All posts by Trevor Abes

Review: The Monkey Queen (Red Snow Collective)

Shapeshifters, spirits and demons take to the Toronto stage in The Monkey Queen

The Monkey Queen (Red Snow Collective)—on at The Theatre Centre—is a quietly subversive play that adds childlike wonder and a female perspective to Wu Cheng’En’s fable-filled novel Journey to the West, an adventurous quest for knowledge featuring monsters, demons, and spirits galore.

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Review: The art of degeneration (DanceWorks)

Acclaimed Toronto choreographer & dancer premieres thought-provoking full-length solo on decay, rebirth and celebrity.

In his first solo dance show, The art of degeneration (DanceWorks), Louis Laberge-Côté offers up meditations on decay, immorality, and self-destruction. His endearing, mischievous sense of humour transforms The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance into a lushly-coloured romp through history, both personal and public. With moves that find the hidden grace in things falling apart, being vulnerable with your demons is the only way to survive.

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Review: The Men in White (Factory Theatre)

The Governor General’s Literary Award finalist play opens in Toronto

Anosh Irani’s The Men in White, produced by Factory Theatre, brings renewed urgency to a quintessential topic in Canadian literature—that of the immigrant’s adaptation to the space between Canada and the homeland—by focusing less on assimilation and more on what it means to live a good life in a globalized world. Continue reading Review: The Men in White (Factory Theatre)

Del Manantial del Corazón (Sa’as Tún Theatre Company)

Vignettes about Mayan womanhood take the stage in Toronto as part of the 2018 RUTAS Festival

Del Manantial del Corazón (From the Spring of the Heart), by Mexico’s Sa’as Tún Theatre Company, is a collection of vignettes about Mayan womanhood that transcends the theatrical into spiritual connection. On at Aki Studio for the 2018 RUTAS Festival, the play highlights women and Indigenous tradition by fostering deep reverence for birth, death, and the balms of ritual and community. Continue reading Del Manantial del Corazón (Sa’as Tún Theatre Company)

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage)

Enjoy Shakespeare as the sun sets at Toronto’s Shakespeare in High Park

The production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at this year’s Shakespeare in High Park—currently running at the High Park Amphitheatre—is a straightforward adaptation of the classic play that sets itself apart with the high volume and calibre of comedy the cast is able to maintain.

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Thousand Beginnings (Under The Umbrella) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Gulce Oral and Jewels Krauss in Thousand Beginnings.

Thousand Beginnings is a piece of performance art that combines intensely physical choreography, philosophical poetry, and visually dazzling prop work into happenings about the expectations of femininity a woman needs to shed to find peace. It’s a substantive debut from Under The Umbrella and a challenging addition to the Toronto Fringe that will leave plenty to ponder after the curtain falls.

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Echoes (Omnika In Motion) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Picture of Maeghan Tuckey, Alex Papaconstantinou, Isabella de Almeida Aidar, and Rowynn Lloyd in Echoes.

Echoes, by Omnika In Motion, is a multi-disciplinary dance piece that reinterprets the classic trope of Jekyll and Hyde through props, shadow play, and genres as diverse as belly dance, jazz, hip-hop, and circus. Currently playing at Factory Theatre, the show represents a refreshingly plot-free, dialogue-free option compared to the more straightforward stories one might encounter at Toronto Fringe.

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Wounds to the Face (Randolph College) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Abigail Carey in Wounds to the Face.

For their production of Wounds to the Face, Howard Barker’s surreal treatise on identity, director Matjash Mrozewski and the actors from Randolph College have bitten off more than they can chew. Currently playing at the Annex Theatre, this Toronto Fringe offering relies too heavily on its amateur cast to carry a play where strong characters are the main dish.

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How to be FEARLESS! (With Roxy Roberts) (Binocular Theatre) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Ali Joy Richardson in How to be FEARLESS! (With Roxy Roberts).

How to be FEARLESS (With Roxy Roberts) — by Binocular Theatre — is a play about a firecracker of a motivation speaker and the self-defense course she creates in response to being harassed and threatened with physical violence. Currently showing at Bell Tower Coffee, this sure-fire Toronto Fringe favourite blends consistently sharp comedy, incisive drama, and a performance from Ali Joy Richardson (in the title role) that accepts nothing less than going for the fences.

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