Toronto Theatre Reviews

Review: Tales of a City by the Sea (Canadian Friends of Sabeel)

Play tackles the precarity and uncertainty of life and love in Gaza

Tales of a City by the Sea (Canadian Friends of Sabeel) is a play about how life can exist in the midst of death, and how ordinary human activity goes on in the midst of great destruction. It is also the story of two extremely ill- fated lovers, Rami and Joumana, set in the world’s largest open air prison, Gaza. Continue reading Review: Tales of a City by the Sea (Canadian Friends of Sabeel)

Review: A Christmas Carol (The Three Ships Collective/Soup Can Theatre)

Photo of the cast of A Christmas Carol by Laura DittmanUnique adaptation of A Christmas Carol makes use of immersive environment at Campbell House

Most people who have grown up in our yuletide-obsessed culture know the story of A Christmas Carol, but as a Jewish chorister weary of performing in nonstop Christmas concerts every December, I’ve largely steered clear of it. My interest was piqued, however, by The Three Ships Collective/Soup Can Theatre’s promise of an immersive version that explores Toronto’s lovely, period-appropriate Campbell House.

As it turns out, Justin Haigh’s adaptation of Dickens’ classic, which leans more heavily on its human relationships and less on its religious aspects, helps to prove why the piece and its moral message are so enduring. Christmas or not, who hasn’t dreamed that the rich and powerful might suddenly see their way toward upholding their share of the social contract?

Continue reading Review: A Christmas Carol (The Three Ships Collective/Soup Can Theatre)

Overview: Impulse 2019 (School of Toronto Dance Theatre)

Student showcase offers a wide variety of dance pieces, now on stage in Toronto

The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (STDT) presents IMPULSE 2019 at the Winchester Street Theatre, showcasing work from all three years of their professional training program. Celebrating fifty years of dance education, the modern/contemporary conservatory program produces some of Canada’s top performers.

Since it’s a student showcase we’re not offering a traditional review, but instead an overview of the piece. Giving you a flavour of what to expect.

Continue reading Overview: Impulse 2019 (School of Toronto Dance Theatre)

Review: Anastasia (Mirvish with Hartford Stage)

Mirvish presents the new Broadway musical Anastasia in Toronto

Anastasia, the musical, is the animated movie come to life. On stage now through the holiday season is the tale of a young peasant girl with a troubled past and a dazzling future. Could she be the long lost grand duchess Anastasia? This new musical, presented by Mirvish and directed by Darko Tresnjak, transports the audience from a winter wonderland in Russia to a glitzy Paris in the roaring 20’s.

Continue reading Review: Anastasia (Mirvish with Hartford Stage)

Review: Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre)

“Riotously funny” Figaro adaptation is a “must see” in Toronto

Figaro’s Wedding, Against the Grain Theatre‘s remount of their critically acclaimed 2013 production, provides a much needed 21st century facelift to one of the most beloved operas of all time, Le nozze di Figaro. Da ponte’s libretto is full of fluff and nonsense, with a large pinch of subtle (and not so subtle) class critique. However, there are plot points that don’t time travel well, and jokes that are simply not funny to modern sensibilities.

AtG artistic director Joel Ivany’s adaption in modern English cleverly retains the main plot points of the original work and incorporates most of the opera’s iconic musical numbers. But Ivany’s version departs from the original at leisure to tell a very familiar modern-day tale of a millennial wedding beset by family drama, financial woes, and questionable friends. Continue reading Review: Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre)