Toronto Theatre Reviews

Review: Sunday in the Park with George (Eclipse)

Photo of the Company of Sunday in the Park with George by Dahlia KatzSite-specific Sunday in the Park arrives on the Toronto stage in a “beautiful canvas”

Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s brilliant, century-spanning musical meditation on the place and value of art, gets a site-specific production from Eclipse Theatre at The Jam Factory for six short days.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning show celebrates the magic of the process of creation, which fits nicely with Eclipse’s ethos; professional actors are supported by fourth-year Sheridan students in a ten-day rehearsal process, to fashion something between a staged reading and full production. The result here is closer to the latter than the former.

Continue reading Review: Sunday in the Park with George (Eclipse)

Review: Oh, What a Lovely War! (Hart House Theatre)

Photo of the cast in Oh, What a Lovely War!World War 1 Satire Comes to the Toronto Stage, with Mixed Results

Oh, What a Lovely War!, an abstract, satirical play that traces the history of World War 1,  is currently on stage at Hart House Theatre.

The original version was written by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop and Charles Chilton in 1963. Director Autumn Smith’s version sets the play as a violent war-themed video game, with each scene an episode in the gamers’ quest. The conceit was apt and interesting, but in the end, the play did not work for me. Continue reading Review: Oh, What a Lovely War! (Hart House Theatre)

Review: Box 4901 (timeshare performance)

Image of Brian Francis holding a balloon in Box 4901In 1992, Brian Francis, a queer 21-year-old man living in southwestern Ontario, placed a personals ad in the newspaper. He received many responses, including thirteen to which he did not reply. Now, 28 years later, he responds to these letters with hilarity and poignancy in his play Box 4901, directed and co-created by Rob Kempson, playing at Buddies in Bad Times theatre.  Continue reading Review: Box 4901 (timeshare performance)

Review: Motherhood: The Musical (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Musical about Motherhood Holds Nothing Back, Now on the Toronto Stage

Seven and a half years ago my life changed forever when we welcomed our son into the world and I entered the world of Motherhood. Many of those changes have been wonderful, others less so. Some of the changes have been stickier than I thought possible. Motherhood: The Musical, currently playing at Lower Ossington Theatre, takes the institution of motherhood to the stage with no holds barred: the good, the bad, and the messy. Continue reading Review: Motherhood: The Musical (Lower Ossington Theatre)

Review: Women at Play(s) (Red Sandcastle Theatre)

cast and crew of Women at PlaysWe laughed, we learned things, and we broke out into Bon Jovi for Women At Play(s) at the Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto’s east end.

You can see six brilliant short and sweet plays all in one evening, and hear diverse voices that don’t often surface in mainstream stories. But I can’t promise that you too will be singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” between plays since I don’t know if the audience’s energy and confidence were particular to last Friday night’s performance.

Continue reading Review: Women at Play(s) (Red Sandcastle Theatre)