All posts by Mike Anderson

Mike was that kid who walked into the high school stage crew booth, saw the lighting board, and went ooooooooooooh. Now that he’s (mostly) all grown up, Mike keeps his foot in the door as a community-theatre producer, stage manager and administrator. In the audience, he’s a tremendous sucker for satire and parody, for improvisational and sketch-driven comedy, for farce and pantomime, and for cabaret of all types. His happiest Toronto theatrical memory is (re) Birth: E. E. Cummings in Song.

The House of Bernarda Alba (Randolph Academy) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Top to bottom, left to right: the Company, including Darlene Spencer; Ann-Marie Banski; Amanda Testini; Sophie Mercer; Ana Lia Arias Garrido; Ellie Posadas.Most Fringe shows have two problems: a weak script and a lack of polish. It’s to be expected– the Toronto Fringe Festival is as much about workshopping pieces and developing talent as it is performance–but it’s often disappointing when promising ideas or actors end up stuck in a show that isn’t very well-written or wasted in one with poor execution.

Randolph Academy, by digging out Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, has completely avoided the first problem, and the production (running at the Annex Theatre) gets dangerously, fiendishly close to avoiding the second. Continue reading The House of Bernarda Alba (Randolph Academy) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Life as a Pomegranate (Dawna J. Wightman)

Dawna J. Wightman, as a Pomegranate, from her play "Life as a Pomegranate"

Storytelling, theatre, and one woman’s search for creative fulfillment – all in a Toronto mattress store.

When Dawna J. Wightman steps onto the stage in Life as a Pomegranate (playing at the Essentia by the Beach mattress store, 2180 Queen St. East), you expect her to reach out and shake you. This is a woman bursting with creative and kinetic energy: it seeps from every pore, it leaps out of every pocket, and it all flows directly into her audience. She has a story, you see–and she can’t wait to tell us. Continue reading Review: Life as a Pomegranate (Dawna J. Wightman)