Written by Erica Wood and Bruce Hunter, the show is described in the Fringe program as “part contemporary vaudevillian comedy with a little existentialist dilemma and a few musical numbers of sorts thrown in.” If that description sounds vague and a bit unfocused, the show matches.
Soulpepper, Tapestry Opera and The Theatre Centre, the big winners at the 38th Dora Awards
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) presented the 38th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards at a ceremony hosted by prolific Toronto actor and musician Raoul Bhaneja at the Elgin Theatre last night.
Soulpepper, Mirvish and Canadian Opera Company lead noms for the 38th Dora Awards
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) revealed the nominations for the 38th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards at a press conference early this morning. The Dora Awards seek to recognize excellence in the Toronto performing arts community. This year’s ceremony will take place on Monday, June 26 at the Elgin Theatre and will be hosted by prolific Toronto actor and musician Raoul Bhaneja.
Mirvish presents Baz Luhrmann’s musical stage adaptation of his film Strictly Ballroom in Toronto
Australian director Baz Luhrmann has adapted his 1992 cult hit film Strictly Ballroom into a stage musical and yes, it features all the razzle-dazzle dance numbers and brightly sequinned costumes you’d expect. The result is a show that provides some frivolous, superficial fun but that also gets a bit lost in the transition from screen to stage. Continue reading Review: Strictly Ballroom (Mirvish)
A Toronto adaptation of Hamlet features American Sign Language and a female lead
For its tenth anniversary, Why Not Theatre and director Ravi Jain re-visit their first-ever production: Prince Hamlet, Jain’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For this new production the director set about—as described in the press materials—to “illuminate the contemporary relevance of the 400-year-old play and ask the question ‘who gets to tell this story?’”
It’s an ambitious challenge and while the result is by-and-large a solid production of Hamlet, I don’t think it quite hit the mark it set for itself. Continue reading Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre/Soulpepper)
Canadian Stage presents the return of Robert Lepage’s memory play 887 in Toronto
887 is just an extraordinary piece of theatre. Written, directed, and performed by prolific Quebec theatre artist Robert Lepage, the autobiographical solo show is his most personal to date and is in turns thought-provoking, deeply affecting, and technically dazzling. Continue reading Review: 887 (Canadian Stage/Ex Machina)
Mirvish presents Nicolas Billon’s theatrical thriller play BUTCHER in Toronto
It’s now hours after I’ve left the theatre and I think I’ve finally caught my breath after seeing BUTCHER, a stunning thriller of a play by Canadian playwright Nicolas Billon, presented by Mirvish as part of their Off-Mirvish series. As I collect my thoughts and sit down to write about the show, I get a text from the co-worker I brought with me tonight: “I’m still thinking about the play … it delivers such a striking note that lingers.” Continue reading Review: BUTCHER (Mirvish/Why Not Theatre)
Garth Drabinsky brings Sousatzka – A New Musical to the Toronto stage
Sousatzka – A New Musical marks the return of embattled theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky. The producer has mustered a team of experienced writers and production designers, each with Broadway credits galore on their resumes, as well as a talented cast led by Tony Award-winning actors.
Sousatzka is making its world debut and playing a limited run in Toronto with hopes for a future run on Broadway. However, judging by what I saw of the show on opening night, I don’t think the show is ready for the Great White Way. Continue reading Review: Sousatzka (Teatro Proscenium/Garth Drabinsky)
Cirque Éloize brings a unique blend of circus and dance to the Toronto stage with Cirkopolis
Cirque Éloize is the other theatrical circus troupe from Quebec. A younger cousin to the juggernaut Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Éloize is known for creating more intimate shows staged in proscenium theatres. What Éloize may lack in scale and technical complexity they more than make up for in artistry. Evident in their show Cirkopolis, now being presented in Toronto by the Sony Centre and Canadian Stage, they bring a level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that surpasses that of their bigger, more famous peer. Continue reading Review: Cirque Éloize – Cirkopolis (Sony Centre for the Performing Arts/Canadian Stage)
Mirvish presents a play about Queen Elizabeth II by the creator of Netflix’s The Crown, in Toronto
Writer Peter Morgan has built a career writing biographical scripts about Queen Elizabeth II, including the 2006 film The Queen and the current Netflix series The Crown. Morgan wrote his play The Audience between these two projects.
The title is a reference to the weekly private meeting or “audience” given by the Queen to the sitting British Prime Minister. The Audience details the Queen’s weekly audience with the PM from her ascension to the throne in 1952 through to 2016. Continue reading Review: The Audience (Mirvish)