All posts by Allison Gerson

Review: Bandits in the Valley (Tapestry Opera)

Photo of Stephanie Tritchew, Jacques Arsenault, and Keith KlassenFun and accessible opera takes to the Toronto stage

I have always been a little intimidated by opera. I don’t know a lot about music. It’s often in a language I don’t speak, I have a hard time following the plot, and tickets are often very expensive. But Bandits in the ValleyTapestry Opera’s new whimsical short opera being performed the Todmorden Mills Historic Site–was a fun, accessible, and free way to experience the art form in a lovely and novel setting. Continue reading Review: Bandits in the Valley (Tapestry Opera)

Review: She Stoops to Conquer (Guild Festival Theatre)

She Stoops to Conquer is great outdoor theatre in the Toronto east end, a summer must

She Stoops to Conquer, currently being presented by Guild Festival Theatre, embodies many of the things I love about summer in Toronto. While others may head to the cottage, I am happiest travelling around the city to watch theatre outside. Both the setting, Guild Park in Scarborough, and the company were new to me. And I was happy I got the chance to expand my theatrical and geographic horizons. Continue reading Review: She Stoops to Conquer (Guild Festival Theatre)

I ate the sandbox (ProductionsByKJ) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

I ate the sandbox produced by ProductionsbyKJ and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival is a great example of what the Fringe is all about. It’s a one woman show written and performed by Khadijah Jamal, and it is her acting debut. Jamal attended the festival last year for the first time in ten years. It inspired her to write a script. When she saw an ad for the Fringe lottery on her Facebook feed, she took a chance, entered, and was accepted. This show is the result. Continue reading I ate the sandbox (ProductionsByKJ) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Seasons (Sol Express) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Melissa Marshall

Seasons produced by Sol Express playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival is not your typical Fringe show. Most of the performers are members of L’Arche Toronto, a community of people with intellectual disabilities who live and work together. In Seasons, they explore life through the lens of the four seasons in an hour of movement, music, poetry, film, and clown. It’s an incredibly moving work.

Continue reading Seasons (Sol Express) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Lantern Tales from the Ottawa Valley (Tales from the Four Winds) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Norman PerrinLantern Tales from the Ottawa Valley produced by Tales from the Four Winds and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival is an hour of storytelling and fiddling. The show opens on a blank stage holding a table, two chairs, and two mugs. A fiddle starts to play a folk tune and then Norman Perrin and the fiddler, Dr. Tom Hamilton, enter. Perrin invites the audience to join him for a cup of tea while he spins yarns inspired by the lives of his ancestors in rural Ontario.

Continue reading Lantern Tales from the Ottawa Valley (Tales from the Four Winds) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Life’s a Betch (Sketch Betch) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Nora Saliken, Miguel Gauthier, Eitan Shalmon, and Katherine O'Brien

Life’s a Betch is a sketch comedy show performed by Sketch Betch at the Toronto Fringe Festival. The troupe is made up of four performers who met while studying at the Second City – Miguel Gauthier, Katharine O’Brien, Nora Saliken, and Eitan Shalmon. They were joined on stage by musical director and keyboardist Carmen Braund, who provided the perfect background music for each scene.

Continue reading Life’s a Betch (Sketch Betch) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation (Tim Motley) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Tim MotleyI wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation, a show byTim Motley playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Was it a pornographic? Was it a police procedural? And how are you supposed to say that name without getting tongue-tied? Turns out, it’s a magic show mixed with a 1940’s film-noir detective story with a dose of comedy thrown in. Continue reading 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation (Tim Motley) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Life Records 2: Side B (Beefman Jones Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Rhiannon ArcherLife Records 2: Side B, currently playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, is a one-woman show featuring Rhiannon Archer and produced by Beefman Jones Productions. Archer is an award-winning comedian, writer, and storyteller. Life Records 2: Side B is a personal glimpse at key moments in her life with each memory triggered by a song.

Continue reading Life Records 2: Side B (Beefman Jones Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Vertical Influences (Le Patin Libre and Luminato)

Unique, exciting ice skating show takes to the Toronto ‘stage’

I know summer in Toronto is short, and we want to take advantage of the limited warmth and sunshine. But I can’t think of a better way to spend a couple hours this June weekend than inside an ice rink watching Vertical Influences, a contemporary dance performance on ice being presented as part of Luminato.

Vertical Influences is performed by Le Patin Libre, a collective of mostly former high-level figure skaters based in Montreal. But this is no Ice Capades full of sequins and sparkle. These dancers wear baggy jeans and street clothes and sport beards, ponytails and dreadlocks. Continue reading Review: Vertical Influences (Le Patin Libre and Luminato)