Before seeing Monsters By Nature at the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival, I described a different show (Blink’s Garden) as being like a camp play, but a very good one. I somewhat wish I hadn’t, because I would now like to describe Kindling Collective’s Monsters By Nature as being like a camp play, but…one that tries to do way, way too much considering the time and space.
Continue reading Monsters By Nature (Kindling Collective) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review
Perhaps you were not aware, as I was not before going to see Pineapple Club, that “comedic dance” was a thing. After Robin Henderson Company’s 2017 Toronto Fringe show, I can tell you for sure that it is, and that it’s both delightful and hilarious, and that I have almost no idea what Pineapple Club was about, and I don’t really care.
Continue reading Pineapple Club (Robin Henderson Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review
She Grew Funny at 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival is the work of a comedian and television writer working in a new idiom, and that’s more or less my favorite thing about Fringe. I like when talented people take risks. I like seeing the new, fresh things they make while they’re still wobbly and damp as colts, though I know they may be uneven. This was, but I still found it worthwhile.
Continue reading She Grew Funny (O’Sullivan Lane Productions/Brett McCaig Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review
Not enough people are going to see This Is Not She , a site-specific offering of the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival, and that is a shame. It’s great nerd-fun, well conceived and acted, understated and affecting. But between “Shakespeare” and “audience participation” in the program, I think people will imagine themselves forced to do terrible humiliating English-class things and stay home. They should not. This is good.
Continue reading This Is Not She (The Simian Assembly) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review
Here’s the first thing I liked about Blink’s Garden at the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival: the kids in it, of which there were a fair few, looked excited. I love when children’s theatre has actual children in it, and this multi-character epic delivered on that and much more during the completely delightful show.
Continue reading Blink’s Garden (Fat Blue Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review
Eleven-year-old Aviv Cohen, star of Fables From Faraway Lands as part of the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival, is a smallish human with a lot – like, several people’s worth – of performance charm. As the lead of Fables From Faraway Lands, she carries the performance on her slight shoulders. It’s a lot for her, but she carries it with just a few stumbles.
Continue reading Fables From Faraway Lands (Merlene’s Impact Project) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review
Bearing is an eye-opening opera about residential schools, part of the 2017 Toronto Luminato Festival
The hero quote on the Luminato page for Michael Greyeyes and Yvette Nolan’s Bearing is Michael Greyeyes searing comment: “Every person in Canada is surviving residential schools, because if you’re Canadian you’re part of it.” My relation to residential schools is not personal – there are no residential school survivors in my family – but the need to learn about them, and to engage in reconciliation comes through ethical and treaty obligations. I am a treaty person, because I live on land that was part of the Toronto Purchase.* With this in mind, I went to see Bearing expecting to be implicated, to learn, and be moved. I did not have the experience I expected.
Continue reading Review: Bearing (Luminato)
Morro and Jasp failed to connect with our writer in Stupefaction, on stage in Toronto
Off the bat I should tell you: I am a tremendous Morro and Jasp fan, and I looked forward to Morro and Jasp in Stupefaction like any kid counts down to an especially desirable event. I prattled on with glee the whole way to the new Streetcar Crowsnest theatre to my two companions about how much I have loved every single Morro and Jasp show I have ever seen.
Continue reading Review: Morro and Jasp in Stupefaction (Kabin and U.N.I.T. Productions)
Louis Riel is a glorious think piece, on stage at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto
Even mid-performance, reviews of Louis Riel at the Canadian Opera Company were being expressed all around me. The individual sitting behind me chewed gum loudly and sighed repeatedly, exasperatedly, during all of the second and third acts. Beside me, a young woman sat rapt and motionless, her face slack with pleasure. It’s a rare opera that inspires such extreme reactions, but even the cheerful bar manager at the first-floor bar commented that she had heard so many opinions and none of them were tepid. “Everyone has something to say about this one,” she said. “It’s quite different.” And so it is.
Continue reading Review: Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company)
Young People’s Theatre’s play brings the stories of Robert Munsch to the Toronto stage
With a pair of seven-year-olds and a stalwart spirit I ventured to Young People’s Theatre on a sunny Saturday for their new show Munschtime! Adapted from four classic Robert Munsch tales by longtime YPT director Allen MacInnes and collaborator Steven Colella. The stories are framed by a granddaughter who keeps asking for just one more story and her grandparents who, of course, indulge her. I wasn’t ready for another after the show on Saturday, but I liked the ones I got just fine.
Continue reading Review: Munschtime! (Young People’s Theatre)