All posts by Jennifer McKinley

Review: The Girl In The Picture Tries To Hang Up The Phone (Optic Heart Theatre)

This moving solo performance honoring an ailing parent is playing at Toronto’s Videofag

The Girl In The Picture Tries To Hang Up The PhoneThe Girl In The Picture Tries To Hang Up The Phone is a solo show written and performed by Hume Baugh at Videofag. It is the journey Baugh takes to celebrate his mother’s life, to understand who she was and to heal from the pain of losing her.

The performance begins with Baugh presenting a photo projection. It’s a black-and-white shot of a group of people mid-action while a young girl looks into the camera. This is the performer’s mother. Baugh then calls for a sound cue. It is the muffled sound of of somebody fumbling to hang up an analogue phone. These two cues, Baugh explains, represent the poles of life. Continue reading Review: The Girl In The Picture Tries To Hang Up The Phone (Optic Heart Theatre)

Review: The Session (Things Falling Apart Theatre Company)

The Session is an emotional rollercoaster of street life, sex work and salvation at Toronto’s Red Sandcastle Theatre

The SessionThe Session is Things Falling Apart Theatre Company’s inaugural production and it’s playing this week at Red Sandcastle Theatre.

The Session tells the story of a young woman named Leslie-Haydn Burke who undergoes a psychiatric assessment and discloses the story of her life. She discusses her upbringing, leaving home at an early age, living on the streets and getting by on sex work, meeting and falling in love with a man who keeps her off the street, and the crime she commits that leads to her incarceration. Continue reading Review: The Session (Things Falling Apart Theatre Company)

Review: The Brady Project (Heidi Mole Productions)


Heidi Mole’s The Brady Project is a hilarious comparison between her life and the beloved TV series, playing at Toronto’s Flying Beaver Pubaret

I’m not exactly sure what to call The Brady Project – it’s part Power Point presentation, part Trampoline Hall lecture and all fun.

Heidi Mole steps on the tiny stage at the Flying Beaver Pubaret dressed in a green cardigan and high, thick-collared button-up shirt, choices totally characteristic of the Brady Bunch‘s era.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Brady Bunch, America’s most beloved blended TV family from the 1970s, Heidi Mole wastes no time introducing them to the audience by playing the iconic theme song. Continue reading Review: The Brady Project (Heidi Mole Productions)

Review: The Glass Cage (Snowdrop Productions)

The Glass Cage is a family feud filled story playing at Toronto’s Alumnae’s Studio Theatre

glass-cageThe Glass Cage is set in a sitting room in 1906 Toronto and it’s fitting that it is being performed in Alumnae’s Studio Theatre, Edwardian in design. The Glass Cage takes place over an evening when three young siblings of mixed indigenous and Scottish heritage visit their wealthy family’s home to wreak havoc and claim their birthright.

Douglas, Angus and Jean McBane are not initially clear about what they want from their deceased father’s family but a deed and transfer seem to be top priority for everyone.

Family tensions play out. Old slights, past greed and deception come to light. Race and class tensions lurk below the surface. Continue reading Review: The Glass Cage (Snowdrop Productions)

Enough Rope (Enough Rope Collective) 2013 SummerWorks Review

Enough Rope

Enough Rope wins the prize for the most perplexing show I’ve reviewed for SummerWorks this year. It is a performance that delves into the struggle of the artist and I thought it fitting that I should invite my friend Ilene, a conceptual portrait painter.

The Lower Ossington Theatre Studio stage is transformed into what I understood to be a circus space. Ilene read it as more of a Southern cave cult. We were the last to sit and found a spot on cushioned burlap sacks on the hay-covered floor.

The entire show is divided loosely into four parts: “The Bound Man”, “Josephine The Singer”, “The Hunger Artist” and “The Metamorphosis”. Each segment is physical, dynamic, immediate and immersive. Continue reading Enough Rope (Enough Rope Collective) 2013 SummerWorks Review