Our plays are noted for their imaginative use of masks, evocative physicality, innovative staging, and for the way they fuse varied art forms and cultures. Plays from the Theatre under the Stars series are performed every summer in Ottawa’s historic Strathcona Park, found on the banks of the Rideau River, just five minutes from the downtown core. This charming open-air venue provides a natural setting to spectators from across the national capital region and to tourists seeking a unique entertainment experience.
Our Artistic Director Laurie Steven directed the world premiere of Joanne Miller’s and Laurie Steven’s original translation of Alain-René Lesage’s Turcaret. Joined by an award-winning team of designers and choreographers, Laurie created an innovative production that mixes baroque and contemporary styles of theatre.
This comedic fiasco is about Turcaret, a loan shark and a tax collector, whose sly dealings have come full circle on him. A menagerie of cash-hungry swindlers prey on each other, exposing slaves to passion, excess, and artifice.
“The Financier is the best thing I have ever seen performed by Odyssey in its 28 years as Ottawa’s prime outdoor theatre troupe. The set and costumes by James Lavoie are dazzling. The perfectly timed physical comedy, including some wacky dance numbers, is hilarious, thanks to “baroque choreographer” Marie-Nathalie Lacoursiere… Laurie Steven, the director of the play and the founder of Odyssey, surely deserves much of the credit for this winner. Of course, it helped that Steven had a great cast.” Paul Gessell, Ottawa Magazine
“Odyssey’s founder and artistic director Laurie Steven directs the show lending it her customary Commedia dell’arte touch along with more than a little slapstick… Steven has done a wonderful job of choreographing the production’s stylized movement.” Patrick Langston, Ottawa Citizen
“Pretty well everything about The Financier is impeccable. From the musical direction to the production design to the precision of the staging and superb physical comedy and to, of course, the cast.” Allan Mackey, On Stage Ottawa
“The Financier is an enjoyable period comedy but it was the overall experience that lingers. The ensemble of the proficient, distinctive cast performance, the costumes, the masks, the set and the open-air setting all come together to create a memorable evening; one to surely add to the summer calendar.” Jennifer Cavanagh, Sandy Hill Seen
“The chaotic ending which literally shows the Baroness, her house and all of Turcaret’s gifts, crashing down around them, all enhanced by the music (Vanessa Lachance), by Glen Davidson’s excellent lighting, created an unforgettable tableau that summed up the meaning of the whole evening – all became a portrait that captured the sum of Laurie Steven’s stage vision. And we must not forget the delicately painted backdrop that echos the precious sensuality of François Boucher whose work appeared during the same period as the play, and suggests the libertinage and pleasures of the flesh, pushed to their extreme in Turcaret. The artistic family involved in this production was impeccable.” Alvina Ruprecht, Capital Critics Circle
“The costumes are beautiful and elaborate, masks included, and the choreography is outstanding. All of the actors are incredibly talented moving around with ease and agility, without any awkwardness, even when the plot gets crazy and they are destroying the set.” Jennifer Hartley, Ottawa Life Magazine
Andy Massingham | M. Turcaret
Chandel Gambles | Baroness
Attila Clemann | Knight
Alanna Bale | Marine/Lisette
Jesse Buck | Frontin/Flamand
Mark Huisman | Marquis
John Doucet | M. Ratsa, M. Vole, Jasmin
Paulette Sinclair | Mme. Jacob
Nichola Lawrence | Mme. Turcaret