All posts by Katee Reid

PLAYLISTINGS IN TORONTO FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 27TH

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of August 27th, 2018

Live theatre in Toronto for the week of August 27 2018. With summer beginning to wind down, it’s time to make the most of the remaining season by catching one of the stellar shows performing around the city! Our editor Samantha is here with her picks in red to help you get started.

Continue reading PLAYLISTINGS IN TORONTO FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 27TH

THE TIES THAT BIND AND GAG – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

Picture your most memorable family road trip. Maybe it was on vacation. Maybe you were lost. Maybe it was a drive to a family gathering. Maybe you felt squished, put-upon and torn between love for those around you and the desire to be far away. Maybe you’re cringing right now at the thought. The Ties That Bind and Gag brings familial angst and mutual torment to the stage, brought to life and made fresh with a bracing sense of humour and the darkly absurd.

Three generations of a tight-knit family cram into a rental car to drive to a funeral. Neuroses collide, emotions run high, grievances are aired and over-shared, traffic laws are broken.

Buckle up and spend some claustrophobic quality time on a guilt-trip road trip with your nearest and dearest – the people you love and can’t stand or just can’t understand. The ensuing drama’s funny because it’s true and hilarious because it’s heartbreaking.

The play marks the Fringe debut for sister duo Juliet Paperny and Anna Mehler Paperny, with a cast of theatrical veterans and new faces. Juliet’s work at LaRue Entertainment has included Filth City and the award-winning The Amazing Gayl Pile. Juliet’s directorial experience includes “Trying” at Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival, as well as “The Tempest” and “Madness Machine” at Players’ Theatre in Montreal. Anna is an award-winning investigative journalist who has worked at The Globe and Mail and Global News and is now a reporter at Reuters. Both grew up in love with the stage and are thrilled at the chance to make theatrical trouble.

Everyone’s been there but nobody says it: Sometimes you dislike the people you love. You wrestle with intergenerational differences, with boatloads of guilt amid unspoken (or shouted) obligation. In a hyper-polarized world, what happens when we attempt frank conversations with the people we know intimately, with the baggage we’d rather forget? What happens if you tell your grandmother she’s racist? The Ties That Bind and Gag is here to tackle, with urgency and humour, all the ways family drives you mad. It’s a quintessential Fringe play – energetic and button-pushing – and a must-watch for anyone with anyone in their lives who they need, but need space from. It’s for anyone who’s ever had a family.

Details

  • The Ties that Bind and Gag plays at the Factory Theatre Studio. (125 Bathurst St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warning: Mature language.
  • The Fringe Festival considers this venue to be wheelchair-accessible.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 1:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 9:30 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 11:15 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 3:45 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 8:00 pm

CIRCUS SHOP OF HORRORS – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

CIRCUS SHOP OF HORRORS follows one ill-fated woman’s dangerous journey, navigating her way through classic moments of beloved iconic horror films retold in the present day. Fusing together an amazing variety of circus artistry with the grotesque, comedy, drag and gore, this innovative show promises to be a spectacular visual mash-up at the Toronto Fringe Festival!

The ensemble is primarily LGBTQ+, featuring creative content such as dance, aerials, illusions, and combat sequences. The production team is entirely made up of phenomenal women (still to this day a rarity in Canadian theatre). Director/Writer/Producer Justine Cargo(Tough Jews, 6-time Dora nominee; Romeo & Juliet Chainsaw Massacre, Best Of Fringe 2016), Lighting Designer Sarah Mansikka (Stratford Festival, Vancouver Opera), and Co-Producers Kelly Taylor & Melanie Pyne combine their unique specialties to bring Fringe audiences this exciting, ambitious revue! Circus Shop of Horrors is presented by Second Star Productions and sponsored by The Social Capital Theatre (NOW Magazine Best Comedy Venue 2017 Nominee).

Details

  • Circus Shop of Horrors plays at the Annex Theatre. (736 Bathurst St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warning: Realistic violence or gore.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route which requires a staff escort. Check in at the box office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 5:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 11:00 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 2:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 7:00 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 12:00 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 9:15 pm

Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman, Queer Clown Sex-Ed Show – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

MAXIMALISTE PRODUCTIONS presents Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman Queer Clown Sex-Ed Show*. Two-time Montreal Spirit of Fringe Award Winner (2016/2017), Montreal’s Best Kisser (2015), and Certified Sexpert Fiona Ross stars as Ms. Beatrice Haven. Have no fear, Ms. Beatrice is here (and knows an average amount about sex, but frankly, finds it quite mystifying). But it’s okay, she has her experiences…and is a certified teacher…and knows how to fake it…but what the junk is a dental dam? Watch as she struggles to navigate sexual education, sexuality, and the mysteries of pleasure. Hopefully you’ll learn something along the way.

Details

  • Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman, Queer Clown Sex-Ed Shows plays at the KINK Boutique. (975 Bloor St. W.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Sexual content; Audience participation; Unconventional venue.
  • The Fringe Festival considers this venue to be wheelchair-accessible.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 4th, 9:30 pm
  • Thursday July 5th, 9:30 pm
  • Friday July 6th, 9:30 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 9:30 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 9:30 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 9:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 9:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 9:30 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 9:30 pm
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The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

The Story of one woman’s quest to find the Love and Penis of her Dreams. A phallic journey both Humorous and Dark. A cheeky title, but ultimately a love story, learning to love one’s self while navigating the difficulties of life and relationships.

Details

  • The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story plays at the Robert Gill Theatre. (214 College St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Sexual content; Mature language; Unsuitable for minors.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through usage of a painfully slow elevator. We recommend making sure you arrive a few minutes early.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 5:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 9:15 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 9:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 3:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 1:00 pm

4’33” in Baghdad – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

Following a staggering success at the 2018 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival where they took home the Runner-up Prize for the MainLine Creativity Award, Thought Experiment Productions’ Ülfet Sevdi and Nicolas Royer-Artuso look forward to pleasantly puzzling Toronto audiences with 4’33” IN BAGHDAD, a subtle scholarly striptease disguised as saucy TED Talk style stand-up comedy.

Theoretically grounded, conceptual and experimental, the performance cleverly couples themes of war, invasion, imperialism and academic research with avant-garde art theory, sound art and imposed sound installations (though, not necessarily in that order!)

Following its updated incarnation as a 40-minute multidisciplinary performance that debuted to great acclaim this past June at the Montreal Fringe Festival, 4’33” IN BAGHDAD is now set to entice (and entrap!) Toronto audiences ahead of its publication in the Canadian Theatre Review.

Details

  • 4’33” in Baghdad plays at the Factory Theatre Mainspace. (125 Bathurst St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warning: Gunshots.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 3:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 10:30 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 1:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 9:45 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 5:45 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 3:30 pm

First Dates – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release: 

First Dates ​is about the humour and heartache inherent in the search for connection.

Different couples. Different generations. Different results.

Beautifully penned by Wes Berger, ​First Dates ​shares ​honest, playful and moving stories about the broken-hearted many, the open-hearted few and our search for connection in these fragile times. The play features an ​amazing cast of actors and production team from the theatre community.

All of us search for connection and companionship; we yearn to love and be loved. We search for it, find it and lose it. Everyone has stories to share. Stories about the blunders, triumphs and awkward moments of dating, relationships and everything in between. ​First Dates ​features characters of different sexual orientations, different generations and different experiences navigating love and relationships. ​First Dates ​is honest, relatable, funny and moving.

Carefully seeded throughout the play are intimate and hopeful songs written and performed by ​Aaron Berger ​brother to Wes and winner of a Niagara Music Award forBest Original Songwriter.

We hope you’ll come on a ​first date​ with us!

Details

  • First Dates plays at the St. Vladimir Institute. (620 Spadina Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Nudity.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. After the building’s business hours, a staff member will need to escort you through this route, so plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early for evening shows.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 3:15 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 9:15 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 1:00 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 7:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 11:00 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 3:30 pm

 

ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL: IN REHEARSAL – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory defined an era and launched a movement in many art disciplines — film, visual art, theatre, music, dance, life in general. ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL explores the ethos of the Silver Factory and the people who created that scene.

Based on verbatim quotes — sourced from media interviews, documentaries, journals and other materials — ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL gives us the wild collection of beauties, talkers, artists, poets, musicians, dancers, philosophers, models, drag queens, socialites and amphetamine takers who were at the Silver Factory.

Among the real-life people whose actual words tell the show’s stories are:
• Billy Linich, a loyal and loving friend to Warhol;
• Gerard Malanga, Warhol’s assistant in silk-screening who also created the dances in front of the Velvet Underground along with Mary Woronov;
• Ondine, a friend of Billy’s and the star of many Warhol films;
• Brigid Berlin, a longtime friend of Warhol and an artist in her own right;
• the female superstars – Baby Jane Holzer, Edie Sedgwick, Ultra-Violet, Viva and Nico;
• the drag queens – Candy Darling, Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis;
• Freddie Herko, a brilliant dancer and the first drug casualty in the group;
• an assortment of art curators, patrons, biographers, and other celebrities who frequented the Silver Factory.

ANDY WARHOL MUSICAL is written and directed by Vinetta Strombergs, whose previous Fringe show, THE MUSICAL OF MUSICALS THE MUSICAL was a sell-out hit at the 2013 Fringe Toronto and then transferred for a commercial run at the Panasonic Theatre. Her immersive production of STUPID FUCKING BIRD was a critical success and popular hit at a pop-up venue on King Street West.

The songs and music are by Robert Swerdlow and come from his seminal early 1970s musical JUSTINE, which was performed at the Global Village, a warehouse space in Toronto very much in the style of the Silver Factory in New York. That musical was renamed LOVE ME, LOVE MY CHILDREN and transferred to New York, where it had a very successful Obie-Award-winning Off-Broadway run, starring Salome Bey. The songs and music are from this earlier musical and have been further developed, with new arrangements by Peter Nunn, a member of the group Honeymoon Suite. The choreography is by accomplished musical theatre director, choreographer and performer Gino Berti. The set design and projections are by the dean of Canadian theatre designers, Jim Plaxton.

Details

  • Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehersal plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. (16 Ryerson Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Sexual content; Gunshots.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in the very front row.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 4th, 7:00 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 5:45 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 12:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 6:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 11:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 1:45 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 9:15 pm

Grade 8 – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release:

Going back to her thirteenth year for inspiration, performer Lara MacMillan presents her storied concert Grade 8 at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. She is one of the site specific (BYOV) offerings at this year’s Fringe and has chosen to mount the show in a classroom studio at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw St.). The building was formerly Givins-Shaw Elementary School and where MacMillan taught grade eight music twenty years ago. “I’m really looking forward to performing the show in a school classroom which is similar to the school I attended as a grade eight student,” says MacMillan. “And, it provides an extra level of meaning for me that it will take place in a school where I taught music for two years.”

A singer-songwriter with two full length CDs to her credit Miss Mercury (2008) and Lara MacMillan (2013)), Lara has been experimenting with storytelling in a more theatrical/ cabaret way for a number of years. She started with a straight up tribute show Lara Loves Leonard – a Cohen Cabaret where she performed a selection of his songs and poems. Then came Lara Loves Lennon and Lara Loves Lightfoot”When I did the Lennon show I shared some of my personal stories between his songs and poetic writings and after the show a good friend said “You should do more of that” and I thought…. yes! That’s what I want to do, connect personal story and public song.” For years fans of her original music shows enjoyed the patter from the stage as much as the songs themselves.

She tried with middling success to bring a long story arc to Lara Loves Lightfoot “I was trying to do two things in one show,” she says. “It was a tribute show on the one hand and on the other: stories from my nineteenth year living in Banff. As much as I love Lightfoot’s music it wasn’t what I was listening to that year, so there was a disconnect for me.” Grade 8, which MacMillan has already performed at the Stratford SpringWorks Festival and London Fringe, ends up being a different kind of tribute show, one that celebrates a year (1980-81). MacMillan calls the form a storied concert and loves how it has come to life. “Really it’s a one-woman-show-juke-box-musical and were talking 1980 radio-play so the music is SO much fun.”

When MacMillan started pulling stories together for Grade 8 she found that the central theme was the friendship she had had with one of her classmates, Sean. “There came a point when I realized that my show was his story as much as it was mine and I had to reach out to him to ask for his blessing.” The two had been connected on social media but had not seen each other in over thirty years. “I sent him the synopsis and held my breath,” she laughs. I really didn’t know what I would do if he said “Hell no!” – I guess I’d have had to re-write it.” Turns out Sean not only gave his blessing but travelled from Windsor to Stratford with his family for the show. “That was magic,” says Lara. “And a little emotional for all.”

What is the main take away for MacMillan now that the show is up on it’s feet? “It’s great to spend an hour with the thirteen-year-old me,” she says. She was a hell of a kid.”

Details

  • Grade Eight plays at Artscape Youngplace. (180 Shaw St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • The Fringe Festival considers this venue to be wheelchair-accessible.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Saturday July 7th, 8:00 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 2:00 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 8:00 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 7:00 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 8:00 pm