All posts by Madeleine Copp

Madeleine Copp saw her first show when she was four years old and it was love at first sight. She pursued a bachelor’s in theatre production and design and English literature, culminating in a love for flexible, innovative, and diverse theatre artists that challenge all our preconceived notions of the stage. Her thesis, Printed Voices: Women, Print, and Performance pushed for new interpretations of closet drama from the early modern to modern period in the hopes of seeing more female playwrights included in the performance canon. Since graduating, Madeleine continues to seek out unexpected, startling, and challenging works that leave her angry, speechless, and wonderfully confused.

Review: Blood + Soil (Theatre ARTaud)

Photo of Kayla Jo Farris in Blood and SoilA new play by Rouvan Silogix taking on white supremacy in Canada is now on stage in Toronto

I want to say that Blood + Soil by Theatre ARTaud playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace is one of my favourite plays I’ve seen this year. The mixture of absurdity, pointed commentary, and stellar performances makes for an unforgettable evening. It also makes for a show with intense imagery, uncomfortable truths, and questions of innocence.

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Review: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (Mirvish/TheaterWorksUSA)

Photo of The Lightning Thief CastMirvish brings the musical adaptation of the popular children’s book to the Toronto stage

Have you ever sat down to watch a show and suddenly felt your age? Going into The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical playing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, I only knew it was a young adult book about Greek Gods and their kids.

The Lightning Thief is an ode to its source material, zeroing in on its age-demographic, and its core audience. With an aim to please, I argue it only half-succeeds.

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Review: Ashley with a “Y” (Ashley Botting)

Photo of Ashley Botting Photo by David LeyesToronto comedian Ashley Botting remounts her delightful musical improv Fringe show

It’s hard to articulate a show like Ashley with a “Y” playing at the Bad Dog Theatre. Musical improv that changes with every show, totally dependent on the talent and charisma of one woman and her pianist, sounds like it could be the lead up to, well, one heck of a joke.

And it pretty much lives up to its punchlines.

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Review: Scorch (Bustle and Beast Theatre Co. and Blarney Productions)

Photo of Julie NIUBOI Ferguson in ScorchScorch dazzles on the Toronto stage with questions about gender and justice

Sometimes a show is just great: the set, the direction, the actor, are amazing. That’s exactly what Bustle & Beast Theatre Company with Blarney Production’s Scorch playing at the Theatre Pass Muraille Backspace is: great. As a result, please allow me to count the ways Scorch is a must-see show for 2018.

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La Seconde surprise de l’amour (Théâtre français)

Photo of the Second Surprise of LoveToronto’s French-language theatre stages a new production of Pierre de Marivaux’s play

I think, sometimes, shows fall into that awkward place between comfortable and predictable. TheThéâtre français’s La Seconde surprise de l’amour/The Second Surprise of Love playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre is an eighteenth-century romantic comedy that plays out exactly as you expect. Continue reading La Seconde surprise de l’amour (Théâtre français)

Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape (Obsidian Theatre Company/Soulpepper)

Photo of Motion in OraltorioObsidian Theatre’s “pitch perfect” musical play Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape takes the stage in Toronto

You ever see a show that hits all the right notes? Obsidian Theatre Company’s Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts is just that: a pitch perfect performance.

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Review: Portia’s Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Ruff)

Photo of Catherine Horne and Nikki Duval in Portia's Julius Caesar

Playwright Kaitlyn Riordan had Shakespeare’s women—or lack thereof— on her mind when she constructed Portia’s Julius Caesar for Shakespeare in the Ruff playing in Withrow Park. She decided to create “a new Shakespearean play where we meet all kinds of women” using a mixture of Shakespear’s language from plays, sonnets, poetry and her own writing.

The result is an attempt to flesh out women’s roles that doesn’t quite succeed for me in the execution.

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Review: Measure for Measure (Shakespeare BASH’d)

Photo Sochi Friend in Measure for MeasureMeasure for Measure doesn’t break molds but delivers stellar performances, playing in Toronto

If a company attempts to reinterpret a text as more progressive than it is, does the play overcome its era?

Shakespeare BASH’d‘s Measure for Measure playing at the Junction City Music Hall might not rewrite the history books but it offers its own rewards for the audience.

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Review: Picnic in the Cemetery (Folga Gaang Project and Canadian Stage)

Photo of Picnic in the CemeteryPicnic in the Cemetery is beautiful but lacks cohesion, at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto

I don’t think I’ve ever left a show quite as confused as I did walking out of Folga Gaang Project’s Picnic in the Cemetery presented in association with Canadian Stage at the Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre.

Despite excellent parts, Picnic in the Cemetery feels it should be better than it actually is. Moreover, as an audience member, I feel like I should have liked it better than I did. It’s a show where all the excellent smothers what’s actually good.

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