CARVER IN BOWLER HAT AS JACQUES IN AS YOU LIKE IT
CARVER LEAPING ABOVE THE BAND IN DYNAMIC JACQUES BREL CABARET ENSEMBLE
TWO FAB STRATFORD SHOWS !!!
BRENT CARVER DOUBLES UP THIS SEASON AT STRATFORD IN A DYNAMIC CABARET ROLE IN JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS AND AS THE UNFORGETTABLE “ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE” CHARACTER OF JACQUES IN AS YOU LIKE IT
The Stratford Festival production of Jacques Brel is Alive and well and living in Paris is an exquisite example of musical cabaret theatre at its finest. A cast of two men and two women deliver a gorgeous array of engaging, poignant, and high-spirited songs from the iconic French singer and composer.
Any longtime Brent Carver fan will be mesmerized by his superb performance, and may be tempted to wish that every song was performed by Carver in concert. But the other performers are up to the task of keeping company with a musical theatre genius as they hit each note with perfect theatrical and tuneful pitch as they take audiences on a joyful ride through a diverse array of unforgettable songs.
May 14 to Sept 25
'AS YOU LIKE IT' A SURREAL RIDE THROUGH COMEDY AND FASCISM !!!
Des McAnuff’s production of As You like is a thoroughly entertaining and utterly surreal version of one of the bard’s most popular comedies. McAnuff’s penchant for Broadway-esque showmanship is superb as he updates the setting and gives the play an eerie and frightening Hitler-ian glow that is punctuated by Debra Hanson’s gorgeous Magritte inspired sets.
Standout performances by Ben Carlson (Touschtone), Lucy Peacock (Audrey), Andrea Rung (Rosalind), Paul Nolan (Orlando), and Brent Carver (Jacques) are beautifully clothed in costumes by Dana Osborne. Although strong, and appropriately infused with touches of military madness, the uniformly formal garb - with touches of casual panache - does not distinguish between some of the players as effectively as it might have. McAnuff’s and Osborne's articulation of Touchstone in particular - in a casual suit - does not give Carlson an adequate visual or physical framework for his engaging commentary on the comic/sardonic fool’s paradise his counterparts are meant to play in.
Nevertheless, with delightful jazz based musical moments by Justin Ellington, and a splendid setting for the gender bending antics to unfold, the current Stratford production gives Shakepseare’s classic court and kooky forest an appropriately complex playground for comedy, romance, and power hungry fascists to misbehave within.
at the Festival Theatre until October 31st