Review: Stephen Harper the Musical (The Shehori Brothers)

by Lucy Allen

New musical shows just how entertaining our PM is on the Toronto stage

Oh, Stephen Harper. He’s been the butt of so many jokes, and yet has managed to get elected successfully without any real problem. How on earth does he do it? More importantly, after many poorly executed decisions, how does he hope to get popular again? Daniel and Steven Shehori explore this in their new show, Stephen Harper the Musical currently playing at Second City. Continue reading Review: Stephen Harper the Musical (The Shehori Brothers)

Review: Jitters – Soulpepper

By Adam Collier

Soulpepper is producing Jitters at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. (The run has been extended to July 31, 2010.)

Jitters begins with a scene of domestic revelation that is cut short – lights onstage brightening – after one character flubs an emotionally climatic line.

As it turns-out, what we have been watching is the rehearsal of another play (‘The Care And Tending Of Roses’). Jitters concentrates on the inter-personal trials of the company putting on that play.

Continue reading Review: Jitters – Soulpepper

Purely Cabaret (Esby Kabaret) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Adam Collier

A company called Esby Kabaret mounted a show as part of Fringe (a performing arts festival that ran from Wednesday June 30th to Sunday July 11th at venues throughout the Annex in Toronto). The show – with the title Purely Cabaret – was performed at St. Vladimir’s Theatre.

Purely Cabaret is a two-person show. There’s a singer (her name is Lindsay Sutherland Boal) and a pianist (Elisabeth Scholtz).

To my ear, the timbre was like three things I had heard before – Schubert’s lieder, the blues (in the way that Billie Holliday sings the blues), and tin-pan alley musicals – brought together in varying parts for each song.

Continue reading Purely Cabaret (Esby Kabaret) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

The Dentist (Razia Israely) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Adam Collier

The Dentist is a one-person show that was performed as part of Fringe at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. A company called Razia Israely produced the show.

There is a level of emotional intensity to some of the events that The Dentist describes – the text of the work (not its delivery) – that made my shoulders hurt and – oddly – feel as though someone were blowing cigarette smoke in my face.

Not more than twenty-minutes into the performance, I felt so much stress that I lost track of what was happening.

Continue reading The Dentist (Razia Israely) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

Weight Loss World (Theatre Under Pressure) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Adam Collier

Weight Loss World was performed at St. Vladimir’s Theatre as part of Fringe. A company called Theatre Under Pressure produced the show.

There was a unique enthusiasm in the audience on the night I went to Weight Loss World.

“Let’s sit front row” – I overheard one patron say to another – “that’s like VIP!”

“Pfft – more like VI-Crazy!” was the reply. And then they laughed.

The crowd was buoyant – giggling often, and unexpectedly bursting with laughter at a few moments. One such moment came when four of the characters purge on stage.

Continue reading Weight Loss World (Theatre Under Pressure) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost (www.bourgee-bushwoman.com) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By John Bourke

It’s difficult to put a categorize what kind of a show Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost really is, and it’s making it very difficult to write this review. Put simply, the show is a series of three vignettes where Diane Johnstone portrays three different women, each of whom is at a different point in their life, and have very different views on, well, everything.

Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost (Hereafter shortened to SDatHG) was performed and written by Diane Johnstone and directed by Winnie Wong. Continue reading Sex, Drugs & the Holy Ghost (www.bourgee-bushwoman.com) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

Eternal Friendship with a Spotless Smile – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Mira Saraf

I will never for the life of me remember the correct name for this play (because of the Hollywood Movie). That’s probably intentional, but whatever the situation may be, I called it Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Smile, Eternal Friendship of the Spotless Mind and all variations in between before I actually got it right.

The psychiatric ward based comedy is about two patients who are paired together for treatment purposes (one is violent, the other passive) and who both fall for their new nurse after the old ones dies under mysterious circumstances. There is a peppering of things in between to allow us to learn about the backgrounds of these two individuals.

Continue reading Eternal Friendship with a Spotless Smile – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

Barfly on the Wall – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Winston Soon

Heat does not for comedy make. This is the lesson I learned as I caught the sweltering Barfly on the Wall. It’s not that the show is flawless – far from it. I’ll get to that.

But c’mon, how in the hell can anyone be funny as they nearly slip on their own sweat and even more importantly, how can an audience find anything funny as they….well…slip on their own sweat?

Continue reading Barfly on the Wall – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review