All posts by Catherine Jan

A former freelance translator in Paris, Catherine Jan now enjoys writing in Toronto and about Toronto. Especially about Toronto theatre. She also blogs about translation, copywriting, editing and other word-related past-times at Catherine Translates. Are you on Twitter? Join @translatetrad‘s 2,000 followers who keep up with her workin’ girl tweets.

Contagious (Tragical Fun) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Valentyn Korotkevych

 Written by Valentyn Korotkevych, Contagious is a story about two very different neighbours who make a life-changing connection. This Toronto Fringe Festival 2017 play is being performed at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.

Contagious is an ode to having “real” conversations and following your heart. What’s more, the story is lifted by great choreography and meaningful music.

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A Mickey Full of Mouse (AMFOM Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Poster image for A Mickey Full of Mouse

Written by Dawna Wightman, A Mickey Full of Mouse is playing at the Tarragon Extraspace as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival 2017. This raw road trip story takes us to the childhood memories of two women, Anna and Margaret. The main recollection is the 1976 journey to Florida that includes Anna (Louise Lupo), Margaret (Dawna Wightman) and Anna’s mother (also Wightman) and father.

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Night at Castle Impendingdoom (Wiggly Dolly) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Night at Castle Impendingdoom

Night at Castle Impendingdoom produced by Wiggly Dolly is playing at the George Ignatieff Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival 2017. Written by Madeleine Redican and Clara McTeague, this KidsFest puppet show is a family must-see.

Elizabeth, Catherine and Slightly get a mysterious invitation to be guests at a Transylvanian home. While Elizabeth is thrilled to be going to an actual castle, and Slightly cluelessly sees the trip as a chance to protect two damsels in distress, Catherine is the voice of reason. She knows that something isn’t right. After all, the home is called Castle Impendingdoom and the host is called Count Sucksyourblood!

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Review: Deathtrap (Scarborough Players)

Thumbs up for “impressive” play Deathtrap, now on the Toronto stage

Playing at the Scarborough Village Theatre, Deathtrap is a suspenseful comedy-thriller about murder and deception. Written by Ira Levin, this tale has twists and turns that let us into desperate, criminal minds that are bent on success. What’s more, it is cleverly staged and absolutely entertaining.

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Review: Office Hours (East Side Players)

Office Hours East Side PlayersOffice Hours is a hilarious collection of vignettes playing at the Papermill Theatre in Toronto

Office Hours is a hoot that’s brilliantly written and dynamically performed. Playing at Toronto’s Papermill Theatre, this collection of six workplace vignettes occur in the same city on a Friday afternoon, and they are cleverly connected by a ledge-jumper, a dead horse, a steamy book, a statue needing a loin cloth and, most notably, a “Week at a Glance” agenda. You’ll surely get a kick out of this comedy by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Continue reading Review: Office Hours (East Side Players)

Review: Illusions (SideMart Theatrical Grocery)

Illusions is a dark tragicomedy about love, on stage at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto

SideMart Theatrical Grocery presents the first English version of Illusions, written by Russian playwright Ivan Viripaev and translated by Casimir Liske. Playing in Leslieville’s Crow’s Theatre, it’s a romantic tragicomedy that will make you gasp, groan and giggle at this creatively narrated story about love and lies.

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Review: Tartuffe (Scarborough Theatre Guild)

Tartuffe is a funny 17th century comedy, on stage at Scarborough Village Theatre

Showing at the Scarborough Village Theatre, Tartuffe is a playful 17th century story from Moliere that is colourfully staged and wonderfully performed. My guest, who knew the play as a student growing up in France, thought the English translation effectively captured the essence of the comedy. We were amused by the charade played by Tartuffe, the seemingly religious man who is far from pious. Attention, appearances can be deceiving!

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HROSES: Outrage a la raison (It Could Still Happen)


Confusing, “whimsical” play about star-crossed lovers hits Toronto’s Waterworks stage

HROSES: Outrage a la raison is an eerie, bilingual play about two people from rival families who fall in love but cannot stay together. Performed in a downtown Toronto industrial space called Waterworks, HROSES has an indie, fringe vibe to it that is for the most open-minded of theatre-goers.

Lily (Sascha Cole)—who works on a farm—belongs to an English-speaking family. Ellery (Frederic Lemay) is part of a French-speaking clan; their family-run mine extends under Lily’s farm, harming their hard-earned harvest. One day, Lily and Ellery are brought together when a horse appears between the two properties. They decide they wish to care for it, together.

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