2017 Stratford Shakespeare Festival – Season Recap
By David Grapes
With the exception of Treasure Island and The School for Scandal, I was able to attend the remaining twelve productions in the 2017 season. These were my favorites:
The Changeling **** 4 Stars!
Ben Carlson shines in a powerful and provocative new production of Thomas Middleton's seldom seen The Changeling @stratfest.
Timon of Athens *** 3½ Stars!
Joe Zeigler grabs Shakespeare's Timon of Athens by the throat early on and never let's go in this riveting production @stratfest!
Guys & Dolls *** 3½ Stars!
5 will get you 10 that you are going to love this energetic Guys and Dolls at @stratfest. The male dance ensemble steals the show.
Madwoman of Chaillot *** 3½ Stars!
Madwoman of Chaillot @stratfest delivers stylish entertainment cleverly wrapped in a highly relevant message for our modern world.
The Breathing Hole *** 3 Stars!
Great puppetry and important themes keep Breathing Hole afloat @stratfest. The play could loose some of its melodrama in Act Two, which almost stays into camp in the final scene. However, I enjoyed the evening and the play makes you think. And isn't that what good theatre is all about?
Twelfth Night *** 3 Stars!
I enjoyed the majority of 12th Night despite the worst rendition of Malvolio that I have witnessed in my 36 seasons @stratfest
HMS Pinafore *** 3 Stars!
Beautiful voices, a well tuned orchestra and clever staging/choreography make this traditional HMS Pinafore sing @stratfest.
The Bakkhai *** 3 Stars!
It's Lucy Peacock and the wonderful female chorus, who bring the heat and passion to this sexy rendition of The Bakkhai @stratfest
Tartuffe *** 3 Stars!
Rooney and Abbey breath comic life into a face paced contemporary Tratuffe @stratfest. Strong ensemble and clever translation are “Bigly!”
These were not my favorites:
The Virgin Trial ** 2 ½ Stars!
@stratfest. A one note production of a one note script. Interesting history does not always make for compelling drama
Komagata Maru Incident ** 2 Stars!
The theatre could use a powerful new play that speaks to immigration issues. The Komagata Maru Incident @stratfest is NOT that play!
Romeo & Juliet ** 2 Stars!
There is no youth, passion, heat or even romance in this dark, dull and at times oddly comic Romeo and Juliet @stratfest!
Coming soon my preview of the 2018 Stratford Shakespeare Festival season!
2018 Tickets and Information at: www.stratfordfestival.ca