Toronto’s Thought for Food re-imagines Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure as a Weimar era cabaret
For Thought for Food’s stylish and passionate, all-female production of Shakespeare‘s Measure for Measure, the Red Sandcastle Theatre has been transformed into a Weimar Republic era cabaret. The ladies—of all ages, shapes and sizes—ply you with offers of song and drink, which they provide, and prime your senses for a tale of corrupt politics and lust. Continue reading Review: Measure for Measure (Thought for Food)
ARC’s Pomona is dark, terrifying, and satisfying theatre, on stage at Toronto’s Geary Lane Theatre
ARC’s North American premiere of Pomona is a dark and exhilarating nightmare that seems tailor-made for me. Everything—every single thing—about this show appeals directly and forcefully to my specific sensibilities.
My experience began as I made my way to the venue: a converted, industrial space called Geary Lane, at the end of a dark and lonely street. (Some of my favourite theatrical experiences have occurred in obscure, out of the way spaces.) Continue reading Review: Pomona (ARC)
Titus Andronicus treats Toronto audiences to a “horrific, ridiculous” take on Shakespearean revenge
At The Citadel, Seven Siblings Theatre has given me my first live experience of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and they have surprised and impressed me. I reread the text (for the first time since my early twenties) in preparation for this production, but I still found myself caught off guard by just how perfectly horrific, ridiculous and occasionally tender this play is. Continue reading Review: Titus Andronicus (Seven Siblings Theatre)
The Toronto Irish Players presents John Patrick Shanley’s generational family drama Outside Mullingar
Up until last night, my only experience of Irish theatre was seeing The Playboy of the Western World at Shaw twenty years ago. I was nineteen then and doubt I fully appreciated John Millington Synge as I remember hardly anything about the play. I am inspired to revisit it, though, because of the Toronto Irish Players‘ quite lovely production of Outside Mullingar, a more contemporary Irish play by John Patrick Shanley, currently playing at Alumnae Theatre. Continue reading Review: Outside Mullingar (Toronto Irish Players)
On stage in Toronto’s Kensington Market is a play ripe with creepy small town horror
Having grown up with both Stephen King and David Lynch, I have a deep affinity for horror stories set in small towns where strange things happen. Tire Swing, presented by Filament Incubator (in association with Epigraph Collective), is a poetic and haunting play about growing up with the shifting and unreliable memory of a traumatic event. Continue reading Review: Tire Swing (Filament Incubator/Epigraph Collective)
Soulpepper presents the comedic meta play Noises Off at the Young Centre in Toronto
“Getting the sardines on, getting the sardines off. That’s farce. That’s the theatre. That’s life!” exclaims an exasperated director to his exhausted, confused and eccentric cast during a desperate, late night dress rehearsal. And so, right then, we get it. Those falling props and slamming doors feel like chaos, but farce only works when all the elements align with precision and focus!
Soulpepper’s production of Michael Frayn’s meta farce, Noises Off, is a well oiled machine. It is also, I am thrilled to report, hilarious and exhilarating. Continue reading Review: Noises Off (Soulpepper)
A surprising production of the Tennessee Williams play is now on stage in Toronto
The Howland Company and 73H Productions have offered up an eerie and atypical production of Tennessee Williams’ classic The Glass Menagerie. If you are already in love with this play like I am, you cannot afford to miss this austere, cool, vibrant production. If you’re not familiar with the text, this is a great introduction; it honours the spirits of desperation and hope that haunt this poetic classic. Continue reading Review: The Glass Menagerie (The Howland Company & 73H Productions)
d’bi.young anitafrika’s Bleeders, currently playing at The Theatre Centre Mainspace as part of the SummerWorks Performance Festival, is fierce and vibrant.
Packed into the lobby, the audience awaits the comfort of seats, but suddenly placards are raised and forceful chanting reverberates through the crowd. We find ourselves in the midst of a protest against the Pickering Nuclear Plant. Continue reading Bleeders (Watah Theatre) 2016 SummerWorks Review
I like plays with ideas; they give my mind something to grapple with in the darkness of a theatre. While I like to think, when I’m at the theatre, I prefer to feel. I find it difficult to invest in characters and situations that are, principally, vessels for lecture and debate. Trompe-La-Mort, or Goriot in the 21st Century, currently playing at the Factory Theatre Studio as part of the SummerWorks Performance Festival, is a dramatization of ideas. Continue reading Trompe-La-Mort, or Goriot in the 21st Century (Live Lobster Theatre) 2016 SummerWorks Review
Clayton Lee’s Duets for Beginners is part of the Live Art series at SummerWorks 2016. Here’s the line that really struck me when I read the description: “His intimate performance offers an antidote to cynicism through quiet moments of reflection and a simple desire to connect.” Continue reading Duets for Beginners (Clayton Lee) 2016 SummerWorks Review