All posts by Jeff Kerr

Jeff was introduced to theatre at a young age, enjoying such shows as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, and Cats. His love for live performance grew through watching various Fringe Festival and SummerWorks shows. Jeff loves the raw reality of theatre performance. He is drawn to the fact that there are no do-overs and there is no screen in between the audience and the performers. Theatre is as live and true as life itself. He maintains a website of his own at jtkwriting.com, that features his own stories and musings about the written word.

Review: Shakespeare In Hollywood (Amicus Productions)

Photo of Kristine MacDonald and Chris Coluluzzi in Shakespeare in Hollywood by Dave FitzpatricA fourth wall breaking twist on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is at the Papermill Theatre in Toronto

Shakespeare In Hollywood, currently at The Papermill Theatre, was a fun night of theatre with misdirection, farce, and folly played to their strengths. I was one of a packed house that seemed to enjoy how Amicus Productions presented Ken Ludwig’s story, as there were smiles and laughs throughout the theatre on Thursday night before, during, and after the performance.

Continue reading Review: Shakespeare In Hollywood (Amicus Productions)

Preview: The 2nd Annual Short Short Play Festival (Social Capital Theatre)

TheShortShortPlayFestivalPoster2016THISONEThe Social Capital Theatre is about to come alive with some of Canada’s best emerging and established talent with The 2nd Annual (ever!) Short Short Play Festival.

The festival runs from April 27th through May 1st, 2016 and is unique in that it features plays that are 20 minutes or less. The diverse lineup is presented as a “tasting menu”, with three plays during each time slot, giving the audience a wide range of characters, genres, and themes all within the span of one viewing.

We had the chance to speak with Melyssa Ade, the Artistic Director of The 2nd Annual Short Short Play Festival. Continue reading Preview: The 2nd Annual Short Short Play Festival (Social Capital Theatre)

Review: We Three (Cue6)

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Cue6’s Intelligent, Current Show Wows

We Three is spectacular. I wanted to get that out of the way before continuing to say any more about the show that is currently playing at the Tarragon Theatre’s Workspace. It is poignant, current, comedic, dramatic, and, spectacular.

The story starts as a reunion of university friends Skye, Jamie, and Blaire after the latter visits Toronto having lived the last two years Calgary. The apartment is mostly clean, and dinner is in the oven when Blaire arrives. Hugs are hugged and smiles shared until Blaire’s new breast implants are introduced.

Continue reading Review: We Three (Cue6)

Review: The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre)

6_The_Crackwalker_-_Featuring_Waawaate_Fobister_-_Photo_Credit_Joseph_Michael_PhotographyThe Crackwalker, now on stage in Toronto, is the definition of a committed performance

Opening night of Judith Thompson’s The Crackwalker, playing at the Factory Theatre, was one of emotion: like every emotion that human beings can feel and some I might have felt for the first time. I laughed, I was shocked, and I was reflective. At some points I wanted to jump on stage and either comfort the characters or cuff them on the back of the head.

Needless to say, I didn’t. However, Theresa, Sandy, Joe, and Alan are characters that are so hopelessly flawed that they can’t be anything other than real. We know these people. They are our friends and our family, and that is why this show is so great. It is rooted in reality and elicited a real, visceral reaction in me.

Continue reading Review: The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre)

Review: A Line in the Sand (Factory Theatre)

4_-_A_Line_In_The_Sand-_Featuring_Morgan_David_Jones_and_Danny_Ghantous_-_Photos_by_Dahlia_KatzToronto’s Factory Theatre presents Guillermo Verdecchia & Marcus Youssef’s play A Line in the Sand

The Factory Theatre’s production of A Line In The Sand is captivating. Playing as part of the “Naked” Winter Seasonette, A Line In The Sand does away with everything except what is most important: the performances.

A Line In The Sand tells the story of the relationship between Mercer, a young Canadian soldier, and Sadiq, a teenage Palestinian boy, from the moment they meet on a beach to the eventual deterioration of their bond under the most horrific circumstances.

Continue reading Review: A Line in the Sand (Factory Theatre)

Review: Blithe Spirit (Mortar & Pestle)

Riley_Anne_Nelson_and_Devin_UphamBlithe Spirit is “a playful night” of theatre on stage in Toronto

The Gerrard Art Space is alive with the ghosts of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit. The show is presented by the newly formed Mortar & Pestle Productions, and was chosen by director Melissa Beveridge “to introduce the company on a playful note.” I enjoyed the opening night performance of this quirky comedy.

This is also the first time the Gerrard Art Space has been used for a theatre presentation. The venue is a small, storefront space that I almost walked by before retracing my steps and walking into the bright room to be greeted by an intimate and eclectic set up. Continue reading Review: Blithe Spirit (Mortar & Pestle)

Preview: The Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

hero_Rhubarb37-860x410Buddies In Bad Times Theatre is gearing up to present the 37th Rhubarb Festival from February 17th to February 28th 2016. The Rhubarb Festival is Canada’s longest running new-works festival, featuring performances from both emerging and established artists in theatre, music, performance dance and art.

Rhubarb has set up multiple nightly performances with experimentation at its core, so that each night is unique and entertaining.

We asked festival director Mel Hague a few questions about what can be expected at this year’s Rhubarb Festival. Continue reading Preview: The Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

Review: Taking Care of Baby (The Care Takers)

Photo of Miranda Calderon by John Gundy

The Care Takers deliver a haunting tale of mental illness, at the Storefront Theatre in Toronto

Taking Care of Baby, playing at The Storefront Theatre, is a haunting, dark, and at points humorous take on the impact of mental illness on a family. Billed as a “fake documentary”, with the overall theme of “truth” at its core, Taking Care of Baby presents us with various characters and various truths, which made for an intriguing Friday night. Continue reading Review: Taking Care of Baby (The Care Takers)

Review: Riding on a Cloud (The Theatre Centre/Progress)

Riding on a Cloud looks at life before and after a tragic event, at the Theatre Centre in Toronto

Riding on a Cloud, playing at The Theatre Centre as part of the Progress Festival, is, simply put, a powerful performance. Writer and Director Rabih Mroué uses cassette recordings, video, and the performance of his brother Yasser Mroué to tell the story of Yasser before and after the accident that took away parts of Yasser’s life. Continue reading Review: Riding on a Cloud (The Theatre Centre/Progress)