Skip to main content

Mag North Theatre Fest Reviews


Broken Sex Doll

Presented by The Virtual Stage
Book, Lyrics and Director: Andy Thompson
Composer: Anton Lipovetsky

Over the top in all the right ways (or wrong ways, wink wink), Broken Sex Doll had Friday night’s audience in laughing convulsions.

The musical comedy transports spectators to the year 2136, a world where robots and humans are indistinguishable on the surface, and where one’s personal ‘feelies’—multi-sensory experiences—can be shared with the entire world. When Daryl (Andrew Cohen) and Ginger (Chelsea Rose Tucker) record their sexual encounter and upload it online, they become instant stars, and the public is ever so grateful. Everyone except the King that is, who is knocked off his throne at the top of the Feelies Chart.

Broken Sex Doll is a powerhouse of song and dance, theatrics and burlesque emotions. Although choice electronic sights and sounds dazzle the stage and complement the premise of an even more technologically-obsessed age than present day, it is the production’s ten-member cast that produces the best effects.

Tucker’s remarkable voice melts the heart; her serious singing prowess adds hilarious irony when she belts out unmentionables. Cohen’s physical theatre is brilliant, particularly when he’s experienced the best orgasm of his life or tries with all his might to curse. The interplay between Georgia Valeria Swinton, Adriana Simone Ravalli and Alex Gullason as fembot sex dolls is a delight.  Neezar and Greg Armstrong-Morris are so deliciously entertaining as they present a too close for comfort relationship between the King and his momma.

Recently The Chronicle Herald’s Elissa Barnard proclaimed that, “Broken Sex Doll feels like a cult classic.” Indeed, after Friday night’s performance several audience members confirmed this proclamation. If Rocky Horror Picture Show had a successor that speaks to our lack of privacy in a digital age, Broken Sex Doll is a natural fit.

A final note from this ignorant Generation Xer who wondered whether her grandparents would have walked out within the first few minutes of witnessing this risqué production…I was pleasantly surprised to chat with someone of “the older generation” during intermission, who was just as excited as myself and the other voyeurs. ~MB

Broken Sex Doll
Monday, June 23: 7pm
Tuesday, June 24: 9pm
Sir James Dunn Theatre, Halifax



LEAR

Directed by Philip McKee

Unique may be one of the English lexicon’s most overused words. But when it comes to describing Philip McKee’s LEAR, unique seems to be a suitable qualifier; and certainly this could possibly be the most unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear you will have witnessed to date…perhaps ever.

Slightly confused, I admittedly had to run home afterwards to read the classic tragedy’s Cliff Notes. However, this allowed me, after the fact, to more deeply appreciate the dynamics between King Lear (played by Clare Coulter) and his three daughters—Goneril and Regan (Amy Nostbakken & Liz Peterson) intent on inheriting their father’s kingdom and shrinking his power, while Cordelia (Philip McKee), who through actions, not words, shows her true allegiance.

LEAR’s visual and auditory ingredients, from actors’ movements and voice, and from low-tech and high-tech effects, are works of art. The intermingling between the “on stage” and “off stage” actors and creative team is pure brilliance. The audience’s chance to get “up close and personal” with the piece is a rare treat.

The entire company of players showed tremendous strength and commitment to the theatrical art form; and Clare Coulter’s expert portrayal of King Lear will never be forgottten. ~ MB

LEAR
Monday, June 23: 7pm
Tuesday, June 24: 7pm
Spatz Theatre, Citadel High School
www.magneticnorthfestival.ca/2014festival/lear

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…

KING OF KINGS

Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…