All posts by Keira Grant

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)

Review: Barber of Seville (Canadian Opera Company)

Classic Opera Revels in “Fluff and Nonsense,” now on the Toronto stage

Much of the music of The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini, 1816) is familiar to me from the iconic Bugs Bunny sketch “Rabbit of Seville” and constitutes one of my earliest exposures to opera. It is clear when watching Canadian Opera Company’s current production that the rascally rabbit took notes on comedic genius from Rossini and librettist Cesare Sterbini. Two hundred years later, this quintessential opera buffa is still effervescent hilarity. Continue reading Review: Barber of Seville (Canadian Opera Company)

KNOWN (Kemi Comtemporary Dance Projects)

While I have probably been exposed to more theatre and performance art than the average person, I was today years old when I discovered that modern dance clowning was a thing.

KNOWN by Jennifer Dallas merges sophisticated choreography, physical comedy, and Commedia dell’arte character studies into a unique, spirit-lifting performance art experience. Continue reading KNOWN (Kemi Comtemporary Dance Projects)