All posts by Jeremy Gardiner

Review: Wolf Sounds (Peanut Butter People)

Wolf Sounds Cast Photo

Wolf Sounds, a play by Toronto’s Peanut Butter People, is an invitation to a sacred space; Check It Out!

Wolf Sounds, the play currently being produced by Peanut Butter People at The Box, is a complex, engaging, and ultimately incredibly rewarding exploration of human connection, sexual desire, and loneliness produced by a collective of talented young people with special needs.

The play explores these themes through a series of artistic impressions that suggest a story, rather than through story arcs. Each scene, vignette, and dance explores a particular aspect of one these themes or a particular experienced emotion, as the artists guide the audience from an experience of being disconnected to an experience of being hyper-connected.

In a typical performance art style, Wolf Sounds defies theatrical conventions and uses the stage they’ve been given in surprising and fascinating ways. What makes Wolf Sounds so astounding is that it also defies mainstream narratives for people with special needs and invites us to view the experiences of these characters that are rounded, vulnerable, and real. Continue reading Review: Wolf Sounds (Peanut Butter People)

No One Needs to Know Shania (Lady Grey Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

No One Needs to Know Shania

To truly enjoy No One Needs to Know Shania put on by Lady Grey Productions for the Toronto Fringe Festival, I’d suggest you show up to The Monarch Tavern a little bit early, have a few beers, and then watch the magic of the Shania Twain biopic unfold through one excellent cover-band concert.

Continue reading No One Needs to Know Shania (Lady Grey Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Emerald City: A Musical Play (Baby Gumm Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Emerald City: A Musical Play

Despite the best efforts of the actors involved, Emerald City: A Musical Play — put on by Baby Gumm Productions as a part of the Toronto Fringe Festival — is a disappointing execution of a somewhat exciting premise.

When Dorothy returns to Oz, she and her friends find that the solutions for their problems with their brains, heart, and courage, as suggested by the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, only solved their problems temporarily. As a result, they go together to get group therapy from Dr. Oz. But mostly, they just sing through their problems to the tunes of some public domain music.

Continue reading Emerald City: A Musical Play (Baby Gumm Productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

The Devil’s Circus (The Wishes Mystical Theatre Company) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

The Devil's Circus

The Wishes Mystical Theatre Company production of The Devil’s Circus at the Toronto Fringe Festival is an endearing love story with spectacle to spare. The hour-long puppet show is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, blended with the Christian story of The Fall of Man, and set in a circus. In this fractured fairy tale, Orpheus the tightrope walker drops Eurydice to her death, where she meets and falls in love with the devil.

Continue reading The Devil’s Circus (The Wishes Mystical Theatre Company) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Viva Cabaret – A Tribute to the Greatest Divas (Rivoli)

The Rivoli’s Viva Cabaret takes the stage and Kicks Off Toronto’s WorldPride In Campy Style

Viva Cabaret, performed by Yury Ruzhyev at The Rivoli on July 25 and 26, was an absolutely delightful cabaret drag show and the perfect way to kick off Pride weekend a day early. Ruzhyev performs numbers from a dozen of pop music’s greatest Divas with great accuracy and rapidity, making for a night of madcap comedy.

The show itself combines two good-time events: a drag show and a cabaret. Both encourage audience participation and both rely on strong, fun, energetic performances to be great. Ruzhyev takes advantage of these art forms to create a highly energetic, highly engaging show.

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Review: Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up (Cue6)

The dynamics of fan culture are explored with great performances in this Toronto indie theatre production

The Cue6 production of Kate and Sam Are Not Breaking Up is an excellent production of an underwhelming play. The stellar cast and creative team are deeply underserved by Joel Kim Booster’s unbalanced and unfortunately familiar script.

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