Veronica Decides To Die – Darkroom Theatre Projects

 

I found myself deeply divided watching Veronica Decides To Die. I was turned-on by the production’s use of video, music, movement and songs, but I was turned-off by its long tracts of exposition.

A friend of mine hit it on the head at intermission when she said that the things that she liked most about this show were also the things she enjoyed the least. What we both really enjoyed was – foremost – how the show was an exaggeration of life through the use of live video of the action onstage.

The staging was engaging, and the performances, including a few bars of an opera, and whole lot of movement – everything from fighting to dancing – kept things going.

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Toronto Fringe – is it only as good as the available information?

by Megan Mooney

fringe logo

Okay, so, I’ve already mentioned that I’m excited about the Fringe.  But, as I sit down to do my Fringe planning I find myself tempted to pull all the hair out of my head strand by strand.  The problem?  The Fringe website.

In a little over a week, a huge theatre festival will take place in 30 venues across Toronto.  An interesting side note, something I just noticed while counting out venues, there is no venue 13.  Theatre people a superstitious bunch?  No no, not us!  Right, sorry, back on track.  30 venues across the city, showing 150 shows.  Without a doubt the biggest theatre festival in Toronto, and this year is the 20th anniversary.

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What counts as theatre to you?

by Megan Mooney

baseball

When you think of theatre, what do you think of? I’m betting for the most part people think of a proscenium arch, actors on a stage behind that arch acting out a story for the audience.

One of the best lessons I have ever learned about theatre I learned in my first year of university. I was in an ‘Introduction to Theatre’ being taught by Ric Knowles. Ric taught us that theatre was everywhere. We went to a baseball game, to a religious ceremony, we went to dance performances and the opera, and we even when to a few shows that could be considered almost ‘traditional’ theatre.

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Exciting Times Ahead

by Megan Mooney

Well, theatre in Toronto is heating up for the summer (ha ha, get it? summer? heat? man, I’m just sooo funny).

There’s the Dora’s next Monday, a great celebration of theatre in our fine city. The trick is, will we all be awake enough to go since it’s right after the Pride parade.

Then there’s the Fringe festival July 2 – 13, which I have heard being affectionately called “summer camp for grown ups”.

Then in August there’s the Summerworks festival August 7-17.

Plus, of course, there’s all sorts of other non-festival things going on.

Gotta say, I love this city!

'Night, Mother – Soulpepper Theatre

Review by Adam Collier

Before I began reviewing theatre, I had a few stints as a teacher. To coax the kids into the best performance possible, I remember repeating this chestnut: You already have a perfect grade, all you have to do is keep it.

These words came to mind as I sat down to watch Soulpepper’s production of ‘Night, Mother. Its set and soundscape set a standard of near perfection from the get-go. I can’t remember what my expectations were before walking in the theatre, but after getting there they immediately shot-up.

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The Glass Eye at LuminaTO

Review by Erin Klee

I met Louis Negin, co-creator and solo performer of The Glass Eye (which played at this year’s LuminaTO festival), in a coffee house a couple months ago.

We discovered each other under the best of circumstances; I knew nothing of him, and he knew nothing of me. We had each glanced up from our morning coffees and noticed the other. (He had disheveled white hair, inquisitive eyes, and a newspaper; I extricated myself from a backpack heavy with books and an ever-present laptop computer.) We both smiled. I can’t recall who spoke first.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream at LuminaTO

Review by Maarika Pinkney

Midsummer Night's Dream at LuminaTO

When I entered the Canon Theatre, my expectations soared through the roof. I was about to see an international, highly acclaimed performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at LuminaTO!

There was fabulous jungle gym set (though only exposed once Act II commenced) and three drum kits at the sides of the stage just waiting to be played. Once the play began the lighting was done so perfectly it portrayed every emotion and separated each location flawlessly. There were also large hanging cloths and ropes hanging from the ceiling, just teasing me with visions of Cirque de Soliel-esque acrobatics.

However, despite being thoroughly impressed by the set and lighting design, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what happens to be my favourite Shakespeare play.

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Black Watch – Luminato 2008

Review by Sam Mooney

Go see Black Watch! If you’re reading this on Friday morning – June 13 – there are 5 more performances. The play is based on interviews with soldiers – a tank crew – who served in Iraq with the Scottish Black Watch Regiment.

black-watch

It’s an amazing theatrical experience. It’s funny, and sad, and horrifying. There’s singing and dancing, some quiet moments, and a lot of action.

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