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THE SHAW VARIETY SHOW Spiegeltent/Shaw Festival
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May 27, 2024, 22:07
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Shaw Festival
Through October 5
THE SHAW VARIETY SHOW Spiegeltent/Shaw Festival

The Shaw Festival developed using George Bernard Shaw’s wordy looks at his long, long times.
That doesn’t mean there’s no humor in Shaw because there certainly is.
The festival has been experimenting with lighter weight material, like the temporary stage near the Festival Theatre last season and the Spiegeltent.
This Belgian theatre in a shipping container is getting a lot of use this season, not only “The Shaw Variety Show,” but also “The Roll of Shaw,” “Kabarett,” “Footlights” and “Cotton Club.”
All are running as
varying segments of the summer season.
“Variety” is intended for entertainment and, maybe, some self-promotion for the festival, with appearances the night I was there from Jonathan Tan and Donna Soares, with both talking about the trail through life both had to get on the stage, in other shows.
Tan recited an Ins Choi poem and Soares sang the Korean song “If” by Taeyeon.
Besides the first of what will probably be a parade of festival company members, the two acts were from regulars Kristopher Bowman, who conceived the show, and Cosette Derome, Manami Hara, Travis Seetoo and Shawn Wright
The material ranged from the “Happy Birthday” sung to people in the circular crowd to the whole cast reaching into the Great Canadian Songbook for Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain.”
“Variety” is vaudeville by the lake or by Fort George, a modern version of the vaudeville shows my father went to see a century ago, perhaps even in the Buffalo theater showcased in the program.
This is not the kind of penetrating material Shaw himself produced.
It’s entertainment, material for what appeared to be a sold-out house.
Audiences this summer are likely to applaud for “The Shaw Variety Show.”

A.W.

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