All posts by Heather Bellingham

Heather studied film at Humber College and English and Theatre at UTSC. She works as a stage manager, usually watching from the booth or lurking backstage. She has written for various websites since 2009. Unofficially, she’s also a total nerd with an obsession with sci fi TV series, fantasy novels, Dungeons and Dragons, and and video games. Follow her on Twitter at @bluealbow4eva.

Review: Hana’s Suitcase (Young People’s Theatre)

Hana’s Suitcase, on stage in Toronto, looks at the Holocaust from a child’s perspective

When a child’s suitcase arrives at the tiny Children’s Holocaust Centre in Tokyo, curator Fumiko Ishioka (played by Jennifer Villaverde) embarks on an extraordinary journey to uncover the story of Hana Brady (played by Caroline Toal) and her fate at the hands of the Nazis. Hana’s Suitcase, a true story – and originally a radio documentary and international best-selling book – opens the 50th anniversary season at Young People’s Theatre.  Continue reading Review: Hana’s Suitcase (Young People’s Theatre)

Review: The Supine Cobbler (It Could Still Happen)

Photo of The Supine Cobbler

The Supine Cobbler, playing in Toronto, takes a “non-judgmental” approach to abortion

Playing “out by the tracks” at 35 Strachan, It Could Still Happen‘s show The Supine Cobbler is timely. Earlier this week on Twitter, the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion went viral, in response to the US House of Representatives voting to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, America’s largest women’s health care services provider. The fact that women still have to battle both stigma and legalities to have the right to decide what their own body does seem, frankly, outdated.

Continue reading Review: The Supine Cobbler (It Could Still Happen)

Review: Weather (Anandam Dance)

Louis Laberge-Cote in Weather

Weather, on stage in Toronto, blends augmented reality technology with dance

Yesterday I attended the preview of Anandam Dance’s Weather, an interdisciplinary work integrating dance with the emerging technology of ‘augmented reality’ for mobile devices. The piece was partially about ecology and climate change, and partially about how we see the world in modern times – including the natural world – through our mobile devices.

Continue reading Review: Weather (Anandam Dance)

Review: Trudeau and Levesque (VideoCabaret & Soulpepper)

Fast and funny Trudeau and Levesque takes to the stage in Toronto.

I’ve long been told that I needed to see a VideoCabaret show, and upon watching last night’s performance, I now know why they come so highly recommended. Trudeau and Levesque is a colourful, entertaining look at politics in Canada in the 70s and 80s, and worth watching whether or not you’re interested in the political scene.

Trudeau and Levesque is the second show in a series (the first being Trudeau and the FLQ, also currently running at Soulpepper) about former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau (splendidly played by Mac Fyfe). This show dramatizes the period between 1971 to 1982.

Continue reading Review: Trudeau and Levesque (VideoCabaret & Soulpepper)

Theatre Passe Muraille presents The Ultimate Theatre Championship

Inspired by UFC, Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille presents The Ultimate Theatre Championship

TPM UTCFans of theatre and pay-per-view combat, prepare to rejoice: your two passions will soon become one. Theatre Passe Muraille will be transforming their Mainspace into a caged octagon for The Ultimate Theatre Championship, a three-day event beginning on April 9 that will culminate with the TPM Gala fundraiser and “Heavyweight” Championships on April 11.

“I’ve always straddled the world of improv and the theatre world,” said Rebecca Northan, who created the Ultimate Theatre Championship. “I would meet amazing actors and think, ‘It would be great to play Theatresports with them’.”

“I will also confess that my boyfriend has turned me on to the UFC in the last five years,” she said. “The producer in me watches those matches, in arenas of literally thousands of fans screaming their heads of, and I can’t help but dream of achieving that level of engagement in the theatre.”

Continue reading Theatre Passe Muraille presents The Ultimate Theatre Championship

Review: Spamalot (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Spamalot is a fun musical for Monty Python fans playing at Toronto’s Lower Ossington Theatre

Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – sort of – and features a wide variety of silly things, including flying cows, killer rabbits, Knights who say “Ni”, men-who-are-almost-but-not-quite-dead-yet, and shrubberies. In short, it’s what you would expect of a work written and reworked by a member of Monty Python.

Continue reading Review: Spamalot (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Return (Curiosity Collective) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Caitlin Hutt, Laura Piccinin & Alyssa BartlettWhat makes people who they are? And how does society strive to mould us to a certain form that goes directly against our human nature? This concept is explored in Curiosity Collective‘s dance/physical theatre piece Return at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

During the course of 50 minutes we see a girl grow into womanhood – from being born to becoming a young woman. She doesn’t fit in as a child, and turns to popular culture – which pushes beauty products and “reality” television on her. She’s then a teenager facing backlash after a drunken tryst at a party. She leaves town, turns to partying and alcohol, etc. Continue reading Return (Curiosity Collective) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Baker’s Dozen (Adam Squared Productions)

There’s a Lot to Love in A Baker’s Dozen, at the Toronto Fesival of Clowns

Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub. Except in this case, the Baker was found dead, his husband the Butcher is on trial, and the Candlestick Maker is another complicated layer.

In Baker’s Dozen, Adam Francis Proulx transforms one puppet into the twelve members of the jury. These are the individuals who must decide the Butcher’s fate, and we as the audience are let into their thoughts while the court case unfolds. They struggle with the mystery of Baker’s death, their own personal problems, a flawed judicial system, their fellow jurors, their attention spans, their intolerance of people unlike themselves, and so forth.

Continue reading Review: Baker’s Dozen (Adam Squared Productions)

PREVIEW: rock.paper.sistahz’ 23 Hours Live (b current)

b current presents rock.paper.sistahz’ 23 Hours Live, a marathon of theatre and the arts May 17-18

b current’s rock.paper.sistahz festival’s 23 Hours Live is a marathon featuring 14 plays and other artistic works, beginning at 1 pm Saturday May 17 and ending at 12 pm on Sunday May 18 . The marathon will take place at the Aki Studio Theatre (585 Dundas Street East).

23 Hours Live features Trey Anthony’s Black Mothers Don’t Say I Love You, Michaela Di Cesare’s 8 Ways My Mother was Conceived, Ngozi Paul’s The 1st Time Project, Catherine Hernandez’ I Cannot Lie to the Stars that Made Me, Amanda Parris’ The Other Side of the Game, and the b current rAiz’n Ensemble’s herstory. The marathon will also feature a late night dance party with DJ L’Oqenz, a pancake breakfast with the b current Artistic Directors, and storytelling for children with Lillian Allen. Keep reading for the full line-up and ticket information. Continue reading PREVIEW: rock.paper.sistahz’ 23 Hours Live (b current)