Review: Eve of St George (Transcen|Dance Project)

Eve of St George returns to entrance Toronto audiences with an immersive take on Dracula

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to witness Eve of St George, playing now at The Great Hall, ever since Wayne reviewed it back in 2015. The idea that they’ve taken Dracula, one of my all time favorite stories, and placed it into an immersive and interactive dance-fueled performance on multiple levels throughout the venue seemed so dazzling and sumptuous that I knew I had to see this for myself.

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2019 Next Stage Festival Review: Raising Stanley / Life With Tulia (Raising Stanley / Life with Tulia collective)

Raising Stanley / Life with Tulia, playing at the Next Stage Theatre Festival after its sold-out premiere in Ottawa, is a multi-disciplinary piece that combines storytelling and painting to take the audience on a journey through the experience of raising and partnering with guide dogs for the blind. Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Festival Review: Raising Stanley / Life With Tulia (Raising Stanley / Life with Tulia collective)

2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Anatomy of a Dancer (Breakaway Entertainment)

Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? A question I and many other dance enthusiasts have been plagued with all our lives! Although they state you do not have to choose, Breakaway Entertainment makes a strong case for Kelly. Anatomy of A Dancer: The Life Of A Song & Dance Man presented in Toronto at the Next Stage Theatre Festival pays homage to Kelly, one of America’s most influential performers. Chronicling his life from Pittsburgh to Hollywood, his romances, famous performances and many of his contributions to the theatre world.

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Review: Iphigenia and The Furies (On Taurian Land) – Saga Collectif

Photo of Virgilia Griffith, Thomas Olajide, and Augusto Bitter in Iphigenia and The Furies

Funny, touching, thought-provoking. This Iphigenia adaptation has it all

Before I go to a show, I try to stick to the tidbits of information someone might get when glancing around to make a decision. I don’t go in-depth into press releases and research. The whole point of Mooney on Theatre is to try to see shows the way someone who is not completely steeped in the theatre world would. This is one of the ways I do it.

I’m not sure exactly what I expected from Iphigenia and The Furies (On Taurian Land) presented by Saga Collectif, but I do know it wasn’t this piece full of laughter and joy. It was a delightful surprise.

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2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival: Foreign Tongue (playinc.)

Foreign Tongue, playing at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, explores immigrant life through the eyes of a born-and-raised Canadian in an upbeat and frothy musical. A young urban professional experiences a stroke and slips into a coma only to awaken five weeks later speaking with an Eastern European accent leaving everyone to believe her an immigrant. Though the cast is highly talented, I felt that the story and songs fell unfortunately short.

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Review: 1979 (The 1979 Group)

Christopher Hunt as Pierre Trudeau and Philip Riccio as Joe ClarkTight, accessible politics in this engaging Toronto production

Michael Healey’s play, 1979, opened at the Berkeley Street Theatre on Thursday. As I wrote this, I realized that 1979 was 40 years ago. I know that, but I hadn’t really internalized it; to me it feels a lot more recent than that. I’m pretty sure that to a lot of the audience it feels like the olden days. Before the play started, I wondered how many of them would relate to the subject matter: Joe Clark’s short lived term as Prime Minister. Joe Who?

It doesn’t really matter. Political machinations are easy to recognize even if they’re 40 years old. It was great for the older crowd, a walk down a political memory lane. My friend Patricia has always been very involved in the community side of politics and I’ve always been a political observer. This is our kind of play. For younger people, it was terrific political satire. Continue reading Review: 1979 (The 1979 Group)

2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Cannibal (Scrap Paper Theatre)

In this new drama by Scrap Paper Theatre, Cannibal is a metaphor — barely. This is a visceral piece that captures the ugly side of fear, loss, and love with surgical precision, and the anesthesia we are given is fleeting. It performs at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, filling a modest studio setup with a staggering cocktail of emotions.

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2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Lucky (barlizo productions)

Photo of Katharine King, Christian Jadah by Tanja TizianaLucky by Montreal-based playwright Marie Barlizo, now playing in Toronto as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival, was inspired by the sensational and grizzly story of Jennifer Pan, a Vietnamese-Canadian woman in Markham who was convicted of hiring killers to murder her parents as a response to their abusive “tiger parenting.” Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Lucky (barlizo productions)