All posts by Keira Grant

Review: The Negroes are Congregating (Piece of Mine Arts Production/Theatre Passe Muraille)

photo of a man and a woman facing each other - we see the man's face, and the profile of the woman - Photo of Christopher Bautista and Uche Ama in The Negroes are Congregating provided by Sean Dean Brown

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.

Continue reading Review: The Negroes are Congregating (Piece of Mine Arts Production/Theatre Passe Muraille)

Review: Motherhood: The Musical (Lower Ossington Theatre)

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)

Review: Jacqueline (Tapestry Opera)

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)

Review: Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company)

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)

Review: bug (Manidoons Collective)

Photo of profile of a woman covering her face with both her hands, her long hair in a braid which stands straight up Yolanda Bonnell in bugbug is ” one of the most important works of theatre you can see right now.”

bug’s poetic exploration of intergenerational trauma, the oppressive tactics utilized by the settler colonialist state we call Canada, and internalized colonization could not be more timely.

bug pulls back the curtain on the falsehood of reconciliation using storytelling and movement, bringing everything we’ve seen in the news and the history books into the heart and gut. I felt a visceral and powerful connection with the performer and the audience throughout the performance. Continue reading Review: bug (Manidoons Collective)