All posts by Stephen Lubin

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

Plucked (Newborn Theatre) 2016 Summerworks Review

Plucked-400x600The one thought running through my head after seeing Plucked at The Theatre Centre’s Mainspace was: “That was beautifully f***ed up.” Plucked is being put on by Newborn Theatre as part of Summerworks 2016, and it’s a surreal, funny, and deeply disturbing dissection of gender and the oppression of women by our patriarchal society.
Continue reading Plucked (Newborn Theatre) 2016 Summerworks Review

Review: Shakesbeer (Classical Theatre Project)

shakesbeerShakesbeer brings its comedy back to Toronto’s Wynchwood Barns this summer

The Classical Theatre Project’s Shakesbeer is a perfect storm of good things. Their production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), running until August 17th at the Artscape Wynchwood Barns, has become a summer tradition in Toronto. All the things theatre-lovers (or at least this theatre-lover) enjoy – the bard, live music, great acting, and beer – come together to make Shakesbeer one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve ever seen. Continue reading Review: Shakesbeer (Classical Theatre Project)

Review: Peter and the Starcatcher (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Jason Gray as Black Stache and Nathaniel Kinghan as PeterToronto’s Lower Ossington Theatre presents Peter and the Starcatcher, a quintessential family show

It’s a sad fact of life that we all grow up, but if you want to feel like a kid again, you could go see Peter and the Starcatcher, running from July 7th to August 28th at the Lower Ossington Theatre. My guest and I had a lot of fun watching this play, though in retrospect I probably should have brought my 14 year old sister instead of my 24 year old cousin. This is a quintessential family show that reminds me of a Pixar movie in the way that viewers of all ages will be able to enjoy it for different reasons. Continue reading Review: Peter and the Starcatcher (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Goodbye To All That (Mirabilis) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of [insert actors names]

Right off the bat, Goodbye To All That (playing in the Passe Muraille Mainspace at the Toronto Fringe Festival) has a great name going for it. It also sports some great dialogue and fantastic acting.

The show tells the story of a wayward man who falls in with a ragtag group at the Cabaret Voltaire in the midst of WWI. Through them, he learns of Dadaism as a form of expression. The show’s timeline is non-linear, but the plot is still concise and easy to follow. This play is a perfect example of dramedy, with an even balance of both the comedic and dramatic in it.

Continue reading Goodbye To All That (Mirabilis) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review