Shakespeare BASH’d returns to the Toronto Fringe Festival with their latest salute to the Bard, The Merry Wives of Windsor, playing in the upper decks of the Victory Cafe. Complete with secret identities, misdirection, a randy rotund knight, trickster wives, young love, fake fairies and, of course, a wedding, this spirited rendition of one of Shakespeare’s comedies deserved its sold out audience for the first evening’s performance.
Continue reading The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare BASH’d) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
It’s not always easy rocking out at the Toronto Fringe Festival, but Tweed & Company Theatre prove that it’s not impossible with Stalkyard Hurts, a rip-roaring songfest soaking the stage at Lee’s Palace Dance Cave.
Continue reading Stalkyard Hurts (Tweed & Company Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review
Nicky Guadagni plays seven different women in this one woman show in Toronto
The full house of Theatre Passe Muraille’s Backspace was in great company Tuesday night for the premiere of Hooked. Based on poems by Carolyn Smart, Hooked delves into the lives of seven powerful women, including Myra Hindley, Unity Mitford, Zelda Fitzgerald, Dora Carrington, Elizabeth Smart, Carson McCullers and Jane Bowles, telling their stories from glorious, glamorous beginning to (often enough) unfortunate disappointing demise. These seven women, each carrying their own historical heft, were all gallantly played by one: Nicky Guadagni.
It’s a big burden for one actor to carry, but Guadagni does so with gumption and a mesmerizing stage presence that drew me in as soon as she stepped into the spotlight. Between the awed silence and bursts of laughter, it was obvious that I wasn’t the only one thoroughly enjoying getting well-acquainted with the production’s characters.
Continue reading Review: Hooked (Theatre Passe Muraille)
The Art of Building a Bunker is a hilarious one-man show on social awkwardness on stage at Toronto’s Factory Theatre
In The Art of Building a Bunker, Adam Lazarus and Guillermo Verdecchia explore questions of sensitivity, political correctness and the socially acceptable through the scope of one man’s experience at workplace sensitivity training. This one-man show was previously introduced to the Toronto theatre scene in 2013 at the Summerworks Festival, now bringing a wry, poignant and frequently absurd sense of humour to Factory Theatre’s 45th season.
Lazarus is the “one-man” in question, embodying the tale of Elvis, a guy who has to suffer through the touchy-feely self-reflection of sensitivity training. Elvis can’t stand being there and makes this pretty obvious throughout the whole show through bursts of hilarious improprieties. Aside from Elvis, Lazarus channels the rest of the sensitivity training course participants including the leader, bringing to life a cast of fully realized kooky characters with only the nod of his head or the flick of his wrist.
Continue reading Review: The Art of Building a Bunker (Factory Theatre/Quiptake)
Play Practice’s Circle Mirror Transformation is Mind-Opening and Entertaining
Circle Mirror Transformation, a play performed by the Play Practice Collective in the cozy Bloor Street space of the Storefront Theatre, explores the intersecting lives of five individuals who enroll in a creative drama class for adults. Written by American playwright Annie Baker, the show peers behind the awkward curtain of first encounters, and touches upon the way the people we meet, even for a short time, can have a big effect on our lives.
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TUDS – The Toronto Urban Dance Culture Festival celebrates the street dance scene in Toronto
It’s hard to find sometimes if you don’t know where to look for it, but Toronto’s street dance scene is as lively as it’s ever been. Popping into its fifth year, TUDS is Toronto’s own celebration of all things urban dance running from September 24-28. A festival with a full lineup of street and urban dance culture elements, TUDS has expanded to five days of impressive productions, intense battles, heart-pumping workshops and engaging open discussions.
Created and produced by Gadfly, TUDS has become an annual gathering of some of Canada’s forefront dance artists specializing in every variety of street dance you could want. The festival kicks off with Gadfly’s anniversary and a debate about urban dance and concludes with the Gadfly Awards, honouring Canada’s breakout urban dance artists, productions and industry trailblazers.
Continue reading Preview: TUDS – Toronto Urban Dance Culture Festival (Gadfly)
In case you haven’t had enough of the mayoral race, the Toronto Fringe Festival keeps the political humour going with Spare Drawer Productions’s Sean & Steven Run for Mayor. The show focuses on two bright young men, seeking to win the vote as co-mayors in order to make Toronto a better place. In the process they learn some valuable things about themselves and overthrow the top candidate: an evil, extremely capitalist and militaristic woman seeking to raze the city and exploit its resources.
Continue reading Sean & Steven Run for Mayor (Spare Drawer Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
You can’t have a proper Fringe Festival without some improv comedy. And you can’t have an improv comedy show at the Toronto Fringe Festival without the Bad Dog Theatre crew. Toronto, I Love You, their current Fringe offering, is an unexpected and guffaw-worthy ode to the city we all adore in varying degrees.
Continue reading Toronto, I Love You (Bad Dog Repertory Players) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
There’s something truly captivating about The Templeton Philharmonic’s Toronto Fringe Festival offering. Between the solid acting and the beguiling garden setting, An Evening in July is an accomplished piece that will make you laugh as much as it might make you weep.
Continue reading An Evening in July (The Templeton Philharmonic) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
I’ve had some pretty good luck in the past picking sketch comedy shows to see at the Toronto Fringe, and it’s nice to have kept that lucky streak going with the bubbly humour of Highbrau’s Only Human.
Continue reading Only Human (Highbrau) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review