Toronto Theatre Reviews

Moments On A Wrist – Collective Heat (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Adam Collier

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Moments On A Wrist is a set of five dances, each about ten-minutes long. What really struck me was how each dance seemed to have a strong purpose.

For me this was highly significant. Because I know there’s one thing I usually don’t pick-up on properly when I watch dance: why the dancers are doing what they’re doing. The ballet generally baffles me. But Moments On A Wrist wasn’t like the ballet.

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Damages (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

Review by Megan Mooney

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Review of Damages(Note:  This is a longer version of my write-up on blogTO. The blogTO write ups include write-ups from multiple reviewers on multiple shows, check them out!)

I think this is a good play, but not executed as well as it could be. The two main actors in the show are veteran actors, I would put money on most people recognizing them. But there was something missing.

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The Swearing Jar – 6AM Tango (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

 

swearjar The production I saw of The Swearing Jar got better as it went along. Its story follows the life of young woman named Carey through her first pregnancy and events surrounding the unexpected death of her husband Simon. Like a couple of other members of the audience I spoke with after the show, I left wondering if The Swearing Jar had been based on real events.

The most significant details about the pregnancy and death – Simon has died of a burst aneurysm his doctor was reluctant to treat because of his age – sounded real to me. I was also convinced by an explanation of why Simon had kept his condition a secret.

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An Inconvenient Musical – The Inconvenient Theatre Co.

 

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An Inconvenient Musical made me feel great. It was like a great episode of The Simpsons. There were a lot of good vibes coming from the stage.

The plot is a spoof on the 2007 documentary of a similar title that follows Al Gore as he gives a presentation on global warming. In this version, the former VP has decided that PowerPoint just isn’t powerful enough. He is instead harnessing the most powerful medium he knows: musical theatre. Imagine all those slides now as sketches in musical theatre. All loosely strung together as examples of the consequences of global warming. An Inconvenient Musical isn’t serious in the slightest, but for me was at least as effective – if not more effective – than the source material it spoofs.

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Veronica Decides To Die – Darkroom Theatre Projects

 

I found myself deeply divided watching Veronica Decides To Die. I was turned-on by the production’s use of video, music, movement and songs, but I was turned-off by its long tracts of exposition.

A friend of mine hit it on the head at intermission when she said that the things that she liked most about this show were also the things she enjoyed the least. What we both really enjoyed was – foremost – how the show was an exaggeration of life through the use of live video of the action onstage.

The staging was engaging, and the performances, including a few bars of an opera, and whole lot of movement – everything from fighting to dancing – kept things going.

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Exciting Times Ahead

by Megan Mooney

Well, theatre in Toronto is heating up for the summer (ha ha, get it? summer? heat? man, I’m just sooo funny).

There’s the Dora’s next Monday, a great celebration of theatre in our fine city. The trick is, will we all be awake enough to go since it’s right after the Pride parade.

Then there’s the Fringe festival July 2 – 13, which I have heard being affectionately called “summer camp for grown ups”.

Then in August there’s the Summerworks festival August 7-17.

Plus, of course, there’s all sorts of other non-festival things going on.

Gotta say, I love this city!

'Night, Mother – Soulpepper Theatre

Review by Adam Collier

Before I began reviewing theatre, I had a few stints as a teacher. To coax the kids into the best performance possible, I remember repeating this chestnut: You already have a perfect grade, all you have to do is keep it.

These words came to mind as I sat down to watch Soulpepper’s production of ‘Night, Mother. Its set and soundscape set a standard of near perfection from the get-go. I can’t remember what my expectations were before walking in the theatre, but after getting there they immediately shot-up.

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The Glass Eye at LuminaTO

Review by Erin Klee

I met Louis Negin, co-creator and solo performer of The Glass Eye (which played at this year’s LuminaTO festival), in a coffee house a couple months ago.

We discovered each other under the best of circumstances; I knew nothing of him, and he knew nothing of me. We had each glanced up from our morning coffees and noticed the other. (He had disheveled white hair, inquisitive eyes, and a newspaper; I extricated myself from a backpack heavy with books and an ever-present laptop computer.) We both smiled. I can’t recall who spoke first.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream at LuminaTO

Review by Maarika Pinkney

Midsummer Night's Dream at LuminaTO

When I entered the Canon Theatre, my expectations soared through the roof. I was about to see an international, highly acclaimed performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at LuminaTO!

There was fabulous jungle gym set (though only exposed once Act II commenced) and three drum kits at the sides of the stage just waiting to be played. Once the play began the lighting was done so perfectly it portrayed every emotion and separated each location flawlessly. There were also large hanging cloths and ropes hanging from the ceiling, just teasing me with visions of Cirque de Soliel-esque acrobatics.

However, despite being thoroughly impressed by the set and lighting design, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what happens to be my favourite Shakespeare play.

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