Phenomenal performances in Randolph Academy’s Toronto production of rock musical Spring Awakening
It’s no secret that Spring Awakening – Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s rock musical about the trials and tribulations of sexually repressed teens in 19th century Germany – is one of my favourite plays of all time. So, when I was given the opportunity to review the Randolph Academy’s production of the play – cast with actual teenagers – I was delighted.
After seeing it, I’m kind of torn about how I feel about the Randolph Academy production. On the one hand, there are several really phenomenal performances in it and I loved the multi-harmonied sound of the full cast in some of the group numbers. On the other hand there are an equal number of moments where the staging is flat (and so are the singers).
Continue reading Review: Spring Awakening (Randolph Academy)
Stageworks Toronto brings sexy raunch to the George Ignatieff Theatre in Cabaret
Stageworks Toronto‘s fascinating current production of Cabaret — playing at the George Ignatieff Theatre until July 26 — explores the seedy underbelly of sex, politics, and the death of the Jazz Age in Germany on the cusp of the rise of the Nazi’s political power.
Although it is less inclined towards spectacle, this Stageworks production is more successful at illuminating the darkness in Kander and Ebb‘s classic musical than any other production I’ve seen – including the critically acclaimed Roundabout Theatre Company revival(s) with Alan Cumming.
Continue reading Review: Cabaret (Stageworks Toronto)
Move over Kinky Boots, there’s a new fun, fresh, high-energy musical in town: Deadmouse: The Musical. This play, which is destined to become one of the most successful of the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival, has all of the makings of a great instant cult classic: a smart and wacky story, a strong and hummable score, and a controversy that brought it to the public’s attention before it even opened.
Continue reading Deadmouse: The Musical (Malach Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
The Ale House Theatre Co.
production of Twelfe Night
currently playing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival
is an admirable production of Shakespeare’s greatest comedy. The production’s gorgeous costumes and beautiful singing in the 16th century style set it apart from other recent Toronto productions.
Continue reading Twelfe Night, Or what you will (Ale House Theatre Co.) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
Kenneth Collins’ play You Are Not Alone at the Toronto Fringe Festival is a sometimes-poignant, often goofy story about teenagers finding love and acceptance among their peers at a Catholic boarding school. Although I found it a little after school special-y at parts, I would describe it as kind of like the really great episodes of Glee or Degrassi that kept me watching those shows season after season.
Continue reading You Are Not Alone (Paprika) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
Site-specific pairing of plays in Toronto, FORNÉS X2, is wholly satisfying
My experience of seeing Theatre Asylum’s FORNÉS X2 was a lot like the experience of eating at an exceptionally good pop-up restaurant. I went in not knowing a whole lot about the brilliant Maria Irene Fornés or her plays The Successful Life of 3 and Mud (the two plays that make up FORNÉS X2), but I was assured that I was about to see something of high quality. Thankfully, I enjoyed both plays immensely and was left fully satisfied.
Continue reading Review: FORNÉS X2 (Theatre Asylum)
An inventive new take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth stuns on the Toronto stage
Wolf Manor Theatre Collective’s Macbeth is an intelligent, heart-pounding 90 minute interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Director Claren Grosz’s brilliant use of double-, triple-, and even quadruple-casting draws out smart connections between characters, and her astonishing staging choices make their telling of the play lucid and fast-paced.
Continue reading Review: Macbeth (Wolf Manor Theatre Collective)
“Zenned-out” Harvey, now on stage in Toronto, produces mixed results
In Stage Centre Productions’ production of Harvey, director Steven Jackson re-imagines the classic 1940s comedy as a Buddhist text. For me, this change in delivery and pacing makes the madcap comedy dull and unfunny more often than not.
Still, the audience – myself included – did manage to find a few hearty laughs in those parts of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize winning text that did hit the mark.
Continue reading Review: Harvey (Stage Centre Productions)