Joff Schmidt

CBC theatre reviewer

Joff Schmidt is a copy editor for CBC Manitoba. Since 2005, he's also been CBC Manitoba's theatre critic on radio and online. He majored in theatre at the U of M, and performed in many university and Fringe festival productions along the way (ranging from terrible to pretty good, according to the reviews). Find him on Twitter @JoffSchmidt.

Latest from Joff Schmidt

Review

Silly and smart, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) a satisfying Shakespearean mash-up

If you've often thought that Shakespeare would be way better with more '80s tunes, dance breaks and messages of female empowerment, Theatre Projects Manitoba's revival of Ann-Marie MacDonald's Governor General's Award-winning play may be the show for you.
Preview

'Relevant and diverse stories': Network, 2 premieres, new festival coming to Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre

"New" might be the keyword for the next season at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre — and not just because that's the title of one of the shows that will hit the Winnipeg stage next year in the first season programmed by new artistic director Kelly Thornton.
Review

Graceful and moving, Ghost Light is a sweet sendoff to a formidable spirit

Shawn Wright's solo show has the occasional stumble, but it is ultimately a sweet and touching sendoff to a remarkable woman — and a worthy tribute to a formidable spirit.
Review

From ice cream to Christopher Walken, Every Brilliant Thing celebrates what makes life worth living

The one-man play Every Brilliant Thing is unabashedly life-affirming, skilfully weaving light and dark, humour and tragedy, and a fair bit of painless (maybe even fun) audience participation in an engaging, reflective and satisfying 75 minutes.
Preview

To see, or not to see: Some of the shows you might want to add to your list for ShakespeareFest

Winnipeg’s annual Master Playwright Festival may have saved the best for last. This year marks the 20th, and final, edition of the festival, which sees local theatre companies perform work by — and inspired by — one playwright. This year, that writer is none other than William Shakespeare.
Review

All you need is love, the Fab Four and Shakespeare: Beatles-infused As You Like It a surefire crowd-pleaser

The Royal MTC/Citadel Theatre's playful and inventive musical production of As You Like It sets Shakespeare's comedy in 1960s B.C., and mashes the Bard with the Beatles so well, you'll wonder why it hasn't been done before.
Review

Frog and Toad offer up a feel-good story of friendship for the holidays at MTYP

Everyone should have a friend like Frog. That’s the message that shines through in Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s latest production of the musical A Year with Frog and Toad — an unassuming, gentle and heartwarming series of vignettes about the two amphibious besties.
Review

Jane Austen fans get just what they want for the holidays in Royal MTC's Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Formulaic and predictable though it may be, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of the "imagined sequel" to Pride and Prejudice demonstrates why the 2016 play has quickly become a hit — it’s entertaining, heartwarming and smartly crafted.
Review

No merry marriage: Matrimonial comedy The Wedding Party comes up short on laughs

A wedding should be a joyous occasion. A multi-character comedy about a disastrous wedding reception should offer lots of laughs. Unfortunately, neither of those things materialize in Prairie Theatre Exchange's co-production of The Wedding Party.
Review

Puppet play about Jewish baseball team swings for the fences but goes foul

With a genuinely unique story that opens the door for exploration of deep questions and often clever execution through puppetry, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre's premiere of The Golem's Mighty Swing has a lot going for it. But its structural flaws keep it stuck at first base.
Review

Step into this Fun Home for a poignant, superbly performed coming-of-age musical

Tackling coming of age, gender identity, suicide and family dysfunction — all in a funeral home setting — Fun Home is an unlikely hit musical. But it's a thoughtful and moving story, given a sterling production by an outstanding cast in the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Warehouse's production.
Review

Musical adaptation of The Color Purple makes a joyful noise at Royal MTC

The Color Purple runs at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's John Hirsch Mainstage from Oct. 24 until Nov. 16.
Review

Telling tales: Smart and funny Royal MTC show asks who has the right to relate a story

A black teenager is shot during a traffic stop by a cop — who happens to be a black woman. Whose story is that, and who has the right to tell it? Those are the questions at the heart of Kat Sandler’s thoughtful and surprisingly funny play Bang Bang, which opens the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's 2019-20 season.
Review

Ian Ross's new play tackles colonialism, reconciliation with absurdism and wit

A Governor General's Award-winning playwright tackles the history of Canada, colonialism and the path to reconciliation — or to destruction — with humour, a sense of the absurd and a sometimes surprising, though justified, anger in The Third Colour.
Review

A divorce lawyer and a rabbi walk into a theatre … Faith, funny combine in Bar Mitzvah Boy

A bar mitzvah is a very special moment in a young man's life — or in the life of a 60-something divorce lawyer. That's the premise of Bar Mitzvah Boy, which opens Winnipeg Jewish Theatre's season.