All posts by Rachel Schwartz Fagan

Balance (Pickles Digital Theatre Co.) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Picture of promotional poster for the play BalanceI wasn’t sure what to expect from Christopher Elizabeth Boyd’s Balance, from Pickles Digital Theatre Co. playing at this year’s digital Fringe Festival. What I got was a heartfelt examination of life, mental health, and living within society as Boyd delves into their own anxieties, fears, and memories. Continue reading Balance (Pickles Digital Theatre Co.) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Mirvish)

Picture of Dan'Yelle Williamson and ensemble in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical Donna Summer biopic musical will please long-time fans

***NOTE: The rest of run has been cancelled due to respect social-distancing requests around COVID -19

Donna Summer was a singer, actor, and icon. Called the Queen of the Disco, Summer was loved by millions. However, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, playing at the Princess of Wales Theatre, highlights the fact that Summer did not want that label. She was so much more than the Queen of Disco, and made considerable efforts to break away from disco in her music and as a pop culture icon. Continue reading Review: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Mirvish)

Review: Box 4901 (timeshare performance)

Image of Brian Francis holding a balloon in Box 4901In 1992, Brian Francis, a queer 21-year-old man living in southwestern Ontario, placed a personals ad in the newspaper. He received many responses, including thirteen to which he did not reply. Now, 28 years later, he responds to these letters with hilarity and poignancy in his play Box 4901, directed and co-created by Rob Kempson, playing at Buddies in Bad Times theatre.  Continue reading Review: Box 4901 (timeshare performance)

Review: Ashley with a ‘Y’ (Ashley Botting)

Picture of Ashley Botting in Ashley with a 'Y'

Ashley with a ‘Y,’ is created by Ashley Botting and is the kind of show that is compact enough to have one-night engagements easily. Most recently, it played for one night at the newly-renovated Paradise on Bloor, which now brings in live comedy and music shows along with films. It brings old Hollywood to life – if old Hollywood was having an existential crisis.

Ashley with a ‘Y’ started as a Fringe Festival show in 2018, was voted best comedy show of 2018 by Now Magazine and well-loved by our reviewer. I can see why. Botting, a Second City alum, is hilariously self-deprecating and sweetly debaucherous as she wears a sparkling diamond necklace and croons about hangovers and one night stands.

Continue reading Review: Ashley with a ‘Y’ (Ashley Botting)