All posts by Keira Grant

Review: The Abduction from the Seraglio (Canadian Opera Company)

The COC brings one of Mozart’s masterpieces to the Toronto stage

The Canadian Opera Company’s original production of The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entfürung aus dem Serail, W.A. Mozart, 1782), under the direction of Wajdi Mouawad, has made some bold and progressive choices with difficult and racially charged subject matter. There is some deviation from the original 18th century text, which is aided by the fact that this is a Singspiel opera, wherein the dialog is spoken, rather than sung as recitative.

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Review: hang (Obsidian Theatre)

hang is “ingenious” and “shrewdly written”, on stage in Toronto

“What could ‘justice’ look like for the victims of a heinous, life-altering crime?” is an intense question to explore. hang, by debbie tucker green wades right into that intensity and does not back away for a second. The current Obsidian Theatre production teases out every painstakingly uncomfortable beat with unrelenting commitment. Continue reading Review: hang (Obsidian Theatre)

Review: The Drowning Girls (Mortar and Pestle)

The Drowning Girls is a haunting tale brought to life, on stage at the Gerrard Art Space in Toronto

The intimacy of the Gerrard Art Space is a fun and symbolic setting for The Drowning Girls (Mortar and Pestle Productions), which tells the story of three women who were murdered by early 20th Century serial killer and bigamist George Joseph Smith. Continue reading Review: The Drowning Girls (Mortar and Pestle)

Review: Peter Pan (Soulpepper/Bad Hats Theatre)

Peter PanEnchanting Peter Pan musical takes flight over the Toronto stage

Fly out of the nursery and into an exciting world of adventure in Soulpepper’s current production: an adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s famous 1904 play, Peter Pan. The Dora award-winning production premiered by Bad Hats Theatre in 2015 was adapted by cast members Fiona Sauder (Peter Pan) and Reanne Sptizer (Mrs. Darling/Tinkerbell). The script appeared to be relatively faithful to the 1904 text, with the notable exclusion of Peter Pan’s adventures with “Indian” princess Tiger Lily. The music by cast member Landon Doak is fresh and new. I took my five-year-old son and we were both delighted by the songs and dances. Continue reading Review: Peter Pan (Soulpepper/Bad Hats Theatre)

Review: The Magic Victrola (Canadian Opera Company)

This weekend I had the opportunity to take my five-year-old son to his first opera. Canadian Opera Company’s production of The Magic Victrola was at least as much of a delight for me as it was for the kids. My son is already a seasoned theatre goer, being a regular patron of the Young People’s Theatre (YPT) and other children’s programming about town. Opera however is not usually seen as a kid’s genre, despite the world of fantasy and wonder that we are often transported to on the operatic stage.
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Review: Tapestry Briefs: Winter Shorts (Tapestry Opera)

Winter Shorts is an exciting tasting menu of what’s new and up-coming in Toronto opera

Tapestry Brief’s: Winter Shorts is like a flight of operatic amuse bouche, accompanied by wine pairings. Tapestry Opera’s program of shorts is a showcase of new works by composers and librettists that emerged from their 2016 Opera Lib Lab. The Composer-Librettist Laboratory pairs rising talent in an intensive workshop where works are developed “in a crucible” as Artistic Director Michael Mori puts it. Continue reading Review: Tapestry Briefs: Winter Shorts (Tapestry Opera)

Review: Weesageechack Begins to Dance 30 (Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.)

Weesageechack Begins to Dance celebrates Indigenous theatre, on stage in Toronto

The Weesageechack Begins to Dance festival, produced by Native Earth Performing Arts is a two-week appetizer of Indigenous theatre that leaves the sensory pallet receptive and excited for the feast to come. The annual development festival is in its 30th year and celebrates emerging Indigenous talent across multiple disciplines and Nations. Opening night of Weesageechack 30 featured a workshop style reading of an excerpt from Weaving Reconciliation, a new play by Renae Morriseau, Rosemary Georgeson and Savannah Walling of Vancouver Moving Theatre. Continue reading Review: Weesageechack Begins to Dance 30 (Native Earth Performing Arts Inc.)

Review: L’elisir d’amore/Elixir of Love (Canadian Opera Company)

Canadian Opera Company’s Elixir of Love, now on stage in Toronto, is “good, simple fun”

The backdrop for the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of L’elisir d’amore (Gaetano Donizetti, 1832) glides us into a small, unspoiled pastoral village. It seems impossible that war could ever disturb such a place, but it is 1914 in small town Ontario… Continue reading Review: L’elisir d’amore/Elixir of Love (Canadian Opera Company)