All posts by Dana Lacey

Review: Potted Potter (Potted Productions)

Potted Potter at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre offers laughs for fans and non-fans of all ages

Potted Potter is a goofy, fast-paced celebration of character acting – one actor plays Harry Potter, another plays the other 300 characters from J.K. Rowling’s imaginary world.

The story: a pair of Brit playwrights embark on the ambitious goal of performing all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes. There’s Jeff (Jefferson Turner), the straight man and Potter devotee that must overcome his dream of a high-quality production complete with fire-breathing dragons and full-blown Hogwarts sets. And then there’s Dan (Daniel Clarkson), who’s a lot less worried about accuracy: he hasn’t read the books.

Continue reading Review: Potted Potter (Potted Productions)

Review: The Play’s the Thing (Stage Centre Productions)

Famous playwright Sandor Turai has just overheard his nephew’s fiancée cavorting with another man. So has his nephew. This isn’t good for business, since Turai’s nephew composes the sugar-coated melodies that accompany his words on stage. In other words, the playwright has a vested interest in keeping his composer happy.

So, as any reasonably vain man would do, he concocts a plan to save his nephew’s upcoming nuptials with his playwrightfulness. The task: incorporate the cheating pair’s pillow talk to help float a story that the affair was merely rehearsal for an ancient French play that nobody had heard of that would be performed that very night. And so truth becomes a lie and lies become truth. Still with me?

Continue reading Review: The Play’s the Thing (Stage Centre Productions)

The Demonstrator (GITA Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

A demonstrator is a marketing gimic — the name given to a clear plastic display pen that reveals all the internal bits. In The Demonstrator, by GITA Productions, the pen plays a major role. It’s a tool that condemned a journalist, and the one she hopes will set her free. The play promises to explore the “motives and morals behind a mysterious article” that has the town crying foul. Continue reading The Demonstrator (GITA Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Abra-Cadaver (The Deep End) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

“Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.”
-Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker was a professional wit. She was a poet, satirist, playwright and (first female) theatre critic. She was invited to parties in hopes she’d utter one of her dark-tinted turns of phrase (“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”) Dorothy Parker was also a professional suicidalist. Her numerous attempts at the afterlife were well-documented and lampooned by polite society, from which Parker kept a comfortable distance. Continue reading Abra-Cadaver (The Deep End) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review