Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Mirvish)

Phantom of the Opera castPhantom of the Opera Brings Opulence and Gothic Romance to the Toronto Stage.

One of the longest-running musicals of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, based on the novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, tells the story of a disfigured musical genius (Derrick Davis) living beneath the Paris Opera.

The Phantom, as he’s called by the opera’s artists and stagehands, is a controlling, sinister presence at the opera, where he frequently wreaks havoc. The Phantom also acts as both teacher and would-be lover to Christine (Emma Grimsley), the opera’s young new musical talent, who the Phantom considers the only appropriate vessel for his musical genius. Complicating matters is Christine’s childhood friend, Raoul (Jordan Craig), who also professes to love her. Along the way, there are a few murders, a love triangle, and a whole lot of stupidly-talented vocalists singing the roof off. Continue reading Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Mirvish)

Winter of 88 (Nowadays Theatre) 2020 Next Stage Review

Photo of actor in Winter of 88

Timely. Tragic. Powerful.

With the Iranian plane crash in the headlines and tense US-Iran relations in the news, I knew it was going to be a tough night with a timely work.

Winter of 88, presented by Nowadays Theatre and part of the Next Stage 2020 festival, follows the faces and families behind the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq from 1980 to 1988.

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Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop! (Justin Miller) 2020 Next Stage Review

Photo of Pearle Harbour in Pearle Harbour's Agit-PopPearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop! is playing as part of the 2020 Next Stage Theatre Festival. The show features a cabaret-style evening of music and storytelling with a political and often dark edge. She aptly describes it as “musical meditations on the pre-post-apocalypse.”

Underneath a warm and glamourous persona, Pearle Harbour delivers social commentary that is incisive, biting, and a little melancholy.

Continue reading Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop! (Justin Miller) 2020 Next Stage Review