What's New

Grand Magic

Is it Only a Disappearing Act? Reviewed by Mary Alderson In 2018, Stratford Festival included in its roster the play Napoli Milionaria! by Eduardo de Filippo. Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino directed it. It was a fascinating story about life in Italy in World War II. Based on that success, Cimolino is directing Grand Magic by the same playwright. The opening scene is lovely. As the audience members are taking their seats in the beautiful Tom Patterson Theatre, we look down on a gorgeous seaside resort. Patrons are relaxing in the sunshine under beautiful umbrellas, or sitting in matching canvas sling beach chairs. Some are playing cards to while away the time. Everyone is leisurely sharing the latest gossip of those staying at this luxury hotel. It appears that one of the guests is having an affair behind the back of her jealous, possessive husband. There is also chatter about the evening’s entertainment: a magician who is quite popular. Or so we are led to believe. The magician performs later, and asks the woman who seems to be having an affair to volunteer to go into a mummy’s sarcophagus. A few minutes later, when the sarcophagus is re-opened, she is nowhere to be seen. Her husband assumes she will soon show up. Days go by, she doesn’t return, and the husband is getting upset. The unhappy husband visits the magician, his wife, and his pair of cronies who help make the magic happen. The magician scams him with stories and plays on his imagination. Geraint Wyn Davies is very entertaining as the magician. He is motivated by money, seeking ways to scam those who watch him perform. Davies expertly shows us a conniving character who is faking his way into high society with his charm. Sarah Orenstein is his long-suffering wife, …

Read More →

Mary's Musings

Sad News

So sorry to hear of the death of Marti Maraden. She directed some of my favourite performances at Stratford: All’s Well That Ends Well and Much Ado About Nothing stand out in my mind. But it was her directing work for Drayton Entertainment that was so impressive. She brought a new dimension to Drayton Entertainment by creating outstanding dramatic plays for them, adding variety to their usual fare of musicals and comedies. Her outstanding shows included Tuesdays with Morrie, Death of a Salesman, The Miracle Worker, 12 Angry Men, A Few Good Men. But she also directed the hilarious comedy The Birds and The Bees for Drayton Entertainment. As well, she directed the touching and funny production of Calendar Girls for Mirvish in 2011.I had the honour of sitting beside Ms. Maraden in early June for Stratford’s production of Casey and Diana. I was thrilled to chat with her for a few minutes. Such a talented, charming and pleasant woman. Such as loss for the theatre world.

Read More →