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

    Highly international N.S. Tattoo

    This year the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is like going on a trip. Now in its 40th year,  it has more international acts than ever with a sword-flashing Jordanian honour guard, German aerial bicyclists, Russian folk dancers, Brazilian acrobats and a Singapore police force band. The culture clash is fascinating as you go from kilted Scottish pipers to friendly, highly-skilled Kenyan acrobats building amazing, body pyramids. This tattoo, running […]

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    A Sable Island dream come true

    Pieces of Sable Island, 5′ x 5′, oil on birch panel, is both a painting by Briana Corr Scott and the title of her exhibit at Argyle Fine Art to July 4. Sable Island has such a hold on artist Briana Corr Scott that her haunting, layered still lifes and landscapes are about a real place and an enchanted, dreamed-of place. “My work is about the beauty of decay and […]

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    Go have an Art Attackk

    Henricus Gielis is a rule-bound security guard encouraged to pursue his dreams by a talking, folk art statue in Art Attackk, a trio of plays about art and life by Halifax Theatre for Young People. Halifax Theatre for Young People’s Art Attackk is a trio of adventures for kids about life and art. The company took this fun, kinetic, hour-long show on a school tour in May and recently performed […]

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    Red is the colour of memory

    Green Room Marquee, oil on canvas, by Marilyn McAvoy, in her exhibit Red at Studio 21, 1273 Hollis St., Halifax.  Marilyn McAvoy’s new paintings at Studio 21 to June 6 are fascinating, shadowland portraits of women at bars, caught alone in an empty space in dramatic reflection. They are inspired by the 20 years she spent as the partner of a local musician going to shows at Halifax bars, being […]

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    Halifax actor Jeff Schwager, left, and Ontario Metis actor Sean Hauk, bring award-winning Ojibwe playwright Drew Hayden Taylor’s intense and funny drama,  In a World Created by a Drunken God, to life at Neptune Scotiabank Studio theatre to May 20. (Stoo Metz) Ojibwe playwright Drew Hayden Taylor’s In a World Created By a Drunken God is a thought-provoking, funny play about big issues in life. Would you give a kidney […]

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    This Mamma Mia! You Gotta See-a!

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    The Blazing World: funny, pointed, sci-fi, comedy with a giant bug puppet

    Playwright Colleen MacIsaac stars as a despairing scientist experiencing a sci-fi utopian world in The Villain Theatre’s The Blazing World, at the Neptune studio theatre through Sunday. (photo by Stoo Metz)  Colleen MacIsaac’s The Blazing World is a brilliant, hopeful, 90-minute comedy about environmental issues and a depressed scientist. Literate, funny and theatrically inventive, the play is refreshing in tackling today’s fears and despair about climate change. In fact, MacIsaac’s […]

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    Diary of Anne Frank as haunting as ever

    Sarah Chalmers as Anne Frank tries on the fur coat so beloved by Mrs. van Daan (Rayna Smith-Camp) in the Theatre Arts Guild’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank, running to April 21 in the community theatre’s Pond Playhouse. (photo by Bruce Goodick)     I have never totally forgiven my mother for presenting me with The Diary of Anne Frank when I was 13. I so strongly identified […]

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    Half-Cracked is whole fun

    Genevieve Steele stars as Sugar Mary with Christian Murray as a folklorist and Sharleen Kalayil as her sister Yewina in Eastern Front Theatre’s premiere of Mary-Colin Chisholm’s Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sugar Mary, presented by Neptune Theatre at its studio theatre in Halifax to April 1. (photo by Stoo Metz) Nova Scotia playwright Mary-Colin Chisholm’s new comedy, Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sugar Mary, is a wild, enchanting ride into the […]

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    Salt-Water Moon wonderful transformative theatrical experience

    Neptune studio theatre’s production of David French’s classic love story Salt-Water Moon is a little gem of a play. Running 85 minutes without intermission, it stars two up-and-coming young Atlantic Canadian actors Kelin Boyd and Nathan Simmons and evokes a coastal Newfoundland world full of moonlight, stars, rock and sea. French’s story is poetic and magical – what love story isn’t ? – but also rooted in the harshness of […]

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