All posts by Jen Norman

Review: Jersey Boys (Mirvish)

Mirvish brings retro pop to the stage starring Canadian-born talent in this true-enough story of Jersey’s own Four Seasons.

Mirvish plays host to a bit of sweet nostalgic comfort with a limited run of Jersey Boys, performing at the Ed Mirvish theatre for the next two weeks.

This jukebox musical tells the story of the American 1960’s group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, delving into the previously-unknown history of the band members, particularly the scandals that surrounded their personal lives. Each member of the quartet takes a turn narrating events, with each their own version of how things really happened.

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2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Cannibal (Scrap Paper Theatre)

In this new drama by Scrap Paper Theatre, Cannibal is a metaphor — barely. This is a visceral piece that captures the ugly side of fear, loss, and love with surgical precision, and the anesthesia we are given is fleeting. It performs at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, filling a modest studio setup with a staggering cocktail of emotions.

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2019 Next Stage Festival Review: Dinner with the Duchess (The Duchess Collective)

Fame. Power. Sexism. Dinner with the Duchess explores a lot of subject matter that usually doesn’t fly at the dinner table, but it’s delivery is so unflinching that you may not even blink during this 90-minute show. On as part of the 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival, The Duchess Collective presents a thought-provoking and layered story about artistic passion, and its cost.

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Review: The Penelopiad (Hart House)

Herstory takes on classic mythology in this Canadian-penned theatre epic onstage in Toronto

Mythology gets modern in The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood’s alternate take on Homer’s Odyssey epic. Based on the 2005 novella of the same name, this pitch-black comic tragedy at Hart House theatre examines the life of Penelope, famed for holding court at Ithaca in her husband Odysseus’ twenty-year absence. In this version of events, she is much more than a dutifully waiting good wife.

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Review: Ghostbusters: The Movie Experience (The Secret Sessions)

Cult films and immersive theatre collide in innovative Toronto staging of 1980’s classic

The Redwood Theatre in Toronto’s Lower East Side, formerly known as the Centre of Gravity, has already made a mark on the local theatre scene by hosting sharply entertaining and one-of-a-kind performing arts events. That said, the giant inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man out front for the performance of Ghostbusters: The Movie Experience helps too.

The Secret Sessions is a local company that specializes in immersive reenactments of classic films, and their latest show is a romp through the 80’s classic, Ghostbusters.

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Review: Bat out of Hell (Mirvish)

Jim Steinman’s rock n’ roll musical Bat out of Hell returns to Toronto in time for Halloween

There’s a lot to unpack in Bat out of Hell, but this show prefers to throw the whole suitcase at you. Except, the suitcase is an exploding car engine. Based on the songs of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf, the show is back at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre as part of its current North American tour.

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b side (Molly Johnson + Meredith Thompson) 2018 Summerworks Review

Playing as part of the Summerworks Festival Lab Programming, b side is an unconventional piece that encourages audiences to explore the world around them and find life and artistry in things we walk by every day. Creative duo Molly Johnson and Meredith Thompson guide us through the half-hour using movement pieces interacting with the space. Though far from traditional theatre, it is a thoughtful and liberating experience.

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