All posts by George Perry

George has always been passionate about theatre, but didn’t know it. As a young boy he was mesmerized by professional wrestling. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was an early role model. Shortly thereafter, the explosive histrionics of Pete Townshend would supersede this Canadian icon. George’s attention later turned to American theatre. Jello Biafra became a seminal influence. The “Do It Yourself” ethic was firmly embraced by Perry, and he ventured into the vast repetoire of artists like Paul Westerberg and Steve Albini. As a young adult, he was re-introduced to the works of Townshend. His then girlfriend, Michelle, was hugely impressed by the theatrical production of The Who’s “Tommy”. He meandered through factories, schools, border towns and Michigan for a very long time afterwards. He eventually landed in Toronto. All these influences were brought together in one kettle when George discovered Mooney on Theatre. He understands and personifies that theatre is indeed for everyone. To further this end goal, he contributes.

Review: better than this (Moose + Moa Theatre Company)

Better Than ThisA break from holiday theatre in Toronto, Passe Muraille presents a play about addiction

At first glance, mounting better than this at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto during the Christmas season may seem like a gigantic scheduling error. After all, on the surface it is a play about drug addicts, punk rock and young lives unraveling. If you dig a little deeper, the undercurrent here is love.

Like the holidays, this play is about building bridges and gaining an understanding with those who are less fortunate or different than ourselves. It’s true that when you give, you get back so much more in return. And if you go see better than this, I am sure that you will be richly rewarded for your time.
Continue reading Review: better than this (Moose + Moa Theatre Company)

Review: Wrestling Jerusalem (Sara Schawrtz Geller Productions)

Aaron Davidman in Wrestling JerusalemWrestling Jerusalem, a play that tackles the Israel-Palestine conflict plays in Toronto

Have you always wanted to visit Israel but never had the opportunity? Then head down to Toronto’s Berkeley Street Theatre, and take in a performance of Wrestling Jerusalem. Aaron Davidman gives voice to 17 different characters from all walks of life in this play, introducing us to men, women, Jews, Muslims, and soldiers. After seeing the 90-minute play I had an image of Israel that was vivid, hopeful, empathetic and, hopefully, long-lasting.
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Review: Inked Heart (FireWorks Festival / Alumnae Theatre Company)

D.J. Sylvis’ Inked Heart is more than skin deep, looking at tattooing, human nature, family on Toronto stages

Are tattoos simply ink embedded in skin, or do they represent something more? Are they art? Symbols of rites of passage? Coping mechanisms that help people celebrate milestones in one’s life or deal with our difficulties?

These are some of questions that playwright D.J. Sylvis addresses with Inked Heart. The play is currently onstage at the Alumnae Theatre Studio in Toronto as part of the FireWorks Festival.
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Review: Lennon: Through a Glass Onion (Strut Entertainment)

Daniel in Lennon: Through A Glass OnionA biographical show featuring the story and music of John Lennon took the stage in Toronto

Enthusiastic Beatles and John Lennon fans recently enjoyed an evening of storytelling and timeless music at Toronto’s Helen Bader Theatre. They flocked in droves, because the touring production of Lennon: Through a Glass Onion was in town.

Created by John Waters and Stewart D’Arrietta the “simple” production included two performers, a piano and a guitar. In addition to D’Arrietta tickling the ivories, Daniel Taylor summoned up the persona of John Lennon, assuming John’s voice, mannerisms and personality.
Continue reading Review: Lennon: Through a Glass Onion (Strut Entertainment)

Review: Italian Mime Suicide // Three Red Days (Bad New Days)

Rob Feetham, Viktor Lukawski, Miranda Calderon, Adam Paolozza in Italiam Mime SuicideBad New Days presents two starkly different physical performances at Toronto’s Theatre Centre

Italian Mime Suicide // Three Red Days (Bad New Days) is an experimental theatrical production that is perfectly suited for the innovative and nurturing environment that is Toronto’s Theatre Centre. The production incorporates two plays based on anecdotes from two artists. Both rely upon gestures, imagery and metaphors more than dialogue. Continue reading Review: Italian Mime Suicide // Three Red Days (Bad New Days)

Review: August: Osage County (Alumnae Theatre Company)

The cast of August: Osage County, now onstage at Alumnae Theatre in TorontoAlumnae Theatre presents Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer prize-winning play August: Osage County in Toronto

So anyway, my friend Bronson and I recently headed over to Alumnae Theatre to see August: Osage County after getting a tip from a colleague. Neither of us were familiar with the play before the tip, and we both felt a bit like a couple of Toronto bumpkins after finding out that the play resulted in a Pulitzer Prize for playwright Tracy Letts in 2008, and was also made into a movie starring Hollywood heavyweights Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
Continue reading Review: August: Osage County (Alumnae Theatre Company)

Review: Port Authority (Fly on the Wall Theatre)

The cast of Port Authority (Toronto 2016)Fly on the Wall Theatre presented Port Authority at Toronto’s Campbell House Museum

What venue could be more perfect for the staging of Irish playwright Conor McPherson’s Port Authority than Toronto’s historic Campbell House Museum? Recently mounted by Fly on the Wall Theatre, the play is a night of storytelling and reminded me of one of those rare nights when you have a heartfelt conversation with a close friend, father or grandfather. It’s difficult to not use the word “haunting” when describing this play, as it is bound to stay in my memory for some time.
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Review: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Lower Ossington Theatre)

The cast of It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio PlayChristmas classic, on stage in Toronto, is a “feast of multi-layered talent”!

Remember that twinge of guilt you felt at school the day after blowing off your homework? I feel something similar about never having seen the classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life. So I jumped at the opportunity to see It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto.

Stan, my guest for the evening, was also guilty: he hadn’t seen the Christmastime film classic either. As we walked off the streets of 2015 Toronto, up a flight of stairs, down a hall and into the theatre, we were transported to a 1940s radio studio in Manhattan. We were immersed in a beautiful way: there was bleacher-style seating on either side of a radio “pit.” Three microphones, two tables and various props comprised the stage.

Continue reading Review: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Review: Glengarry Glen Ross (Jet Girls Productions)

The cast of Glengarry Glen Ross, now onstage at Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto

All-Female Glengarry Glen Ross Shines at the Red Sandcastle Theatre

Remember the thrill of riding roller coasters when you were young? The anticipation, the speed and intense power would leave you breathless. Leaving the ride, tears would be almost airbrushed to your cheeks and you wanted to get right back in line. If you think those kind of thrills are a thing of the past, think again. There’s an all-female version of Glengarry Glen Ross now onstage at Red Sandcastle Theatre on Queen Street East in Toronto, and seeing this play makes those adolescent thrills seem pale by comparison.

Glengarry Glen Ross is Pullitzer Prize winning play written by David Mamet. It is a play about real estate agents, all of them male. It’s also set in New York City, so dialogue moves along at supersonic speed. The thing that sets this production of Glengarry Glen Ross apart is that all the characters are played by female actors. And for me, that is as exciting and inviting as spring!

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Review: New Ideas Festival 2015 (Alumnae Theatre)

Image of New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre 2015

This year the annual New Ideas Festival graces the Toronto stage for 27th time and still delivers

Recently I was fortunate enough to visit one of my favourite venues in Toronto – Alumnae Theatre – and finally saw a sure sign of spring: The annual New Ideas Festival. It’s as much reminder of spring and things just around the corner as the date on a calendar.

The New Ideas Festival is everything that is right about theatre. It’s also as exciting and optimistic as spring. Now in its 27th year, the festival fosters new ideas and theatre talent, inspiring actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians and, of course, audiences. This year more than 120 artists will stage 12 plays and present 3 readings over three weeks. Now this is the type of positive energy that means spring is in the air!

Continue reading Review: New Ideas Festival 2015 (Alumnae Theatre)