Archive for June 2013

“Chicago” nabs noms from Calgary critics   Leave a comment

“Nabs noms”… now there’s a blog title to be proud of…

“Chicago” picked up five nominations yesterday in the Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards, tied with the Shakespeare Company’s “Hamlet” for most nominations for a single show.  Louis B. Hobson’s story is below (link here), thanks and gratitude to him and the others who voted.  I bolded the categories and names of those nominated…

Chicago, Hamlet vie for top honours at Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards

By Louis Hobson ,Calgary Sun

First posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 02:12 PM MDT | Updated: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 02:20 PM MDT

They’re back for their second year.

The 78 nominees in 16 categories for this year’s Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards, affectionately known as “The Critters”, were chosen by myself and my colleagues Stephen Hunt of the Calgary Herald and Jessica Goldman of the CBC Eyeopener and

It was a gruelling task because the 2012/2013 theatre season provided Calgarians with a cornucopia of outstanding productions and performances.

In almost half the categories we singled out twice as many as the five nominee maximum we allowed ourselves because that’s what happens when you’re dealing with a bumper crop.

Stage West’s musical Chicago and The Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet led the pack with five nominations each.

The winners will be announced at a free public ceremony at 8 p.m. on July 24th at The Libertine Public House at 223 8 Ave. S.W.

Anyone wishing to attend the 2013 Critters such RSVP to as soon as possible as there are a limited number of spots available.

This year’s nominees are:

Best Play

  • Hamlet, The Shakespeare Company
  • Pride and Prejudice, Theatre Calgary
  • The Kite Runner, Theatre Calgary
  • Jack Goes Boating, Sage Theatre
  • William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, The Shakespeare Company/Ground Zero Hit & Myth Productions

Best Musical

  • Chicago, Stage West
  • Next to Normal, Theatre Calgary
  • Blanche: The Bittersweet Life of a Wild Prairie Dame, Lunchbox Theatre/High Performance Rodeo
  • The Last Five Years, Storybook Theatre
  • If I Weren’t With You, Lunchbox Theatre

Best New Script

  • Sequence by Arun Lakra (Downstage)
  • People You May Know by One Yellow Rabbit Creative Ensemble
  • Second Chance, First Love by Caroline Russell-King (Lunchbox)
  • This Is How I Left by Third Street Theatre Creative Ensemble
  • May and Joe by Morris Ertman. Heather Pattengale and Paul Zacharias (Rosebud Theatre)

Best Touring Production

  • Look Mummy I’m Dancing by Vanessa Van Durme
  • Metamorphosis (Lyric Theatre & Vesturport)
  • Ride The Cyclone (Atomic Vaudeville)
  • This is What Happens Next by Daniel McIvor (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • The God That Comes, Created by Hawksley Workman and Christian Barry (Alberta Theatre Projects)

Best Director Play

  • Haysam Kadri – Hamlet (The Shakespeare Company)
  • Dennis Garnhum – Pride and Prejudice (Theatre Calgary)
  • Marc Bellamy – Scarlet Woman (Lunchbox Theatre)
  • Kelly Reay – Polygraph (Sage Theatre)
  • Kevin McKendrick – Sequence (Downstage)

Best Director Musical

  • Ron Jenkins – Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary)
  • Max Reimer – Chicago (Stage West)
  • David Leyshon – If I Weren’t With You (Lunchbox)
  • Marc Bellamy – The Last Five Years (Storybook Theatre)
  • Rachel Avery – Blanche: the Bittersweet Life of a Wild Prairie Dame (Lunchbox/High Performance Rodeo)

Best Actor in a Play

  • Garett Ross – Jack Goes Boating (Sage Theatre)
  • Christian Goutsis – Hamlet (The Shakespeare Company)
  • Wes Tritter – Second Chance, First Love (Lunchbox Theatre)
  • Anousha Alamian – The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary)
  • Brian Jensen – A Steady Rain (Ground Zero and Hit & Myth Productions)

Best Actress in a Play

  • Denise Clarke – People You May Know (One Yellow Rabbit)
  • Julie Orton – Scarlet Woman (Lunchbox Theatre)
  • Alyssa Bradac – This is How I Left (Third Street Theatre)
  • Karen Robinson – Intimate Apparel (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • Genevieve Pare – Polygraph (Sage Theatre)

Best Actor in a Musical

  • Bart Kwiatkowski – Evil Dead: The Musical (Ground Zero/Hit & Myth Productions)
  • Matt Cassidy – Chicago (Stage West)
  • J.P. Thibodeau – The Last Five Years (Storybook Theatre)
  • Robert Marcus – Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary)
  • Barrie Wood – Anne of Green Gables (Theatre Calgary)

Best Actress in a Musical

  • Kathryn Akin – Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary)
  • Marisa McIntyre – Chicago (Stage West)
  • Madeleine Suddaby – The Last Five Years (Storybook Theatre)
  • Onalea Gilbertson – Blanche” The Bittersweet Life of a Wild Prairie Dame (Lunchbox/High Performance Rodeo)
  • Jill Agopsowicz – Anne of Green Gables (Theatre Calgary)

Featured Actor in a Play

  • Frank Zotter – Jack Goes Boating (Sage Theatre)
  • Graham Percy – Intimate Apparel (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • Paul Welch – It Could Be Any One Of Us (Vertigo Theatre)
  • Duval Lang – Hamlet (Shakespeare Company)
  • Roger LeBlanc – Hamlet (Shakespeare Company)

Featured Actress in a Play

  • Julie Orton – Intimate Apparel (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • Esther Purves-Smith – Dust (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • Elinor Holt – It Could be Any One of Us (Vertigo)
  • Shawna Burnett – Jack Goes Boating (Sage)
  • Valerie Ann Pearson – Panic (Vertigo)

Featured Actor in a Musical

  • Scott Shpeley – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • Michael Cox – Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary)
  • Ed Shaley – Chicago (Stage West)
  • Jeremy Crittenden – Anne of Green Gables (Theatre Calgary)

Featured Actress in a Musical

  • Sara Farb – Next to Normal (Theatre Calgary)
  • Alyssa Billingsly – Evil Dead: The Musical (Ground Zero and Hit & Myth)
  • Lisa Lennox – Charlie Brown (Alberta Theatre Projects)
  • Denise Clarke – Songs from Nightingale Alley (One Yellow Rabbit)

Best Solo Performance

  • Paul Welch – I Am My Own Wife (Third Street Theatre)
  • Haysam Kadri – Bashir Lazhar (Downstage)
  • Chantal Perron – Aviatrix (Lunchbox)
  • Heather Pattengale – Badger (Theatre BSMT)
  • Monice Peter – The Dandelion Project (Verb Theatre)

Best Design

  • Terry Gunvordahl – Polygraph (Sage)
  • Terry Gunvordahl, Kaely Dekker, Andrew Blizzard – Panic (Vertigo)
  • Patrick Clark – Pride and Prejudice (Theatre Calgary)
  • Kerem Cetinel – The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary)
  • Martin Evans – Hamlet (Shakespeare Company)

In addition, to these awards, will be handing out the Evans Award a special award to acknowledge someone we feel has contributed greatly to the vibrancy of the theatre community in Calgary. The award recipient will be revealed on the night of the event.

The Calgary Critics would like to thank their event sponsors: Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Davis Jensen Law, Bottom Line Productions, Clarice Siebens and Joe and Maureen Morris of Petrocraft Storage Inc. for their support and enthusiasm.


Posted June 20, 2013 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

The ace   Leave a comment

Starting eight?  Check.

Backups on the bench?  Check.

Guess it’s time to build a rotation…

There are a lot of young, in-their-prime, powerful arms to choose from.  In fact, if I was assembling two or three Dream Teams, I still don’t think I’d have any problem finding that many starters that would fit my criteria.  And for the purpose of this exercise, four of those pitchers quickly jumped to the front of the line; the fifth starter was a three-sided coin flip.

So you’re in suspense, dying to know who gets the ball on Opening Day.  Well, how about a man who, as of this writing, has an ERA of 2.72 with over 1,000 major league innings under his belt.  He has a lifetime strikeout per nine innings of 9.2, and since 2011, he’s only walked 2.3 batters per nine.  Since 2009, his first full season (that is, the first season in which he would have qualified for the ERA title), he’s 25 games over .500, with a Cy Young award and a runner-up Cy Young finish to boot.  In his four full seasons (2009-2012), he has led his league in ERA twice, WHIP twice, strikeouts once, and wins once.

Best of all, he’s a lefty, and he just turned 25 years old.

Number 22… Clayton Kershaw.


(The only bad thing I can say about him is that he plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I’m an Expos fan that still remembers Black Monday.)

Posted June 9, 2013 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Even a Dream Team needs a bench   Leave a comment

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted some Dream Team stuff – go back through my previous blogs if you’re new here – so I figured I better get back at it.  The starting lineup is in the books, and it blends speed, power, the ability to hit from both sides of the plate, and without sacrificing anything on defense in the process.  If you need a refresher, here it is:

  • Mike Trout, CF (R)
  • Joey Votto, 1B (L)
  • Miguel Cabrera, 3B (R)
  • Ryan Braun, LF (R)
  • Robinson Cano, 2B (L)
  • Bryce Harper, RF (L)
  • Troy Tulowitzki, SS (R)
  • Yadier Molina, C (R)

If you can send in a better lineup, or want to suggest a substitution, by all means, send it in.  I’m pretty confident in my bunch.

Nonetheless, even Dreams deserve the occasional day off.  The “original” Dream Team, as envisioned by Steve Wulf back in 1985, utilized a seven-man bench.  He also used “only” ten pitchers, which simply doesn’t happen these days.  As I don’t believe in a seven- or eight-man bullpen (which is ridiculous, by the way), I have six men waiting patiently on my bench, ready to go in whenever the situation requires it.

For example, if I need a clutch hit from the left side, I’m calling upon Boston’s David Ortiz.  Even at the age of 37, he can still mash.  As of this writing, he has over 400 career home runs, and has hit 20 or more home runs for 11 consecutive seasons.  Ortiz can also draw a walk, as a career .380 on-base percentage will reflect.  He should blend into the locker room seamlessly as well, giving me some championship experience, intangibles, and other moderately unprovable traits.

My two backup infielders are the Twins’ Jamey Carroll and the Cardinals’ Ty Wigginton.  Initially, I used Ben Zobrist from Tampa Bay instead of Carroll, but darn it, Zobrist is just too good to be on any bench.  I wanted real second-stringers, and I mean that most respectfully.  Between the two of them, they have all four infield positions covered.  Even when they do go to a new team – ostensibly as a reserve (they’ve combined to play for 13 different major league clubs), they still end up getting a lot of at-bats.  Experienced and reliable, Wigginton and Carroll fit in perfectly, and they deserve some recognition here.

The Dreams’ backup outfielders can also cover any spot, and in the case of Arizona’s Gerardo Parra, do it extremely well.  He won a Gold Glove in 2011, but was relegated to the bench at the beginning of 2013.  Injuries got him back in the starting lineup, and the career .284 hitter is proving that he still belongs a starting gig.  The other outfielder on my club is David Murphy of the Texas Rangers.  He sports a career line that is even better than Parra’s (.281/.342/.449), and after several seasons serving as the Rangers’ fourth outfielder, backing up the oft-injured Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. he earned himself the left fielder’s job in 2013.

The final man on my bench is, quite frankly, someone I’d never even heard of until a few months ago.  He’s a rookie with (pauses to check 157 major league plate appearances.  He’s not the most skilled receiver behind the plate, but I’m hoping he can learn from a guy like Yadi Molina, the ironman he’ll be backing up.  For all I know, MLB pitchers will find a hole in his swing over the next two months and he’ll get sent down to Triple-A.  But his life story is so good, and he’s already hit so many bombs in 2013, that right here and right now, the Braves’ Evan Gattis has to be the Dreams’ other catcher.



Posted June 3, 2013 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized