Toronto Theatre Reviews

Cloud 9 – Mirvish Productions

By Crystal Wood

Cloud NineCaryl Churchill’s play Cloud 9, playing at the Panasonic Theatre, is often billed as a “gender-bending comedy.” In fact, I think that may be selling it a little short.

Gender isn’t the only thing at play here. Women play men, adults play children, white actors play black characters and vice versa, and two people play one person. On paper, it would seem like audience-goers would need a map to follow along, but Churchill’s wit is sharp and clear, and director Alisa Palmer skillfully interprets the script.

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Shut-up and Show Us Your Tweets- Second City

by Lucy Allen
 
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Let’s face it. When it comes to sketch comedy, Second City has always been one of the safest bets you can go with. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if their newest show Shut-up and Show Us Your Tweets would meet this high standard. Well, if I was to judge by the amount of tears streaming down my face in laughter, I’d say they achieved that task and then some. Continue reading Shut-up and Show Us Your Tweets- Second City

You Fancy Yourself – Contrary Company (in association with Theatre Passe Muraille)

By Megan Mooney

You have three more chances to check out Contrary Company’s You Fancy Yourself at Theatre Passe Muraille.  You might want to consider changing whatever plans you already have so that you can fit this one in.  If for no other reason, than to revel in Maja Ardal’s virtuoso performance.

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Hay Fever – Alumnae Theatre Company

By Sam Mooney

Cast of Hay Fever playing at the Alumnae Theatre

Want to be entertained? Hay Fever, playing at the Alumnae Theatre will do so in grand style. Written in 1925, Hay Fever is Noel Coward at his funniest. The plot – and I use the term loosely – revolves around a family and their weekend house guests in the country.

It’s very funny. The set is a sweet re-creation of a country sitting room. Throughout the play there was a silk stocking hanging from the chandelier that no one seemed to notice. There was also a barometer that kept falling off the wall, – I think this was actually a prop issue – but it was still funny every time it happened.

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Next Stage Festival – Icarus Redux

By: Darryl D’Souza

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Watching Icarus Redux at the Next Stage Festival was a strange experience for me. I can’t say that I loved it, but I didn`t loathe it either. The gap between the original myth of Icarus and Daedalus and this production is rather enormous. 

If you don’t know the myth, basically Daedalus, imprisoned in Crete with his son Icarus, devised a pair of wings made out of wax and feathers to escape captivity. He warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sea, as the wing’s feathers would get wet. And, more notoriously, not to fly too close to the sun as the heat would cause the wax attaching the wings to melt. Icarus flew too close to the sun, the wax melted, and he plummeted to his death into the sea. Daedalus mourned the loss of his son, whose death he had caused by creating the wings. 

Here’s where Icarus Redux picks up. It’s about the relationship between a father and son, seemingly imprisoned in their home (a modern Crete). Continue reading Next Stage Festival – Icarus Redux

Next Stage Festival – The Making of St. Jerome – eastBOUNDtheatre

By Sam Mooney

The Making of Saint Jerome

Have you ever noticed that plays based on actual events are always heartbreaking? The Making of St Jerome from eastBoundplayers playing as part of the Next Stage Festival is no exception. The most heartbreaking thing about the play is that there are no answers, not even to the most basic question. Why?

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Next Stage Festival – The Red Queen Effect – Seventh Stage Productions

By Sam Mooney

The Red Queen Effect

The Red Queen Effect – from Seventh Stage Productions – is playing as part of the Next Stage Festival. Sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake. It took me till the end of the play to realize that ‘the red queen effect’ must refer to running in place as fast as you can just to stay in place.

There was a lot of running, but it seemed to me this Alice did get where she wanted to go. Or at least she managed the first leg of the trip.

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