All posts by Tasha DiLoreto

Review: My Name is Not Carmen! (Show One Productions and Toronto International Flamenco Festival)

My Name is Not Carmen! offers catchy flamenco music and talented dancing

When I heard that My Name is Not Carmen! was a fusion of flamenco, poetry and music, this was not what I expected. If you’re like me, when you think of flamenco music, you think of bright colours, catchy music and the kind of dancing that you’d love to join in with, if only you didn’t have two left feet. But this show was anything but.

The production features Yana Maizel and tells her story of her journey from Russia to Toronto and then to Spain, although the audience is never told why or how. She begins the show tap dancing and then moves on to flamenco dancing as the show progresses and the music starts to pick up. Parts of the poetry components were in Russian and French, which I found to be confusing since most people in the audience probably weren’t trilingual. Continue reading Review: My Name is Not Carmen! (Show One Productions and Toronto International Flamenco Festival)

My Second Smile (Theatre Bassaris)

C-words abound in Toronto’s Theatre Bassaris’ production of a one-man comedy about a fellow’s secret cancer struggle

I went into My Second Smile not knowing what to expect, other than that it was a one-man show. It turned out to be a one-man show about the c-word (cancer, to clear up any confusion for those with minds in the gutter) that was a really good time. Excellent comedic timing, acting and even dancing come together in this hour-long production about a 16 year old boy’s secret struggle with cancer. Continue reading My Second Smile (Theatre Bassaris)

Review: The Big Bang (Civic Light Opera Company)

You’re almost guaranteed to have a light-hearted, good time at The Big Bang, playing at the York Woods Library Theatre. This silly, funny production tells the history of the human race with musical numbers in the same sketch-like format that you’d see on a variety show or on Saturday Night Live.

The cast is comprised of two characters, Boyd (played by David Haines) and Jed (played by Joe Cascone), two men whose on-stage chemistry makes it a delight to watch. They are joined by Aunt Rivka (played by Susan Sanders) at the piano along with the occasional cameo appearance by Schatzi (played by Flicka), the dog. Continue reading Review: The Big Bang (Civic Light Opera Company)

Review: Solferino (Rogue & Peasant Theatre)

Confronting constructions of past, memory, and history in Solferino at Toronto’s George Ignatieff Theatre.

Written by Emily Johnson, Solferino picks up two years before Red Cross founder Henry Dunant’s death. Dunant is forcefully persuaded by nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale to finish writing his memoirs and must confront his past: both the good and the bad.

Solferino’s portrayal of Dunant’s struggle to write his memoirs and confront the ghosts of his past seems to be something that many people can identify with. Dunant finds it difficult to reconcile what actually happened with how he would prefer to remember the past as happening, portraying himself in a rosy tinted haze. Nightingale scolds Dunant for refusing to remember things as they actually occurred and ultimately helps him be honest with himself in the years before his death. Continue reading Review: Solferino (Rogue & Peasant Theatre)

Review: Sockdolager (The Templeton Philharmonic)

Theatre in Toronto gets interactive with this darkly comedic production from the Templeton Philharmonic.

If you’re looking for a laugh-filled evening and interactive theatre experience with the added luxury of air conditioning, get yourself to Sockdolager before it’s too late! Hilariously funny with a touch of twisted macabre, this performance offers each audience something a little different every time.

Boasting a different ending at every performance, audience members are invited to bring their ticket back and see the performance as many times as they’d like (space permitting!).

Created by the Templeton Philharmonic (the spectacular duo of Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton), this dark comedy is performed at the historic Campbell House, a beautiful historic home that seems out of place in downtown Toronto. Continue reading Review: Sockdolager (The Templeton Philharmonic)