Relatively Speaking

At Performing Arts Lodge until December 1, 2013
It seems only yesterday that Alan Ayckbourn was a hot new playwright writing scathingly funny plays about marriage, infidelity and the British middle class. I remember loving another early play of his – Absurd Person Singular, written in 1975 – and being amazed at how Ayckbourn manipulated us into laughing until it really wasn’t funny anymore.

Terence Kelly as Phillip in Relatively Speaking. Credit: Chris Van Der Schyf

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The Woman in Black

At Little Mountain Gallery (26th and Main) October 31-November 2, November 5-9 and November 12-16
No tricks, all treats at the Hallowe’en night opening of The Woman in Black. Ghoulishly costumed partyers and exploding firecrackers outside along Main Street added to the ghostly tale of Mr. Arthur Kipps.

Chris Cochrane as The Actor in The Woman in Black. Credit: Jason Lang

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The Rap Guide to Evolution

At The Cultch until November 10, 2013
Can attaining world peace be as simple as rapper Baba Brinkman suggests: “Don’t sleep with mean people”? Ladies, says he, with all your peace-loving, non-homicidal, low testosterone genes, make babies only with un-mean guys.

Baba Brinkman in The Rap Guide to Evolution. Credit: Yuval Binur

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Communion

At Pacific Theatre until November 9, 2013
Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor gets under the skin of his characters Leda, Annie and Carolyn with such intensity that Communion brought me close to tears.

Diane Brown as Leda in Communion. Credit: Tim Matheson

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Armstrong’s War

At the Arts Club Revue Stage until November 9, 2013
This script by Colleen Murphy, enjoying its premiere production at the Arts Club Revue Stage, is an excellent vehicle for a couple of young performers.

Matreya Scarrwener as Halley in Armstrong’s War. Credit: David Cooper

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The Rocky Horror Show

At Jericho Arts Centre until October 26, 2013
It’s rude, it’s crude, it’s loud and it’s proud. Buy the $5 bag of authorized ‘props’ and throw your confetti, rice and cards. Wear the silly party hat; blow your party horn. In other words, get down.

Clockwise from top: Jesicca Bryn, Ray Boulay, Seth Little and Kelli Ogmundson in The Rocky Horror Show

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The Great Gatsby

At Max Bell Theatre (Calgary) until November 10, 2013
Almost half the cast list of The Great Gatsby reads as if director Kim Collier had cherry-picked her way through Vancouver’s finest: Bob Frazer, Jonathon Young, Craig Erickson, Celine Stubel, Jennifer Lines and Haig Sutherland. But 2010 Siminovitch Prize-winning Collier isn’t directing this show for a Vancouver company; she’s directing for Theatre Calgary.

Amy Rutherford as Daisy in The Great Gatsby. Poster photo credit:  David Cooper

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Of Mice and Men

At Little Mountain Gallery (195 East 26th) until October 26, 2013
John Steinbeck’s stage adaptation of his classic novella Of Mice and Men is a surprising choice for young director Genevieve Fleming. The play is so early 20th century American and so masculine it smells of dust and sweat: nine men, one woman.

Sebastian Kroon as Lennie in Of Mice and Men. Credit: David Cooper

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Venus in Fur

At the Arts Club Granville Island Stage until November 2, 2013
In Venus in Fur, a storm is brewing outside but it’s nothing compared to the storm that’s about to break inside the rehearsal hall where Thomas (Vincent Gale), a playwright and director, has just wrapped up auditioning three dozen actresses.

Vincent Gale and Lindsey Angell in Venus in Fur. Credit: David Cooper

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Speech & Debate

At Studio 1398 until October 12, 2013
High school: the happiest years of your life. Yeah, sure. Directed by Brian Cochrane for Twenty Something Theatre, Speech & Debate is geared more to the fifteen and sixteen-year-old crowd than to the twenty-somethings. But most of us have been there: teenaged, dateless on a Friday night and feeling too geeky for words.

Alex Rose, Claire Hasselgrave and Scott Button in Speech & Debate. Credit: David Cooper

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