Playlistings in Toronto for the week of March 12th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of March 12th, 2018

This week’s selections are full of new shows, featuring twins on mysterious journeys, a new take on the Bard’s classic King Lear, and much more. There is much to choose from, so here to help you chose is our Editor Samantha, with a few of her top picks in red. Check them out below the cut:

Continue reading Playlistings in Toronto for the week of March 12th

Review: F*ck L*ve, The Dancing Man of Macklin Street, Governing Ourselves, and Oracle Jane (Alumnae Theatre Company)

Four new plays open the New Ideas Festival at the Alumnae in Toronto

The first week of the 30th annual New Ideas Festival—organized by the Alumnae Theatre Company on this its 100th year—offers four new plays. Each one disentangles different approaches to the concept of following what you feel is right, and how that can come back and haunt you.

Continue reading Review: F*ck L*ve, The Dancing Man of Macklin Street, Governing Ourselves, and Oracle Jane (Alumnae Theatre Company)

Review: 4.48 Psychosis (NSK Theatre)

Polarizing play takes to the Toronto stage

4.48 Psychosis  by Sarah Kane (Native Earth Performing Arts, 2018) is a 75 minute ode to suicidality. The protagonist, her lover, and her psychiatrist rarely engage in dialogue, with most of the narrative unfolding in the form of voluminous poetic monologues. There is no plot per se, but rather a deep exploration of the inner life of someone on the brink of death. Continue reading Review: 4.48 Psychosis (NSK Theatre)

Review: Idomeneus (Soulpepper)

The Soulpepper team brings Idomeneus to the Toronto stage with visually stunning staging

Idomeneus, written by Roland Schimmelpfennig and translated by David Tushingham, now the latest Soulpepper production on stage at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, is an intensely mesmerizing hybrid of spoken word and movement set to a stunning cinematic backdrop. It’s a captivating tale brought to life by a chorus that fully embodies the script at hand. But, for me, the visuals are what had me sold.

Continue reading Review: Idomeneus (Soulpepper)

Review: The Drawer Boy (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Canadian play talks memory, storytelling, and voice, now on stage in Toronto

Michael Healey’s The Drawer Boy, currently running at Theatre Passe Muraille, is one of the most produced Canadian plays of all time. It features a familiar societal conflict: urban versus rural, actor versus tractor. Somehow, in all my theatre education, I had missed seeing this play thus far, and was excited to hear that Passe Muraille was bringing it back in honour of its 50th season.

What makes The Drawer Boy so enduringly popular with theatregoers, I think, is its exploration of the power of story and theatre; in particular, how story is so inextricably linked with memory and identity. When we change the stories we tell to and about ourselves, we can’t help but change who we are.

Continue reading Review: The Drawer Boy (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Review: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Scarborough Players)

Big laughs in stylish comedy, now playing on the Toronto stage

Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is a comedy that gets funnier after funnier with each scene. Playing at the Scarborough Village Theatre, this story will make your own sibling relations seem perfectly functional.

Wistful Sonia (Deborah Jarvis) and complacent Vanya (Chip Thompson) are stay-at-home siblings to whom nothing exciting ever happens. Things run amok after their psychic housekeeper Cassandra (Carolyn Williamson) warns them of housing doom and gloom. Sure enough, their movie star sister Masha (Martha Breen) waltzes in to visit, introduces her young bimbo boyfriend Spike (Holm Bradwell), and announces she wishes to sell the family home. Masha is the one who has been paying for its upkeep, while Sonia and Vanya have spent the past 15 years caring for their elderly parents, now deceased. Continue reading Review: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Scarborough Players)

Overview: Toronto Sketchfest

Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival brings laughs to the Toronto stage!

The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival is on this week until March 11th, and it’s an absolute romp. If you get the chance, then you have to check out at least one of the many hilarious shows being put on throughout the city. I was lucky enough to see two at the Comedy Bar this past weekend.

Leaning on a high-chair, watching sketches with a pint of beer is very much my speed. Sketch and stand-up comedy are my jam, and I was very excited at the opportunity to kick back and give an overview of the festival, repping Toronto’s fantastic scene with locations you’ll rarely see in theatre reviews. There’s always something going on in the city, and I’d recommend a visit to one of our many comedy clubs anytime, but Sketchfest really is something to catch while you can.

Continue reading Overview: Toronto Sketchfest

Review: Titus Andronicus (Hart House Theatre)

Hart House Theatre presents The Bard’s bloodiest tragedy, on stage in Toronto

Titus Andronicus, the bloodiest and possibly most infamous of Shakespeare’s tragedies is onstage now at Hart House Theatre. You won’t see this show being put on very often, so if you’re up for some particularly repulsive content, this is your chance.

To be honest, I knew little of Titus Andronicus going into this review, and I made a conscious decision to keep it that way. It seemed like a real treat to experience one of the bards’ tales with a fresh perspective. My guest Arun, despite being a seasoned actor who’s been in multiple Shakespeare productions, went in with a similar mindset. We were both excited going into Hart House theatre.

Continue reading Review: Titus Andronicus (Hart House Theatre)

Review: Person of Interest (Lunkamud)

Melody A. Johnson delivered top-notch comedy in her solo show at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto

Person of Interest is a one woman show for the ages expertly written and performed by the undeniable Melody A. Johnson.

Johnson plays herself, an actress in a sort of “transitionary” period in her life. When she moves into her new house, she finds out that the neighbours speak fluent “dick” (her words not mine) and eventually reaches a point of desperation where she’ll do anything to get them to move out, even if it means breaking the law… Cue Law and Order transition music.

Continue reading Review: Person of Interest (Lunkamud)