Review: Hook Up (Tapestry Opera)

Hook Up, a world premiere opera commissioned by Tapestry Opera was like taking a walk down the memory lane of about 20 years, the good, the bad and the ugly. Three high school friends are excited to embark on the journey towards adulthood that is first year University. They soon realize that being away from home for the first time is a lot more complicated than parties and sexual exploration. Continue reading Review: Hook Up (Tapestry Opera)

Review: Mary’s Wedding (Solo Productions, Mary Young Leckie and Derrick Chua)

Kate Ross and Fraser Elsdon Dancing in Mary's Wedding at Streetcar Crowsnest Feb 2019

Mary’s Wedding opened this week at Streetcar Crowsnest. It was first performed in 2002 and even though it’s been performed professionally more than 100 times across Canada and around the world this is the first time it’s been professionally performed in Toronto. Director Kent Staines production is wonderful, worth waiting for.

The play is set just before, during, and just after World War I. It opens with one of the characters, Charlie (Fraser Elsdon) telling the audience that this is June 1920, the night before Mary’s (Kate Ross) wedding and what follows is just a dream. He says that it begins at the end and ends at the beginning. It took me until I was writing this to understand what that meant. Continue reading Review: Mary’s Wedding (Solo Productions, Mary Young Leckie and Derrick Chua)

Review: The Tashme Project: The Living Archives (Factory Theatre)

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives explores life in Japanese internment camps, on stage in Toronto

The Tashme Project is a movement bringing to light a part of Canadian history that has been often been kept in the dark; a part of our heritage not often taught in schools. Tashme was one of 14 internment camps in British Columbia used to house Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. The camp spanned over 1200 acres of land and housed over 2600 people. The internment camps were part of Canada’s response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and their declaration of war against the United States, Canada, and Great Britain; the required registration and hard labor used as a means of locating potential spies.

The Living Archives, playing at the Factory Theatre, is a collection of stories and memories of the Nisei, second generation Japanese Canadians who would now be in their 70s and 80s but were children at Tashme. These are their stories and what they remember of their parents’ lives during those times and the resettlement post war.

Continue reading Review: The Tashme Project: The Living Archives (Factory Theatre)

Review: Cock and Bull (Nic Green)

The Progress Festival presents a play by Scotland’s Nic Green in Toronto

Cock and Bull, conceived and directed by Scotland’s Nic Green and currently being presented by FADO Performance Art Centre as part of the Progress Festival at The Theatre Centre, was originally devised for the eve of the 2015 UK General election that saw the Conservative Party’s David Cameron re-elected with an increased share of the vote. Winner of the 2016 Total Theatre Award for best visual/physical theatre at Edinburgh, the show sees three women (Green, Laura Bradshaw, and Rosana Cade) create their own party conference, slipping into the role of vacuous male politicians with mushroom cuts and savage aplomb.

Continue reading Review: Cock and Bull (Nic Green)

Review: The Virgin Trial (Soulpepper)

The Stratford Festival production of The Virgin Trial, a play by Kate Hennig, is onstage in Toronto

After premiering at the Stratford Festival‘s 2017 season, The Virgin Trial by Kate Hennig has hit Toronto stages, being produced by Soulpepper. It’s on until February 3rd, so this is your last week to catch it at the Young Center For The Performing Arts (50 Tankhouse Lane).

The Virgin Trial is a tense historical, political thriller that tells the story of a 15-year-old Elizabeth Tudor (Elizabeth The First). After an attempt on King Edward VI’s life, his Lord Protector brings in Elizabeth, called Bess in the show, to question her involvement and inquire about her supposed virtue.

Continue reading Review: The Virgin Trial (Soulpepper)

Review: This Shape, We Are In and Slow Dance (Toronto Dance Theatre)

Toronto Dance Theatre presents an experimental double bill

Toronto Dance Theatre presents an experimental double bill at the Winchester Street Theatre. Marie Lambin-Gagnon’s Slow Dance begins the night with a conversation between dancers and objects in an otherworldly environment. Followed by a reimagined This Shape, We Are In, choreographed by New York’s Jeanine Durning. Continue reading Review: This Shape, We Are In and Slow Dance (Toronto Dance Theatre)

Review: Rose: A New Musical (Soulpepper)

Photo of Peter Fernandes, Hailey Gillis Sabryn Rock and Oliver Dennis. in Rose: A New Musical. Photo-Cylla-von-TiedemannToronto’s Soulpepper Theatre debuts an original Canadian musical

There are a lot of great things about Rose: A New Musical on stage at Soulpepper right now.

It’s an evening filled with fantastic performances of great music, delightful costumes, and evocative design. It sounds sure to please.

Unfortunately, despite all the great individual elements, they didn’t come together as a whole for my show partner or me.

Continue reading Review: Rose: A New Musical (Soulpepper)