You can see six brilliant short and sweet plays all in one evening, and hear diverse voices that don’t often surface in mainstream stories. But I can’t promise that you too will be singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” between plays since I don’t know if the audience’s energy and confidence were particular to last Friday night’s performance.
The Trip to Bountiful is a touching tale of one woman’s devotion to her roots
Written by Horton Foote, The Trip to Bountiful at Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre evokes differences between city life and country life and between the needs of the elderly and the younger generation. But the heart of the story goes much deeper than that as it expresses one woman’s unshakable longing for her roots.
Mama Watts (Jane Hunter) is an elderly woman who’s cooped up in a Houston, Texas apartment at a busy street corner. She’s living with her son Ludie (Jamie Johnson) and daughter-in-law Jessie Mae (Kim Croscup). Mama Watts yearns to return to her hometown Bountiful (also called a “swamp” by Jessie Mae) and this desire is all-encompassing. She hasn’t been home for 30 years.
Latest Ross Petty show tackles Robin Hood and education, now on stage in Toronto
After laughing through Lil’ Red Robin Hood as a family, we had tons to talk about on the way home. It’s a show that’s fun to relive, whether it’s going back to the catchy songs or asking about jokes we didn’t all get. While last year’s Ross Petty show, The Wizard of Oz, played at the Elgin Theatre like the 20 odd shows before it, this year’s Lil’ Red Robin Hood has moved upstairs to the Winter Garden Theatre. The upper venue, with the leaves hanging from the ceiling, is conveniently compatible with the “Sherway Gardens Forest” of Robin Hood.
Pinocchio’s Adventures are Dark and Beautifully Costumed
Directed by Sheila McCarthy, The Adventures of Pinocchio is a fast-moving musical at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. This beloved classic by Carlo Collodi is cleverly produced, and it is darker and more eerie than the Disney version. After being carved out of by wood by Gepetto (Shawn Wright), Pinocchio (Connor Lucas) rejects the idea of effort, responsibility and learning his ABCs. Instead, he leaves his kind father and joins mischievous Lampwick (Noah Beemer) on his misadventures, while the Blue Fairy (Malindi Ayienga) intermittently watches over him.
Classic absurdist theatre comes to the Toronto stage
Unusual living room conversations are to be heard in The Bald Soprano (La Cantatrice Chauve). At the Théâtre francais de Toronto, this absurdist classic from Eugene Ionesco is performed in French and has English sur-titles.
The story takes place in the London home of a well-to-do couple Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Manuel Verreydt and Geneviève Langlois). They have disconnected conversations that are petty in nature. Then Mr. and Mrs. Martin arrive (Pierre Simpson and Sophie Goulet), and they don’t realize they’re married to each other until they find out they have the same daughter and live at the same address. Make sense?