Toronto Theatre Reviews

Worry Warts Performance (Convergence Theatre) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Picture of Julie Tepperman in Worry Warts by Aaron WillisWorry Warts, presented by Convergence Theatre at the 2019 SummerWorks Performance Festival, is an experience in two parts; the first, detailed in a previous review, included a short interview and activities about the things that keep your heart rate up and your eyes open at night.

The company then took the 147 recorded interviews and cut excerpts of them together to create a performance piece, or “sharing,” for the last weekend of the festival. Interviewees received a ticket to the performance, booked separately, with limited tickets available to others. It’s fascinating to hear what other people are nervous about, and the “sharing” feels like just that – an attempt to make us feel less alone in our fears.

Continue reading Worry Warts Performance (Convergence Theatre) 2019 SummerWorks Review

A Dark Horse in Low Light (Students of Loretto College for the NTS Festival Ontario) 2019 SummerWorks Review

A Dark Horse in Low Light, playing at SummerWorks 2019 is an intricate dialogue about race collectively crafted by a group of female students at Loretto College.

Let me begin by saying that this was a staged reading of this play and not a full performance. Yet, I found this show to still be poignant, insightful and at times funny.

Continue reading A Dark Horse in Low Light (Students of Loretto College for the NTS Festival Ontario) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Review: Art (Soulpepper)

Photo of Huse Madhavji, Oliver Dennis, and Diego Matamoros in Art by Dahlia KatzIn Soulpepper‘s production of Art, Yasmina Reza’s 1994 one-act play which won the 1998 Tony for Best Play, friendships are threatened and the nature of art and creativity is questioned. Serge (Diego Matamoros) buys a very expensive painting that is the epitome of modern art: it appears to be, essentially, a blank, painted-white canvas, with a few white lines running across its expanse. Serge loves his painting, while Marc (Oliver Dennis) derides it. Yvan (Huse Madhavji) plays both sides, desperate to be the peacemaker and to be liked by both men.

Continue reading Review: Art (Soulpepper)

The Archive of Missing Things (Zuppa Theatre Company) 2019 Summerworks Review

Image of a Building for The Archive of Missing Things

Zuppa Theatre Company’s The Archive of Missing Things is being put on as part of Summerworks 2019 at The Sanderson Library (327 Bathurst Street). It is an interactive theatre piece taking place in the library with other patrons there. This show an open-concept, it’s performed throughout the library rather than on a stage. It has a digital component as well as live action which all melds together incredibly.

I’ll say here that I think The Archive of Missing Things is one of the most incredible experiences with performance art that I’ve had in recent memory. There’s a great deal of mystery and intrigue woven in and thus, I do think the best experience one can have is going in blind as I did. If you want, stop reading now and just go experience this wonderfully thoughtful show.

Continue reading The Archive of Missing Things (Zuppa Theatre Company) 2019 Summerworks Review

Footnote Number 12 (Theatre Replacement / Spreafico Eckly) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Man wearing pale make-up, a green ball cap, and a blue striped polo shirt stares at the camera, Footnote Number 12, SummerWorks

Sometimes I see shows where, even after reading the SummerWorks 2019 program, I have no real idea what to expect– and they turn out to be among the ones that I love the most. Footnote Number 12 from Theatre Replacement / Spreafico Eckly certainly falls into this category. In the program it says “This monologue for two people asks you to observe a creature — a creature whose voice is being repeatedly modulated through digital means.” A creature? A monologue for two people? A digitally modulated voice? Could it possibly come together into something coherent, something wonderful? Yes!

Continue reading Footnote Number 12 (Theatre Replacement / Spreafico Eckly) 2019 SummerWorks Review

I’m A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me? (Lois Brown) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Lois Brown in I'm a Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me

I Am A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me is a piece of performance art, melded with storytelling. Created by Lois Brown and composer James O’Callaghan, it’s taking place as part of Summerworks 2019, and you can catch it at the Longboat Hall in The Great Hall.

Though this show isn’t the kind of thing I normally gravitate towards, it was a very satisfying experience. I also think it fulfilled what it set out to do, engage the audience in its sonic improvisations throughout. Continue reading I’m A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me? (Lois Brown) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Rohinton Mistry’s The Scream (Anand Rajaram) 2019 SummerWorks Review

image for Rohinton Mistry's The ScreamPerformer Anand Rajaram was granted permission by author Rohinton Mistry to adapt his short novella The Scream to be performed at this year’s SummerWorks Festival. The results–especially if you are someone unfamiliar with the piece like me–are jarring, disconcerting and yet still charming.

Continue reading Rohinton Mistry’s The Scream (Anand Rajaram) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Des-Echoes (Daniel Bear Davis and Caro Novella) / Fadeout (Anne-Flore de Rochambeau) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Photo of two dances facing each other wearing coveralls pulled up over their heads

Two contemporary works of contrasting themes are brought to the 2019 SummerWorks Stage. One humorous and intimate, while the other is isolating and eerie, Des-Echoes and Fadeout are strong additions to the festival.

Starting with only a bar of light highlighting the lower half of her body, choreographer and performer Anne-Flore de Rochambeau, slowly begins to articulate only her hands and fingers in Fadeout. The movement is pained and precise as if to slowly explore the space for the first time.

Continue reading Des-Echoes (Daniel Bear Davis and Caro Novella) / Fadeout (Anne-Flore de Rochambeau) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Antarctica (Syrus Marcus Ware & Toronto Biennial of Art) SummerWorks 2019 Review

Antartica at The Theatre Centre with SummerWorks 2019

The climbing summer heat and accompanying global conditions are giving lots of people cause for concern. Weaving that social anxiety into a dramatic narrative, Antarctica is being presented at The Theatre Centre as a SummerWorks 2019 production.

This piece, set in 2045, is about a hypothetical future. People from various world nations – all born in, or connected to Antarctica in some way – are tasked with trying to build a sort of “second chance” civilization in the wake of the climate crisis eroding society as we know it.

Continue reading Antarctica (Syrus Marcus Ware & Toronto Biennial of Art) SummerWorks 2019 Review