Toronto’s Coal Mine Theatre presents a new play by Canadian playwright Michael Mackenzie
The title of Coal Mine Theatre‘s current show, Instructions (To Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas), keeps it’s cards close to it’s chest. As an audience member with no prior knowledge, I had no idea what I was sitting down to watch. As the show cleverly and gradually unfolded, I was constantly realizing that even when I thought I knew what I was watching, the tables would turn. Instructions kept me guessing as it revealed calm to be chaos, and peeled back the eternal layers of finance and personal relationships to reveal their loaded centres. Continue reading Review: Instructions (To Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas) (Coal Mine Theatre)
Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre explores the trials and tribulations of refugees seeking asylum
Nightwood Theatre‘s production of Refuge, now playing at the Tarragon Extraspace, takes on the topical issue of Canadian Immigration, both the system and the people it aims to serve. In a refreshingly raw production, it captures the deeply rooted hopes and fears of refugees and born Canadians in our collective struggle to find safety and a sense of home.
Continue reading Review: Refuge (Nightwood Theatre)
Alumnae Theatre presents Brad Walton’s new play, The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb, in Toronto
The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb, a new play by Brad Walton playing at Alumnae Theatre, follows the personal relationship between prodigies turned murderers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. While the subject matter garners interest, the script and performances were stiff and the duration of the play was unnecessarily long.
Continue reading Review: The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb (Alumnae Theatre)
Coal Mine Theatre’s Killer Joe, on stage in Toronto, has “humor and courage”
As soon as I entered the Coal Mine Theatre, I was immersed in the dirty, trailer park world of Killer Joe. The audience was packed in, a hairsbreadth away from the action, with discarded take out containers at our feet and plastic ceiling tiles overhead. Was it always comfortable? No, but we were forced to take a hard look at the grit and violence of a world that society would often prefer to ignore. The cast and crew did a good job of authentically creating that world, especially considering a few of the curve balls in the script.
Continue reading Review: Killer Joe (Coal Mine Theatre)
Pyaasa is a “stunningly real theatrical experience” on the Toronto stage
Pyaasa, playing now at Theatre Passe Muraille, opens on a shadow-covered stage, which contains only a rusted metal bucket. For the next 50 minutes, the only other entity, prop or otherwise, to grace the stage is Anusree Roy, the playwright and sole actor. As exemplified by these first moments, Pyaasa goes on to tell a complex story with striking simplicity, creating rich characters and a world that is supremely real.
Continue reading Review: Pyaasa (Theatre Passe Muraille)
Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel arrives on the Toronto stage at the Papermill Theatre
Villette, presented by Amicus Productions, is a tribute to the 200-year anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, written specifically for Amicus Productions by frequent collaborator Chris Coculuzzi. I applaud the company’s investment in the piece and the community environment it creates. The show in itself, however, was not as enjoyable as the clear enthusiasm and dedication inspiring it. Continue reading Review: Villette (Amicus Productions)
This take on Kafka’s The Trial leaves Toronto audiences perplexed at the Theatre Passe Muraille
The Trial of Judith K, presented by Thought for Food Productions at the Theatre Passe Muraille Back Space, is based loosely on Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel The Trial. Unfortunately, The Trial of Judith K feels uncompleted in many ways as well, making it hard to follow or get invested in, even though it is a thematically interesting show.
Continue reading Review: The Trial of Judith K (Thought for Food Productions)
Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille presents Severn Thompson’s nuanced and clever play, Elle
“You cannot inhabit without being inhabited.”
Such is the resounding message of Elle, playing now at Theatre Passe Muraille, the defiant tale of a French aristocrat stranded on an island off the east coast of Canada. While our heroine survives by sheer force of will and grasps onto her sanity with only her sharp wit, Elle explores how a land inevitably changes a person, deeply and irreversibly.
Continue reading Review: Elle (Theatre Passe Muraille)
Tails From the City, on stage in Toronto, is “enjoyable for kids and parent alike”
Christmas in Toronto doesn’t always live up to the picturesque standards. We’re often left with grey slush instead of fluffy white snow, and the necessary parkas cover up cute Christmas attire. Tails from the City, presented by Common Boots Theatre at Evergreen Brick Works, takes the reality of Christmas in the city and spins it into a whimsical, charming tale of a young girl’s Christmas Eve adventure.
Continue reading Review: Tails from the City (Common Boots Theatre)
P@ndora is Unfliching, Vital and Important Theatre for Young Audiences
It is sadly rare to see people communicating with teenaged audiences about the gritty and too often taboo issues affecting their lives. P@ndora, now playing at Young People’s Theatre, is a refreshingly candid look at the affects of Internet porn on a young girl, aimed at audiences 15 and up.
Continue reading P@ndora (Young People’s Theatre)