Toronto Playlistings for the Week of December 2, 2019

Shows that Caught Our Eye in Toronto for the Week of December 2, 2019

How did it get to be December already?!? It feels like just last week we were sitting enjoying the last of the outdoor theatre season. Fall has just flown by! There are a number of great shows closing this week, so if there is something you’ve been thinking of seeing it’s time to get out see it before it’s too late. Check them out in our Already Reviewed by MoT list below.

Or, if you’re itching to see something new, take a peak at what has caught our eye from among the diverse shows opening this week. At the start of the December holiday season, our editor Lin is checking her ‘reds’ list to let you know what shows she thinks are must see’s the week.

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Review: They’re Listening (Echo Productions)

They’re Listening is an “energetic romp through a virtual reality-scape”

Picture of Adrian Yearwood and Cora Matheson in They're ListeningThey’re Listening is a quirky science fiction production from indie Toronto-based theatre company Echo Productions. It’s currently playing at The Collective Space, a community performance, event, and workshop venue. (Be warned, the entrance to the venue is around the back of the building and easy to miss).

Echo Productions’s goal is to produce socially relevant works for the Millenial generation and for audiences who wouldn’t normally view theatre. And They’re Listening is just that. The play is set in a post-apocalyptic world with action sequences modeled like video game adventures. Leveling up, health bars, and other video game features are projected onto the back wall of the stage. Continue reading Review: They’re Listening (Echo Productions)

Review: Stars: Together (Streetcar Crowsnest)

Photo of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan in Stars Together by Dahlia KatzMeta-play and concert celebrates and explores the 20-year legacy of indie band Stars

Montreal’s indie-rock darlings Stars are celebrating their 20th year of making music by starring in a play about themselves at Streetcar Crowsnest. Stars: Together, a combination “rock-doc” and concert, is a self-aware piece, created by the band, Chris Abraham, and Zack Russell. It combines Behind the Music-style drama and metatheatre to form something a little weird and a little wonderful.

I’m a very casual fan of Stars – I’ve enjoyed their music, but never sought it out, and couldn’t name all eight of their albums. For true fans of the band, this show is a no-brainer, but it’s not just a concert, and can be enjoyed on both a theatrical and musical level.

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Review: Citadel Dance Mix 2019 (Citadel+Compagnie)

Ballet ‘sampler’ perfect for old hats and newcomers alike

Citadel Dance Mix 2019 is like a sample platter of contemporary ballet, showcasing the choreography of three local dancers, Syreeta Hector, Christianne Ullmark, and Nova Bhattacharya. Their styles are highly contrasting and the themes explored are varied, creating a good opportunity for newcomers to modern ballet to experience the diversity of expression that is possible. Suffice it to say, it is a far cry from The Nutcracker or Swan Lake. Continue reading Review: Citadel Dance Mix 2019 (Citadel+Compagnie)

Review: Between Riverside and Crazy (Coal Mine Theatre)

Photo of Allegra Fulton and Alexander Thomas in Between Riverside and CrazyMasterful performances anchor the timely Between Riverside and Crazy, now on stage in Toronto

Coal Mine Theatre has brought American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Between Riverside and Crazy to Toronto, and this production packs one hell of a punch. It’s a timely show, particularly relevant in these times of growing political, social and economic strife.

An unorthodox tale of David and Goliath, Between Riverside and Crazy tells the story of a retired New York City police officer, Walter “Pops” Washington, living in the aftermath of an accident some eight years earlier. As the story goes, Pops, who is Black, was shot six times by a White rookie police officer, while drinking off-duty in a bar. Left injured by the shooting, Pops has been relentlessly pursuing a discrimination case against the New York Police Department, alleging that the White officer targeted him for being Black, before firing away.

Continue reading Review: Between Riverside and Crazy (Coal Mine Theatre)