Hamlet Live turns a classic into a sublimely creative post-apocalyptic adaptation
How many times and in how many different places have you heard the phrase “To be or not to be, that is the question?” The words are spoken by Hamlet, the son of a murdered king, in what is probably Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet. It has inspired so many cultural adaptations from the Lion King to an episode of The Simpsons, which surely means that most people have been exposed to this enduringly popular story.
Continue reading Review: Hamlet Live
Written in 1915 by Hungarian Imre Kalman, The Gypsy Princess quickly became a smashing hit and flourished during the war years. The show is an operetta, something which I knew very little about before seeing this show. In case you’re a novice like me, an operetta is a lighter version of an opera, not as serious and perhaps a little less singing and a little more talking.
The Gypsy Princess tells the story of a cabaret diva Sylvia Varescu who is in love with, and loved by, the Austrian Prince Edwin. However, as in many plays from this time, their love is something of a forbidden secret since his family would certainly be displeased if he were to marry a cabaret performer. In a series of twists and turns that involve a pretend marriage between Sylvia and Count Bonifazius, also known as the jovial Boni, The Gypsy Princess is a delightful show that will definitely have you smiling. Continue reading Review: The Gypsy Princess (Toronto Operetta Theatre)
Like An Old Tale is a multicultural retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, dubbed one of the famous poet’s “problem plays” because it features a strange mix of tragedy and comedy. Apparently such “problem plays” make for a great story, as the Jumblies Theatre did an excellent job of adapting and retelling the famous tale with a multicultural twist. Continue reading Review: Like An Old Tale (Jumblies Theatre)
Matt & Ben was written by the clever Mindy Kaling and her real life best friend Brenda Withers in 2003 and became an instant hit with audiences when it opened in New York City. It’s the sort of play that as you watch, you can tell that it was clearly written by two good friends who obviously share a lot of chemistry with one another.
This version of Matt & Ben stars Gillian English and Manda Whitney as Hollywood best friends Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as they struggle to write a script that will shoot them to stardom. English’s portrayal as a clueless and dense Ben is the perfect counter to Whitney’s version of an uptight and perfectionist Matt, who forces Affleck to sit through staring exercises that Affleck hilariously deems “weird and gay”. Continue reading Review: Matt & Ben (Theatre Elusive)
Teatron Jewish Theatre presents Deceived at the Toronto Centre for the Arts through November 20, 2011.
Deceived was written in 1994 by Israeli playwright Motti Lerner and opened to audiences in Tel Aviv in 1995. It tells the story of Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who is caught delivering top-secret American government files to Israel and who is subsequently sentenced to life in prison. This political drama also features a hint of a love story, involving Pollard’s now ex-wife Anne, a woman who gets tangled in Pollard’s wrongdoings and is ultimately sentenced to over three years in jail. Continue reading Review: Deceived (Teatron Jewish Theatre)