All posts by Chris Klippenstein

Review: Permanence (Libby Brodie Productions)

Photo of PermanencePermanence is intimate and romantically charged, at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto

Permanence, produced and presented by Libby Brodie Productions, brings a taut, sexy drama to Tarragon Theatre. I felt deeply immersed in the world of the play, which was excellent on every level: the performances were grounded and honest, the script nimbly avoided the temptations of cliché, and the sound and lighting made significant contributions to the story.

Continue reading Review: Permanence (Libby Brodie Productions)

Review: Shakespeare in High Park – Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage)

Photo of Twelfth NightCanadian Stage presents Twelth Night outdoors at the High Park Ampitheatre in Toronto

There’s always something magical about watching Shakespeare in the High Park Amphitheatre. Amid the picnic blankets and dusky summer air, the 400-year-old words of Twelfth Night leap vividly to life in this production by Canadian Stage in collaboration with the School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University. Music and laughter fuel this fun, colourful adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy, now wrapped in an aesthetic of tie-dye, Beatles glasses, and references to the funky chicken.

Continue reading Review: Shakespeare in High Park – Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage)

Macbeth’s Head (Malfi Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of "Macbeth's Head"

Macbeth’s Head, produced by Malfi Productions and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, embraces its own wild silliness. Though it had solid acting and very funny moments, particularly near the beginning, this Shakespeare-inspired comedy sometimes seemed like it had too many ideas. I ultimately felt as though this play — rather like Macbeth himself — became so ambitious that it forgot to keep having fun.

Continue reading Macbeth’s Head (Malfi Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Nasty Woman (Good Company) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Image of the title "Nasty Woman"

Nasty Woman, produced by Good Company and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, offers a moving personal journey wrapped in a package that is much less political than the show’s title suggests. I’m of two minds about this play. For me, this show is at its strongest when one-woman performer Kathryn Landon is telling stories about her life; her discussion of the 2016 US election is, in my opinion, less successful.

Continue reading Nasty Woman (Good Company) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Love and Information (Randolph Academy) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

The cast of "Love and Information"

There’s a lot happening in Love and Information, produced by the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Featuring a talented ensemble cast, this play is structured as a series of unconnected short scenes. There’s much to enjoy in this well-acted, polished production — as long as you’re not looking for a linear narrative.

Continue reading Love and Information (Randolph Academy) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Olive Copperbottom: A New Musical (Penash Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of performer Penny Ashton

Olive Copperbottom: A New Musical by Charles Dickens and Penny Ashton, produced by Penash Productions, brings an abundance of Victorian delights to the Toronto Fringe Festival. Inspired by Charles Dickens and bolstered by fun musical numbers and a tremendous amount of energy from one-woman performer Penny Ashton, this was a show I enjoyed down to the very last drop — of gin, obviously.

Continue reading Olive Copperbottom: A New Musical (Penash Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

The Life Henri (Still Your Friend) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from "The Life Henri"

The Life Henri, produced by Still Your Friend and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, takes us on a vivid and touching journey through the life of nineteenth-century French painter Henri Rousseau. However, this show isn’t just for art lovers; performer Adam Bailey, directed by Laura Anne Harris, tells Rousseau’s story with great humour and humanity.

Continue reading The Life Henri (Still Your Friend) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: En avant, marche! (NTGent & les ballets C de la B)

Photo from "En avant, marche!"“Fearless” Luminato show takes to the Toronto stage

It was a huge pleasure to attend En avant, marche!, co-produced by NTGent & les ballets C de la B and presented by Luminato. This wonderfully entertaining multidisciplinary show filled the stage at the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts with music, dance, and heart. With four actor-performers, seven Belgian musicians, and a brass band, there was never a dull moment.

The show centers around a musician (Wim Opbrouck) whose cancer diagnosis has forced him to trade his beloved trombone for a pair of cymbals. Far from being melancholy, however, En avant, marche! ricochets joyously from one feeling to another: it is at times funny, bizarre, profound, raunchy, and filled with visual and musical delights.

Continue reading Review: En avant, marche! (NTGent & les ballets C de la B)