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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 19, No. 1


by Jessica B. Hill / September 1, 2013

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Storytelling, the essence of theatre stands as its most basic, distilled form. This season it’s also an emerging theme in Montreal’s English theatre scene. Many plays have characters directly addressing the audience, weaving entire worlds with their words and inviting us in for the ride.

With Sedna: Goddess of the Sea, Tableau D’Hôte Theatre has taken a deep dive into primeval lore. Inspired by an ancient aboriginal folktale, it tells the story of a young girl’s self-discovery as she journeys to meet her true destiny. Playing at the Segal Centre’s Studio Theatre, September 29-October 13.

Youtheatre brings us Dreaming Now, a play that dips into modern technology. As a young boy sleeps, a world is created where the line between the real and the digital is blurred and pixilated dreams start to form. Computers having become omnipresent in our lives, this show contemplates their effect on our psyche. A play for young audiences ages 7-12, Dreaming Now plays from October 21 to November 8 at the Segal Centre’s Studio Theatre.

On the Segal Theatre’s Mainstage, Ain’t Misbehavin’ – the Fats Waller Musical Show will be performed from September 29 to October 20. This musical revue, a tribute to the black musicians of 1930’s Harlem, is considered one of Broadway’s best. Starring Montreal’s Kim Richardson, this show is bound to have you toe tapping and finger snapping in your seat.

In November, Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre, tackles a classic as it brings Shakespeare’s Othello to the Segal Centre Mainstage. One of the Bard’s best and most painfully human tragedies meets one of Montreal’s most creative young companies. A story of struggle between reason and emotion, a cautionary tale about jealousy clouding judgment, Othello runs from November 17 to December 1.

The Centaur Theatre welcomes the world premiere of The St-Leonard Chronicles this October. From the award-winning author of Mambo Italiano and In Piazza San Domenico, comes a quintessentially Montreal-flavored piece of theatre. A young Italian couple rocks the boat when it considers moving from St-Leonard to Anglo-Saxon Beaconsfield. Their relatives are scandalized, and it doesn’t take long before conservative St-Leonard values are turned upside down as more and more unspoken desires bubble up. Playing October 1-27.

If you didn’t get a chance to see Seeds in 2005, this new version of the award-winning show, beginning its tour across North America, is something you don’t want to miss. This docudrama chronicles the widely publicized legal battle between Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser and Monsanto. Biotechnology industry, patent wars, tainted crops – Seeds is topical and troubling. A modern-day David and Goliath story, Seeds plays at the Centaur Theatre from October 29 to November 24.

If We Were Birds, produced by Imago Theatre, runs as part of Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks in October. An innovative adaptation of Book 6 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the play features a chorus of women, each a survivor of a 20th Century conflict. Winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Award for Drama, If We Were Birds weaves together a gruesome story of war, brutality against women and revenge.

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