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West Side Story

Q+A: Welcome to Calgary, Stafford Arima

By MICHAELA RITCHIE

Acclaimed Broadway director Stafford Arima became Theatre Calgary’s new artistic director on April 3, 2017. (Photo by Abigail Alcala.)

In April 2017, Theatre Calgary welcomed a new artistic director into their ranks—acclaimed Broadway director Stafford Arima. Originally from Toronto, Arima flourished as a director both in New York and abroad for the past two decades, with credits like Allegiance, Ragtime, Altar Boyz and Carrie under his belt. Arima has returned home to Canada just in time to oversee Theatre Calgary’s 50th season.

Although he’s still pretty new to Calgary, Arima is no stranger to city living. Six months into his new role, we caught up with Arima to see how he’s settling in here, why he left New York for Calgary and where to go for the best Alberta beef in town. (more…)

Hot Date: West Side Story Takes Toronto

MAY 8 TO JUNE 3 A tale of love amidst a turf war between two New York City gangs, the Broadway smash West Side Story needs little introduction. It’s been more than 50 years since its first performance and the classic take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim continues to mesmerize audiences with its dynamic dance numbers and timeless tunes, including the scintillating “America.” Toronto Centre for the Arts, Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 pm, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2 pm, $62 to $180; call 416-644-3665 or click here to buy.

Where in Toronto: Getting Back to the Theatre

Inside the Ed Mirvish Theatre

Each week, our intrepid interns reflect on life
and times in the big city.

When I think of theatre, I time-machine back to junior high, where I discovered an interest in acting. Encouraged by Ms. Olsen, who was as cool and as in-love-with-Shakespeare as drama teachers come, I auditioned for—and won—a role as a Men in Black–style agent in a ridiculous student-written play called Phlegm and Larry in the Search for Elvis (don’t ask). It was the complete opposite of classics like The Wizard of Oz and Annie that I had seen performed in previous years; of course it was an instant hit.

Unfortunately, after that successful debut, my play-acting ambitions largely took a backseat to academics. It was not until university—and a few courses on Shakespeare—that theater and I were truly reacquainted. In a class full of drama majors, I took comfort in at least knowing the difference between upstage and downstage and being able to identifying a soliloquy. But reading drama isn’t the same as watching it on stage. (more…)

Hot Dates: Curtain Call

The Broadway classic West Side Story continues until May 29 at Neptune Theatre on Argyle Street. In a
contemporary (sort of) update of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, rival New York gangs sing, dance and find love.