"Pitch-perfect drama and comedy" -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Sweet, smart and seriously addictive" -- Philadelphia Inquirer
"The most fully satisfying slice of entertainment in ages" -- Newsday
As seen on the Sundance Channel
In its third season, this universally acclaimed series continues to mine dramatic and comic gold from the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional Canadian theatre troupe, both on- and offstage.
Struggling with the unfamiliar burdens of success, the New Burbage theatre festival mounts two ambitious productions: King Lear, Shakespeares epic tragedy, and East Hastings, a debut musical about a heroin-addicted hooker with a heart of gold. Emotionally fragile artistic director Geoffrey Tennant (Paul Gross) coaxes legendary actor Charles Kingman out of semi-retirement to play Lear. But with plenty of personal baggage, Kingman doesnt so much play the part as live it. Meanwhile, the festivals resident bean-counter (Mark McKinney) joins forces with the musicals flamboyant director (Don McKellar) to create the unlikeliest hit in theatre history. Special guest stars include award-winning actor William Hutt of Canadas Stratford Festival and indie-film sensation Sarah Polley (My Life Without Me, The Sweet Hereafter).
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE interviews with Paul Gross and Susan Coyne; extended scenes of King Lear; bloopers; deleted and extra scenes; trailer; production notes; photo gallery, song lyrics, and cast filmographies.
Contains strong coarse language
It's a shame that there aren't more shows this good on TV, and now it's gone. Well, Slings and Arrows
always was conceived by its creators to be a set of three seasons, and so after two tremendous offerings it comes to its third and final set of episodes about the backstage drama, onstage embarrassments, and personal trials and tribulations of the staff and actors of the fictional New Burbage Theatre Festival. Following the show's conceit of using plotlines that parallel the Shakespeare play being performed--Hamlet
in season one and Macbeth
in season twothis season sees artistic director Geoffrey Tenant (Paul Gross) mounting an ambitious production of King Lear
with a lead actor (William Hutt as the aptly named Charles Kingman) who begins to literally live the role. Meanwhile the festival's general manager, Richard (Mark McKinney), deals with the unexpected burdens brought by the critical and financial success of their last production, continuing the show's structure of dual plotlines that focus on the artistic and financial aspects of theatre, detailing how inextricably the two are linked. Richard joins forces with flamboyant director Darren Nichols (Don McKellar) tries to top it with East Hastings
, a contemporary musical about a heroin-addicted hooker with a heart of gold. As the musical becomes a big hit, Lear
turns into a train wreck, and Geoffrey and Richard are both forced to make big decisions that have huge consequences for the Festival staff and actors. Such is the nature of outrageous fortune. It's bittersweet to see a show this well done come to an end. On the one hand, three seasons seems like such a short run for such a good program. On the other hand, it's good to see it go out on a high note, and the addition of extra features on this set, including extended interviews, deleted scenes, production notes, and more, should help serious fans through their withdrawal. --Daniel Vancini