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Bear with me: Sun Bear @ParkTheatre

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If The Light House is an uplifting tale of survival, Sarah Richardson’s Sun Bear gives a contrasting take on this. Sarah plays Katy. We’re introduced to Katy as she runs through a list of pet office peeves with her endlessly perky coworkers, particularly about coworkers stealing her pens. It’s a hilarious opening monologue that would have you wishing you had her as a coworker to help relieve you from the boredom of petty office politics.  But something is not quite right in the perfect petty office, where people work together well. And that is her. And despite her protesting that she is fine, the pet peeves and the outbursts are becoming more frequent. As the piece progresses, maybe the problem lies in a past relationship, where Katy had to be home by a particular hour, not stay out late with office colleagues and not be drunk enough not to answer his calls. Perhaps the perky office colleagues are trying to help, and perhaps Katy is trying to reach out for help. It has simple staging

Opera Quick looks: Grand drama with Les Vêpres siciliennes #Rohvepres

It is a spectacular and grand evening at the opera with the current production of Les Vêpres siciliennes. I caught the sixth ever performance of this production at the Royal Opera (which is also being broadcast around the world at cinemas). While it helps to understand the historical context of the thirteenth century French occupation of Sicily, even more important is understanding a grand opera, its characteristics and excesses. Once you accept all this, it is a hell of a night.

The production manages to pare back some of the spectacle in favour of focusing the story on four principals and a story of betrayal and family secrets is brought to the fore. The production is more a commentary on grand opera traditions, but works. Verdi's music with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and conductor Antonio Pappano is so stirring and rousing its tempting to want to join the revolutionaries.

There are two more nights for it to run and a handful of tickets are available. Don't miss this memorable marking of Verdi's bicentenary. Check listings for cinema screenings as well.


Photo: Bryan Hymel as Henri and dancers in Les Vêpres siciliennes ROH / Bill Cooper

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