2013 Year in Ottawa Theatre

We’re just about closing off 2013 at this point. Inspired by this post, and the annual wrap up Kevin “The Visitor” Reed tends to do, I figured “hey, why not write a blog post.”

In total, I’ve seen 68 shows this year making for about 105 hours of watching people on stage. Some were good, some were not so much, and some were, I’m sorry to say, pretty forgettable once the curtain dropped. Here’s the breakdown. By month. Just because.

Batboy: The Musical

Batboy: The Musical



HROSES: An Affront to Reason

HROSES: An Affront to Reason


The Edward Curtis Project

The Edward Curtis Project






The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors




  • Carmen
  • Skin Flick
Arms and The Man

Arms and The Man


  • Legally Blonde: The Musical
  • Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)


  • Collapsible

That’s 42 individual plays outside of Ottawa Fringe, and 26 different shows at Fringe, not including my own show.

Legally Blonde: The Musical

Legally Blonde: The Musical

A couple of quick notes: Little Orange Man and Red Bastard were not duplicated accidentally. I saw both shows twice. Little Orange Man, which remains easily my top theatrical experience of all time I saw back to back at Undercurrents, the second day amidst a snowstorm. Red Bastard I saw twice (on the same day) because I was doing show videography.

I saw a lot fewer shows in the later part of the year (if we were looking at this weekly, the September shows were in the very beginning of September and the November shows were at the very end of November making a ten week period where I didn’t see anything at all). This is because Production Ottawa (now On Stage) was on hiatus. And that was because I hit a point where I needed to spend a lot less time on theatre life and lot more time on other life things, which I’ll probably talk about at some point in a separate post. I reviewed 95% of the shows in the list so you can easily read what I thought of any of them. Since I already talked in depth about my thoughts on the 2013 Fringe offerings let’s jump into the fun part of doing a retrospective like this and talk about some of the things I liked most.

Favourite full length show : Arms and the Man.

Rounding out my top five (in no particular order) are The Servant of Two Masters, All My Sons, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) with honourable mentions to Noises Off and the Frenzy of Queen Maeve because they were really good and I found it hard to cut them out of the five.


Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet

Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet

Favourite one-act show : Little Orange Man (@ Undercurrents).

Rounding out my top five (in no particular order) are Around Miss Julie, We Glow, The Fight, and Passages – all from Ottawa Fringe – with honourable mention to The Bureau of Bat Shit Crazy which I can’t fairly rank on account being its writer-director.

Favourite performance in a professional production: Sascha Cole (Good Night Desdemona), with honourable mentions in a very tight race to Ingrid Hansen (Little Orange Man), Pippa Leslie (Arms and the Man), Emily Pearlman (We Glow), and Brad Long (We Glow)

Favourite performance in a community theatre production: Sarah Hearn (Noises Off), with honourable mentions to Mike Kennedy (All My Sons) and Emily Reid (Legally Blonde).

Favourite performance in a student production: Melanie Grant (The Servant of Two Masters), with honourable mentions to Lesley Cserepy (Princess Ivona), and Lauriane Lehouillier (Princess Ivona).

I’m not into picking old wounds so you can check out my reviews to find out which shows I really wasn’t into but since I do like to talk about writing and storytelling here, I want to list three shows that I had hoped for so much more from than what I ended up getting.

  • God of Carnage. A show that failed to hit any buttons for me except make me question what was going on (in the sense of why the characters were acting how they were, not in plot). What I would have liked from it : Coherence and believability.
  • False Assumptions. A show that was heavy on the information and interesting in concept, but was light on the drama and so didn’t really come together for me. What I would have liked from it : humanity.
  • Little Iliad. A show that didn’t live up to it’s hype and a show that I thought would have worked exactly the same, or even better, as a radio drama or YouTube video. What I would have liked from it : theatricality.
  • (I’ve skipped out of including any Fringe plays here because I’ve already talked about them.)

And with the 2013 retrospective out of the way, I saw bring on 2014!

What was your favourite show from 2013? Join the discussion in the comments below. 

What People Are Saying:

  1. Awww, thanks for the Pingback! I must say, I’m rather proud of myself that we’re almost neck-and-neck (or, if you prefer, I’ve *almost* caught up!) as far as non-Fringe theater consumption goes. I feel a little like I’m in the big leagues now. ;)
    Also, I understand needing to take a hiatus but speaking on behalf of the Interwebs, we’re glad you’re back and we hope all is well.
    Here’s to a fantastic 2014, already getting off to a great start if I do say so myself!
    PS. Going to try to remember to steal your monthly layout when I do my next Year in Review, although mine were at least in chronological order so there’s that.

    • Thank you for giving me the idea to make the first post on this blog in too many months. :)
      (And for commenting, and your kind words.)

      We’re both, however, still a long way from matching Kevin’s pace. I really don’t know how he pulls it off.

      Indeed, 2014’s been good so far. Did you catch RENT?

Links to This Article

  1. […] not quite ready to ditch 2013 by the side of the road just yet. Earlier this month, I posted a retrospective on Ottawa Theatre 2013 to my own website, looking back at the shows I saw over the last […]