Playlistings in Toronto for the week of September 25th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of September 25th, 2017

If you’ve ever wanted to see a puppet show in an actual Toronto garage, you’ll have your chance this week. With so much opening and continuing on stage this week, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. No fear (unless you’re seeing a scary show)! Our publisher Megan is here to choose her most anticipated shows (in red). Check them out below the cut:

Continue reading Playlistings in Toronto for the week of September 25th

Review: Gray (Theatre Inamorata)

Toronto playwright Kristofer Van Solen updates Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray in his new play

Photo of Tenille Read and Ximena Huizi Theatre Inamorata‘s Gray, a daring, original play written by Toronto native Kristofer Van Solen, is about the struggle of complacency and failure in this modern age of hustle.

The performance takes place in a secret backspace above a convenience store on College street. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect upon entrance, but to my surprise, I ended up with an expertly crafted production that made for an awesome, thought-provoking night of theatre.

Continue reading Review: Gray (Theatre Inamorata)

Review: North by Northwest (Mirvish)

Theatre Royal Bath July 2017Dress Rehearsal North by North West Film by Alfred Hitchcock Adapted by Carolyn Burns Directed by Simon Phillips Director/Simon Phillips Associate Director/Jessica Burns Designers - Simon Phillips & Nick Schlieper Lighting Designer/Nick Schlieper Composer/Ian McDonald Costume Designer - Esther Marie Hayes Audio Visual Specialist/Richard Dinnen Audio Visual Designer/Josh Burns Roger O Thornhill - Jonathan Watton Vandamm - Gerald Kyd Eve - Olivia Fines Mrs Thornhill / Abigail McKern Gruzinsky / Kieran Gough Budnikov /Angus Brown Leonard / Fanning Nelson/Tom Davey The Professor / Larry Wade - Nick Sampson Ensemble - Christopher Chilton, Nick Harris, Roddy Peters, Joanna Van Kampen ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105 presents a stage version of the classic Hitchcock film North by Northwest in Toronto

I’m a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s repertoire, so I jumped at the chance to see North by Northwest, a stage adaptation of the director’s classic 1959 film, a mistaken identity spy thriller centred on Manhattan advertising executive Roger Thornhill. The film is brought to life on stage using a dazzling array of clever staging and effects. However, mounting a new a production that so closely adheres to the film also shines a spotlight on some of the original’s problems. Continue reading Review: North by Northwest (Mirvish)

Review: Lela & Co. (Discord and Din Theatre)

Photo of Jenna Harris and Graham Cuthbertson by Dahlia Katz

Lela & Co., on stage at Toronto’s Theatre Centre, is a powerful story of abuse

When Lela (Jenna Harris), the protagonist of Cordelia Lynn’s searing drama Lela & Co., (currently being presented by Discord and Din Theatre at The Theatre Centre), turned thirteen in her small village, her father ordered “the Messiah of Cakes” for her birthday party. The night before the party, a small strip of pink icing went missing, and Lela has been blamed for it ever since.

The story of the cake is told and retold, ever exaggerated, throughout Lela’s harrowing life of subjugation, as she experiences war, abuse, and forced prostitution. A tiny slice of life, it’s nevertheless a symbol both of what happens to a girl who steps out of line, and how the lies we tell ourselves to survive eventually become the truth. Lela, in direct address to the audience, wants us to know the real truth – and what a fascinating and stark truth it is.

Continue reading Review: Lela & Co. (Discord and Din Theatre)

Review: The Last 5 Years (Theatre Here and Now)

The Last Five Years hit Toronto stages, but not all the right notes

The Last 5 Years was onstage this past weekend as the debut for new Toronto theatre company, Theatre Here and Now.

With a cast of just two characters, Cathy (Nicole Marie McCafferty) and Jamie (Armand Antony), The Last 5 Years is one of those shows that often appeals to small theatre troupes. In my opinion, it also has a lot going for it as an all-around fantastic musical: brilliant writing, incredible music, and a clever conceit where one character is moving backwards in time and the other forwards. Continue reading Review: The Last 5 Years (Theatre Here and Now)

Review: Miss (Unit 102 Actors Company and The Spadina Avenue Gang)

Toronto’s Unit 102 Actors Company presents Miss, a new play by Michael Ross Albert

On Saturday I stepped out of my comfort zone and saw Miss, a Unit 102 Actors Company production, at the new Assembly Theatre in Parkdale. Out of my comfort zone because the press release describes the play, by Michael Ross Albert, as an “explosive drama about loss, grief, guilt, and revenge” and I usually avoid anything with that kind of description. I am so glad went.

It was one of those rare evenings of perfect theatre that will stay with me for years. It’s why people make theatre. It’s why I love theatre. Continue reading Review: Miss (Unit 102 Actors Company and The Spadina Avenue Gang)

Review: Title and Deed (Nightfall Theatrics)

Photo of Christopher StantonTitle of Deed questions the meaning of home, on stage now in Toronto

To say someone is ‘here’ begs the question: what, precisely, is that place? Nightfall Theatric’s Title and Deed, playing at the Tarragon Theatre Workspace, follows the story of one man trying to dig into the nature of leaving home and arriving in a new place. Unfortunately, this production begs the question a bit too pointedly of its audience, as its answers are often safe and mostly underwhelming.

Continue reading Review: Title and Deed (Nightfall Theatrics)

Review: On Golden Pond (Scarborough Players)

On Golden Pond is a feel-good story about family, on stage at Scarborough Village Theatre

Playing at the Scarborough Village Theatre, On Golden Pond is a family drama that will make you want to pick up the phone and arrange to see that long-lost dear relative with whom you’ve lost touch. I never saw the 1981 movie, and I was happy to discover this heartfelt story without any expectations. Continue reading Review: On Golden Pond (Scarborough Players)

Review: VOLTA (Cirque du Soleil)

Extreme sports inspire Cirque du Soleil’s new show VOLTA now playing in Toronto’s Port Lands

Cirque du Soleil has brought its signature big top back to Toronto. Following hot on the heels of last year’s Mexico-inspired LUZIA, the company is presenting its newest show VOLTA and if you’re wondering whether it’s worth springing for tickets to another Cirque show so soon; VOLTA holds some unexpected surprises. Continue reading Review: VOLTA (Cirque du Soleil)