All posts by Allison Gerson

Review: Map By Years (Peggy Baker Dance Projects)

Photo of Jessica Runge in Her HeartPeggy Baker presents a unique evening of dance at Toronto’s Theatre Centre

Peggy Baker has been one the major figures in Canadian modern dance for many years, but I had never see her work. So I was excited by the opportunity to see Peggy Baker Dance Projects’ Map By Years, currently being performed at The Theatre Centre. This evening of solo performances features four very different works that all showcase strong dancers and that share a common thread of longing and mysticism. Continue reading Review: Map By Years (Peggy Baker Dance Projects)

Review: The Secret Garden (Young People’s Theatre)

Natalia Gracious and Jake Runeckles in The Secret GardenYoung People’s Theatre’s production of The Secret Garden enchants Toronto audiences

When I found out I would be reviewing The Secret Garden produced by Young People’s Theatre, I was both excited and a little nervous. The play is based on one of my favourite children’s books, so I was looking forward to seeing it with my young guest, who also loves the story. But I was also afraid the production would make a mess of it. I needn’t have worried. The performance is delightful and enchanting and manages to live up to our high expectations. Continue reading Review: The Secret Garden (Young People’s Theatre)

Review: Ronald K. Brown/Evidence (dance Immersion)

Photo of Ronald K. Brown/Evidence in Four Cornersdance Immersion presented an evening of contemporary African and Caribbean dance in Toronto

Toronto has a lot of great local dance companies both small and large. But big-name companies from beyond Canada are presented far too infrequently for my taste. So, when I had the chance to review Ronald K. Brown/Evidence presented by dance Immersion at the Fleck Dance Theatre, I jumped at it. Continue reading Review: Ronald K. Brown/Evidence (dance Immersion)

Review: Or Not To Be (Andrew Batten/Glass Hammer Productions)

Or Not to Be explores the role of a lifetime, on stage at the Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto

Hamlet is a dream role for any actor. Everyone wants to try it at some point in their career, right? But what if it was your last role? Is that how you’d spend the limited time you have left? These are the questions addressed in Or Not to Be, a new play written by Andrew Batten and directed by Julia Haist, on stage now at Red Sandcastle Theatre. Continue reading Review: Or Not To Be (Andrew Batten/Glass Hammer Productions)

Review: Instant (Geordie Productions/Young People’s Theatre)

Leah Fong and Michelle Rambharose in InstantThe Young People’s Theatre brings Instant to the Toronto stage

The Toronto theatre scene has something for everybody, including a wealth of performances for kids and teens. Instant, written by Erin Shields and currently being presented by Young People’s Theatre, explores the pressures of fitting in and succeeding in high school as well as the perils of social media. My companion was a 13-year old in grade 8, and I think she was the perfect age for it. Continue reading Review: Instant (Geordie Productions/Young People’s Theatre)

Review: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Soulpepper)

Photo of Albert Schultz and Raquel DuffyChallenging Edward Albee play brought to the Toronto stage by Soulpepper

The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?,  Edward Albee‘s 2002 Tony Award winning play currently being presented by Soulpepper, is challenging. It’s about bestiality. That’s not a spoiler. The title gives it away, and we find out that Sylvia really is, in fact, a goat early on. For me, the challenging part wasn’t the goat per se. The hard part was being forced to think about how I react to ideas or behaviours far outside my realm of “normal.” Continue reading Review: The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Soulpepper)

Review: Other Side of the Game (Cahoots Theatre/Obsidian Theatre)

Photo of Ryan Rosery, Virgilia Griffith, Ordena Stephens-Thompson, Shakura Dickson, and Peter Baily in Other Side of the GameToronto’s Cahoots and Obsidian theatres co-produce writer Amanda Parris’ debut play

Other Side of the Game, currently being performed at Aki Studio, is the first professionally produced play by Amanda Parris. She is definitely someone to keep an eye on in the future. Her play is a powerfully written piece that gives voice to the often-unheard stories of Black women in Toronto. Continue reading Review: Other Side of the Game (Cahoots Theatre/Obsidian Theatre)

Review: The Diana Tapes (What Will The Neighbors Say?)

Photo of Jorge Morales Pico and James ClementsWWTNS?​ presents The Diana Tapes, a play by James Clements, in Toronto

I’m definitely not a monarchist, but even I admit to being captivated by the story of Diana, Princess of Wales. The beautiful young woman swept away by the prince. The fairy tale wedding. The troubled marriage. The dramatic car crash in Paris. Who can resist the inherent drama of her life? The Diana Tapes, being performed by What Will The Neighbors Say? Theatre Company at the Red Sandcastle Theatre, focuses on a crucial episode of Diana’s life – the 1992 publication of Andrew Morton’s biography, Diana: Her True Story. Continue reading Review: The Diana Tapes (What Will The Neighbors Say?)

Review: The Aliens (Coal Mine Theatre)

Photo of William Greenblatt, Noah Reid, and Maxwell HaynesThe Aliens, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, arrives on the Toronto stage

On the surface, The Aliens (currently on stage at Coal Mine Theatre) doesn’t seem to have a lot going on. There’s not much of a plot, not a lot of action, and not a lot of dialogue. But like a skillful artist can do with just a few lines on paper, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker creates a rich emotional world with seemingly little. Continue reading Review: The Aliens (Coal Mine Theatre)

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)