All posts by Jen Norman

Review: William Shakespeare’s Shakespeare (Now I Am Dead Productions)

Intimate, thought-provoking biography of Shakespeare performs in east-end Toronto

After 400-odd years, we have a new Shakespearean play, thanks to Now I Am Dead Productions‘ innovative approach to The Bard’s work. Based on his writings and the (albeit limited) records of his life, this Toronto-based company present a new tragicomedy about the man behind many plays we now call classic.

The Most Humourous and Tragic Tale of William Shakespeare’s Shakespeare is a pseudohistorical drama that strips away the legacy and accolades of the playwright and looks at his life through lenses such as friend, lover, husband and father. In particular, the story is based on his creative process in staging Taming of the Shrew, his courtship of Anne Hathaway, and the deaths of loved ones such as his son Hamnet and his friendly rival Christopher Marlowe.

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Review: The Woods are Dark and Deep (Pulse Theatre)

A story from the dark side of Canada’s past told in a new ensemble-driven historical drama, onstage at Toronto’s Factory Theatre

At a time when our media is flooded with news reports on atrocities, political scandals, and war from our nation’s allies, it is easy to forget that Canada has a grim history of its own. The Woods are Dark and Deep is a reminder of what we must atone for, and how the actions of past generations linger today,

Set during World War I, this new play is based on the seldom-acknowledged internment camps that ran during wartime. Deemed enemies of the state, immigrants from countries Canada was at war against were treated as suspect and interned in labor camps.

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Review: Jersey Boys (Mirvish)

Mirvish brings retro pop to the stage starring Canadian-born talent in this true-enough story of Jersey’s own Four Seasons.

Mirvish plays host to a bit of sweet nostalgic comfort with a limited run of Jersey Boys, performing at the Ed Mirvish theatre for the next two weeks.

This jukebox musical tells the story of the American 1960’s group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, delving into the previously-unknown history of the band members, particularly the scandals that surrounded their personal lives. Each member of the quartet takes a turn narrating events, with each their own version of how things really happened.

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2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Cannibal (Scrap Paper Theatre)

In this new drama by Scrap Paper Theatre, Cannibal is a metaphor — barely. This is a visceral piece that captures the ugly side of fear, loss, and love with surgical precision, and the anesthesia we are given is fleeting. It performs at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, filling a modest studio setup with a staggering cocktail of emotions.

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2019 Next Stage Festival Review: Dinner with the Duchess (The Duchess Collective)

Fame. Power. Sexism. Dinner with the Duchess explores a lot of subject matter that usually doesn’t fly at the dinner table, but it’s delivery is so unflinching that you may not even blink during this 90-minute show. On as part of the 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival, The Duchess Collective presents a thought-provoking and layered story about artistic passion, and its cost.

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