All posts by Lin Young

Lin Young is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Queen’s University by day, an insatiable theatre-goer by night. She truly loves seeing innovative indie theatre, the strange sort of hole-in-the-wall shows that big companies would never take a risk on. She’s seen plays in basements, gardens, bars, and in old dilapidated houses, to name a few. She’s always on the lookout for the next theatrical experiment in the city, and loves seeing shows that have some quality of fantasy, historicity, or strangeness to them – especially if they involve puppets! She tweets about theatre, comics and the 19th century at @linkeepsitreal.

Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Mirvish)

Phantom of the Opera castPhantom of the Opera Brings Opulence and Gothic Romance to the Toronto Stage.

One of the longest-running musicals of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, based on the novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, tells the story of a disfigured musical genius (Derrick Davis) living beneath the Paris Opera.

The Phantom, as he’s called by the opera’s artists and stagehands, is a controlling, sinister presence at the opera, where he frequently wreaks havoc. The Phantom also acts as both teacher and would-be lover to Christine (Emma Grimsley), the opera’s young new musical talent, who the Phantom considers the only appropriate vessel for his musical genius. Complicating matters is Christine’s childhood friend, Raoul (Jordan Craig), who also professes to love her. Along the way, there are a few murders, a love triangle, and a whole lot of stupidly-talented vocalists singing the roof off. Continue reading Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Mirvish)

Review: CATS (Mirvish)

Three performers from CATSCATS brings new choreography to the Princess of Wales in Toronto

This year, with a feature film adaptation on the horizon, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS has become the subject of renewed public interest. Or perhaps, considering the fact that the stage show has always been popular (it’s one of the longest-running musicals of all time on both Broadway and the West End, and has frequently been revived), maybe it’s more accurate to say that new audiences have been discovering CATS (which is now, coincidentally, playing until January at the Princess of Wales theatre).

The truth is that CATS has always been a strange, esoteric, oft-poetic but frequently abstract affair, and that the new film (with its infamous trailers) are likely only magnifying what theatre-goers have known for a long time: CATS is weird. CATS is often impossible to describe, especially to those resistant to musicals in the first place. But CATS, by the same token, has always commanded large audiences, and has a unique appeal that is as mysterious and mercurial as its subject matter. Continue reading Review: CATS (Mirvish)

July 11 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

image saying daily raves

Week two of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival is upon us, and we’re counting up our rave reviews from our hard-won list of 149 reviews of the entire (review-eligible) festival! Plenty of those shows have been marked as RAVES by our reviewers, and we’re here today to highlight a few more of them!

What’s a rave, you might ask? Simply put: our reviewer loved it. Sometimes a rave is ‘I’d see that a second, third, fourth time’; sometimes a rave is ‘I’m STILL thinking about this show days later’; sometimes it’s as simple as ‘I had a really fabulous time at this show.’

Really, it’s all subjective, because theatre is subjective. These raves caught our reviewers’ attention, though–perhaps they’ll snag yours as well?

Continue reading July 11 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain

A Pretentious Comedy About Backstage Drama

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain is a story about the true indie theatre experience: taking yourself too seriously. It’s a pretentious story about being pretentious. A deep dive into shallow waters. A feminist perspective written by a man. The Ashes of Forgotten Rain is a fast-paced, hard-hitting comedy for anyone who loves the theatre and is willing to laugh at themselves for it.

Norman Hussey, co-founder of Missed Metaphor Productions, wrote The Ashes of Forgotten Rain as a reaction to his own experiences in the indie theatre world. He takes the piss out of theatre while showcasing his love for it. Missed Metaphor Productions is a company made up of theatregoers, writers, directors, artists, performers, and crew who seek to create and produce original Canadian theatre.

Featuring Jennifer Fahy (InspiraTO 2018 blueShow award winner, People’s Choice award winner), Laura Mannion, Christine Cortes, Cam Parkes, and Katie Scharf (Sesame Street, 28 days, Transport Group, Drama Desk award nominee).

If you’ve had your fill of dense, heavy-handed sociopolitical commentary then come see this show and let The Ashes of Forgotten Rainbe your palate cleanser.

Missed Metaphor Productions

in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents

The Ashes of Forgotten Rain

Written and directed by Norman Hussey

Starring Jennifer Fahy, Laura Mannion, Christine Cortes, Cam Parkes, and Katie Scharf

Stage managed by Skye Ashby


Friday, July 5th at 4:00pm

Sunday, July 7th, at 4:30pm

Tuesday, July 9th at 10:15pm

Wednesday, July 10th at 3:45pm

Thursday, July 11th at 5:00pm

Saturday, July 13th at 7:30pm

Sunday, July 14th at 12:00pm


The Knitting Pilgrim – Toronto Fringe 2019 Press Release

From Press Release:

Directed by Jennifer Tarver and performed by actor, writer and knitter Kirk Dunn, The Knitting Pilgrim is a multidisciplinary one-person theatrical experience that uses storytelling, image projection and a one-of-a-kind textile installation called Stitched Glass. The show, which premiered at the Aga Khan Museum’s Auditorium in May, 2019, comes to the Toronto Fringe Festival, performing 10 shows at Bloor Street United Church, Toronto, between July 3-14, 2019, and continues its tour around Ontario thereafter. It tells a story of a journey that you need to experience.

Created by actor, writer and knitter Kirk DunnStitched Glass is a triptych of large hand-knitted tapestries, designed in the style of stained-glass windows, which looks at the commonalities and conflicts amongst the Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The textile masterwork was supported by a Chalmers Foundation grant through the Ontario Arts Council in 2003, and took Kirk 15 years to complete. There is no other knitting project like it in the world.

Kirk and seasoned writer Claire Ross Dunn co-wrote The Knitting Pilgrim, which uses the Stitched Glass tapestries – over 90 pounds of knitting – as its set. The play recounts Kirk’s artistic and spiritual journey of hand-knitting the giant project, and his hope to contribute to the vital conversation about xenophobia, dealing with internal and external strife, and fear of the other.

“The hope behind Stitched Glass has always been to create conversation,” says Kirk, who sought out Christian, Muslim and Jewish consultants to help him research and design the artwork and, more personally, to learn about the feelings and experiences of others. “A conversation between all people – believers and non-believers – who find themselves in conflict. How can we better understand and empathize with each other? Everyone has a unique background, point of view, and experience, and at the same time, many experiences are universal. Focusing on what knits us together, rather than what pulls us apart, is a place to start.”

Kirk Dunn’s stage credits include Billy Bishop Goes to War (Ergo Arts Theatre, Carousel); Merlin and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (YPT); Dads! The Musical (Charlottetown, Stirling, Drayton); Romeo and Juliet (Ford Centre); More Munsch (The Grand); The War Show, A Flea in Her Ear, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and The Affections of May (Drayton). Kirk has been knitting since 1988, and designing since 1995. In 1998, he apprenticed with Kaffe Fassett in England and has since been covered in The Toronto Star, Vogue Knitting, Family Circle Knitting, Maclean’s Magazine, the National Post and CBC Radio. Filmmakers Ian Daffern and Omar Majeed are making a documentary about Kirk and his work. 

Director Jennifer Tarver, most recently Artistic Director of Necessary Angel Theatre Company between 2013 and 2019, has directed for Soulpepper Theatre, The Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage Company, Nightwood Theatre, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. During five seasons at Stratford, her work included Waiting For Godot, The Homecoming, Krapp’s Last Tape, Zastrozzi and King of Thieves. Jennifer’s recent work in the US includes Krapp’s Last Tape in Chicago, and Hedda Gabler in Connecticut. Jennifer was also Associate Director at The Theatre Centre in Toronto from 2004-2012.

The Knitting Pilgrim was workshopped by Ergo Arts Theatre in 2018. Established in 1992 by Artistic Director Anna Pappas, Ergo Arts Theatre strives to promote creative thought, innovative expression and empathy through the performing arts. Its goal is to make the art of theatre accessible to all – to be a part of a collective artistic experience that enhances the way people think, live and communicate.

During the Toronto Fringe, the play will be seen at Bloor Street United Church, Toronto (times/dates below). The show is touring Ontario, with 40+ stops at The Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa Fringe Festivals, many places of faith, Theatre Kingston, and Blyth Festival. Knitting is encouraged during the show if audience members are so inclined (#BYOK) – with Kirk planning to use the audience’s knitting in a forthcoming mystery project.

Stitched Glass was supported by the Ontario Arts Council through the Chalmers Foundation. The Knitting Pilgrim was supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

For further information: www.ergoartstheatre.comwww.kirkdunn.comThe Knitting Pilgrim Facebook page.

Note: ASL performance during Toronto Fringe is July 9 at 7pm.