Culture & Conversation

Posts by Marianne Ackerman

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Family matters

Oren Safdie, 22 years a playwright, is enjoying a successful run of his first script to be produced in Montreal, his hometown. I spoke with the writer just before he attended a performance at the Bain St. Michel.


Life-like in extremis

THEATRE: UNSEAMLY BY OREN SAFDI. She’s young and beautiful. Her skirt is terribly short but otherwise there’s nothing about Malina (as played by Arlen Aguayo Stewart) to suggest she’s a scheming seductress bent on destroying her ex-lover, a charismatic corporate genius.

Elysian fields

Death is in the air these days. Two books by Montreal writers access “the other side” in fresh, imaginative ways. Adam Leith Gollner’s The Book of…

Calling all artists

People need art. Buildings need art. Montreal architect Naomi Lane has just launched a consulting enterprise dedicated to linking up new spaces with creative people. She’s…

METAfizzycal fun and prizes

Does Montreal’s Anglo theatre scene crave glamour? You bet. Some 230 artists, critics, friends and loved ones gathered last night in the sumptuous Rialto Theatre for the first annual META ceremony. Tuxedos and gowns were in abundance. Either a lot of people on the indie scene have secret lives, or they’ve kept the costumes from a slew of fancy plays.

Rover Turns Five

In the early hours of the morning five years ago today, Rover’s first post appeared in cyberspace under Mélanie Grondin’s byline (see image). In the meantime, more than 300 writers have contributed 1968 posts. Are you sitting down? That’s just over a million words.

New Old Faces at The Gazette

Happy birthday Gazette! Montreal’s English-language daily celebrates 235 years today. A fine occasion to spread the news: Lucinda Chodan is coming back to Montreal this fall as the paper’s top dog, as well as eastern region VP editorial for the Postmedia Network Inc. A staff writer and editor for 20 years, she moved on to become editor-in-chief at the Victoria Times Colonist, then publisher and editor-in-chief of the Edmonton Journal.

TO’s Inner Bad Boy is Out

It’s hard to think of anything positive to say about Mayor Rob Ford, except that he is single-handedly releasing his city from that deathly stereotype, Toronto the Good. The moniker has hung around for years, comforting the smug, annoying everybody else.

The Drama of Normality

Saying you’ve got to see this play is a lazy start to a review. But there’s only one more performance of Winners and Losers. You don’t want to be a loser, right? That’s the central question of this riveting piece of hyper-real theatre at FTA. Actors Marcus Youssef and James Long play themselves in a mainly verbal battle over taste, judgement, childhood and capitalism.

Invitation to a Storm

Gone are the days when a theatre-goer could get a ticket, stand in line, sit in the dark watching a play, then go out for drinks and talk about what it all meant. At least at Festival Transamériques. Nella Tempesta greets you and the door and follows you home.