Tag Archives: Manitoba Theatre Centre

Royal MTC Names New Artistic Director Kelly Thornton

Royal MTC Names New Artistic Director Kelly Thornton

Kelly Thornton
Royal MTC’s incoming artistic director Kelly Thornton (HANDOUT)

WINNIPEG — A new artistic director has been named to the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Kelly Thornton brings more than 25 years of professional theatre experience to the job at Canada’s oldest regional theatre.

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Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Steven Schipper Exiting the Stage

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Steven Schipper Exiting the Stage

Steven Schipper
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre artistic director Steven Schipper will retire following the 2018/19 season. (ROYAL MTC)

WINNIPEG — After a theatre career spanning 30 years, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre artistic director Steven Schipper is exiting the stage.

Schipper has led the theatre since his appointment in 1989, but will retire from Royal MTC in May 2019.

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Review: Royal MTC’s ‘Come From Away’

Review: Royal MTC’s ‘Come From Away’

By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)

Come From Away

Come From AwayWINNIPEG — As a Broadway nerd, I immediately devoured the “Come From Away” cast recording when it was initially released nearly a year ago. I have to be honest — first impressions were not good. I couldn’t understand why this show, which sounded to me like 90 minutes of Great Big Sea covers, was generating so much buzz. Perhaps it was because I had seen some of the other blockbusters that shared the same theatre season with it and those other productions overwhelmed me so much that I couldn’t see how this little show would stack up. I had a friend, who saw an earlier pre-Broadway production, tell me that I just had to see it and the cast recording didn’t do it justice.

So, okay. It’s a big deal for Winnipeg to host the world regional premiere, meaning every other production of this show, though it has travelled, has been the same cast — the one that’s on Broadway. This is a new cast and a new production, and it’s making its debut in the heart of the continent. It’s a big deal for Winnipeg to have this premiere of any show, let alone one that’s still running in New York. That’s pretty unheard of. Unsure that I would enjoy myself, I got a ticket. And I’m thrilled to report that all of my pre-conceived notions about this show were horrifically wrong.

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Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Royal MTC

Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Royal MTC

By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)

Christmas Carol
Robb Paterson and John B. Lowe in ‘A Christmas Carol’ (DYLAN HEWLETT PHOTO)
Christmas Carol
The cast of Royal MTC’s ‘ A Christmas Carol,’ on now through December 21. (DYLAN HEWLETT PHOTO)

WINNIPEG — I am a Christmas connoisseur. I’m Ralphie’s dad trying to steal a taste of the undercooked turkey, except with all aspects of Christmas. The music, the movies, the food, the company, even, occasionally, the weather. All this to say, I knew I was going to like Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s “A Christmas Carol” before I even walked in.

The pitch is simple enough: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted for the stage. You know the story of how the frozen-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge, once visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, changes his perspective once he sees what really matters in life. This production is still a period piece, and is by no means particularly groundbreaking, but what really called to me was the expertise swarming this production.

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Royal MTC Opens 60th Season with ‘Shakespeare in Love’

Royal MTC Opens 60th Season with ‘Shakespeare in Love’

By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)

Shakespeare In Love
Andrew MacDonald-Smith, Bahareh Yaraghi, Kevin Klassen. (DAVID COOPER PHOTO)

There’s something special about an opening night performance, and there’s something more special yet about an opening season performance, particularly when that season is your diamond anniversary. The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre opened its ground-breaking 60th season on Thursday, and while the story may not be new to some audience members, Shakespeare in Love is a crowd-pleaser through and through.

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Review: WSO & Rainbow Stage’s ‘South Pacific’

Review: WSO & Rainbow Stage’s ‘South Pacific’

By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)

South Pacific
Stephanie Sy, Rochelle Kives and Aaron Hutton in ‘South Pacific.’ (DIANA CHABAI / FOR CHRISD.CA)

WINNIPEG — There is nothing like a full orchestra. Especially if that orchestra is playing a classic, nearly-70-year-old Rodgers & Hammerstein score.

For the first time in their history, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Rainbow Stage have teamed up to produce a musical. They chose a classic, something Rainbow Stage has been leaning away from in recent years, to begin this partnership. “South Pacific” has been performed since 1949 for a reason — and it still stood tried and true on the Centennial Concert Hall stage Friday night.

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Royal MTC’s ‘Hand to God’ Promises the ‘Outrageous’, ‘Horrific’

Royal MTC’s ‘Hand to God’ Promises the ‘Outrageous’, ‘Horrific’

By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)

Hand to God
Tom Keenan in ‘Hand to God,’ playing January 26 to February 11 at Royal MTC. (DYLAN HEWLETT PHOTO)

WINNIPEG — Jason Stevens sits on the swings in a striped shirt and red backpack. He tries to impress the girl he likes, Jessica, by performing a classic Abbott and Costello routine with his sock puppet, Tyrone. It all goes well, until Tyrone tells Jessica that she’s stupid and that Jason spends late nights touching himself and thinking about her.

So, no, “Hand to God” probably isn’t a play for your grandma.

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Review: Royal MTC’s ‘Million Dollar Quartet’

Review: Royal MTC’s ‘Million Dollar Quartet’

By Diana Chabai (@dianachabai)

Million Dollar Quartet - Royal MTC
Ryan Voth, Kris Ulrich, Matt Cage and Laura Olafson in Royal MTC’s ‘Million Dollar Quartet.’ (ROBERT TINKER PHOTO)

Dead celebrities have been on my mind a lot lately. 2016 took some especially good ones from us. I watched “Star Wars” the night Carrie Fisher died. I was particularly upset about her death (and even cried), but watching “A New Hope” made me realize that I have only known her through movies, and I will always have those movies. It’s the place where I go to spend time with her.

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins are also all dead. And because all of their music still lives on, we get to spend time with them whenever we want to.

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