All posts by Devon Potter

Review: Therefore Choose Life (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company)

Therefore Choose Life

Family drama Therefore Choose Life, currently on stage in Toronto, has “all the makings of a hit”

If you can find your way through the maze that is the Toronto Centre for the Arts these days and locate the newly opened Greenwin Theatre, you’ll find yourself witness to a very special show. Brush past the half dozen people who will remind you that the show runs 90 minutes with no Intermission. Find your seat. Then take a few deep breaths. The world premiere of Therefore Choose Life, presented by Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, is not a light show. It is deep and important and lovely, and it will make you feel a whole lot of things. Continue reading Review: Therefore Choose Life (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company)

Review: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare {Abridged} (The Classical Theatre Project)

Toronto’s Classical Theatre Project combined Shakespeare with beer for a one-night performance

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare {Abridged} played twice on Saturday night, the latest event in The Classical Theatre Project‘s ShakesBeer series. The name is fairly self-explanatory: Shakespeare plus beer. As it turns out, those two things go very well together. Throw in talented performers, a great script, and some timely pop culture references, and you have a winning combination indeed. The one-act show was performed at Artscape Wychwood Barns, on a stage with a simple red-curtained backdrop, some simple lights and men in colourful tights. It was quite the sight to behold.

I wish I could tell you to go see it (because I would) but this particular production was just a one-night deal, so unless you were there laughing and drinking along at either performance, you missed the fun this time. Though fear not, if history is any indication then Shakespeare isn’t going away anytime soon. Neither, for that matter, is The Classical Theatre Project. Continue reading Review: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare {Abridged} (The Classical Theatre Project)

Review: A Triple Bill (Restless Spirit Productions)

Triple Bill - Dolores

A new Toronto theatre company, Restless Spirit Productions, presents a Triple Bill of disparate works

On Friday night, I made my way down a staircase at 688 Richmond Street West, followed the instructions to remove my outdoor footwear, hung up my coat, padded into a studio on the lower level, and settled in for A Triple Bill. The evening consisted of an opener by improv troupe “Seinfeld?!?”, a one-woman show by Katie Ford and a production of Edward Allan Baker’s Dolores. I’m still trying to figure out what the connection was between the three, and why new theatre company Restless Spirit Productions decided to showcase them together, but I have a feeling that will remain one of life’s great mysteries. Continue reading Review: A Triple Bill (Restless Spirit Productions)

Review: Problem Child (NightShift Theatre)

Problem Child

Toronto’s NightShift Theatre presents a thoughtful and engaging production of Problem Child

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the closed door of a seedy motel room, you might find an answer or two right now at the Red Sandcastle Theatre. The storefront venue has been completely transformed into a stuck-in-the-past motel room, complete with dated décor and bright blue vinyl chairs, as it plays host to NightShift Theatre‘s production of George F. Walker‘s Problem Child. Continue reading Review: Problem Child (NightShift Theatre)

Review: Twisted (Factory Theare/b current)

Twisted

Toronto’s Factory Theatre presents Twisted, a play that’s a gritty, raw, intense reimagining of Oliver Twist

Playing now as part of Factory Theatre’s season is Twisted, presented by Factory Theatre & b current. Factory Theatre promises ‘theatre with grit’, and this show certainly delivers on that promise. Less a retelling of Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist than a complete reimagination of it, the show is undeniably gritty, raw and intense. Continue reading Review: Twisted (Factory Theare/b current)

Review: Crisis on St. Creskins (Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart)

Crisis on St. Creskin's

Crisis on St. Creskins is a bizarre site specific theatrical experience at Toronto’s historic Campbell House Museum

If you’re looking for some absurd, ridiculous, just plain funny theatre this holiday season, look no further than Henri Fabergé’s Crisis on St. Creskins. Presented by the cast of Fabergé’s Feint of Hart, the show is billed as ‘a punk rock soap opera’, though I’m not sure it can be defined quite so simply.

It moves through the rooms of the historic Campbell House Museum, and is almost certainly unlike anything else you’ll see this year. There is an accordion, some “ultra-modern” art, a holiday being celebrated, and a man dying on the second floor – and that’s just what you’ll encounter before the show even begins.

Continue reading Review: Crisis on St. Creskins (Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart)

Review: Death in a Black Suit (Scarborough Theatre Guild)

Death in a Black Suit

Death in a Black Suit tells of Life, Death and Suspense on Georgian Bay

Thursday night marked the opening of Scarborough Theatre Guild‘s Death in a Black Suit at the Scarborough Village Theatre. Billed as the ‘Canadian and World Premiere’, the play was penned by Maureen Jennings of ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ fame and is an intriguing, fun, suspenseful murder mystery. Continue reading Review: Death in a Black Suit (Scarborough Theatre Guild)

Review: The Love Game (North of Maine)

The Love Game

North of Maine presents The Love Game, a quirky romance playing at Toronto’s Red Sandcastle Theatre

I walked into the cozy Red Sandcastle Theatre on Tuesday night expecting to see another run-of-the-mill relationship drama. You know the type – they meet, they fall in love, they grow apart, there’s a conflict, they either resolve it or they don’t. What I actually saw was entirely different from what I was anticipating, however. North of Maine‘s The Love Game is anything but typical, and the environment they’ve created in the storefront theatre is anything but cozy. What The Love Game is is bold, creative, surprising and oddly compelling. Continue reading Review: The Love Game (North of Maine)

Review: My Treasure Island!!! (Johnson Girls)

My Treasure Island!!!

My Treasure Island!!!, presented by Johnson Girls, is unapologetically hilarious theatre

On Wednesday night, I stepped out of the cold and into a production of My Treasure Island!!! at the Theatre Passe Muraille backspace. Presented by Johnson Girls with the support of Passe Muraille, this show is an adaptation of a book – Sara Levine’s Treasure Island!!! – about a woman’s obsession with a book – Robert Louis Stevenson’s exclamation mark-free classic Treasure Island. It takes the audience on a fun adventure and offers some gasps and laughs along the way.

Continue reading Review: My Treasure Island!!! (Johnson Girls)

Review: The Thing Between Us (McGuffin Company)

McGuffin Company’s The Thing Between Us is Raw, Believable Theatre

Playing now at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace is The Thing Between Us, by playwright Alison Lawrence. Presented by the McGuffin Company, the show explores relationships, boundaries, love and forgiveness. It looks at how far one woman is willing to go for someone she’s been bound to in her life, someone she’s been told she’s supposed to love. The play explores some interesting themes and relationships, and the audience is taken on quite the journey with the characters, from early childhood right through to the hardest parts of adulthood. Continue reading Review: The Thing Between Us (McGuffin Company)