Review: Legally Blonde: The Musical (Hart House)

Picture of Emma Sangalli and ensemble in Legally Blonde: The Musical

Legally Blonde: The Musical is a delight

With sparkling pink enthusiasm, Legally Blonde: The Musical brings all the feminism and glitter of the original film and novel to the stage for Hart House Theatre’s 100th anniversary season. A wonderful homage to the original, this production addresses issues of sexual harassment, academic exclusivity, and touches (very, very lightly) on class differences. Continue reading Review: Legally Blonde: The Musical (Hart House)

Review: Sweat (Canadian Stage and Studio 180 Theatre)

Photo of Ordena Stephens-Thompson, Ron Lea, Kelli Fox - three people toasting in front of a bar sitting on bar stools

Sweat may not be perfect, but it’s important and worth seeing

I wasn’t exactly sure why, but I knew walking out of Sweat playing at Canadian Stage‘s Berkeley Theatre that it was going to be a hard piece to write about. In fact, I already knew it at intermission.

It’s a solid production. It was a lovely way to spend an evening, but I was having a hell of a time getting this review written. After having written bits and pieces of this it over the past couple of days, but never managing anything cohesive, the reason finally struck me as I ambled down my stairs: I wanted to like this piece more than I did.

Everything about this production was fine. It was all good. Good directing, good acting, good design, all of it good. But none of it took my breath away. And I could tell it had the potential to.

Continue reading Review: Sweat (Canadian Stage and Studio 180 Theatre)

Review: The Roaring 20’s (Lunacy Cabaret)

poster for lunacy cabaret

An enthusiastic hat’s off to the most politically correct dirty cabaret show no one’s heard of

A silly, yet snarky, and a little bit dirty, night of flappers, hula hoop artist, pantomime performers and much, much more, The Lunacy Cabaret presented The Roaring 20’s to a lively crowd at the Opera House on January 18th.

The Lunacy Cabaret presents professional circus artists, clowns and comedians in a night where they can cut loose from constraints of stuffy corporate gigs and show what they want to a spirited crowd of friends and fans. Continue reading Review: The Roaring 20’s (Lunacy Cabaret)

Review: Casimir and Caroline (The Howland Company)

Photo of Hallie Seline in Casimir and Caroline by Dahlia Katz

Join the office party where where “fun” is merely an attempt to keep the darkness at bay

Casimir and Caroline is based on a popular 1932 German play of the same title by Ödön Von Horváth that has never been staged in North America. Translated by Holger Syme and adapted to modern Toronto by Syme, director Paolo Santalucia and The Howland Company, it’s a satire on the emptiness of love in a time of ruthless capitalism.

An office party run amok is a catalyst for the splintering of a host of social relationships gone manipulative and wrong.

Continue reading Review: Casimir and Caroline (The Howland Company)

Review: Julius Caesar (Groundling Theatre Company and Crow’s Theatre)

A Julius Caesar That Feels Crisp and Alert

After being thrilled to bits by Chris Abraham’s Tartuffe at Canadian Stage, I will tell you truly that I had high expectations for his Julius Caesar at Streetcar Crowsnest. So high, in fact, that to balance my natural enthusiasm I brought a friend who suffers attenuated residual high-school Shakespeare exhaustion and who greeted all my protestations that it would be exciting with a grim “we’ll see.” Let the record show: I was right. This Julius Caesar is fantastic.

Continue reading Review: Julius Caesar (Groundling Theatre Company and Crow’s Theatre)