All posts by Sonia Borkar

Review: Cream of Comedy 2014 (Tim Sims Encouragement Fund)

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The Second City presented the Cream of Comedy showcase featuring up and coming Toronto comedians

I had the pleasure of attending the 19th annual Cream of Comedy showcase last night at Toronto’s Second City. This night is a little different from other Second City shows, not in terms of the fantastic talent’s ability to make you laugh, but because it’s an annual juried competition that recognizes and encourages up and coming comedic talent in our city. There is a cash prize of $5,000 for the winner. Last night was hosted by Jeff McEnery featured five acts: four comics and an improv group. I’m happy to say that nothing about the night felt amateurish. Everyone on stage was confident, there was no fumbling or second guessing which I was rather impressed by. Continue reading Review: Cream of Comedy 2014 (Tim Sims Encouragement Fund)

Review: Hedda Gabler (Leroy Street Theatre and Desiderata Theatre Company)

Toronto’s Storefront Theatre presents their adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler

heddaHedda Gabler currently playing at the Storefront Theatre is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s original play written in 1890. Since it was written over a century ago I thought there would be parts of the show that were irrelevant or out-of-date but the themes that run through the show are definitely still relatable. You can tell it’s a period piece from the costumes, sets and bits of dialogue but it doesn’t hit you over the head with it. The show revolves around Hedda Gabler, as the titles suggests, and her relationships, insecurities and less than stable mental state.

The show starts off with the maid turning on a light inside the terrarium – that really struck me. It felt like she was turning on the light so we can look in and observe the insects in their confined space. See their interactions, behaviours and try to understand a part of their psyche. Just like the characters on stage who were about to come on and be observed in the confined space of their living room. Continue reading Review: Hedda Gabler (Leroy Street Theatre and Desiderata Theatre Company)

The Dysmorphia Diet (Ball of Clay) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

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The Dysmorphia Diet (by Ball of Clay productions playing at the 2014 Toronto Fringe) is a one-woman show that takes a closer look at eating disorders and body image issues. The subject matter is interesting, the script is smart and well written but overall for me this show fell flat. I think it has the elements to make it a great show but unfortunately it’s not yet a great show.

Continue reading The Dysmorphia Diet (Ball of Clay) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

I think therefore I’m Graham (Laugh Gallery) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

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I think therefore I’m Graham (by Laugh Gallery playing at the Toronto Fringe) is a hilarious, laid back stand-up show that is best enjoyed after a couple of drinks with a bunch of friends. Luckily, that seemed to be the atmosphere on the sold-out opening night I attended. We got there about 20 minutes before the show and not only was the show fully sold-out but the waiting list was full as well, so my date didn’t get in. And I really wish he had since Graham Clark’s routine is a non-stop laugh riot with little bits of audience participation which the audience really got into.

Continue reading I think therefore I’m Graham (Laugh Gallery) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Birdy…or, how not to disappear (mouse+meadow productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

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Birdy…or, how not to disappear (by mouse + meadow productions currently playing at the Toronto Fringe) is a one-woman show that explores the intertwined relationship between her own mental/emotional state and the memories of her father. During the show Karie Richards discusses her childhood and family relationships which we can see have shaped her into the anxious, worried, I-can-fix-it person she is today. Continue reading Birdy…or, how not to disappear (mouse+meadow productions) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Time Stands Still (Eclectic Theatre and Jason Murray) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

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Time Stands Still (at the Toronto Fringe Festival, produced by Eclectic Theatre and Jason Murray) was not what I expected, it had way more depth and balance. I thought it would be a show filled with war imagery that focused on the political situation in Iraq, but the beauty about this show is that it could have been set anywhere, talked about any war and told the stories of the countless innocent people with families and children who are mere victims in these situations. It’s also about the people who jeopardize their lives to cover these events hoping that the world will someday actually see and listen to the voices of the thousands of people far, far away for whom war is a way of life. Their only reality. Continue reading Time Stands Still (Eclectic Theatre and Jason Murray) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

Announcement: Theatre Passe Muraille 2013/14 Season

From Press Release

Theatre Passe Muraille
2013/14 Season Announcement

On Monday April 8th, Artistic Director Andy McKim announced Theatre Passe Muraille’s 2013/14 season at the company’s annual fundraising gala event. The season presents a balanced approach of fresh new voices (Rob Kempson, Rosamund Small, Mitchell Cushman) and established theatrical powerhouses (Louise Pitre, George F. Walker, Linda Griffiths). It also features more than a dash of song and dance.

TPM has always valued a variety of artistic voices and forms. Richard Ouzounian of the Toronto Star said, “Under Andy McKim, Theatre Passe Muraille has become the most totally eclectic theatres in town, offering a home to every kind of work imaginable…it makes for an explosion of joy like nowhere else.” This year the company has gone all out, presenting a new musical, a cabaret, an off-site production, a remount, a new comic drama, a youth theatre production, and a new play with both dance and music. All this in a way that is uniquely TPM. Continue reading Announcement: Theatre Passe Muraille 2013/14 Season

Review: The Whipping Man (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company/Obsidian Theatre)

The Whipping Man is educational, historical – and captivating – theatre, at Toronto Centre for the Arts

I watched Whipping Man on opening night at the Toronto Centre for the Arts accompanied by our founding editor Megan Mooney. Generally I don’t make the trek out to North York – or close enough – for a show. There’s plenty of great theatre I can watch in the downtown area but, considering that Megan really wanted to see this show, directed by her idol Philip Akin, I knew I would be in for a treat and I was!

When the show started I was sitting there with my notebook discreetly folded in one hand and a pen in the other. I didn’t write a single word for the first 45 minutes at least, since at intermission the page was blank and my hand was full of smudged ink. I decided not to bother with the notes. The show is so intense and sucks you in from the moment the lights go down. Continue reading Review: The Whipping Man (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company/Obsidian Theatre)

Review: Rock (Paper Scissors Collective)

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Humour that “kills” in Rock, playing at Toronto’s Storefront Theatre

I’ve been meaning to check out the Storefront Theatre on Bloor Street before it even opened. I walk by it everyday on my way to and from work and couldn’t wait for my little neighbourhood filled with artists, actors and musicians to have its very own theatre. This little gem located in the Bloor/Ossington neighbourhood is the kind of place you want to stick around for a drink after the show. It’s so cozy and inviting that if I didn’t have a ride waiting outside I would have definitely stayed for a post-show drink, something I rarely do.

The fact that I could watch Kat Sandler’s Rock there as my first experience was perfect. I saw LOVESEXMONEY last year and was pretty sure this show would have the same fun-filled spirit while exploring some pretty dark subject matter, but never not having fun! In fact, I was so positive about the show that I even took my friend who I lovingly call the “show jinx”. And, success…even she had a great time! Continue reading Review: Rock (Paper Scissors Collective)