Theater Talk: Shaw welcomes Tim Carroll; Stratford audiences thrill to Sophocles' OEDIPUS

Aug 28, 2015

Tim Carroll's candidacy for the Shaw Festival's Artistic Directorship was kept under wraps, but his tenure which begins in about 16 months (he'll be shadowing Jackie Maxwell for the 2016 season) holds great promise to return the Shaw to its former glory.  Meanwhile, at the other great Canadian festival, Stratford, the Greek tragedy by Sophocles, OEDIPUS REX,  builds relentlessly to its conclusion, leaving sold-out audiences breathless.

King Oedipus (Gord Rand) interrogates Tiresias (Nigel Bennett) mercilessly in OEDIPUS REX at the Stratford Festival's Tom Patterson theater.
Credit examiner.com

This year's Curtain Up!, the annual celebration of Buffalo theater, will be on Friday, September 18. While some stages are getting their first productions on the boards the week before, it's generally "dark" as we transition from August to September.  So this might be a good time to head over the bridge to Canada, either to the Shaw Festival (about 55 minutes away) or to the Stratford Festival (about 2-1/2 hours away.)

The Stratford Festival, in Stratford Ontario is offering thirteen plays and musicals, some into mid-October. The offerings include some Shakespeare: HAMLET, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, and THE ADVENTURES OF PERICLES; two two venerable Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and CAROUSEL,  along with some classics including SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER, OEDIPUS REX, and THE ALCHEMIST and some modern plays as well.

One Stratford highlight is the current production of the Sophocles tragedy OEDIPUS REX in which the king uncovers truths which are too horrible to bear.  With an almost bare stage which could be anywhere and the actors in modern dress, it's easy to make parallels with what's happening around the world today. Formerly known as "The Third Stage," the "Tom Patterson Theatre," is usually where you will find the edgiest, most impactful productions that will stay on your mind for years.  Don't miss this one.

On the lighter side, locally, BETTE & JOAN: THE FINAL CURTAIN has been held over, one more night, with a final performance this Saturday, August 29 at 8 at the Alleyway Main Street Cabaret