Friday, June 9, 2023

Critics’ Picks: 5 Must-See Performances This March

Who knew that March was theatre-month in Hamilton? When reviewing options for our top picks, theatre offerings kept rising to the top. From community productions, to premieres, to site-specific works, Hamilton is a playground for theatre-lovers in this city. But we couldn’t let the theatre crowd have all the fun, so we’ve added in a few other options. Whatever you end up seeing this month, we hope it provides you with an unforgettable experience. Our favourites are below.

For more details on other events happening in and around Hamilton this month and great shows to check out, stay up to date with our full event calendar


Site-specific theatre can be a challenge to do well. If an audience is going to be immersed for a theatre performance outside of a traditional venue, a lot of factors need to work. But if anyone can make it happen, Sky Gilbert can. His latest production, INSIDE, follows the interactions and story between Tom (Park Bench) and Ryan Russell over the course of a night. For the audience and actors, that night begins at The Well; a gay bar at 161 Wellington Street West, through the streets of downtown Hamilton, and eventually ends inside the Theatre Aquarius Arts Centre building (191 King William). Running March 10-25, if Gilbert’s name and reputation for interesting works isn’t enough to sell-out tickets at this point, watching the unique journey unfold alongside fellow audience members should be. 

The Gig

Theatre Aquarius looks to shed their reputation as a traditional regional theatre company with their latest world premiere- their second of 2023. On description alone, The Gig promises to be the opposite of traditional theatre fare with a story that sees three drag queens hired to perform at a private function. When the function turns out to be a campaign fundraiser for a Conservative politician, humour ensues. To set the tone for the run, Theatre Aquarius even promises an after-party following the first performance on March 10 featuring Hamilton drag mainstay Karma Kameleon, who also serves as a consultant on the production. Can’t make opening night? The show runs until March 25.

AndThenYou Slam

Hamilton You Poets don’t get enough credit in this city. Within three years of their 2012 founding, HYP took third place in the 2015 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. In 2022, HYP member Eddie Lartey won first place in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. Suffice to say, HYP artists have a lot of talent that they share at their regular slams. Their March edition is open to all, taking place at the AndThenYou space at 145 Main Street East on March 16 beginning at 7:30pm. Slammers are invited to bring their best work to participate in an all-ages poetry battle royale with cash prizes from $25-$100. Audience members can not only cheer on their favourites, but get a real-time understanding of why the pen is mightier than the sword.

Duelling Pianos

Shawn & Ed Brewing scheduled their first duelling piano show on March 10, and while it hasn’t happened yet, the event sold out so quickly that they’ve added a second on March 18. Join a pair of piano masters as they perform any song live. No request is too obscure, although most of them seem to fall into the category of classic rock. Enjoy their interpretation of classics and sing along with them, or the audience. The Niagara-based group combines their vast musical knowledge and skills with improv comedy and audience participation. Combined with Shawn & Ed beer and pizza, it’s a recipe for a memorable night.

Mozart in Paris

There may not be a more Hamilton-esque HPO concert this year than the HPO’s March 25 Mozart in Paris concert. Hear me out. While the primary music on the program are traditional classical works, one of them (Ibert’s Flute Concerto) celebrates Principal player Leslie Newman, who marks fifteen seasons with the Orchestra this year. The concert also showcases up-and-coming composer Jesse Plessis, who was a 21-22 fellow with the Orchestra and wrote a new work to be premiered at this concert. As part of his time with the HPO, Plessis was mentored by the Orchestra’s longtime Composer-in-Residence, Abigail Richardson-Schulte, who will give a behind-the-scenes look at the music in a talk before the concert.

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