Sneak Preview Review: PLAYING CARDS 1: SPADES

by Lynn on June 14, 2012

in The Passionate Playgoer

At the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre until June 17. Written by: Sylvio Arriola, Carole Faisant, Nuria Garcia, Tony Guilfoyle, Martin Haberstroh, Robert Lepage, Sophie Martin, Robert Mori. Directed by Robert Lepage. Set by Jean Hazel. Costumes by Sebastien Dionne, Lighting by Louis-Xavier Gagnon-Lebrun. Starring: Sylvio Arriola, Nuria Garcia, Tony Guilfoyle, Martin Haberstroh, Sophie Martin, Roberto Mori.
Produced by Luminato and Ex Machina.

PLAYING CARDS 1: SPADES is the latest epic by Robert Lepage, our master theatre creator. He and his collaborators use playing cards and in particular the rules, procedures, folk-lore and the individual suits of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs, to tell the story. There will be four parts—one part for each suit. Each part “exploring a universe inspired by the asset the suit represents.”

SPADES explores war (mainly in Iraq and Afhanistan) and the excesses of Las Vegas, a juxtaposition to make your eyeballs rotate. In PLAYING CARDS 1: SPADES at least there is a connection between this sordid world of Las Vegas and war.

The production is full of dazzling Lepage images and vision. But the playwriting continues to be the problem in a Lepage production. And here he is assisted by a group of writers many of whom also act in the show. There is possibly an interesting 1 ½ hour show being bogged down and choked by this bloated, self-indulgent, noisy, sloppily written three hour extravaganza.

Full review on CIUT FRIDAY MORNING (89.5 FM) CIUT on Friday, June 15, between 9 am and 10 am.

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