Heads Up for the Week of April 5-11, 2021

by Lynn on April 5, 2021

in The Passionate Playgoer

Monday, April 5, 2021.

From the Mint Theatre, in New York City,

Streaming for free until April 18, 2021

Now Streaming:
Free On Demand
Streaming Through April 18th

Women Without Men is a workplace drama laced with biting humor, set in the teacher’s lounge of a private girls’ boarding school in Ireland in the 1930s. The play explores the clash of conflicting natures and petty competitions that erupt amongst the school’s cloistered teaching staff. Playwright Hazel Ellis began her theatrical career in the 1930s as a member of the acting ensemble of the Gate Theatre in Dublin. She went on to write two plays for the company, including Women Without Men which was produced at the Gate in 1938. Despite acclaim, the play was never published or revived — until we produced the play’s belated American premiere to much acclaim in 2016 at New York City Center Stage II.
“An overlooked gem… An excellent production. There’s absolutely no grandstanding in director Jenn Thompson’s beautifully composed ensemble piece. Individually, the performances are distinctive, but the collective work of the company is even more impressive.” VARIETY

Wednesday, April, 7, 2021 7:00 pm

Reading of:

Heartbreak House.

  From Barrie, Ontario:   Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak announced Dinner à la Art, a brand-new community partnership project, that will bring five exclusive, online readings with iconic Canadian and international artists to homes around the world from April 7 to 11,2021.

The first reading is Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Richard Ouzounian to be streamed on April 7, 2021 at 7pm.  This one-time event will star Tony Award winner Len Cariou, best known for his portrayal of ‘Sweeney Todd’ in the original cast of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Film, Television and Stage icon Ed Asner. TIFT alumni and star of Royal Canadian Air Farce Craig Lauzon, Stratford and Shaw Festivals leading actor Alexis Gordon and star of TIFT’s internationally acclaimed The Curious Voyage Michael Torontow.  The cast also includes Cynthia Dale, best known for her role as lawyer Olivia Monk in Street Legal and multiple seasons at the Stratford Festival. Joining the cast is Nicole Joy-Fraser, who has performed on West End and across Canada, and debuted her one-person production as part of TIFT’s Plural of She festival last summer.
Play readings for Dinner à la Art were selected and curated by Richard Ouzounian.
An important component of this project is to stimulate economic recovery of the region’s hardest hit, privately owned restaurants and retailers. Admission to any of the Dinner à la Art readings will be with the purchase of a meal or a gift card (a $30 CAD minimum). Purchased meals and gift cards can also be donated to a stranger by each participating restaurant.
This project was conceived to bring Simcoe County’s best elements of entertainment, fine dining, and local merchandise together for a unique, community-inspired event.  

How it works   Please visit TIFT’s website to see all participating restaurants (dine-in, take-out, and delivery options are available) and retailers. The purchase of $30 CAD or more to any of the participating businesses, an access code will be provided by the chosen outlet to receive a complimentary link from TIFT.  
For more information, please click HERE.
All purchases must be made through the participating restaurant or retailer of choice. After the purchase is made, an access code will be provided by the restaurant and a link to the reading will be provided by Talk Is Free Theatre.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Ed Asner, Len Cariou, Cynthia Dale,
Alexis Gordon, Nicole Joy-Fraser,
Craig Lauzon,
Michael Torontow
By George Bernard Shaw, Directed by Richard Ouzounian
What happens when socialites, tycoons and drifters collide in the British countryside on the eve of World War I? Shaw’s Heartbreak House is a comedy that weaves together the deceptive nature of the ruling class, love triangles, and the fine line between order and catastrophe.  -~Running time is 85 minutes~   Technical Requirements   A valid email address. A good internet connection.    

Thursday, April 8, 2021, 7:00 pm  

Reading of:  



Barrie, ON…Today, Talk Is Free Theatre released the title and cast of acclaimed artists for one more reading as part of Dinner à la Art. Riot was written in 1995 by Andrew Moodie and will be streaming for one night only on April 8, 2021. Directing this Chalmers Canadian Play Award winner is actor, playwright, and co-founder of Blue Bird Theatre Collective, Tawiah M’Carthy.  
Starring in Riot is Dora Award-winning actor Daren A. Herbert, who is best known for his roles in television series Kim’s Convenience, Falling Skies, and several productions with Soulpepper. Fellow Dora Award winner Vanessa Sears who has performed across Canada for such companies as the Shaw Festival and Mirvish Productions is also cast in a major role. The cast also includes Cameron Grant, who has performed with the Shaw Festival and InspiraTO festival; Giovanni Spina who is an acting company member of Shakespeare in the Ruff and TIFT, and Jahlen Barnes, who has performed in featured roles with such companies as the Shaw Festival, Neptune Theatre, and TIFT.

The price of admission to any of these exclusive readings is a $30CAD minimum purchase from one of the local participating restaurants or retailers.   To see the complete list of participating businesses, please click HERE.    

Thursday, April 8, 2021
Daren A. Herbert, Vanessa Sears,
Jahlen Barnes, Cameron Grant,  
Giovanni Spina
By Andrew Moodie, Directed by Tawiah M’Carthy

A dramatic and often humorous look at six black Canadians of diverse backgrounds who share a Toronto house. Their lives unfold against the backdrop of civil unrest, which erupted when the Los Angeles police officers on trial for the beating of Rodney King are acquitted. The fracas outside keeps intruding as characters clash, collide, and swap jokes about everything from racism to the status of Quebec as a distinct society, from Malcolm X to The Road to Avonlea. 

~Running time is 90 minutes~

Audience Advisory
Coarse language and adult content 

Technical Requirements   A valid email address. A good internet connection.       

Friday, April 9, 2021 9 am to 10 am   CIUT FRIDAY MORNING, 89.5fm

I’m interviewing Sandra Laronde, the Artistic Director of Red Sky, a superb dance company specializing in telling Indigenous stories through dance.    

Friday, April 9, 2021 7:00 pm  

Reading of:  

She Stoops to Conquer.  

Part of Dinner à la Art Initiative from Talk is Free Theatre   Let the laughter in! Colin Mochrie and Gavin Crawford lead cast of acclaimed artists in a one-night-only event for a good cause.    Barrie, ON…Today, Talk Is Free Theatre announced that internationally renowned comedian Colin Mochrie will star in an exclusive online event with acclaimed artists as part of Dinner à la Art. Directed by Richard Ouzounian, the uproarious comedy She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith will be streamed for one night only on April 9, 2021 at 7pm.

Colin Mochrie is best known for his work on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and his featured roles in The Red Green Show, Murdoch Mysteries, and many more. The cast also includes Gavin Crawford, whose television show, The Gavin Crawford Show, won the Gemini Award for comedy, and Dora Award winner Rebecca Northan, who is best known for her hilarious roles on Alice, I Think, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Multi-award winning TIFT alumni and Stratford leading actor Gabi Epstein will be playing a featured role along with local professional Jason Allin, whose one-person production Chaplin: About Face was commissioned by TIFT. Joining the cast are Dora Award winning performer Malindi Ayienga, who debuted her one-person production last summer as part of TIFT’s Plural of She festival, Brendan Chandler, the current star of TIFT’s indefinitely touring production of Tales of an Urban Indian, and Noah Beemer who has performed with such companies as Young People’s Theatre and TIFT to name a few.

The price of admission to any of these exclusive readings is a $30CAD minimum purchase from one of the local participating restaurants or retailers.   To see the complete list of participating businesses, please click HERE.    

Friday, April 9, 2021
Colin Mochrie, Gavin Crawford,
Jason Alin, Malindi Ayienga, Noah Beemer, Brendan Chandler,  
Gabi Epstein and Rebecca Northan 
By Oliver Goldsmith, Directed by Richard Ouzounian
Some things have not in changed in the world of romance since 1773 when She Stoops to Conquer was first performed. Egotistical men still make fools of themselves pursuing women who are far more intelligent and sensible than them. To illustrate how contemporary this classic is, director Richard Ouzounian has assembled a cast featuring some of the finest comedians available today. The Zoom stage is set for hilarity.

~Running time is 90 minutes~   Technical Requirements   A valid email address. A good internet connection. Saturday, April 10, 2021, 7:00 pm   Reading of:   Bright Lights   Look up! An out-of-this-world experience with stars of stage and screen is coming this April.    Streaming online to screens around the globe for one-night-only on April 10, 2021 is the razor-sharp farce Bright Lights, written and directed by Dora Award winner Kat Sandler. Performed by celebrated Canadian artists, this exclusive reading is part of Dinner à la Art, a new project from TIFT to help support some of Simcoe County’s hardest-hit, privately-owned restaurants and retailers.
Garnering numerous accolades since its sold-out premiere in 2016, this masterfully orchestrated comedy stars distinguished stage actor and Dora Award winner Jeff Lillico, whose recent credits include the award-winning television series On the Basis of Sex. The cast also includes award-winning performer Jakob Ehman who starred in the film adaptation of The Drawer Boy and several TIFT productions including The Libertine, and Gotcha. Featured roles are played by the Stratford Festival’s Tahirih Vejdani, whose work can also be seen on CBC and Netflix series, Dora Award nominated performer Brandon Antonio, whose credits include The Rocky Horror Show and Next to Normal, and Vanessa Smythe, best known for her role as ‘Michio’ on the television series The Expanse and performed her solo production as part of TIFT’s Plural of She festival last summer.
The price of admission to any of the exclusive Dinner à la Art readings is a $30CAD minimum purchase from one of the local participating restaurants or retailers. An access code will be provided to anyone making a purchase between now and the performance dates.   To see the complete list of participating businesses, please click HERE.  

Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7pm

Bright Lights

Brandon Antonio, Jakob Ehman,
Jeff Lillico, Vanessa Smythe
Tahirih Vejdani 

Written and Directed by Kat Sandler

Bright Lights is a dark comedic snapshot into an hour in the life of an alien abduction support group after its leader is accused of being an alien. How do they decide who to believe when everything is shrouded in absurdity? ~Running time is 90 minutes~   Technical Requirements   A valid email address. A good internet connection.     Sunday, April 11, 2021. 7:00 p.m   Reading of:   The Great Gatsby.   Eric McCormack and Chilina Kennedy star in a one-night-only event to help support local restaurants and retailers across Simcoe County.   Barrie, ON…Talk Is Free Theatre announced today the title and star-studded cast of one more reading as part of Dinner à la Art. Streaming for one night on April 11, 2021 at 7pm is a new adaptation of the seminal novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The classic novel was adapted for online audiences by Richard Ouzounian, who also directs.

Playing the role of the enigmatic Jay Gatsby is international star of Broadway, Film and Television, and best known for his role as Will Truman on NBC’s smash hit sitcom Will & Grace, Eric McCormack. Star of Broadway’s Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Chilina Kennedy will be playing debutante ‘Daisy Buchanan’. The cast also includes TIFT co-founder and Stratford leading actor Mike Nadajewski, Kimberly-Ann Truong, best known for her featured role in the Stratford Festival’s The Rocky Horror Show, Autumn-Joy Dames, who has been featured in Legally Blonde, and Sister Act; Griffin Hewitt from TIFT’s production of Into the Woods; the Stratford Festival’s Aidan deSalaiz, and Montreal based Gabe Maharjan, who has performed with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

The price of admission to any of these exclusive readings is a $30CAD minimum purchase from one of the local participating restaurants or retailers   To see the complete list of participating businesses, please click HERE.    

April 11, 2021
The Great Gatsby
Eric McCormack, Chilina Kennedy,
Autumn-Joy Dames, Aidan deSalaiz, Griffin Hewitt,
Gabe Maharjan, Mike Nadajewski,
Kimberly-Ann Truong
By F. Scott Fitzgerald, Adapted and Directed by Richard Ouzounian

 F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story of romantic obsession in the Roaring Twenties gets an intimate and searching re-examination in this Zoom adaptation by Richard Ouzounian, the first dramatic look at this story since it went into public domain this year. Eric McCormack stars as the mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby and Chilina Kennedy is Daisy, the woman he loved, lost and tries to win again…with tragic consequences for all concerned.
 -~Running time is 90 minutes~

    Technical Requirements   A valid email address. A good internet connection.        

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