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

Mary Vingoe’s Some Blow Flutes: deeply moving, honest, rewarding theatre

Hugh Thompson as Costas and Francine Deschepper as Sandra in the premiere of Mary Vingoe’s Some Blow Flutes, at the Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax, through Nov. 4.  (Stoo Metz)  I am at an age when – like many people – I have raised a teen, cared for a parent with Alzheimer’s and lived with grief in the loss of both parents. SO, I needed a lot of Kleenex for Mary […]

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There’s gonna be a Revolution (in craft)

(All photos by Grace Leammler) REVOLUTION, at the Mary E. Black Gallery through Nov. 4, is an intriguing, imaginative and powerful exhibit by Craft Nova Scotia members. For this juried show the province’s top artisans explored the many intrepretations of the word revolution. The 22 works range from the astonishingly-exquisite song sparrow’s nest of orbiting silver wire by jeweler Elizabeth Goluch to ceramic artist Carol Morrow’s quilt-inspired, revolutionary- red, text-patterned […]

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The Little Years: magical, dark comedy about limited female roles

Colleen MacIsaac as the thwarted scientist Kate is framed by, left, Christine Daniels as Grace and Mauralea Austin as Alice in Matchstick Theatre’s production of John Mighton’s The Little Years, on Oct. 13 and 14, 2 and 8 p.m., at the Bus Stop Theatre. (Samm Fisher) Given the idea — or hope —  that young women today can do anything they want with their lives, John Mighton’s The Little Years […]

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Scratch & Sniff Menu seriously smart and seductive

Comfort food meets scratch and sniff technology in Emily Lawrence’s playful, poignant art exhibit about Alzheimer’s at the Craig Gallery, Alderney Landing. The viewer steps on foot-shaped pieces of shag carpet, as cozy as old knitted slippers, to look at luscious photographs of 1950s and 1960s home-kitchen favourites that smell, when scratched, like apple pie, or birthday cake, or fresh white bread just out of the oven. Lawrence, exhibiting Scratch […]

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The Bitterest Time: powerful N.S. drama about wartime heroine Mona Parsons

Rachel Hastings as Wendy receives a potato from Amanda LeBlanc as Mona in The Bitterest Time: The War Story of Mona Parsons, by Andria Hill-Lehr and Sarah Jane Blenkhorn.  (Bruce Dienes) The Bitterest Time: The War Story of Mona Parsons is a powerful, deeply affecting play about the resilience of the human spirit as two women struggle to survive in a Nazi prison cell. Thanks to Wolfville writer Andria Hill-Lehr, […]

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Fall in Love with Shakespeare in Love

A  merry band of reprobate actors and producers in Shakespeare in Love, Neptune Theatre’s rollicking, witty season-opener, on stage to Oct. 7. (Stoo Metz)  Neptune Theatre’s popular new artistic director Jeremy Webb makes the winter of Atlantic Canadian actors’ discontent glorious summer with his first season-opener. He casts local and homegrown talent, instead of importing from Toronto, and he casts inclusively with African-Nova Scotian and Asian actors. But the play’s […]

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Elapultiek: lovely fireside journey into a Mi’kmaw perspective on the world

shalan joudry, left, and Matthew Lumley perform in joudry’s fireside play Elapultiek, commissioned by Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, first staged at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, now touring Nova Scotia. (Macky Schwartz) Being non-indigenous, the experience of seeing the Mi’kmaw play Elapultiek is both  illuminating and warming. That’s not just because it’s told around a blazing fire with the croaking ravens, the wind, the trees and […]

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Wonder at the talent in comical Alice

The cast of Shakespeare by the Sea’s Alice in Wonderland at Cambridge Battery, Point Pleasant Park. (Nick Harrison) I have watched my little girl grow up watching Shakespeare by the Sea’s all-ages, comic variations on classic tales. Now the company is 25 and she is 18 and living in Montreal. So this summer I took my Ontario great-nieces — eight and 13 – and my sister. I knew the show […]

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It can happen at Any Given Moment: Ship’s Co.’s intense new drama

Wally MacKinnon is Bill in Kim Parkhill’s explosive, contemporary drama Any Given Moment, at Ship’s Company Theatre, Parrsboro, to Sept. 2 before a New Brunswick tour. (Dave Risk) Halifax playwright Kim Parkhill explores the fear of random violence in her explosive, 90-minute drama, Any Given Moment, at Ship’s Company Theatre to Sept. 2. Three disparate characters are caught in a city-block lock-down in a church. They have no idea what […]

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Mary-Colin brings her magic to Ship’s Co.

Karen Bassett and Martha Irving star in Mary-Colin Chisholm’s Hook, Line & Sinner, to July 29 at Ship’s Company Theatre, Parrsboro. (Jennifer Harrison) Sister Vivian Salter is back in action solving crime and cracking up an audience in Mary- Colin Chisholm’s mystery-comedy Hook, Line & Sinner. The third instalment in Ship’s Company Theatre’s series, this play is highly entertaining, wonderfully local and warm-hearted with a convivial, village community of old […]

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