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This is a listing for the 2011 season.
For the current 2023 shows click here.
McAnuff’s postmodern jumble
2 1/2 Stars: “McAnuff has transformed a coherent play into a series of scenes that each seem to exist in their own separate universe…there’s no doubting his knack for crowd-pleasing comedy – but in terms of storytelling it is perhaps McAnuff’s least satisfying stab at Shakespeare since his return to Stratford. ”
4 Stars: Sara Topham takes Olivia on a complete journey, from an overindulgence in grief to a genuine discovery of love. Mike Shara isn’t afraid to make Orsino a chauvinist brute who wallows in his swinishness until he, too, is redeemed by the power of genuine emotion.
4 Stars: Debra Hanson’s massive set piece that turns the whole story into a trip through a shattered looking-glass. Dennehy still has a ways to go before he can be called a great Shakespearian, but happily, he’s made a bit of progress, assisted here by open-hearted performances from Ouimette, Ricketts and Juan Chioran.
“the comedy is beautifully served, thanks to the dissipated charm of Brian Dennehy’s Sir Toby Belch and the sad-sack perfection of Stephen Ouimette’s work as that lovable ninny, Sir Andrew Aguecheek. “I was loved once,” Sir Andrew tells us ruefully, and we wonder whether we should laugh or cry.”
Not only does the production succeed brilliantly, it is McAnuff’s most imaginative work in his tenure as the festival’s artistic steward. It’s a creative triumph for designer Debra Hanson, sound designer Todd Charlton, lighting designer Michael Walton and Roth, who also handles musical direction and arrangements.
“This production is a bit crowded when it comes to ideas. It’s as though McAnuff just couldn’t discard anything tried in rehearsal. Most of McAnuff’s ideas really are good. It’s just that sometimes there’s so many of them they threaten to overwhelm the play itself.”