All posts by George Perry

George has always been passionate about theatre, but didn’t know it. As a young boy he was mesmerized by professional wrestling. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was an early role model. Shortly thereafter, the explosive histrionics of Pete Townshend would supersede this Canadian icon. George’s attention later turned to American theatre. Jello Biafra became a seminal influence. The “Do It Yourself” ethic was firmly embraced by Perry, and he ventured into the vast repetoire of artists like Paul Westerberg and Steve Albini. As a young adult, he was re-introduced to the works of Townshend. His then girlfriend, Michelle, was hugely impressed by the theatrical production of The Who’s “Tommy”. He meandered through factories, schools, border towns and Michigan for a very long time afterwards. He eventually landed in Toronto. All these influences were brought together in one kettle when George discovered Mooney on Theatre. He understands and personifies that theatre is indeed for everyone. To further this end goal, he contributes.

Review: Two Plays by Marguerite Duras (Spiel Players)

Photo of Lisa Hamalainen, Paulo Santalucia and Peyton Le Barr by Suzette McCanny

Two Plays by Marguerite Duras, on stage at Toronto’s Fraser Studios, is a gem not to be missed

If you like theatre that is written with originality, performed by passionate, talented actors and challenges its audience as much as it entertains, check out the Spiel Players production of Two Plays by Marguerite Duras. Onstage at Toronto’s Fraser Studios, these plays are a one-two theatrical punch not to be missed.

Two Plays by Marguerite Duras is comprised of the plays Savannah Bay and Le Shaga. Both are very different and very engaging, surreal and dreamlike. One is sweet and tender, the other is way ‘out there’. It’s a little like seeing two Fringe plays back to back at the same venue.

Continue reading Review: Two Plays by Marguerite Duras (Spiel Players)

Review: Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper)

Chantelle Han and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee in Kim's Convenience

The 2011 Fringe hit Kim’s Convenience takes to the stage at Toronto’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts

Every once in a while something comes along, seemingly out of the blue, that strikes a chord across generations, ethnic backgrounds and geographic locations. Kim’s Convenience, currently onstage at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s Distillery District, is one of those rare gems.

Fresh off a national tour, Kim’s Convenience originally began as a Fringe play in 2011. On the surface it is the simple story of a Korean-run corner store in Toronto’s Regent Park. On a deeper level, it’s a timeless exploration of the nuances that make families so loved, hated, relatable and universal.

Continue reading Review: Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper)

Review: Burying Toni (Alumnae Theatre Company)

Natalie Kulesza, Glenda Roman and Jillian Welsh in Burying Toni

Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre presents Catherine Frid’s new play Burying Toni

Have you peeked in on your subconscious lately? Do you have any idea what your Animus and Shadow are up to? Well, why don’t you join us at King and Berkeley in Toronto?

We can climb the staircase of Alumnae Theatre and get all the facts straight while we take in the play Burying Toni by Catherine Frid.

Part of a one-two punch, Burying Toni and You Have To Earn It are two new plays by female playwrights that make up the Fireworks Festival.

Continue reading Review: Burying Toni (Alumnae Theatre Company)

Review: The Bakelite Masterpiece (Tarragon Theatre)

Irene Poole and Geordie Johnson in The Bakelite Masterpiec

Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre presents The Bakelite Masterpiece, a play about art forger Han van Meegeren

Cheating, fraud and plagiarism are bad, right? Well, what if an art forger makes an ogre and a despicable group of people look like buffoons? Do the ends justify the means? That’s just one of the tantalizing questions at the core of The Bakelite Masterpiece, now on stage at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace.

Based on the true story of Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren, The Bakelite Masterpiece explores the nuances and subtle distinctions between right and wrong. Fifty Shades of Grey? That’s nothing. This play explores 50 shades of the human condition!

Continue reading Review: The Bakelite Masterpiece (Tarragon Theatre)

Review: Marion Bridge (D & T Productions)

Kirstin Rae Hinton Deanna Palazzo and Tanya Sand in Marion Bridge

D&T Productions presents their debut production of Marion Bridge at Toronto’s re-branded Theatre Machine

Set in Nova Scotia, Marion Bridge is the life-affirming story of what happens when a woman returns home to be with her sisters while their mother is on her deathbed. Written by Daniel MacIvor, this is one of the first plays to be mounted by D&T Productions at Toronto’s re-branded The Theatre Machine.

What I found exceptional about Marion Bridge is the writing and acting. Together, they make for a play that almost anyone can relate to.

Continue reading Review: Marion Bridge (D & T Productions)

Review: We Walk Among You (Artichoke Heart Collective)

We Walk Among You

Toronto’s Artichoke Heart Collective’s We Walk Among You is a disturbing, thought-provoking puppet show

Imagine trying to answer a question such as “what makes a monster?” without using printed or spoken words. That’s what We Walk Among You, now on stage at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, tries to do. And in the hands of Artichoke Heart Collective, audience members receive a mind-blowing answer.

We Walk Among You is a dark, emotionally charged play. Puppets and soundscapes are used to tell the story of an insane doctor who tries to bring his son back from the dead by using methods that would make any decent person’s stomach turn.
Continue reading Review: We Walk Among You (Artichoke Heart Collective)

Review: Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre)

Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents Lois Fine’s play Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week

Freda and Jem's Best of the Week

If I told you that Judith Thompson was directing a play written by queer activist Lois Fine and it was being staged at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, you’d likely think I just woke up from a wet dream. Either that or I was trying to explain a Beatles song. But no, it’s reality, and it is a play currently on stage in Toronto. Oh yeah, it’s called Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week.

Freda and Jem are two lesbians who hit it off at a meat market, shack up, and decide to have children. Jem (Kathryn Haggis) is a butch plumber turning wrenches while Freda (Diane Flacks) is a grad student turning pages.
Continue reading Review: Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre)

Review: Cycle of a Sari (The Cycle Collective)

Aerial silks and music transform Toronto’s Annex Theatre into a spiritual other realm for Cycle of a Sari

To witness Cycle of a Sari is to be transported to another real, another dimension, another spirituality. Onstage at Toronto’s Annex Theatre, this workshop production is a feast for the senses. It’s an examination of the threads, streams and cycles that run through whatever this thing called “life” is.

The Annex Theatre on Bathurst Street is beautiful and the perfect place to mount Cycle of a Sari. It is a small, 150 year old performance space that used to serve as a church. With wooden staircases on either side of the stage and stained glass windows, this venue oozes history and potential. The Cycle Collective takes full advantage of the space and are rewarded with sold out shows.

Continue reading Review: Cycle of a Sari (The Cycle Collective)

Review: Love in the Age of AutoCorrect (Loose Tea Music | Theatre)

A modern take on two classic operas make up Love in the Age of Autocorrect in Toronto’s Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu

I arrived early at Atelier Rosemarie Umetsu at Davenport and Avenue Road in Toronto after a remarkably easy commute from Scarborough. Being a bum, I looked around for dive bars for a cheap pint. FAIL. Out of my natural habitat, but loving it, I was excited to see Loose TEA Music | Theatre’s Love in the Age of Autocorrect.

Constance, my companion for the evening, showed up late. I grilled her in the dark, humid Yorkville air: “So what the hell is an atelier, anyway?”

She said that it is a term that denotes craftsmanship, attention to detail, something special. It means “Come inside. Let’s build something special together.”

Continue reading Review: Love in the Age of AutoCorrect (Loose Tea Music | Theatre)

Review: Love & Human Remains (Witchboy Theatre)

Christopher Hayes and Mark Paci in Love & Human Remains

Love and Human Remains is dark, scandalous, and scintillating, playing at Unit 102 Theatre in Toronto

Dark, dense and more delicious than a 7-layer black forest cake, Love & Human Remains is now onstage at Unit 102 Theatre in Toronto. An amazing collective of artists known as Witchboy Theatre came together to mount this acclaimed play. Written by Canadian Brad Fraser, Love & Human Remains was named one of the top 10 plays of the year by TIME magazine when it debuted in 1989. Missing this particular production would be like missing a weekend at the cottage after a 10-month long Edmonton winter. Continue reading Review: Love & Human Remains (Witchboy Theatre)