All posts by Rachel Schwartz Fagan

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)

Review: Legally Blonde: The Musical (Hart House)

Picture of Emma Sangalli and ensemble in Legally Blonde: The Musical

Legally Blonde: The Musical is a delight

With sparkling pink enthusiasm, Legally Blonde: The Musical brings all the feminism and glitter of the original film and novel to the stage for Hart House Theatre’s 100th anniversary season. A wonderful homage to the original, this production addresses issues of sexual harassment, academic exclusivity, and touches (very, very lightly) on class differences. Continue reading Review: Legally Blonde: The Musical (Hart House)

Review: They’re Listening (Echo Productions)

They’re Listening is an “energetic romp through a virtual reality-scape”

Picture of Adrian Yearwood and Cora Matheson in They're ListeningThey’re Listening is a quirky science fiction production from indie Toronto-based theatre company Echo Productions. It’s currently playing at The Collective Space, a community performance, event, and workshop venue. (Be warned, the entrance to the venue is around the back of the building and easy to miss).

Echo Productions’s goal is to produce socially relevant works for the Millenial generation and for audiences who wouldn’t normally view theatre. And They’re Listening is just that. The play is set in a post-apocalyptic world with action sequences modeled like video game adventures. Leveling up, health bars, and other video game features are projected onto the back wall of the stage. Continue reading Review: They’re Listening (Echo Productions)

Review: Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera (Opéra Concept MP)

Photo of actors in Another Brick in the Wall: The OperaOpéra Concept MP brings Another Brick in the Wall to Meridian Hall

As a Pink Floyd fan and an opera novice, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera, produced by Opéra Concept MP and playing at Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre). This performance is adapted from the 1979 rock operaThe Wall” (and the movie of the same name), conceived and written by Pink Floyd’s bassist Roger Waters.

Continue reading Review: Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera (Opéra Concept MP)

Review: Let’s Run Away (Canadian Stage)

Picture of Daniel MacIvor in Let's Run AwayCanadian Stage presents a solo show exploring a son’s tenuous relationship with his mother

Daniel MacIvor (writer and performer) and Daniel Brooks (director and dramaturge) bring us the world premiere of their seventh solo show, Let’s Run Away, playing at Canadian Stage. Peter (Daniel MacIvor) tells the story of his complicated and infrequent relationship with his birth mother by reading her unpublished memoir while interjecting with objections, angry outbursts, and a punk song. Continue reading Review: Let’s Run Away (Canadian Stage)