Toronto Theatre Features

Preview: New Ideas Festival (Alumnae Theatre)

Photo from the New Ideas Festival by Bruce Peters

What do three women mountain climbers at the top of their game, a dysfunctional parent council, three curious housemaids, a group of at-risk kids in a rehab yoga class, a street canvasser, a South American cardinal with a shady past, and Irish poet W.B. Yeats have in common? If your instinct was to say “nothing at all,” then you might want to check out the fascinating lineup in store for you at the New Ideas Festival, running March 9 – 27 at Alumnae Theatre.

Continue reading Preview: New Ideas Festival (Alumnae Theatre)

Preview: Mikveh (Harold Green Jewish Theatre)


On Sunday March 6th 2016, the Harold Green Jewish Theatre presents a dramatic reading of Mikveh, by Hadar Galron, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. When Mikveh premiered in Israel in 2004, it was met with wide acclaim and some controversy. The show throws open the doors to not only a very private ritual in the Orthodox Jewish community (a mikveh is a bath used for ritual immersion, often used by women to regain purity after menstruation or childbirth), but also secrets and scandals that echo real ones faced by the community: felt, but rarely discussed. Continue reading Preview: Mikveh (Harold Green Jewish Theatre)

Preview: Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

Toronto Sketchfest PosterThe Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival – AKA “Comedy Christmas” – is on from March 3 – 13, 2016. It’s the “main event” in a group of other festivals: The Best of the Fest Encore Show (June); and Sketch ComAgeddon (October).

This year’s lineup includes over 70 troupes from across North America, promising to make audiences laugh at three Toronto venues: The Theatre Centre, Comedy Bar and Randolph Theatre. Twitter users can follow the action using the #TOSketchFest16 hashtag.

We spoke to Julianne Snepsts, co-founder and managing producer of the The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival a few questions about the festival, and what audiences can expect to experience.

Continue reading Preview: Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

Mirvish Announces 2016/2017 Season Lineup

Strictly_Ballroom_the_Musical_-_Australian_cast_2014._Photo_credit_Jeff_BusbyCome From Away to play pre-Broadway engagement in Toronto, among others

Mirvish has announced its lineup of seven mainstage shows, three off-Mirvish shows, and a handful of bonus productions not included in their season subscription service. Notable amongst this new lineup is Come From Away, a Broadway-bound musical written by Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein about a small Newfoundland town hosting stranded passengers in the post-9/11 confusion, and Beautiful — the Carole King Musical, for which Jessie Mueller won the Best Leading Actress Tony Award in 2014. We also have some North American premieres, such as Baz Luhrman’s Strictly Ballroom The Musical and Terry Johnson and Don Black’s Mrs. Henderson Presents. Rounding out the list is West End’s The Bodyguard, the Tony-Award winning play The Audience, and a cooking-inspired circus show, Cuisine & Confessions. 

Bonus shows include The Book of Mormon and the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret. For more information on these shows and Mirvish’s upcoming season, read more under the cut!

Continue reading Mirvish Announces 2016/2017 Season Lineup

Preview: Forest Fringe Microfestival as part of the 2016 Progress Festival


The 2016 Progress Festival is hosting a microfestival of performances from Forest Fringe.  Forest Fringe is an artist-led organization that creates imaginative and unconventional performance events in the UK and internationally, fostering a diverse community of writers, theatre makers, musicians, dancers and live artists. The Forest Fringe Microfestival will hold performances over this weekend, Saturday January 30 and Sunday January 31 , 2016.

We asked the company’s co-director Andy Field a few questions about the upcoming microfestival. Continue reading Preview: Forest Fringe Microfestival as part of the 2016 Progress Festival

Preview: Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend 2016

Weather SI_300dpi David Hou (3)

This weekend will be an exciting time for all dancers and dance-lovers, because this Friday is the beginning of Dance Ontario’s annual event Dance Weekend. Dance Weekend is a virtual smorgasbord of dance. Contemporary, urban, and flamenco are just a sampling of what the weekend will bring. The stage will be graced by multiple performers over the course of the day, switching styles as often as the dancers switch partners.

Attendees of this year’s weekend are lucky to have exciting new additions to the program, like talk-backs with choreographers and an urban dance battle. The Dance Weekend takes place at the Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre.

Continue reading Preview: Dance Ontario’s Dance Weekend 2016

Preview: Centre Stage Gala (Canadian Opera Company)


In a world of American Idol and Canada’s Got Talent, The Voice and X Factor, it’s easy to imagine that everyone in the world is angling for their fifteen minutes of fame whether singing or juggling pumpkins or performing feats of acrobatics. In the case of the Canadian Opera Company‘s Centre Stage gala competition, eight rising young Canadian opera singers will vie for a spot in the renowned Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio – giving them a great deal more than fifteen minutes of fame.

Continue reading Preview: Centre Stage Gala (Canadian Opera Company)

Preview: In Search of Cruise Control (James Gangl)

James Gangl in In Search of Cruise ControlCanadian Comedy Award Winner James Gangl brings his hit one-man Edmonton Fringe show, In Search of Cruise Control, to the Second City John Candy Box Stage this weekend. With dramaturgy and direction by Fringe favourite Chris Gibbs, the show is the true story of Gangl’s attempt to give his teenaged nephew the sex talk.

We asked writer and perfomer Gangl a few questions about the upcoming production:
Continue reading Preview: In Search of Cruise Control (James Gangl)

Preview: Toronto Monologue Slam – TIFF Edition (Toronto Monologue Slam)


Launched in December 2011, the Toronto Monologue Slam is one of Canada’s largest acting showcases, where local actors deliver intimate, entertaining monologues and compete for the coveted Heavy Weight Champ title belt.

The Toronto Monologue Slam – TIFF Edition, happening on September 20th at Round Venue, gives participants a great chance to showcase their talents, hone their skills – including improvisation for those who reach round two – and network with producers, casting directors, and other actors. This event also gives audiences a chance to see electrifying, live performances.

Co-founder and executive producer Andre Newell answered a few questions about the event: Continue reading Preview: Toronto Monologue Slam – TIFF Edition (Toronto Monologue Slam)