Review: Hieronymous Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights (Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage brings the classic painting by Hieronymus Bosch to life in Toronto

This weekend only (April 19-23, 2017), you can see renowned choreographer Marie Chouinard’s rich and vivid work bringing the art of Hieronymous Bosch to the stage in Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights at the Bluma Appel Theatre.

Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter in the 15th and 16th Centuries that created some fantastical imagery of religious scenes. Here, choreographer Marie Chouinard captured the imagery and spirit of Bosch’s most famous work, The Garden of Earthly Delights.

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Sound of the Beast (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Picture of performer Donna-Michelle St. BernardSound of the Beast is a challenging, powerful work now on stage in Toronto

Theatre Passe Muraille‘s mixed-media production Sound of the Beast takes us on an intense, challenging journey that moves from Tunisia to Toronto and back. Solo performer Donna-Michelle St. Bernard uses a well-crafted mixture of rap, song, spoken word, and story to share her experiences at the intersection of race and institutional power.

This unusual show isn’t for the politically faint of heart; St. Bernard is forceful and direct in her condemnation of racist cops, racist power structures, and our racist society. But her message is so strong, and the issues she discusses are so important, that I found the show to be very rewarding.

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Review: Banana Boys (Factory Theatre)

The hit show Banana Boys returns to the Factory Theatre stage in Toronto

Banana Boys is currently making its triumphant return to the Factory Theatre stage. Originally developed by the fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company in 2002, the show is now one of the most culturally relevant modern plays currently in production.

The show itself is a fast paced, witty, and at times raunchy look at what it means to be a “banana” — a cultural term indicating someone who is ‘yellow on the outside and white on the inside’. A displaced Asian with roots in the East but born and raised in the West. From the perspective of five young Chinese-Canadian men, they explore their struggles with career, education, love, friendship, identity, and the ever present pressure from mom and dad.

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Review: Penelopiad (George Brown Theatre)

The Penelopiad tells the story of The Odyssey from Penelope’s perspective, on stage in Toronto

We think we know the story of Odysseus, whose journey home following the battle of Troy took him ten long years, but we do not. George Brown Theatre’s production of Margaret Atwood’s play The Penelopiad–an adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey from the perspective of Penelope, Odysseus’s faithful wife–embraced the feminism and lyricism of this retelling of a truly timeless story. Continue reading Review: Penelopiad (George Brown Theatre)

Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre/Soulpepper)

A Toronto adaptation of Hamlet features American Sign Language and a female lead

For its tenth anniversary, Why Not Theatre and director Ravi Jain re-visit their first-ever production: Prince Hamlet, Jain’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For this new production the director set about—as described in the press materials—to “illuminate the contemporary relevance of the 400-year-old play and ask the question ‘who gets to tell this story?’”

It’s an ambitious challenge and while the result is by-and-large a solid production of Hamlet, I don’t think it quite hit the mark it set for itself. Continue reading Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre/Soulpepper)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto the Week of April 18th

Five Shows Under $25 in Toronto this Week

Live theatre shows in Toronto with ticket prices of $25 or less, playing the week of April 18th, 2017. Perfect for the budget-conscious theatre-goer, with these week’s picks featuring a fantastic range of price points (PWYC and up). Are you curious about Afrofuturism? Looking for something to see with your kiddos? Love slam poetry? Check these shows out below the cut:

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Playlistings in Toronto for the week of April 17th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of April 17th, 2017

It is weeks like this—with so many interestingly unique shows opening on Toronto stages—that we’re reminded of how amazing our theatre scene is! So many exciting choices can be daunting, but that’s ok. We’ve got assistant editor Jess on hand to pick out a few of her top choices, listed in red. Check them out below the cut:

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Review: Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry (Harbourfront WorldStage)

Daniel Barrow uses layered imagery to haunt and delight Toronto audiences

Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry, playing at Harbourfront WorldStage Redux, is not exactly theatre. But it is more like theatre than it is like anything else.

Daniel Barrow works from the middle of the room. In the middle of the audience, lit by the light of the overhead projector, he layers images, manipulates them, and tells a story that is mesmerizing, satisfying, and deeply disturbing. It’s totally compelling, and leaves you full of questions.

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