All posts by Catherine Jan

A former freelance translator in Paris, Catherine Jan now enjoys writing in Toronto and about Toronto. Especially about Toronto theatre. She also blogs about translation, copywriting, editing and other word-related past-times at Catherine Translates. Are you on Twitter? Join @translatetrad‘s 2,000 followers who keep up with her workin’ girl tweets.

Review: Illusions (SideMart Theatrical Grocery)

Illusions is a dark tragicomedy about love, on stage at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto

SideMart Theatrical Grocery presents the first English version of Illusions, written by Russian playwright Ivan Viripaev and translated by Casimir Liske. Playing in Leslieville’s Crow’s Theatre, it’s a romantic tragicomedy that will make you gasp, groan and giggle at this creatively narrated story about love and lies.

Continue reading Review: Illusions (SideMart Theatrical Grocery)

Review: Tartuffe (Scarborough Theatre Guild)

Tartuffe is a funny 17th century comedy, on stage at Scarborough Village Theatre

Showing at the Scarborough Village Theatre, Tartuffe is a playful 17th century story from Moliere that is colourfully staged and wonderfully performed. My guest, who knew the play as a student growing up in France, thought the English translation effectively captured the essence of the comedy. We were amused by the charade played by Tartuffe, the seemingly religious man who is far from pious. Attention, appearances can be deceiving!

Continue reading Review: Tartuffe (Scarborough Theatre Guild)

HROSES: Outrage a la raison (It Could Still Happen)


Confusing, “whimsical” play about star-crossed lovers hits Toronto’s Waterworks stage

HROSES: Outrage a la raison is an eerie, bilingual play about two people from rival families who fall in love but cannot stay together. Performed in a downtown Toronto industrial space called Waterworks, HROSES has an indie, fringe vibe to it that is for the most open-minded of theatre-goers.

Lily (Sascha Cole)—who works on a farm—belongs to an English-speaking family. Ellery (Frederic Lemay) is part of a French-speaking clan; their family-run mine extends under Lily’s farm, harming their hard-earned harvest. One day, Lily and Ellery are brought together when a horse appears between the two properties. They decide they wish to care for it, together.

Continue reading HROSES: Outrage a la raison (It Could Still Happen)

Review (Kid +1): A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper)

A Christmas CarolSoulpepper touches Toronto audiences’ hearts with Dicken’s classic tale

Playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Toronto Distillery District, A Christmas Carol will inject the holiday spirit of giving into the most cheapskate, grumpiest member of your family.

This Dickens classic is a heart-warming way to end 2016 with your little ones. Continue reading Review (Kid +1): A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper)

Review (Kid +1): Sleeping Beauty (Ross Petty Production)

Sleeping Beauty

Ross Petty’s Sleeping Beauty at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre is a grand crowd-pleaser. You’ll see a creative variation of this classic fairy tale that includes ninja dance moves, groan-worthy puns and a huge amount of audience participation, mostly in the form of laughter and booing. If you’re looking for a festive family outing for the holidays, see Sleeping Beauty! Continue reading Review (Kid +1): Sleeping Beauty (Ross Petty Production)

Review: The Swan Song: A Study in Terror (The NAGs Players)

The Swan SongThe Swan Song  is a “charming” and “marvelous” whodunnit on stage at the Tranzac in Toronto

The Swan Song: A Study in Terror is a charming whodunnit. Playing at the Tranzac Stage in Toronto, this murder mystery will tickle your funny bone and keep you on your toes — once you think you’re sure of whom the killer is, something will occur that places the potential guilt on someone else.

Continue reading Review: The Swan Song: A Study in Terror (The NAGs Players)

Review: Tideline (Canadian Rep Theatre and ENSEMBLE)


Tideline, on stage now in Toronto, is beautifully performed and not shy about politics

Tideline is a poetic, demanding play, beautifully performed at the Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto. What seems like a simple family drama — a story in which a young man’s distant father suddenly passes and the son finds out family secrets — quickly turns into a hard-to-watch journey that takes us to a post-war desolate landscape. Written by Lebanon-born Wajdi Mouawad, translated by Shelley Tepperman and directed by Ken Gass, Tideline explores the impact of the atrocities of war on youth. Continue reading Review: Tideline (Canadian Rep Theatre and ENSEMBLE)

Let Me Freeze Your Head (Neil McArthur) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of Neil McArthur in Let Me Freeze Your Head

Neil McArthur wants to freeze your head and make you live forever. As part of the Toronto Fringe Festival 2016 at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, Let Me Freeze Your Heard is a convincing call for cryonic preservation. Attend this info-session for more information about how this service can buy you more time on earth. Continue reading Let Me Freeze Your Head (Neil McArthur) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review