Culture & Conversation

Lock Your Doors, Orlando

Following the real-life criminal exploits of a group of materialistic teenagers in the sunny hills of Los Angeles, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring continues the director’s exploration of decadence and liminality, offering a voyeur’s gaze into the lives of the fame obsessed. Alluring and titillating, it is also a poignant social critique.

The Sopranos’ French Canadian connection

In 2007, I had the honour of interviewing Quebec actor Philippe Bergeron about his appearance on the hit show The Sopranos. He spoke about what it was like to work with James Gandolfini, the brilliant actor who died yesterday at age 51. What follows is the article I wrote about Bergeron’s experiences working on the show.

25 artistes, 25 chansons, peu de surprises

Lundi soir avait lieu « l’Événement spécial Bell » réunissant pour les 25 ans des Francofolies autant d’artistes et de chansons. L’idée de réunir tous ces artistes était ambitieuse : le défi consistait à divertir le spectateur sans l’assommer. Mission accomplie, même si l’événement manquait d’âme.

Side effects of dating may include: diarrhea

I went into Gerard Harris’ Verbal Diarrhoea at the Montreal Fringe Festival on Sunday not really knowing what to expect. His one man, hour-long set at Mainline Theatre promised lots of rambling, and stories of love lost, jumbled up, complicated and sometimes worked out; in short, a history of a messy human heart.

5 Songs: Tom Waits

I’m a bit of a Tom Waits freak. And by a bit, I mean a lot (a lot of a Tom Waits freak…that doesn’t make much sense). I’ve found an excuse to mention him in at least two other Rover articles that didn’t really have anything to do with him. There may be more sprinkled throughout, I can’t remember. The truth is, his music is very dear to me. Aside from maybe Bob Dylan (maybe) I can’t think of an artist that’s had a bigger impact on how I listen to music than Mr. Waits.

Bob and his Amazing Technicolour Cast

The Lyric Theatre Singers scored another annual hit with Hallelujah Broadway on the mid June weekend at the Oscar Peterson Hall. This superior longstanding dedicated group of amateurs under the direction of founder Bob Bachelor assembled a mosaic of fine Broadway songs. As usual, they compensated for lack of expensive sets with clever choral choreography (Mary Sarli) and costume design (Karen Pearce).

Theatre of Intimacy

Written and performed by Lib Spry this is a new genre of theatre, one that I have not in all my many years of theatre experienced before. I will call it the Theatre of Intimacy. The Freestanding Room is a very small venue and Lib Spry makes use of every inch of it in her one woman show about being female and poor in this century.

And Hope To Die

Hart-Felt Productions Cross my Heart by Alexandra Haber and Ned Cox is just the kind of light romantic comedy for which the Fringe is best suited. It has a simple plot some really good dream sequences, and terrific finish. In classic rom com style the main characters begin as mortal enemies working for a drug company which has produced a love pill.

Emigration Blues

Honor is a thoroughly global novel, spanning not only decades but cultures, continents and ways of life. It also attempts to bridge the gap – sometimes wider or narrower, sometimes a bottomless abyss – between the experiences of the two sexes in a world where men control women’s lives to everyone’s detriment.

Judy Blue Eyes

The 60s icon Judy Collins’s famous mane has turned white to match the silver and grey toppings of a full house of fans who packed the Rialto on June 9 to remember the heady days of that decade. And the lady, at 75, is still going strong, having added an eclectic array of styles to her folk roots. With long sustained high notes, lemme tell ya, this gal’s still got pipes.

Empire of Song

The crowd buzzes on the Lachine Canal as The National starts their set. Matt Berninger cradles the mike, one careless hand raised to the sky, and begins to sing. His words are made of alternately colorful and haunting images: lemonades, demons, spiders, oceans and long socks rain down on the audience. The music stumbles out into the open air in search of… what?

Angel Almost Perfect

In the crapshoot that is the Fringe, Angel’s Share is a sure thing. This is the single malt of the brew of plays which make up the Festival. You know that your are in for a quality performance when you see the name Chip Chuipka, although I confess I would spend good money watching him read the phone book. He inhabits the part of the grieving Robert with balletic ease and a flawless Scottish accent, his movements weaving around the tiny brilliant set by the inimitable Anna Cappeluto.