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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 06:00 am

TURBULENT STORY – Shadow Theatre is producing Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh, by American playwright Joel Gross.
TURBULENT STORY – Shadow Theatre is producing Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh, by American playwright Joel Gross.
DAVID RAUCH/Supplied photo

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Shadow Theatre delivers an epic look at class structures

In its production of 2014, Shadow Theatre takes theatregoers to a period just prior to the French Revolution.

Directed by artistic director John Hudson, Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh, is a product of American playwright, screenwriter and novelist Joel Gross.

This off-Broadway production received rave reviews and is a dramatic love triangle set during the years of the turbulent French Revolution.

It focuses on the ambitious artist Elizabeth Vigee le Brun (Alana Hawley) who lands the prestigious opportunity of painting a portrait of Marie Antoinette (Nicola Elbro), the isolated and naïve queen of France.

The social-climbing Elizabeth uses the queen to further her career while radical leftist playboy-aristocrat Count Alexis de Ligne (Frank Zotter) uses the queen to further his political agenda. As the painting develops, both learn to love the woman they are exploiting even as the revolution reaches a climax and shatters their lives.

Marie Antoinette runs at Varscona Theatre from Jan. 29 to Feb. 16. The Varscona Theatre is located at 10329 83 Ave. Tickets range from $11 to $27. Tuesdays are two for the price of one. Saturday, Feb. 1 matinee is pay-what-you-can. Call the theatre at 780-434-5564 or online at tixonthesquare.ca.

Citadel Theatre tackles race and real estate

Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park is the first work to win the triple crown of the Pulitzer, Tony and Britain’s Olivier and it opens at the Citadel Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Inspired by the classic A Raisin in the Sun, it flips the themes of race, real estate and social justice. Norris’s smart characters retain a degree of likeability even while treading taboo waters and telling racist jokes.

Spanning 50 years, it starts in a 1959 Chicago suburb where a white couple is selling their house. A black family wants to buy the house and the couple backs out of the deal fearing property values will sink.

Fast forward to 2009 when Clybourne Park has become an all-black neighbourhood moving towards gentrification. A white couple looking to buy the house and replace it must negotiate local housing regulations with a black couple representing a neighbourhood organization.

Preview nights run this week. Tickets start at $35. Call 780-425-1820 or purchase online at citadeltheatre.com.

K.I.A. Productions makes Closer

No, this is not KIA the carmaker closing a deal. K.I.A. Productions is a daring young Edmonton company that’s mounting the British award-winning Closer.

Running from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 at the ATB Arts Barns, this play looks at romantic relationships through a gritty, unshrinking lens.

The play is not your typical girl-meets-boy adventure. It starts when a cab hits Alice. Dan sees the accident, waits with her in the hospital and they start to flirt. His relationship with her doesn’t prevent him from falling in love with a beautiful photographer, Anna. Even as Anna is attracted to Dan, she has an affair with Larry, a rough-around-the-edges doctor.

The quartet swaps partners and moves in and out of relationships, but never succeeds in finding true intimacy.

Directed by Keltie Brown, Closer features local actors Alexander Forsyth, Kristi Hansen, Ellie Heath and Ben McIvor.

Tickets are $15 to $20. Call 780-420-1757 or purchase online at tixonthesquare.ca.


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