All posts by Christina Kostoff

Review: Alice in Wonderland: A Tale with No Porpoise (No Porpoise Productions)

mooney alice

Using props and ensemble movement, Alice to Wonderland comes to life at Toronto’s Dancemakers

Whenever I notice that a production of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is coming to town, I always have to see it. This past Wednesday night, I went down to Dancemakers in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District to see how the new theatre troupe No Porpoise Productions might tackle this narrative in their inaugural show Alice and Wonderland: A Tale with No Porpoise.

Why do I have to see every production of Alice in Wonderland? It’s the kind of story that, when translated into theatre, unless you hire Tim Burton as your ‘set guy’ or you slip everyone in the audience LSD, presents the challenge of conveying perceptual and psychological realities that are all-encompassing and essential for the story’s success. When you read Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, your imagination makes quick work of this, but how can these realities be conveyed through theatre?

Continue reading Review: Alice in Wonderland: A Tale with No Porpoise (No Porpoise Productions)

Review: Elizabeth-Darcy (Burt&Werneburg) 2013 Toronto Theatre Review

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice comes to life in the rooms of the historic Campbell House Museum

If there was one story that could satiate my teenage angst and desire from about the age of 15 to 19, it would be Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. On Thursday night I had the pleasure of heading down to the historic Campbell House Museum to see Kate Werneberg and Hallie Burt deliver an impressive performance of the characters of this deeply sensual story in their production Elizabeth-Darcy.

Two actors couldn’t have been given a better script. The screenplay adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice does glorious justice to the book, with edits and tweaks that enhance the pace and the wit of all the memorable characters. As with the book, I eagerly sat through the entire A& E series and became engrossed in the interplay, jesting, and revelations of Elizabeth Bennet and William D’arcy — two intellectually well matched individuals from clashing social circles. Again, the sexual tension between these two characters was enough to satiate me through those raging hormones of my youth.

Continue reading Review: Elizabeth-Darcy (Burt&Werneburg) 2013 Toronto Theatre Review

A Woman’s Work by Dance Matters (Toronto Theatre Review)

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Dance Matters’ A Woman’s Work is a captivating collection of dance pieces at Toronto’s Scotiabank Studio Theatre

I just got back from seeing “A Woman’s Work” by Dance Matters down at 6 Noble Street, and my head is with swirling with all sorts of THINGS TO TALK ABOUT! I should mention immediately that I am not a Dance professional. I will be speaking from a perspective that is much more attuned to performance art than traditional dance.

Continue reading A Woman’s Work by Dance Matters (Toronto Theatre Review)

Review: The Tenderpits Trilogy: Parts 1 and 2 (AnimalParts and VideoFag) Toronto Theatre Review

tenderpits popinjay web new

The seamlessly executed multimedia trilogy The TenderPits, a theatrical personal story of self-discovery and grief, is playing at Toronto’s VideoFag

This past Thursday I set out to see the opening night of The TenderPits Trilogy, produced by AnimalParts and VideoFag, and I experienced an innovative and risky multimedia show created by Anthony Johnston and Nathan Schwartz.

Johnston performs solo as he takes us through a partially auto-biographical story of self-discovery, fantasy, and unexpected grief. Johnston has nothing short of Herculean energy in this 2 part production of The Tenderpits Trilogy, he is a virtuoso of the comedic moment, and his unwavering commitment to his role is what carries us through the more abstract moments of this story.

Continue reading Review: The Tenderpits Trilogy: Parts 1 and 2 (AnimalParts and VideoFag) Toronto Theatre Review

Review: The Merchant of Venice (Ale House Theatre Company)

Ale House stages Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice in Toronto’s cozy Red Sandcastle Theatre

Merchant

I’m always happy to have an excuse to go to Leslieville, and on Thursday night I headed down to see the opening night of Ale House’s production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in a cozy venue; the Red Sandcastle Theatre. This production is an intimate encounter with the impassioned characters that make up this classic drama between a merchant and his lender.

First, let’s do a quick recap, for those of us who haven’t, as Director Joshua Stodart observes, encountered The Merchant of Venice since the 9th grade. Continue reading Review: The Merchant of Venice (Ale House Theatre Company)