All posts by Stephen Lubin

Review: Salt (Lark and Whimsy)

salt-petal-promo-largeSalt tackles mental illness with complexity and nuance, on stage in Toronto

Salt is a beautiful and harrowing portrayal of mental illness and abuse by Toronto-based playwright Erin Vandenberg. It’s being put on in the Alumnae Theatre by the Lark & Whimsy Theatre Collective. I had no idea what to expect going into this new two-hour drama, but was and still am completely taken by it.

Continue reading Review: Salt (Lark and Whimsy)

Review: One Three Hill (Daisy Productions)

one-three-hillThree one-act comedies take the Passe Muraille stage this weekend in Toronto

If sitting through a full length show this weekend feels a bit daunting, than perhaps three one-act comedies may be of interest instead. One Three Hill is a 90 minute romp through three original one-act plays being put on in the Passe Muraille Backspace by Daisy Productions.

Though I had very high hopes going into it, to me this show felt like a playlist of songs that I wasn’t a huge fan of. If I had to choose, I’d say I preferred the first show. My guest enjoyed the second most and we both felt the third completely succumbed to pacing issues. Though truthfully that seemed to plague all of these plays in some capacity. Continue reading Review: One Three Hill (Daisy Productions)

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nonexistant Theatre)

IMG_0639Toronto’s Nonexistant Theatre attempts a darker take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If you’re in the mood to see Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a cozy garden, you wouldn’t be amiss seeing Nonexistant Theatre’s debut production. My guest and I both enjoyed ourselves at this show and were glad we got to see it. But overall, I couldn’t help but feel that it fell short of its stated goal to deliver a darker, more serious portrayal of Midsummer.

This is a very ambitious production that bills itself as a dark comedic take on the classic piece that seeks to explore the “images of rape, drugs, and psychosis” prevalent in the play. Walking into the Majilis Art Garden, an alleyway full of vines and overgrown gardens, it definitely felt like I was walking into a twisted magical forest.

Continue reading Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nonexistant Theatre)

GHOSTS – 2016 Summerworks Review

GHOSTS-400x267

Given the above image on the SummerWorks 2016 page, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from GHOSTS, a Dublin Fringe show that’s been brought to Toronto as part of an artistic exchange. GHOSTS is playing at the Scotiabank Studio Theatre in the Pia Bouman School, and hours later I can’t stop thinking about it.

The picture actually does give you a good idea of what you’ll see in this show: a forest, an unnerving monkey-suit, and lots of nudity. But all of this imagery has intention behind it. GHOSTS is a rather profound piece with powerful creative expression. It’s also surprisingly funny. Continue reading GHOSTS – 2016 Summerworks Review

My Nightmare’s Wear White (Obliviate) 2016 Summerworks Review

My Nightmares Wear WhiteMy Nightmare’s Wear White is a courageous reenactment of a young woman’s struggle with Still’s Disease . It’s playing at The Theatre Centre‘s BMO Incubator as a part of SummerWorks 2016 before moving on to Halifax in the fall. In it, the writer and performer Grace Thompson shares her experience and pain with the audience in a deeply emotional performance. Continue reading My Nightmare’s Wear White (Obliviate) 2016 Summerworks Review