Review: Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre)

“Riotously funny” Figaro adaptation is a “must see” in Toronto

Figaro’s Wedding, Against the Grain Theatre‘s remount of their critically acclaimed 2013 production, provides a much needed 21st century facelift to one of the most beloved operas of all time, Le nozze di Figaro. Da ponte’s libretto is full of fluff and nonsense, with a large pinch of subtle (and not so subtle) class critique. However, there are plot points that don’t time travel well, and jokes that are simply not funny to modern sensibilities.

AtG artistic director Joel Ivany’s adaption in modern English cleverly retains the main plot points of the original work and incorporates most of the opera’s iconic musical numbers. But Ivany’s version departs from the original at leisure to tell a very familiar modern-day tale of a millennial wedding beset by family drama, financial woes, and questionable friends. Continue reading Review: Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre)

Review: Every Day She Rose (Nightwood Theatre)

Every Day She Rose is compelling and complex, now playing in Toronto

Three years ago, Black Lives Matter Toronto was the Grand Marshall group of Toronto Pride, and used the opportunity to stop the parade and present to then-ED of Pride Toronto Mathieu Chantelois a list of demands relating to Black inclusion and centering in Pride. The surrounding controversy, which still feels fresh and difficult, is the subject of Nick Green and Andrea Scott’s new play, Every Day She Rose (a Nightwood production playing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre).

Continue reading Review: Every Day She Rose (Nightwood Theatre)

Review (Kid+1): The Adventures of Pinocchio (Young People’s Theatre)

photo of Pinocchio and Blue Fairy

Pinocchio’s Adventures are Dark and Beautifully Costumed

Directed by Sheila McCarthy, The Adventures of Pinocchio is a fast-moving musical at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. This beloved classic by Carlo Collodi is cleverly produced, and it is darker and more eerie than the Disney version. After being carved out of by wood by Gepetto (Shawn Wright), Pinocchio (Connor Lucas) rejects the idea of effort, responsibility and learning his ABCs. Instead, he leaves his kind father and joins mischievous Lampwick (Noah Beemer) on his misadventures, while the Blue Fairy (Malindi Ayienga) intermittently watches over him.

Continue reading Review (Kid+1): The Adventures of Pinocchio (Young People’s Theatre)

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.

Continue reading Toronto Playlistings for the Week of December 2, 2019

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)