This show has an amazing back-story. After being diagnosed with cancer; comedian, actor and writer Daniel Stolfi was forced to withdraw from the 2008 Toronto Fringe Festival to prepare for the battle with the disease that would ultimately become the inspiration for this new show.
After two unsuccessful attempts to get back into the Fringe Festival (shows are chosen by lottery) he’s finally able to come full-circle by bringing Cancer Can’t Dance Like This to the 2011 Fringe Festival! Continue reading Cancer Can’t Dance Like This (Fro Mast Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
There was a time when online dating carried a real social stigma. After all, people who needed to find dates on the Internet were obviously too socially inept to meet people the “normal” way. With the proliferation of social media that stigma has greatly diminished, as meeting people online has become the “normal” way of meeting new people. Continue reading Love, Virtually (Working Title Artists Company) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
One of the pitfalls of living in such close proximity to so many people in an urban setting is that it can make you a bit callous to the human condition. I recall this time last year when I was in a hurry to get somewhere and couldn’t use the subway because there was an indefinite delay due to “injury at track level”.
Out of frustration my immediate thought was, “Ugh, the bastard jumper couldn’t have offed himself in a way that doesn’t inconvenience me personally?” Right away, I was taken aback at the callousness of my own thought. Continue reading Mister Baxter (The Quickening Theatre Company) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Michael Hughes is a musical theatre performer, cabaret singer and lifelong devotee of Judy Garland. As a kid, Michael’s burgeoning obsession with musicals, Judy Garland and cross-dressing worried his parents to the point where they sent him to a psychiatrist.
Twenty years later, that psychiatrist wanted to talk to him again. Michael agreed on the condition that the psychiatrist would relinquish photocopies of all the charts from his childhood analyses to him. Those charts are incorporated into Mickey & Judy, a musical revue and “pseudo-memoir” of Hughes’ childhood. Continue reading Mickey & Judy (Random Hero Entertainment) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Get Happy is an interesting multi-disciplinary work incorporating music, dance and poetry. Harking back to the swing era, the show combines torch songs with lindy hopping and wistful, poetic verses.
Continue reading Get Happy (Public Gesture Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Cellar Hotel is a very ambitious production; perhaps a little too ambitious in scope and scale for Fringe. Billed as a rock-musical adaptation of the Faust legend, the production boasts a cast of 24 performers; one of the largest I’ve ever seen for a Fringe production.
The Cellar Hotel is staffed by a saintly hotel manager (later revealed to be God, herself) and the overly courteous, tip-refusing Seven Saintly Virtues. On the ground floor of the Cellar Hotel sits Auerbach’s Lounge staffed by a guileful bar tender (who turns out to be Mephistopheles) and the Seven Deadly Sins. Continue reading Cellar Hotel (Chicken Coop Theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Suicide(s) in Vegas is the story of two women; the successful, larger-than-life, Suze Orman-like author and self-help guru Lydia (Elinza Pretorius) and the ho-hum, average-Jane toll booth collector Jane (Amber Green).
Jane is struggling with the loneliness and isolation of being “invisible” while Lydia’s world is about to fall-apart as she is revealed to be a fraud in a plot line that mirrors the scandal of author James Frey whose memoir was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club then later revealed to be almost completely fabricated.
Continue reading Suicide(s) in Vegas (MW Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
The 2011 Dora Mavor Moore Awards were held last night at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. The Doras are held annually by TAPA to honour excellence in Toronto’s performing arts industry.
I once had a conversation with a theatre producer who had produced shows in New York, L.A. and Chicago as well as Toronto in which he observed, “Toronto is unique in that it’s a city that’s large enough to have a theatre industry but still small enough to have a real theatre community.”
The Doras also provide an opportunity for that theatre community to come together to celebrate the achievements of the Toronto performing arts industry as a whole. In a time when government cutbacks are threatening to stifle the growth of Toronto’s thriving theatre scene, coming together to boldly celebrate their achievements and their collective passion for creating art is almost an act of defiance. Continue reading 32nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Award Winners
SummerWorks, Toronto’s Indie Theatre and Arts Festival, posted the following message on their blog today.
Heritage Canada has chosen not renew its partnership with SummerWorks for this year’s festival leading to a loss of 20% of the festival’s budget.
Mooney on Theatre strongly believes that SummerWorks provides an invaluable contribution to the development of the theatre and arts scenes in Toronto and nationally.
Please consider lending your support so SummerWorks can continue to do its important work in developing emerging theatre and arts in Canada.
Please click here to donate.
Continue reading Announcement: SummerWorks needs your help
Toronto’s Luminato Festival presents the world-premiere of a two-part epic staging of One Thousand and One Nights by director Tim Supple at The Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre (Canadian Opera Company) through June 19.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Dash Arts production of One Thousand and One Nights commissioned by Luminato ever since it was announced last year. I was absolutely floored by director Tim Supple’s previous production at Luminato in 2008; the stunning, avant-garde re-imagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring an Indian/Sri Lankan cast performing in English, Hindi, Bengali, Sinhalese, Sanskrit and a host of other Indian dialects.
Supple’s production of Dream was so dynamic, vibrant, gorgeous, sexy and utterly breathtaking that I couldn’t wait to see what he’d come up with for his re-imagining of another classic story.
Continue reading Luminato 2011 Review: One Thousand and One Nights (Dash Arts and Luminato)