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May, 2011

Lies My Father Told Me, at the Segal Centre, scores a theatrical quintuple!

It’s got star power. Theodore Bikel, still powerful at 85, folk singer and star of Broadway and TV, heads the cast in the role of Zaida, the grandfather. He’s joined by singer and actor Patsy Gallant.

It’s got story power. Written by Ted Allan, best known for his biography of Norman Bethune, this short story about a young boy’s coming of age in 1920s Jewish immigrant Montreal grew into a Yiddish theatre production here in 1984, earned a Golden Globe in English for the film version, then returned to Montreal as a Yiddish musical in 2005.

It’s got music power. A revised score by Segal Centre resident composer and lyricist Elan Kunin lives up to his work on Fiddler On The Roof, The Great Houdini, On Second Avenue and Old Wicked Songs.

It’s got visual power. Jon C. Dinning, fresh from his design triumph for Schwartz’s the Musical at the Centaur, adds to his myriad imaginative sets over the years at the Segal.

Photo courtesy of Centaur Theatre

It’s got directorial power. Artistic director Bryna Wasserman provides the guiding intelligence she brought to such shows as The Jazz Singer, Pirates of Penzance and The Golden Land. A Wasserman show always has great choreography, here abetted by Jim White.

Lies My Father Told Me continues at the Segal Centre until May 23.514-739-7944.

While Lies dazzles with 25 actors, the Centaur’s A Beautiful View delights with only two. Lauded durings its Vancouver run, Ruby Slipper Theatre heads east to stage this Daniel MacIvor play. Ruby stalwarts Diane Brown and Colleen Wheeler display humour and share their insights despite the trials of life.

A Beautiful View continues at the Centaur until May 22.514-288-3161.

While Beautiful contains some incidental music and a fine song, Beethoven Lives Upstairs immerses you in such harmonics as the Moonlight Sonata.

In this Geordie Theatre production, the eccentric Mr. B. moves in as an upstairs boarder and the life of the young boy downstairs is turned upside down. The cast includes faves Leni Parker and Lucinda Davis.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs continues at the Centaur until May 22. 514-485-9810.



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