Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Soulpepper 2016

Soulpepper has finally gotten around to announcing their 2016 season.  Hopefully this link will work (for now at any rate).  Quite a few of the shows are little more than comfort food: The 39 Steps, The Odd Couple and even Twelve Angry Men.  I'm really a bit surprised that they would bother, though I suppose they need some shows that will put people in the seats.  Somewhere in the middle of the pack,* they are doing Ibsen's A Doll's House and Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding.  I saw Blood Wedding just a little while ago at Buddies in Bad Times, and I've seen A Doll's House relatively recently (within the past 5 years).

Unless I am misunderstanding something, they have only cast 4 actors for 7 parts in A Doll's House, so this may be an annoying modern version where they are doing some odd doubling (like that completely bizarre Peter Sellars's A Midsummer's Night's Dream).  I'm not opposed to doubling in general, only when it becomes distracting.  Frankly, there is far too much doubling in Terrence McNally's A Perfect Ganesh.

I'm on the fence about David French's Jitters, which is surely amusing, but I've seen so many meta-plays about backstage antics or putting on a play in general (David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face is one of the few that truly "justifies its existence").  I'm leaning against going, but I may change my mind.

I'll probably go to Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles -- I've never actually seen it.

The most ambitious is Suzan Lori-Parks's Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts I, II, III.  I'll go to support such risk-taking.

As expected, Video Cabaret is doing The Great War, and then in 2017 they are supposed to explode onto the stage, doing 4 or more productions.  (I'm just a bit surprised that they didn't try to build on Trudeau-mania II by remounting the productions from last year.  Definitely glad I went.)

The other play I am most excited about is Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy.  I've never managed to see it.  (I think I missed out on seeing a production in Chicago by a month or so.)  This is just not staged that often.  A View from the Bridge (the other major Miller play I've not seen) is performed infrequently but still far more often than Vichy, so I should get to see it in the next few years.

I should probably just get a 4 show subscription and call it a day.

* I suppose both of these shows are indeed challenging, depending on how they are staged, but they seem overly familiar to me.  Strindberg is produced far less than Ibsen for example.  Because the plot of Blood Wedding is so predictable, you really need to make it resonate with the force of Greek tragedy.  I've probably already mentioned that I focus extensively, though not exclusively, on plot, so it is very rare for me to see a play a second time around.  I'm definitely going to pass on Blood Wedding this season.

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