All posts by Emma Letki

Review: Monday Nights (6th Man Collective)

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Interactive theatre blends with a pick up game of basketball in Monday Nights at Toronto’s Theatre Centre

I unabashedly love immersive interactive theatre performance works. I am entirely biased — they just make me happy. Playing at the Theatre Centre, Monday Nights fits beautifully into this category. It is a fun piece about basketball. Super simple, but thoroughly charming.

This work started in 2008 as a group of friends meeting on Monday Nights to play ball and relieve a bit of stress at the same time. Over the past six years it has gone through a number of stages until it reached the Theatre Centre. 6th Man Collective have been in residency at the Theatre Centre since 2012 developing the work that they are now sharing. Continue reading Review: Monday Nights (6th Man Collective)

Review: High Life (Beyond The Round Productions)

High Life is dark comedy about a heist gone awry on stage at Toronto’s Scotiabank Studio Theatre

A few nights ago I found my self in Parkdale, in a little hub of theatre in the city. I rushed into Pia Bouman’s Scotiabank Studio Theatre to see Beyond the Round Production’s High Life. Sold as a dark comedy with repulsive cons and an attractive heist, I was intrigued to see the show, ‘cause boy do I love a good heist story.

High Life is by Lee MacDougall and was originally a screenplay which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009. High Life follows an ex-con, Dick, as he puts together a team of junkies to rob a bank. Being junkies, the heist does not go quite as planned. Before the lights dimmed, my show buddy, being a huge fan of dark comedy told me how similar High Life was to Reservoir Dogs, a ’92 dark comedy. Continue reading Review: High Life (Beyond The Round Productions)

True (Criminal Theatre in association with Aluna Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of True cast: Ingrid Rae Doucet, Shannon Taylor, Layne Coleman, Sabrina Grdevich, Scott McCord. Photo by Aleyah Solomon

As I walked into Citizenry, a boutique on Queen West where Criminal Theatre is presenting their site-specific show True, there was an actor playing the piano built into the bar. His playing continued until the reveal of the first sister of a trio and the introduction of the main question in the play. Can you change your memories to change the result; the past’s future. Every year there’s a handful of good dramas presented at the Toronto Fringe Festival. This is one of them. Continue reading True (Criminal Theatre in association with Aluna Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare BASH’d) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Hallie Seline	photograph	by	Jesse	Griffiths	and	Kyle	Purcell

 Shakespeare BASH’d is once again inhabiting the upstairs room of the Victory café for this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. Even though Shakespeare BASH’d has been performing at the Toronto Fringe Festival for 3 years, this is the first year I have managed to fit it into my schedule or to get a ticket. And I was certainly glad I got to see their rendition of Love’s Labour’s Lost.

As I climbed up the stairs of the Victory, I could hear cheering and general camaraderie. As it turns out I walked into a Shakespearian game of Ye Olde Beer Pong, in keeping with the casual vibe at this local annex pub. This casual setting fitted perfectly with Shakespeare BASH’d’s interpretation of Love’s Labour’s Lost. Continue reading Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare BASH’d) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts (Rainy Day Theatre Company) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Set in the University of Toronto’s University College Junior Common Room, Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts is a bring- your-own-venue show at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Maybe I am too bitter, too cynical, and way too close to the subject matter, but Rainy Day Theare’s production didn’t quite feel like it met the Honours-level that lead character Kate was bragging about graduating with.

The title of Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts is a bit deceiving: it is not a “Musical of Sorts” but rather a completely traditionally musical. It even came complete with a classic musical-style magic love plot. The piece follows Kate, a recent grad who moves out of school and into the work force, where she finds love and sexism.

Continue reading Commencement: a Work of Fiction and Musical of Sorts (Rainy Day Theatre Company) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review