All posts by Gian Verano

Gian has been a contributor to MoT since June 2013. Other than a couple of theatre history electives in university, Gian’s main theatre experiences date back to his childhood days when he would accompany his parents to shows at the Elgin Theatre or Princess of Wales Theatre. His fondest memory is seeing Les Mis as a child and being in awe of the larger-than-life costumes and musical numbers. When seeing a show, he loves pieces that come from a sincere place of truth – that tell a heartfelt story. During the day, he’s a Toronto Copywriter and Search Marketing Specialist. You can connect with him on both LinkedIn and Twitter. Twitter: @gian_verano

Review: Bonds Beyond (Glass Reflections Theatre Collective)

unnamedBonds Beyond explores a dystopian future where life exists after death

It has often been said that we don’t appreciate something – or someone – until it’s gone. Bonds Beyond, the new work by Glass Reflections Theatre Collective, explores a dystopian future where life exists after death by uploading your consciousness to the Cloud.

Bonds Beyond – on stage at Toronto’s Array Space – is a thought-provoking piece from playwright Colleen Osborn that examines themes of love, loss, and mortality as they relate to the way in which technological advancements are undoubtedly changing the socio-economic balance between rich and poor.
Continue reading Review: Bonds Beyond (Glass Reflections Theatre Collective)

Review: Intangible Trappings (Lester Trips Theatre)

dsc04591-walk-ark-goodToronto’s Lester Trips Theatre explores a dystopian future in the play Intangible Trappings

What if you got everything you ever wanted at the touch of a button? Would you be happy? Or, would you grow tired of a life without challenge or purpose? Intangible Trappings explores a dystopian future where every wish is granted, but true happiness is never truly found. Continue reading Review: Intangible Trappings (Lester Trips Theatre)

Review: The Odd Couple (Soulpepper)

The Odd Couple - Soulpepper

The Odd Couple is a Play You Won’t Want To Miss

You may know The Odd Couple as the cult classic 1970’s TV show starring Tony Randal and Jack Klugman. Or maybe as the current Thursday night CBS sitcom with Matthew Perry. It was also a movie in 1968 with Art Carney and Walter Matthau. But before all these iterations, there was the original 1965 stage play by Neil Simon. It’s a timeless and classic piece of theatre that, as the current Soulpepper run demonstrates, is just as enjoyable and relevant today as it was more than 50 years ago.

Continue reading Review: The Odd Couple (Soulpepper)

Preview: Shakesbeers Showdown: The Bard Awakens (Spur-Of-The-Moment Shakespeare Collective)

This is Shakespeare like you’ve probably never seen before. Part drinking game, part classical theatre, Shakesbeers Showdown: The Bard Awakens pits bard against bard to see who can deliver the best cold read of Shakespeare’s most noted works – all while downing a cold pint every time the mess up a line. Hilarity is sure to ensue. The best part? It’s all for a good cause, benefiting the Shakespeare-In-Hospitals Program that strives to break down physical, social and economic barriers in the healthcare/nursing sector through the use of classical performance theatre.

Get your tickets now, because this theatrical spectacular is on for one night only: Sunday, April 24th at The Rivoli (334 Queen Street West).

We had a chance to chat with Victoria Urquhart, show host and Artistic/Executive Director of the Spur-Of-The-Moment Shakespeare Collective.

Continue reading Preview: Shakesbeers Showdown: The Bard Awakens (Spur-Of-The-Moment Shakespeare Collective)

Review: A Man Vanishes (Videofag)

A_Man_Vanishes_VideofagToronto’s Videofag presents a macabre, intellectual thriller; A Man Vanishes

When a Montreal man mysteriously vanishes only to suddenly reappear two months later at Toronto’s Videofag, he claims to have no recollection of how he got there or even who he is. Tired and confused, he finds refuge with the partners and residents of Videofag, played by Jordan Tannahill and William Ellis. A Man Vanishes follows the case of his disappearance as chronicled by a documentary filmmaker’s investigation into the case.

Continue reading Review: A Man Vanishes (Videofag)

Review: Evil Dead: The Musical (Starvox Entertainment)

Evil Dead

Five college kids break into an abandoned cabin in the woods. What’s the worst that can happen? Die-hard fans of the Evil Dead trilogy can probably tell you word for word what happens next, but what if this epic tale was told through song? Evil Dead: The Musical, now playing at the Randolph Centre for the Arts, takes us through the storyline of the franchise’s first two films: The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead II. This time with a catchy, upbeat song catalogue and fully choreographed dance routines. Continue reading Review: Evil Dead: The Musical (Starvox Entertainment)

One Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written (Kliffer Entertainment & Golden Ages Productions)

One Night Only - The Greatest Musical Never WrittenThere’s a lot to love about improv musical One Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written

You’re given a setting, a few anecdotal tidbits of information and a general direction for the plot. Create an entire storyline on the spot with an entire theatre of eager spectators hanging on your every word. Now imagine doing this while also having to sing in time and on key accompanied by a full music section. No pressure, right?

One Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written, now playing at Factory Theatre, achieves this feat of mental gymnastics each and every performance. The best part is – like any true improv show – no two shows are ever quite the same.

Continue reading One Night Only: The Greatest Musical Never Written (Kliffer Entertainment & Golden Ages Productions)

Review: Within the Glass (Tarragon Theatre)

Philippa Domville, Rick Roberts, Nicola Correia-Damude, Paul Braunstein in Within the Glass (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)Emotionally-charged play, Within the Glass, comes to the Tarragon stage in Toronto

At first glance, Darah and Michael lead the perfect life: the fancy house, the important jobs, the social status. The one thing they’re missing – the one thing they feel would make them complete – is a child to call their own. When a mix up at their fertility clinic causes one of their embryos to be successfully implanted into another woman, they come face to face with the other couple to decide what to do with the unborn child. Within the Glass not only chronicles their struggle with infertility, but also challenges the audience to reassess their ideas of what it means to be a parent. This emotionally charged work from Canadian playwright Anna Chatterton opened to a packed house Thursday night at the Tarragon Theatre, and it’s honestly one of the best written plays I’ve ever seen.

Continue reading Review: Within the Glass (Tarragon Theatre)

Review: Boys from the Burbs (The Empty Room)

Photo from Boys from the Burbs

The latest play from The Empty Room explores young suburban life in Toronto

Suburbs often get a bad rep as the place fun forgot. When you’re young, cash-strapped and don’t own a car, there’s not a lot of fun to be had – especially compared to life in the big city. Following the tale of four young boys, Boys from the Burbs (The Empty Room) shows us that not all is as it seems behind the cookie-cutter picket fences and seemingly dull façade of a suburban town. Continue reading Review: Boys from the Burbs (The Empty Room)

Review: Oasis Love (Sisyphean Productions)

Johnny Salib’s one man show on love and loss played at Buddies in Bad Times in Toronto

Oasis LoveWhile some people seem to fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat, others seem to never forget the sting of a romance gone wrong. And in particular, it is often our first love that we hold on to most dearly. Oasis Love, written and performed by Johnny Salib, follows the story of young man, Damien, who struggles with coming to terms with the end of his first real relationship, as well as the emotional baggage he can’t seem to let go.

It’s a touching, heart-felt piece filled with charming highs and gut-wrenching lows. Continue reading Review: Oasis Love (Sisyphean Productions)