A much-needed wake-up call on the realities of Black existence
The Negroes are Congregating opens with a sermon and ends with a dialogue. In between, the three-person cast uses a series of sketches to say all the things Black folks do not usually say in front of folks who aren’t Black.
Musical about Motherhood Holds Nothing Back, Now on the Toronto Stage
Seven and a half years ago my life changed forever when we welcomed our son into the world and I entered the world of Motherhood. Many of those changes have been wonderful, others less so. Some of the changes have been stickier than I thought possible. Motherhood: The Musical, currently playing at Lower Ossington Theatre, takes the institution of motherhood to the stage with no holds barred: the good, the bad, and the messy. Continue reading Review: Motherhood: The Musical (Lower Ossington Theatre)
The tragically brief life and career of virtuoso cellist Jacqueline Du Pré is a source of great interest for contemporary historians and classical music aficionados. Du Pré’s was forced to end her internationally acclaimed performing career at age 28 when worsening multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms made it impossible for her to play. Despite the brevity of her career, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time. Continue reading Review: Jacqueline (Tapestry Opera)
Stakes aren’t high enough in this modern take of Hansel and Gretel
I was curious as to how setting Hansel and Gretel set in 21st century Toronto, as opposed to the forests of 19th century Bavaria, would change the well-known Grimm brothers fairytale. The themes concerning food insecurity and parents struggling with poverty and addiction are certainly as timely here and now as they have always been.
Directing for Canadian Opera Company, Joel Ivany interprets the story with his signature outside-the-box creativity and makes impressive use of projection to create sets. However, in the interest of making the story more relatable to modern audiences, some of the dramatic tension that has made the fable compelling for centuries is sacrificed. Continue reading Review: Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company)