All posts by Mira Saraf

Review: The Lawyer Show 2013: 12th Night or What You Will (Nightwood)

lawyer show

Barristers get Bardy with this year’s Lawyer Show at the Berkeley Street Theatre in Toronto

The Lawyer Show is one of my favourite theatre events of the year. Staged annually at Berkeley Street Theatre and produced by Nightwood Theatre, the play features an all-lawyer cast who volunteer their time to rehearse for three months.

This year it was 12th Night Or What You Will. It is a comedy of conflicting desires, comic mix-ups and the usual dose of characters whose primary purpose is simply to create mischief. Continue reading Review: The Lawyer Show 2013: 12th Night or What You Will (Nightwood)

Review: The Rocky Horror Show (Fallen Rock Productions)

Fallen Rock’s production of The Rocky Horror Show is garnering standing ovations at Toronto’s Randolph Theatre

It is difficult to feel sad or melancholy during any performance of the Rocky Horror Show – but Fallen Rock‘s production at the Randolph Theatre went above and beyond all expectations. The show was performed in celebration of Fallen Rock’s 10th anniversary, and in benefit of the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO). Continue reading Review: The Rocky Horror Show (Fallen Rock Productions)

Review: Beyond Bollywood – Ismat Apa Ke Naam (Why Not Theatre)

There’s much more to the Indian art scene than Bollywood and Why Not Theatre intends to let Toronto theatre goers know

Composed of three short stories, written by the late feminist Indian writer Ismat Chughtai, Ismat Apa Ke Naam (by Why Not Theatre) is a blend of a reading and a one-man show. The show was performed at the Regent Parks Arts and Cultural Centre by renowned Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah, his wife Ratna Pathak Shah, and their daughter Heeba Shah. Each performer took us through a different story. The stage and the effects were simple. Lighting is used to convey changes in scene and mood – but generally stay the same within each tale. Continue reading Review: Beyond Bollywood – Ismat Apa Ke Naam (Why Not Theatre)

Review: Apprentice to Murder: You’re Fired (Mysteriously Yours…)

Three courses of murder at Toronto’s Mysteriously Yours… dinner theatre.

If you loved Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Agatha Christie growing up, and/or love The Apprentice, you’ll definitely enjoy Apprentice To Murder: You’re Fired (Mysteriously Yours…) an interactive Mystery Dinner Theatre show based on Celebrity Apprentice.

Located on Yonge street, just north of Davisville, the Mysteriously Yours… evening consists of a three-course meal (which is, by the way, as delicious as the website claims it is). You start with a soup or salad, have a choice of mains and finish with an extremely indulgent dessert. Alcohol is available but not included in the price of your ticket. Continue reading Review: Apprentice to Murder: You’re Fired (Mysteriously Yours…)

Behind The Scenes of Mýthos: A Crimson Chorus

When I arrived at the Buddies in Bad Times theatre for the Mýthos: A Crimson Chorus workshop showcase on Saturday August 25, it was dominated by dim red lighting, smoke that would erupt out of mysterious places, and random bursts of guitar from the rehearsing band.

At about 7:15pm, writer and director, Heather Jopling came onto the stage to welcome us, point out the audience surveys in our programs and to urge us to leave the theatre immediately following the performance as there was another event immediately following the show. Continue reading Behind The Scenes of Mýthos: A Crimson Chorus

Review: Real Life Superhero (Minmar Gaslight Productions)

Toronto theatre that probes: Real Life Superhero will make you ask real life questions.

I must admit I walked into Real Life Superhero (Minmar Gaslight Productions) at the Winchester Street Theatre, thinking it would be a comedy. This is in spite of the blurb on the website that tells you it is about a reporter probing into the life of a superhero after he has been murdered.

I don’t know if it was the poster of a guy with an outfit or just the idea that a regular everyday person would put on a costume and going off into the night to fight crime seems so ridiculous that I made an unconscious assumption that it couldn’t possibly be about anything serious.

Continue reading Review: Real Life Superhero (Minmar Gaslight Productions)

SummerWorks: An Exhibit of Performance Art

You’ve wandered the Luminato art exhibits, drank too many beers at the Fringe Tent, caught free Jazz Fest shows at Nathan Phillips Square, and saw an impressive amount of skin at the Pride Parade. You may be exhausted from ticket websites, show schedules, and plot synopses, but there is at least one more performance-driven festival that is worth checking out.

SummerWorks is more like an exhibit than a series of shows – one that is dynamic and driven, and asks questions about the what constitutes performance and its nature. “The work is often very challenging; questioning contemporary systems of thinking,” says SummerWorks‘ Artistic Producer, Michael Rubenfeld. “So while it’s always very strong, entertaining, and exciting, it’s also very socio-political.”

Continue reading SummerWorks: An Exhibit of Performance Art

Review: Troilus & Cressida (UC Follies)

Troilus & Cressida pours out its soul in front of the Hart House Theatre.

There are few things that sound more romantically summertime than watching theatre in a park. So when I got the opportunity to see Troilus & Cressida (UC Follies) in front of the Hart House Theatre, I jumped on the chance.

It is an ambitious play to tackle, as the mood manic-depressively swings between comedy and tragedy and history (its known as one of Shakespeare’s problem plays). It follows the dispute between the Greeks (led by Agamemnon) and the Trojan’s over the theft of what we commonly know as the Face that Launched a Thousand Ships, Helen of Troy. Continue reading Review: Troilus & Cressida (UC Follies)

Review: The Memory in the Mud (Words in Motion)

Take a walk on history’s theatrical side with Words in Motion at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks.

Memory in the Mud (Words in Motion) is a blend of narrative, tour, history, and geology lesson. This walking performance takes audience members through parts of the environmentally-focused community centre, Evergreen Brickworks.

Even if you don’t have a car, it is a short but bumpy shuttle ride (free of charge) from Broadview Station, with a few other TTC buses stopping nearby. Plan your timing carefully and you won’t be stuck in the sun too long. Continue reading Review: The Memory in the Mud (Words in Motion)

Behind The Scenes of Temple of Khaos 2012 Toronto Fringe Feature


It was the first Saturday afternoon of Toronto Fringe 2012, when we spot one of the cast members of Temple of Khaos (Daniel Nimmo), Amy J. Lester, at the Fringe club we waved her down and told her how much we loved her show.

Lester is bubbly and energetic, and very excited to speak to us about the show. She immediately phones her castmate Daniel Nimmo to come down for an interview. Nimmo is more somber, but not without a striking intensity, which makes for an interesting dynamic. Continue reading Behind The Scenes of Temple of Khaos 2012 Toronto Fringe Feature