Are you old enough to remember ads in the personals, life before online dating? Brian Francis is. In Box 4091, part of SummerWorks, he answers 13 replies to an ad he placed in the London Free Press in 1992 when he was 21. He found the letters recently and reread them. He hadn’t responded to them at the time, for various reasons. To me, it’s amazing that he kept the letters in the first place.
Francis starts with some background about why he placed the ad, about how difficult it was to live in a house with four straight men, that it was hard to meet other men, and that he was only emerging from the closet, not everyone knew he was gay.
Continue reading Box 4091 (timeshare) 2018 SummerWorks Review
Swim Team, a play by Jaber Ramezani, had it’s premier on Sunday at SummerWorks. In the program it says the play is “Inspired by real stories from the world of women’s sports in post-revolutionary Iran…”
The story follows a swimming coach who moves to a place with no water after her students drown in a swimming pool, and the three young women who want her to teach them to swim. Continue reading Swim Team (Nowadays Theatre) 2018 SummerWorks Review
On Saturday afternoon I saw 35 minutes of amazing, heartrending, theatre performed in Arabic with English subtitles. Adrenaline is produced by Theatre Mada in Kitchener, a collective of Arab theatre artists living in the Waterloo Region, and is part of SummerWorks.
I watch movies and TV with subtitles often, probably about 20% of the time. For some reason, it never occurs to me to see theatre in languages other than English or French. I guess I assume there wouldn’t be subtitles. I don’t know why I’d assume that. Continue reading Adrenaline (Theatre Mada) 2018 SummerWorks Review
Arriving about four minutes late for Lion Womxn, The Amy Project’s production for SummerWorks because of a streetcar backup, I had to discretely text my editor to let her know that I had indeed made it in after all, and then dig in my bag for a pen and my notebook.
About 10 minutes into the show I realized that there were going to be tears involved – mine – but I really didn’t want to dig in my bag again, looking for tissues, unless it was really necessary. It wasn’t. I did cry through a lot of the piece but they were the kind of tears I could manage without kleenex. They were tears of sadness, recognition, regret, and admiration. It wasn’t all tears, I laughed too. Continue reading Lion Womxn (The Amy Project) 2018 SummerWorks Review
Gothic play takes to the Toronto stage
On Thursday Night I saw Deborah Ann Frankel’s play, Gripless, at the Red Sandcastle Theatre.
Have you ever been to the Red Sandcastle Theatre? It used to be a store and it’s quite long and narrow. It’s a small space that seats about 50 people in three rows along the long wall. The stage isn’t raised at all–it’s what’s left over after the seating. It makes for very intimate theatre, and was perfect for this gothic piece set in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading Review: Gripless (Deborah Ann Frankel/Red Sandcastle Theatre)
The Merkin Sisters (a SNAFU production, playing at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival) has a back story. I know because it says so in the Fringe program. If I hadn’t read that, I wouldn’t have a clue — and it wouldn’t really matter. It’s billed as “A no-holds-barred physical comedy” but I don’t think that comes close to describing it.
I’d add wildly imaginative, absurd, bizarre, and sometimes baffling. And funny. Very funny.
Continue reading The Merkin sisters (SNAFU) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review
The ABCs of Love with Adult Baby Cupid (Still Your Friend Productions) isn’t in the 2018 Toronto Fringe printed program because they were asked to fill in for a show that dropped out at the last minute. It’s a shame because this is a very funny show and more people should know about it and see it. Continue reading The ABCs of Love with Adult Baby Cupid (Still Your Friend Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review
Rob Gee wrote his solo show – Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit playing at the 2018 Toronto Fringe – based on his experiences as a registered nurse in the mid-90s. The show is used by the National Health Service in the UK as part of their training of healthcare providers in the areas of compassion and reporting concerns.
Sounds dry, doesn’t it? Not at all! Rob has combined comedy and social commentary in a show that’s sometimes hysterical, sometimes heartbreaking, always kind. Continue reading Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit (Rob Gee) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review
Martin Dockery: The Bike Trip isn’t in the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival printed program because Dockery is replacing someone who withdrew their show. He already had another show in the festival, Inescapable, so he agreed to do this one as well. Continue reading Martin Dockery: The Bike Trip (Martin Dockery) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review
The Ding Dong Girls (MoGo Co) is my favourite show so far at the 2018 Toronto Fringe. It’s got everything I love; talented cast, great songs, fabulous costumes, excellent book, and a tap dance number. It’s funny and very raunchy and manages to touch on some serious topics as well. It was sold out tonight, Factory Mainspace even opened the balcony. I expect that it will keep selling out. You should order your tickets right now. Ordering information is at the end of the review but do it now. Finish reading afterwards. Continue reading The Ding Dong Girls (MoGo Co.) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review