Sunday, February 19, 2012

God(spell) Giveth

Are you one with God? Do you believe in Jesus? Well, no matter what beliefs you may have, I may be able to help convince you on Hunter Jesus Parrish and the cast of Godspell, the revival of the Stephen Schwartz classic!

Well Prepare Ye!

In honour of their current Tuesday Nights Talkback Series, I'm giving away a pair of tickets to Godspell at the Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway! (One of my faves from last year that I've seen twice already and gave ****4 stars (out of 5))

Each cast member has or will be featured in a talkback that follows the Tuesday 7pm shows, hosted by Julie James of Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s “On Broadway,”.

The upcoming Tuesday Night Talkback Series schedule:
February 21 - Nick Blaemire
February 28 - Anna Maria Perez de Tagle
March 6 - Uzo Aduba
March 13 - Telly Leung
March 20 - Hunter Parrish
March 27 – Understudies Hannah Elless, Eric Michael Krop, Corey Mach and Julia Mattison

To enter the Godspell contest:

- Email me at tapeworthycontest at gmail dot com and tell me which talkback you would want to go to and why (you may choose from past talkbacks as well).

- Contest closes at 11:59pm EST on Thursday, February 22nd 2012. A winner will be randomly picked from all entries received.

- Please subject the email: GODSPELL CONTEST and please include your name, email and City and State or Province.

- For a BONUS Entry: Share the contest on twitter and include your twitter handle and twitter post in the email.
- For a BONUS Entry: Share the contest on Facebook on Public setting and include a link to your Facebook page in the email.

- Tapeworthy is not responsible for the prize. Voucher issued by Godspell includes 2 tickets to the show on Broadway for a date of your choice (subject to availability). Travel is not included in the prize. You must present your confirmation to the Box Office when you pick up your tickets. Once an order is confirmed, it cannot be changed. Tickets can ONLY be picked up on the day of the performance. Tickets must be picked up at the Box Office no later than 30 minutes prior to show time or your tickets WILL be released for resale. Released tickets cannot be rescheduled.
Prize has no monetary value and cannot be resold to another party.

- Only one winner will be chosen.
I will ask for further details if you are the winner. Only the one winner will be contacted.

Vance at

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A World Hanging By A Thread - Penny Plain - Play Review

Penny Plain - Factory Theatre - Toronto, ON - *** (out of 5 stars)
Written and Performed by Ronnie Burkett
Runs until Feb. 18th 2012

I've heard SO much about Ronnie Burkett's marionette plays and I've tried to see them before and always made the mistake of waiting too long to get tickets and missed out every single time. So this time, I made sure I didn't miss out on Ronnie Burkett's newest play that uses his mastery of puppetry and his specifically created Marionettes in his never-for-kids show. These are dark plays. They may use puppets, but he's known for very dark plays.

In Penny Plain, the world is hanging by a thread, and I don't mean the puppets. An outbreak has ravaged every country with millions of deaths, there are food shortages and the food corporations are making excuses, and thus humankind is nearing the end of its rope. An old lady Penny Plain sits in her chair talking to her talking dog Geoffrey, which pretty much sets the tone for this absurdist look at the destruction of the earth and Penny's aim to survive it.

Burkett is the sole performer, voicing and moving every character (and there are many, with some characters having multiple marionettes in different states of dress and emotions), on an amazingly simple but beautiful puppet stage with two levels and various surprises in the mechanics of the stage that make watching Burkett perform his puppetry almost a whole show in itself. Burkett is pretty spectacular voicing every character especially when they go back and forth in conversations, and some of the details in the marionette's craft and movements are stunning.

The play itself didn't always quite work for me. I loved the dark subject matter and I loved the news clips that show the world in turmoil, but perhaps maybe my own politics clouded my view of the story. Watching the story of an old lady, already near her death (as well as several other older characters), didn't give the end-of-the-world quite the dramatic urgency as it should have. While it might have been interesting to denote how that generation aided in the worlds destruction, it never went that far in its commentary. There were some clever moments when Geppeto (yes, the one who created Pinnochio) creates a new puppet that has a stinging reflection on this new world, and when two neighbours from the south are satirized, but overall, the play felt a bit too soft on its characters. Biting but maybe not as biting enough, perhaps from all the expectations I've had built up before finally seeing a Burkett play.

Vance at

More After the Jump...