All posts by Deanne Kearney

Review: Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic (The Qaggiq Collective)

An epic Inuit play performed entirely in Inuktitut is now on stage in Toronto

Performed entirely in Inuktitut – Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic by The Qaggiq Collective is a unique and important experience for Canadian audiences. Presented at Tarragon Theatre, the performance follows Kiviuq, the eternal wanderer and legendary hero of Inuit stories through five different narratives. The company uses shapeshifting creatures, throat singing and drumming to take you on a magical journey across the Arctic.

Continue reading Review: Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic (The Qaggiq Collective)

2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Anatomy of a Dancer (Breakaway Entertainment)

Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? A question I and many other dance enthusiasts have been plagued with all our lives! Although they state you do not have to choose, Breakaway Entertainment makes a strong case for Kelly. Anatomy of A Dancer: The Life Of A Song & Dance Man presented in Toronto at the Next Stage Theatre Festival pays homage to Kelly, one of America’s most influential performers. Chronicling his life from Pittsburgh to Hollywood, his romances, famous performances and many of his contributions to the theatre world.

Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Anatomy of a Dancer (Breakaway Entertainment)

Review: The Nutcracker (Toronto International Ballet Theatre)

Christmas classic arrives on the Toronto stage this holiday season!

The magic of the Tchaikovsky score paired with gorgeous ballet dancers never fails to spark the Christmas spirit inside of me. Toronto International Ballet Theatre performs the classic story of The Nutcracker with its typical grandiosity, bringing smiles to mine and many faces of all ages in the audience. The performance retains many Nutcracker traditions, however features a few unique artistic touches.

Continue reading Review: The Nutcracker (Toronto International Ballet Theatre)

Review: A Christmas Carol (Three Ships Collective)

A site-specific production of Dickens’ classic play is on at Toronto’s Campbell House Museum

What would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? With multiple renditions happening around the city every year, The Three Ships Collective with the support of Soup Can Theatre, present a site-specific adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic novel. Taking place at the historic Cambell House, the audience follows the Victorian-era penny-pincher, Ebenezer Scrooge, room to room as you watch his story of self-redemption courtesy of apparitions of Christmas past, present and future. Continue reading Review: A Christmas Carol (Three Ships Collective)

Review: A Very Leila Christmas (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Get into the Christmas spirit with Leila in this Toronto show

Through a Persian princess’s eyes, Christmas begins when the Starbuck’s cups turn red, sugar walking sticks are sold, and the arguing begins about when it’s appropriate to play the music with the bells in it. A Very Leila Christmas, presented by Theatre Passe Muraille and A Bad Girl Leila, is the best way to get into the REAL Christmas spirit. Continue reading Review: A Very Leila Christmas (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Review: Asheq: Ritual Music to Cure a Lover (Onelight Theatre)

Shahin Sayadi brings Persian mythology to life in his play, now on stage in Toronto

Persian mythology is brought into modern day storytelling in Asheq: Ritual Music to Cure a Lover. The fully immersive multi-media work is created with boundless cloth and a single performer who takes on multiple roles at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Created by Shahin Sayadi of Onelight Theatre, the performance explores the struggles of tradition within a small community.

In a small fishing village on the Persian Gulf, Farhad loses the love of his life to childbirth, resulting in a lifetime hatred of his son, Manoo. The son grows up and falls in love with an outcast woman, defying his father’s wishes and disgracing the family name. Believing Manoo must be under the influence of evil spirits, the village elders call for a ‘Zar’ exorcism.

Continue reading Review: Asheq: Ritual Music to Cure a Lover (Onelight Theatre)

Review: Grand Finale (Hofesh Shechter)

Canadian Stage opens 18/19 season in Toronto with introspective, apocalyptic dance

Internationally celebrated choreographer Hofesh Shechter returns to Toronto with a smoke-filled stage and a chaotic world in freefall in Grand Finale at the Bluma Appel Theatre. Grand Finale does not mark his final work, but presents a dreary yet beautiful apocalyptic world.

In this world, dancers are not distressed in a typical end-of-the-world fashion; rather they blankly move through a chaotic realm. Their movements are loose-limbed as they shuffle and shudder around the stage with supple wrists and upturned chests. They hold their mouths open in emotionless, silent screams, or fall lifeless to the ground to be carried, manipulated and dragged around.

Continue reading Review: Grand Finale (Hofesh Shechter)

Review: Older & Reckless #41 (MOonhORsE Dance Theatre)

Older and Reckless is a dance showcase for older dancers in Toronto

Older and Reckless #41 presented at Harbourfront’s Studio Theatre has everything you need, from laughs and love, to downright creepy and dark. The six work bill, curated by Claudia Moore, hosted by Tabby Johnson, is performed by some of the most celebrated older artists – as the company states, made more reckless as time goes by. Continue reading Review: Older & Reckless #41 (MOonhORsE Dance Theatre)

Review: The Pigeon (Alumnae Theatre)

Toronto playwright Chloë Whitehorn’s new play debuts at Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Festival

The Pigeon, presented in the Fireworks Festival at Alumnae Theatre, is a new, exciting and daring play for mature audiences. With beautiful relationships between contrasting characters, and a plot for revenge – this play will take you on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

Written by Chloë Whitehorn, The Pigeon follows a distressed millennial – Jegger (John Shubat), who befriends an older woman, Malone (Liz Best). Joined by a mutual hatred for Jegger’s mother, they are drawn together in a plot of revenge against her. Malone also acts as a mentor figure to Jegger, as he is about to become a young father, with his partner Amy (Marina Gomes).

Continue reading Review: The Pigeon (Alumnae Theatre)

Review: Figaro 2.0 (ProArteDanza)

A Toronto dance company re-imagines Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro

ProArteDanza beautifully re-imagines ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (Le Nozze Di Figaro) in Figaro 2.0 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Taking on the large task of a three-hour opera, award-winning co-choreographers, Roberto Campanella and Robert Glumbek create a gorgeous and witty ninety-minute contemporary dance work.

Figaro 2.0 is based on the comic opera, composed by Mozart in 1786. The story has many twists and turns following misunderstandings, manipulations and infidelities. I highly recommend reading the program synopsis before viewing, as it is helpful with the complex storyline. Although it’s not required as the brilliant design of the show will help you along the way. In short, Suzanna, a servant to the Count, is set to marry Figaro despite her Count’s efforts to seduce her. Meanwhile, Figaro must go to trial over past debts to which the cost is marriage to a different woman, Marcellina. All the while, Suzanna works with the Countess, Rosina, to catch the Count in his infidelities.

Continue reading Review: Figaro 2.0 (ProArteDanza)