’t recommend using it to go into A Doll’s House. But Shakespeare, where primal trauma is always in the background, even in the lightest pieces (notice how A Comedy of Errors begins with a death sentence?) is an especially fertile field to plow this way.”
“This is much a meditation as a play, a shifting kaleidoscope of impressions. And, incidentally, an actual kaleidoscope proves a unifying factor in this human drama. It was John Hirsch’s treasured childhood toy before the Second World War destroyed his family. The memory of it becomes a tear-stained symbol during the final months of his life before succumbing to AIDs in 1989.”
“The play, thank goodness, doesn’t attempt to gloss over Hirsch’s faults; he was tyrannical, abrasive and vindictive, quick to anger and contemptuous of budgets. But he’s also one of the towering figures of Canadian theatre…it’s a dignified way of paying tribute to a complex, troubled man who lived as he loved and hated — with generosity and passion.”
Reid writes about two new plays, Hirsch and The Best Brothers, in this review. “Both make for compelling, engaging theatre and feature virtuosic performances… Hirsch, the play paints a highly impressionistic portrait of the interior contours of his visionary creative life….MacIvor is one of Canada’s best playwrights. He is also a gifted actor, as confirmed by The Best Brothers, a two-man play in which he shares the stage with John Beale.”