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Monday, December 10, 2012

Openings We're Tracking This Week, December 10-16, 2012

Hotel Bethlehem


The ToyBox is something you don't expect. It is a place where, no matter your age, you will play. This is an installation that is part of Passe Muraille's massive Theatre Beyond Walls project and it has been tried and tested a little everywhere around the city. It is coming back within the house's walls for three days as a Christmas gift to theatre-goers and theatre-eschewers as well. Art, tech and imagination have been put to work in its creation...and is asked from spectators who define the experience for themselves. (Toronto)

What if the men who defined history were idiots? That is the basis of Ruby Slippers' production of Drew McCreadie's Hotel Bethlehem. Sounds heavy, non? Well, yes and no. The fact is that this is being billed as a Christmas comedy and it has already proven that it is just that. This is actually a revival of a production that had critics laughing and phrase-making! Said the Straight, "(McCreadie)'s got a Gatling gun stuffed with jokes and gags, and he just keeps firing. By the end of the evening, the target is pretty much shredded." The Courier offered, "You'll giggle the bah, humbugs right out of your system in this scandalously irreverent Christmas play..." Sounds good to us. (Vancouver and Burnaby, BC)

Yes, the hills are alive and the goatherd is lonely, there's a problem with a nun-in-training but it's Christmas and we like our warm woolen mittens, sleighbells and snowflakes that stay on our nose and eyelashes and yes (sigh!) The Sound of Music. No one likes to admit it but this is the favourite thing of so many. And, indeed, like as Grand Theatre assures, it is family-friendly. (Kingston, Ontario)

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