Review: Arabella (Canadian Opera Company)

Canadian Opera Company brings shades of grey to Arabella to the Toronto stage

The final collaboration of Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Arabella is either a deceptively grim meditation on love in society, a typical comedy of manners, a proto-feminist parable of the volatile position of women in the marriage market, or a light and frothy romance. Sometimes it can be all of these things at once. I’m not entirely sure which The Canadian Opera Company‘s adaptation of Strauss’ Arabella wants to be — but that very ambiguity is what makes it interesting. Continue reading Review: Arabella (Canadian Opera Company)

Review: The Adventures Of Tom Shadow (Theatre Lab)

Photo of Mark Little, Natalie Metcalfe, Christian Smith, Kevin Vidal and Lisa Gilroy.Tom Shadow  is “charming” and “outrageous,” now on the Toronto stage

As I read through the program for Theatre Lab’s recent venture—The Adventures of Tom Shadow—I notice that they chose to title it a “comedy musical” and not a “musical comedy.” Smart move, because the musical theatre geek in me may have been disappointed with the lack of kick lines. No worries though, because The Adventures of Tom Shadow was everything I could have wanted and more in a “comedy musical,” if those are a thing? Are they a thing? Let’s make them a thing now.

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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)

Review: Bello (Young People’s Theatre)

Gabriel Gagnon, Nicole St. Martin and Morgan Yamada in Bello at YPTYoung People’s Theatre presents Bello, a folktale with scary moments, on stage in Toronto

On Wednesday afternoon my grandson Desmond and I went to see Bello at Young People’s Theatre. It’s billed as suitable for kids from six to nine years old. Desmond is six years and three weeks old. It was his expert opinion that one of the classes attending the performance was a kindergarten class and that the kids weren’t six yet. They seemed to manage just fine.

Bello is essentially a folktale “about a time when there were no phones, no cars, and no light bulbs…” and a young boy named Bern who gets lost in the snow on his way back from school. Continue reading Review: Bello (Young People’s Theatre)

Playlistings in Toronto for the week of October 9th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of October 9th, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate here in Toronto. Your dining room tables won’t be the only places overflowing with goodness: Toronto’s stages are filled with countless new and continuing shows this week. Jess, one of our fearless editors, is here to choose her most anticipated shows (in red). Check them out below the cut:

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Review: Let’s Go: A G_dot Prequel (DMT Productions)

Photo of Brian Haight and Tony Ofori.Robert Fothergill’s playa prequel to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, is now playing in Toronto

Let’s Go: A G_dot Prequel is a play about everything that happens before Estragon and Vladimir of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot start well, waiting for Godot. The concept itself is genius, however; the pieces didn’t come together as nicely as I would have hoped.

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Review: Caminos 2017 (Aluna Theatre/Native Earth Performing Arts)

Photo from CaminosThis festival celebrates Pan-American, Indigenous, and Latinx voices on stage in Toronto

The 2017 Caminos festival, produced by Aluna Theatre and Native Earth Performing Arts is a week-long festival of new performances centering on Pan-American, Indigenous, and Latinx voices. The festival offers diverse performances in a variety of media, including theatre, dance and music. Continue reading Review: Caminos 2017 (Aluna Theatre/Native Earth Performing Arts)

Review: how to drown gracefully (Filament Incubator)

Photo of Becky Tanton provided by the companyhow to drown gracefully is “captivating” and “strong” theatre playing in Toronto

Kat, the main character of Becky Tanton’s how to drown gracefully (presented by Filament Incubator at Kensington Hall) spends most of the play getting in and out of a bathtub. She’s having a hard time leaving the water, which represents both a safe haven and dangerous escape. Kat (played by Tanton) wants to drown, though not in a suicidal way, just to disappear for a while. A disastrous love quadrangle has her nursing hurt feelings while confronting her own less than stellar actions. While the navel-gazing angst in the show feels very familiar, the writing made enough of a splash to make me want to wade in.

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