Review: En avant, marche! (NTGent & les ballets C de la B)

Photo from "En avant, marche!"“Fearless” Luminato show takes to the Toronto stage

It was a huge pleasure to attend En avant, marche!, co-produced by NTGent & les ballets C de la B and presented by Luminato. This wonderfully entertaining multidisciplinary show filled the stage at the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts with music, dance, and heart. With four actor-performers, seven Belgian musicians, and a brass band, there was never a dull moment.

The show centers around a musician (Wim Opbrouck) whose cancer diagnosis has forced him to trade his beloved trombone for a pair of cymbals. Far from being melancholy, however, En avant, marche! ricochets joyously from one feeling to another: it is at times funny, bizarre, profound, raunchy, and filled with visual and musical delights.

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Review: Shove It Down My Throat (Buddies In Bad Times)

Photo of Johnny WalkerShove It Down My Throat brought raw, living theatre to the Toronto stage

Judging by the title alone, I knew I was in for an edgy night of theatre and I definitely got it.

Pandemic Theatre Company‘s Shove It Down My Throat, which played for one night only as part of the Buddies In Bad Times Residency Program, is a docu-play investigating a series of stabbings at a LGBTQ New Year’s Eve Party back in 2013. Johnny Walker has written emails to Luke O’Donovan, the gay teen who was thrown in jail for committing the act. Johnny enlists his friends to help him find the truth of what really happened that night, and finds out once and for all whether or not Luke is the gay rights poster boy he thought he was.

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Review: Ghost Rings (Luminato)

Ghost Rings, part of the Luminato Festival in Toronto, is “whimsical” and “wonderfully wild”

David Pecault Square is home to the Famous Spiegeltent for Luminato, serving as the venue for performances including Ghost Rings, from NYC company Half Straddle. Ghost Rings is a pop-punk experimental musical about girls who are close when they are young, but grow estranged as they become adults. Continue reading Review: Ghost Rings (Luminato)

Review: Yellow Towel (Dancemakers’ 2017 Minifest)

Dancemakers presents Dana Michel’s powerful new show in Toronto as part of 2017 Minifest

Yellow Towel had its Toronto premiere on Saturday at the Winchester Street Theatre as part of Dancemakers’ 2017 Minifest. Before seeing Yellow Towel, I had never been to a dance performance. Immediately, I was caught off guard by the intimacy of the venue. There was no elevated stage providing further separation between the audience and the performer, just a plain white floor stretched out in front of a row of seats.  Continue reading Review: Yellow Towel (Dancemakers’ 2017 Minifest)

Playlistings in Toronto for the week of June 19th

Shows That Caught Our Eye in Toronto the Week of June 19th, 2017

Stories and history are major themes in Toronto’s theatre scene this week! And of course, with Pride month well under way, there is no shortage of queer-centred offerings. Our assistant editor Jess is on hand to highlight a few of her top picks in red. Check them out below the cut:

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Review: King Arthur’s Night (New World Theatre and Luminato)

A unique take on the Arthurian tale, on stage in Toronto as part of the Luminato Festival

New World Theatre’s production of King Arthur’s Night had its world premiere on Friday at the Berkeley Street Theatre as part of Luminato. The work was commissioned by Luminato and written by Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef who play Arthur and Merlin respectively. McNeil is a 35-year-old playwright and actor living with Down syndrome. Youssef is the artistic director of New World Theatre. Together with director James Long and composer Veda Hille, they’ve created a wonderful and unique work. Continue reading Review: King Arthur’s Night (New World Theatre and Luminato)

Review: Romeo and Juliet (Bard in the Park)

Bard in the Park tackles classic romance with wit and humour in Toronto’s Kew Gardens

Now in their 11th Season, Bard in the Park are community-based players that liven up Toronto’s Kew Gardens every summer with their performances. This year’s outing, Romeo and Juliet, is a well-rounded production with the courage to give the star-crossed lovers a little​ more life. While it is Shakespeare’s most famous romantic tragedy, Bard in the Park have staged a Romeo and Juliet that addresses the politics, comedy, and even hatred lurking within the antique text. It is a heartfelt performance, but with the cajones to veer into dark comedy. Shakespeare in the Park can often be harder than it looks. Continue reading Review: Romeo and Juliet (Bard in the Park)

REVIEW: Double Bill featuring Work-In-Progress and Rafters (Dancemakers 2017 Minifest)

Double dance bill challenges expectations on the Toronto stage

This last Tuesday, I stepped out of my theatre comfort zone and attended Dancemakers’ double bill of Amanda Acorn’s untitled work-in-progress and Andrea Spaziani’s Rafters. Acorn’s work-in-progress is a collaborative dance piece featuring Robert Abubo, Lori Duncan, Bee Pallomina, and Ann Trépanier. Rafters explores the thoughts and voice of Andrea Spaziani with collaborators Alicia Grant and Julia Male. As a part of Dancemakers’ 2017 Minifest, these two pieces pushed the constructs of dance and movement. Continue reading REVIEW: Double Bill featuring Work-In-Progress and Rafters (Dancemakers 2017 Minifest)