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.

Every Young Adult Novel Ever: The Musical (Isolation Creation) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

For everyone who loves Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent and the host of other wildly popular YA trilogies and series comes Every Young Adult Novel Ever: The Musical, a charming, self-aware, little semi-improvised bit of fun playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival.

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Orange Chicken (Send Noods Productions) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Poster of Orange Chicken cast in cartoon form provided by the company

Orange Chicken, by Send Noods Productions (“a pan-Asian collective of theatre & musical artists who don’t know how to not name a show after food”) is a combination of live-action and animated comedy sketches now playing at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival. Touching on topics from social media to online school to mixed-race angst to Communist propaganda, it’s a very funny 50 minutes that feels like it was made with the new hybrid medium of “digital theatre” firmly in mind.

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The Drinking Gourd (Jazz Haz) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

This is a photo of Anthony Audain, as the Runaway Slave

The Drinking Gourd by Jazz Haz Productions is currently playing On Demand as part of the 2021 Toronto Digital Fringe. This is a musical-documentary by Anthony Audain and Rob Lindey that tells the story of The Underground Railroad in Canada. It was my first Digital Fringe show and I found it moving and informative.

The Drinking Gourd depicts the journey of an escaped slave travelling along the Railroad, and features field songs used to communicate coded information and inspire hope (sung by Audain). Rob Lindey narrates and gives a short, informative lecture on the Underground Railroad.

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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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