The Merchant of Venice -reviewed

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Bard on the Beach has taken on a modern rendition of The Merchant of Venice this year. Helmed by Nigel Shawn Williams and starring Olivia Hutt (Portia), Charlie Gallant (Bassanio), and Warren Kimmel as Shylock, the Merchant focused on the difficult themes of intolerance and patriarchy over it’s comedic attributes. Continue reading

Bard on the Beach rounds out 2017 season with a test of friendship in Two Gentlemen of Verona

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Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Directed by Scott Bellis, Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy is a lively tale of friendship, love and loyalty, with two very funny clowns and a loveable Basset hound that just might steal the show! The Two Gentlemen of Verona plays on the Howard Family Stage from June 29 to September 17. Continue reading

Power and prejudice reigns at Bard on the Beach with The Merchant of Venice in 28th season

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Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with a provocative interpretation of The Merchant of Venice. Playing on the Howard Family Stage from June 22 to September 16, the production shines a spotlight on themes that are particularly relevant in 2017, including religious prejudice and discrimination and the use and abuse of power.

Continue reading

Join Vanya, Sonia, Masha, and Spike in Belfry’s Final Play of the Season

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Vanya and Sonia have lived in the house in which they grew up their entire lives, through caring for their ailing parents and never venturing out to create lives for themselves. When their movie-star sister Masha arrives one day with her much younger beau, Spike, the ensuing havoc helps to reinvigorate their lives.

With a mix of young and old characters, this Tony award-winning comedy by Christopher Durang provides a script that is both comedic and engaging, and nostalgic and heartwarming. The setting is homey and personable, and much more present than many of the Belfry productions.

Lee Majdoub in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang / Photos by David Cooper

Lee Majdoub in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang / Photos by David Cooper

The middle aged siblings are rather dull, but that’s the way their life is. Sonia fusses and worries over everything while her brother Vanya calmly glides through life. That is, until their cleaning lady predicts catastrophes, a friendly neighbour brings out Vanya’s creative side, and their sister arrives ready to sell the house. Deborah Williams’ Sonia is an understated foil to her sister Masha (Brenda Robins) with a full heart that helps to ground the production. Lee Majdoub (Spike) is hilarious as the frequently mindless and always hilarious boytoy.

The first act brings many of the laughs, allowing a subtle emotional buildup that the second act is able to focus on. Although the play certainly seems to be intended for the middle-aged, and Vanya’s monologue went a little long, it still delivered through comedic timing and a stunning group of actors.

Ticket Information

Tickets for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike range from $23 to $52 (plus GST). Tickets for High School Students are 50% off and 25% off for University & College Students. Tickets are available at 250-385-6815 or online at tickets.belfry.bc.ca.

Performance Schedule (April 14 – May 17, 2015)

Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8 pm
Wednesday Matinees at 1 pm (April 22 & 29)
Saturday Matinees at 4 pm
Sunday Matinees at 2 pm

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, TONY Award Winning Comedy, Comes to Belfry

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“Brainy and witty and clever and cute…” Variety

From April 14 to May 17 the Belfry Theatre will present Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Directed by Michael Shamata,

the show stars Yoshié Bancroft, Lee Majdoub, Brenda Robins, Carmela Sison, R.H. Thomson and Deborah Williams.

Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia have never left the confines of their childhood home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. After spending their adulthood looking after their now-dead parents, neither has a job, and money is provided by their movie star sister Masha, who owns the house and pays the bills.

Their bucolic bliss is thrown into disarray when Masha returns home with her new, rather young, lover in tow, sparking a fiery bout of rivalry.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike premiered at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 2012 and transferred to Broadway in 2013.

Actor / playwright Durang wrote the characters of Masha and Sonia for his longtime friends Sigourney Weaver and Kristine Nielsen. He wrote the character of Vanya for himself but David Hyde Pierce (Dr. Niles Crane on the sitcom Frasier) originated the role. Pierce actually made his Broadway debut in another Durang play, Beyond Therapy, in 1982 (Beyond Therapy was produced by the Belfry in September 1988).

 

Ticket Information
Tickets for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike range from $23 to $52 (plus GST). Tickets for High School Students are 50% off and 25% off for University & College Students. Tickets are available at 250-385-6815 or online at tickets.belfry.bc.ca.

 

Performance Schedule (April 14 – May 17, 2015)

Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8 pm
Wednesday Matinees at 1 pm (April 22 & 29)
Saturday Matinees at 4 pm
Sunday Matinees at 2 pm

 

Audience Engagement Events

B4Play – Saturday, April 11 at 11am
Join CBC Radio’s Gregor Craigie for a live talk show with artists from Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and some very special community guests. Free event.

Afterplay Weeks – April 21– 25 / May 5 – 9
Following selected performances of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, we’ll host Afterplay – a facilitated discussion where patrons can share their thoughts with fellow audience members. It’s a chance to“debrief”after the show and hear how other audience members experienced the play.

Talkback Thursday – Thursday, April 23
Following the 8pm performance of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, join the actors from the show and your fellow audience members for a 20-minute Q & a session.

 

Related Events

Free Childcare Performance – Sunday, April 26 During select Sunday matinee performances, we offer free, professional childcare (ages 3–10) at the Springridge Early Childhood Centre at 1222 Gladstone Avenue, just a block from the Belfry (free parking is available right across the street in the Victoria High School parking lot). We only have a limited number of spots available. To book tickets and childcare, call our Box Office at 250-385-6815.

Booksmack ! – Monday, April 27 at 7:30 pm
The librarians are back! Fast, furious and fun, Greater Victoria Public librarians return to the Belfry for Booksmack. They will let their hair down, take off their glasses and speed review their favourite books. Deborah Williams from Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike will be joining the librarians for this special event.