This ‘n That #1

Dr. Larry recommends a smorgasbord of highlights that includes an adult book, children’s novels, theatre, a movie and other ‘this’ n that’ tidbits, including a few deserved ‘shout outs!’

What to see in NY: Recently saw  9 plays in 5 days.  The Crucible by the marvel director Ivo Von Hove was an exhilarating experience.. Shuffle Along: the making of the musical of 1921 and all that followed (full title required) was grand entertainment with knock-em-dead tap dancing, a great cast and the stupendous Audra MacDonald. (was luck to catch Ms M since she will be leaving the show in July (materinity leave).  The Father was a thoughtful and heartfelt examination of Alzeheimer victims and those who care for them. Frank Langella was sublime.  Dear Evan Hansen, currently playing off broadway, examines the loner, the outcast teenager. Again, a fantastic performances. 9Wow to Ben Platt!) This musical has a future and will certainly resonate with adolescents. Also saw Bright Star (great music by Steve Martin), Eclipsed (harrowing performances including Lupita N‘Yong0), Tuck Everlasting (charming)  American Psycho (!!!) and an uninspired marionette production of The Pied Piper at the New Victory Theatre.

What’s playing in Toronto?  The Tony Award Winning Musical A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER is at the Princess of Wales Theatre.  Terrific! Terrific! Terrific!  A play that  deserves to be called a musical comedy.  Hilarious!

Did you catch Season #5, Episode #4 of VEEP? on HBO. Brilliant.  Darkly comedic. Fell out of my bed laughing. (Note: lots of F-bombs)

Canada Reads THE  ILLEGAL by Lawrence Hill and so did Larry.  I enjoyed this one. Flowing narrative with timely insights into the refugee, illegal immigrant story.

Speaking of immigrants, DHEEPAN was the winner of the Palme D’Or Prize at Cannes last year. This is a harrowing film centred on three Tamil refugees surviving in a rural community in France. I found it gut-wrenching.

Registration is now open for CODE Conference (Council of Drama and Dance in Education) taking place OCTOBER 21-23, 2016 in St. Catherines Ontario.

Shout out to…Ron Dodson and his hard-working team for the International Children’s Theatre Festival next month in Stratford Ontario followed PLAY SYMPOSIUM (June 9-12) bringing together educators to experience and consider the significance of play (pun intended).

Shout out to… Martha Burns and Susan Coyne for their fine documentary celebrating the work of acclaimed theatre director Robin Phillips. Try and catch Robin and Mark and Richard III at Bloor Hot docs Cinema to witness a master class with a master director.

Shout out to…Lynda Hill, artistic director of Theatre Direct, for her mammoth work with THE WEE FESTIVAL, performances targeted for ages 0 to 5 years old. Praise goes to HUP from Scotland and TRACES and WOODBEAT  from Germany. (I was only able to see six of the nine shows).  Speaking of standing ovation, Lynda you are a marvel.  Congrats to you and all the volunteers that helped make this festival a success. Toronto is lucky to have you, Lynda, and wish this could be an annual venture. (currently every other year).

What about book recommendations? Yes, purchased some NEW NOVELS for young people. Reviews of Somewhere Among by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu, Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk and The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle will be forthcoming.