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.
- Skin (Undercurrents)
- Hip Hop Shakespeare Live Music Videos (Undercurrents)
- Little Iliad (Undercurrents)
- Public Servant (Undercurrents)
- Ladies of the Lake (Undercurrents)
- Little Orange Man (Undercurrents)
- Little Orange Man (Undercurrents)
- Billy Bishop Goes to War
- The Servant of Two Masters
- Pride and Prejudice
- God of Carnage
- Princess Ivona
- HROSES: An Affront to Reason
- The Drowsy Chaperone
- Absurd Person Singular
- Love’s Labour’s Lost
- La Traviata
- 33 Swoons
- False Assumptions
- The Edward Curtis Project
- Murder at the Howard Johnson
- The Laramie Project
- Schoolhouse (Canterbury High School)
- The Taming of the Shrew
- Come Blow Your Horn
- In the Next Room
- Like Wolves
- Steel Magnolias
- OTTAWA FRINGE FESTIVAL
- Superhero Showdown
- The Day We Grew Wings
- Sappho… In 9 Fragments
- The Bike Trip
- The Pit
- Prince of Denmark
- St. Nicholas
- Never Fall in Love With a Writer
- Innocent When You Dream
- The Fight
- Barely Even There
- La Voix Humaine
- We Glow
- The Vanity Project
- Around Miss Julie
- slut (r)evolution
- Die, Zombie. Die!
- The Show Must Go On
- Red Bastard
- Red Bastard
- Skin Flick
OCTOBER … NOVEMBER
- Legally Blonde: The Musical
- Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)
That’s 42 individual plays outside of Ottawa Fringe, and 26 different shows at Fringe, not including my own show.
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.
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.