A new year and another edition of Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival of original, short plays.
Caught the Week One program last night. Sex, magic, intrigue and spies figured prominently in this week’s roster of plays – here’s what was on the menu:
Be Careful, There’s a Baby in the House, by Nicholas Sgouros and directed by Seane M. Speake, is a sharp, fun commentary on modern family life. What starts out as a pre-planned – and secret – night of passion becomes something else entirely. Sex After Kids meets The Honest Toddler. Nice work from actors Andre de Carvalho, Caroline Concordia and Sara Jackson.
Elsa and Marigold, by Marissa Spada and directed by Janet Kish, is the story of two hormone-driven, romantic-minded and curious teen girls whose attempt at creating the perfect man takes an unexpected turn, all under the cloaked and watchful eye of their Headmistress. Meagan Tuck and Julie Cohn do a nice job of capturing the energy of the young women, and Arianna Leask is both sexy and mysterious as their crop-wielding Headmistress.
I’m Still Here, by Ramona Baillie and directed by Dahlia Katz, brings more sexy intrigue when an aging movie starlet, anxious to not disappear from the public eye, surprises an ambitious young journalist looking to make a name for himself with a hot story. Great work from Susan Q. Wilson as the still fetching movie star Dahlia Day, and Adam Cresswell as the driven, cynical journalist Tyler Watts. And Razie Brownstone is a delight as Dahlia’s impish housekeeper Maria. We need to have more plays where we hear Brownstone say: “X-rated photos!”
In a Time of War, by Anne MacMillan and directed by Brett Haynes, is a tale of adventure and intrigue, set against the backdrop of WWII Scotland, as two imaginative young girls make a discovery after a bombing raid. This is also a story of family, friendship, and keeping a stalwart heart in the face of fear and loss. Will be interested to see where this one goes – great possibilities for a full-length play. Shouts to Jordi O’Dael and Annelise Hawrylak for their very convincing portrayal of the energetic girls Elspeth and Pat, and to Kit Boulter (Elspeth’s mother Rose), Reese Presley (Elspeth’s father Will), Morna Wales (Grandma Tess) and Franz Robinow (Grandpa Mungo) for their engaging and entertaining performances as the grown-ups.
The Week One reading – Norma Crawford’s Royal Seasons, directed by Nina Kay – has its performance today (Mar 15) at noon.
All happening up in the Alumnae Theatre studio, the New Ideas Festival Week One program runs until tomorrow (Mar 16) – to be followed by the Week Two (Mar 19-23) and Week Three (Mar 26-30) programs and readings. Reservations are strongly recommended as this is a popular festival.
Call 416-364-4170 or visit the Tickets page on the Alumnae website.