Orphans is a compelling but mixed offering on the Toronto stage
Orphans, currently being presented by Coal Mine Theatre, is an intense evening of family drama. Dennis Kelly’s gripping play explores violence, morality, honesty, and especially family loyalty. It is often difficult to watch, but I found I couldn’t turn away.
Continue reading Review: Orphans (Coal Mine Theatre)
Though a bit gimmicky, Tough Jews delivers a stark, gritty look at Toronto’s history
Tough Jews—a play by Michael Ross Albert presented by The Storefront Theatre—is an intriguing twist on both the typical story of early 20th century Jewish immigrants and the classic Prohibition-era gangster tale.
It’s a funny and tragic adventure which explores hard questions of morality, intergenerational trauma, and the lengths to which people will go to protect their family. Continue reading Review: Tough Jews (The Storefront Theatre)
His Girl Friday, currently being presented by Bygone Theatre at Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, is a screwball comedy set in the 1930’s.
On its website, Bygone Theatre says its mandate is to “produce theatre written or set in the early 20th century, focusing on historical aspects in design and incorporating a classic cinema aesthetic.” His Girl Friday definitely fits this mandate. It’s a trip back in time, and had some moments that were surprisingly resonant today. Continue reading Review: His Girl Friday (Bygone Theatre)
Lost and Found showcases solo plays on the Toronto stage
Lost and Found is an evening of four solo performances by Gambler Productions at the Red Sandcastle Theatre. The four plays featured were not explicitly connected to each other. Instead, each was a meditation on losing or finding a piece of oneself. Continue reading Review: Lost and Found (Gambler Productions)
A “mix of chaos and stillness”, John hits Toronto’s Berkeley Street Theatre
The buzz in the audience as I waited for The Company Theatre’s production of John to begin at the Berkeley Street Theatre was, “Did you know it’s over three hours?” and “Did you see how long it is?” Indeed, John is a long play. But don’t let yourself get hung up on the length. It’s worth the time. Continue reading Review: John (The Company Theatre)
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale lands on the Toronto stage
William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, currently being performed by Groundling Theatre Company at the Winter Garden Theatre is sometimes referred to as a “problem play.” It’s neither tragedy nor comedy but rather switches between moments of intense psychological drama and moments of comedy and romance. As such, it is a perfect showcase for demonstrating the tremendous range and talent of this group of actors. Continue reading Review: The Winter’s Tale (Groundling Theatre Company)
Second City revamps a holiday classic with hilarity for Toronto audiences
Holidays are all about traditions. But sometimes, you need to mix it up a little and try something new. The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, currently playing at the Greenwin Theatre at the Toronto Centre for the Arts takes Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale in new—and sometimes hilarious—directions. Continue reading Review: Twist Your Dickens (The Second City)
Toronto’s Filament Incubator presents Paradise Comics a play by Caitie Graham
Paradise Comics, written by Caitie Graham and presented by Filament Incubator, is a play about ordinary people, and the inherent drama in ordinary life. In a small basement in Kensington Market we get a glimpse into the heartache, suffering, and also love that might be happening to the teenage girl across from you on the bus or the woman in front of you in line at the grocery store. Continue reading Review: Paradise Comics (Caitie Graham/Filament Incubator)
Shakespeare classic gets a Diwali-themed makeover in Piya Behrupiya, on stage in Toronto
I arrived at the Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts to see The Company Theatre’s production of Piya Behrupiya (Twelfth Night) on a dark, cold, and gloomy evening. But once I was inside, I was surrounded by colour, warmth, and joy.
Piya Behrupiya is being co-produced by Why Not Theatre and Soulpepper in celebration of Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, and it certainly brightened my day. Continue reading Review: Piya Behrupiya (Twelfth Night) (The Company Theatre)
The (Post) Mistress, at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto, is presented in English, French, and Cree
The (Post) Mistress, currently being co-produced by Théâtre Français de Toronto and Pleiades Theatre at the Berkeley Street Theatre, is a one-woman musical set in a post office. I usually think of the post office as a boring place with long lines. Not where you’d want to spend a lot of time. But this post office, created by First Nations’ playwright Tomson Highway, is different and is filled with laughter, tears, and music. Continue reading Review: The (Post) Mistress (Théâtre Français de Toronto/Pleiades Theatre)