Toronto Theatre Reviews

Reviews of productions based in Toronto – theatre includes traditional definitions of theatre, as well as dance, opera, comedy, performance art, spoken word performances, and more. Productions may be in-person, or remote productions streamed online on the Internet.

The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl (EclecticEncounters) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Black and white image. Performer dTaborah Johnson stares into camera.

The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl by EclecticEncounters is currently playing On Demand as part of the 2021 Toronto Digital Fringe. You can catch this musical, poetic storytelling show online until July 31. 

The Incredible Adventures of That Nice Canajun Girl proved to be my favourite fare from the Toronto Digital Fringe Festival. It does a wonderful job giving you the feeling of being at a live Fringe production. The star, dTaborah Johnson, is a captivating performer. Her rhythmic prose and enchanting singing had me locked in throughout the 38 minute runtime.

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Just Pervs (Perverted Assemblages) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Poster of Millie Herridge, Cassandra Henry, Jahnelle Jones, and Sanskruti Marathe in Just Pervs created by Anaiah LebretonPerverted Assemblages‘ production of Just Pervs, now playing at the 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival, is Reid Miller’s adaptation of a short story by Jess Taylor. Anchored by a set of determined performances and creative methods, it’s an exciting show that calls for your attention.

It’s the summer of 2004 and 15-year-old Gia (Sanskruit Marathe) moves from India to Canada, becomes “Jill,” and desperately tries to fit in with queen bee Penny (Jahnelle Jones) and her friends Dani (Millie Herridge) and Jenade (Cassandra Henry), all of whom seem to Jill impossibly worldly and sexually-advanced.

Eager for recognition, and looking to explore her sexuality, Jill writes a “porno play” featuring the foursome, which gets leaked across the school. In the face of sudden male approval and female judgment, Jill and her friends eagerly pick up the dismissive mantle of being “Just Pervs,” reveling in the positives of pervhood: empowerment, honesty and acceptance, and the ability to feel something — anything.

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Space Girl (Hyperloop Theatre) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Poster for Space Girl provided by the company

Space Girl, a play presented by Hyperloop Theatre at the 2021 Virtual Toronto Fringe Festival, is a show about decision and compassion fatigue. It’s about things that overwhelm us — a sense of our own smallness, a world on fire, an expanding multiplicity of choice in the search for a perfect solution. What if we could simply leave a daunting and damaged planet, instead of having to put the pieces back together? This is a melancholy, oddly beautiful work, with a participatory twist to keep audiences engaged in its philosophy.

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War of The Worlds Reimagined: Part 1, The Algonquin Tapes (Frog in Hand Productions Inc.) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Image of “Distorted camper.” Designed by Colleen Snell Radio drama is back in War of the Worlds Reimagined: Part 1, The Algonquin Tapes by Frog in Hand Productions Inc., playing now as part of the 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival. Only this time, it has a Canadian slant, taking place in the Algonquin wilderness.

Full disclosure: I love audio dramas.

I love that you have to pay attention differently from in-person performances. The best ones make you stop what you’re doing because you are so invested in the story and the characters. War of the Worlds Reimagined: Part 1, The Algonquin Tapes hits the nail on the head in terms of acting, pacing, story, and audio effects.

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