NS reviews

Reviews of theatre and art in Nova Scotia and beyond

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elissa barnard

I wrote about arts and entertainment for 35 years for the Chronicle Herald and can't give it all up quite yet. My email is elissa.barnard@gmail.com

    MacIvor play cause for celebration

    Daniel MacIvor as Dougie and Andrew Moodie as Allen in MacIvor’s 90-minute, New Magic Valley Fun Town, to April 21 at the Neptune Scotiabank Stage, Halifax. (Leif Norman) Daniel MacIvor’s New Magic Valley Fun Town is a brilliant, must-see, Cape Breton comedy with deep poignancy and a powerful ending that will leave you shaken and blessed. The 90-minute drama opened to an immediate standing ovation Friday in Neptune’s studio theatre […]

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    Wendy Lill’s The Fighting Days lands at home with Dartmouth Players

    Sarah Crowell stars as suffragist Francis Beynon and Joey Yazer as her editor George McNair in  The Fighting Days, on stage to April 13 at the Sawmill Playhouse, Dartmouth. (Bruce Goodick)   The comical tag-team announcing The Fighting Days proudly tells people they are about to see a Canadian story by a writer who is not only Canadian but lives in Dartmouth. Wendy Lill’s The Fighting Days, in a Dartmouth […]

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    Hit N.S. comedic mystery lands with finesse at Bedford Players

    Alex Smith, Trina Corkum and Elaine Melanson in Habit of Murder. (Bruce Goodick) The Bedford Players’ production of Joanne Miller’s comedic mystery Habit of Murder is a great chance to see this popular show. Habit of Murder was first commissioned from the Halifax author and staged by the Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro as part of a trilogy.  This production keeps the setting in Parrsboro;  however,  this story nestles comfortably […]

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    Nothing Off about Noises Off

    After much serious theatre this winter and a week of ice-rage, Neptune Theatre’s Noises Off is a great tonic. Director Jeremy Webb, himself, points out that this pure comedy is the exception to a season – his first as artistic director – of “plays curated to provoke some pretty high-stakes and emotional responses.” Not Noises Off.  Michael Frayn’s hit 1982 comedy — last seen in Nova Scotia at the Atlantic […]

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    Fox: Not Your Average Volpone

    Stepheny Hunter as Corbacci in The Villain’s Theatre’s Fox, running today, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. with a closing matinee Sunday, 2 p.m., at the Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University. Tickets are online (http://villainstheatre.com/). (Stoo Metz) The Villain’s Theatre presents a visually extreme, bedazzled, intense, new twist on Ben Jonson’s Volpone in a 70-minute drama called Fox. The Halifax company sets this satire of lust and greed as a courtroom […]

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    Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells): compelling, complex theatre of consent

    Celia Koughan as Laura in the Neptune studio theatre production of Toronto playwright Rose Napoli’s Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells), on stage to Feb. 24. (Stoo Metz) Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) — a 90-minute rocket of a drama about an affair between a teacher and a student — is compelling, complex and thought-provoking theatre. Now running at the Neptune studio theatre as part of Neptune’s season, it stars Halifax […]

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    Joyride just as thrilling as 25 years ago

    Kya Mosey and Taylor Olson in Matchstick Theatre’s production of Michael Melski’s Joyride today, 2 and 8 p.m., Neptune studio theatre. (Samm Fisher) Cape Breton playwright Michael Melski’s short, explosive Joyride is as powerful today as it was 25 years ago. Matchstick Theatre gives the tightly-structured, suspenseful play its hard-core strength as well as all the bells and whistles with two shows today, 2 and 8 p.m., wrapping up a […]

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    Walk across The Bridge: powerful, poetic, Black N.S. story with gospel music

    Jacob Sampson as John Solomon and Sophia Walker as Anna in The Bridge, a 2b theatre and Neptune Theatre co-production in association with Obsidian Theatre at Neptune to Feb. 10. (Stoo Metz)  Shauntay Grant’s The Bridge is a powerful, poetic, 75-minute drama about an embattled soul told with the heartache of gospel music and an all-Black cast. In Grant’s rural Nova Scotian community people perceive life through the lens of […]

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    Get Thee to the Theatre: Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before

    Micha Cromwell as Ophelia in Below the Salt’s Hamlet, staged at and on an enormous  Edwardian dining table, at Neptune’s studio theatre to Jan. 20. (Stoo Metz) I’ve seen Hamlet at Point Pleasant Park, a film noir Hamlet and even Mel Gibson as Hamlet — what was I thinking? I have never seen a Hamlet like Below the Salt’s startling, unique theatrical experience at the Neptune Studio Theatre to Jan. […]

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    Concord Floral haunting, teen mystery: great start to a theatrical January

    Ella Buckler as Bobbie stands behind Mai To as Nearly Wild in Concord Floral, produced by DMV Theatre with the King’s Theatrical Society, at The Pit to Jan. 13. (Emily Pettet) Concord Floral is an intriguing, compelling, 90-minute, magical mystery about suburban youth hiding a dark secret. Staged by DMV Theatre in partnership with the King’s Theatrical Society in The Pit to Jan. 13, it’s remarkable for its talent, for […]

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