Review: Photog (Boca del Lupo)

By Dana Lacey

Uncompromising and raw, Photog uses new media to give a glimpse into the world of conflict photojournalism.

Jay Dodge by Sherry J. Yoon

The first rule of conflict photography: never let your boss know you’re anything but “normal.” The second rule: don’t get killed.

Photog is a new-media mash-up of true stories from conflict photojournalists, quoted verbatim but told as first-person events by the fictional Thomas Smith, played by writer/performer Jay Dodge.

The project began in Brooklyn, 2008, when theatre company Boca del Lupo interviewed a number of conflict photographers about the nature of their experiences trying to reconcile the worlds they photograph with the worlds they live in. In a series of raw and revealing revelations, photos and videos, they talk about privilege, about feeling disconnected from the world, about following the sound of gunfire instead of running from it. It was commissioned as part of the Harbourfront Centre’s Fresh Ground program.
Continue reading Review: Photog (Boca del Lupo)

Review: The Admirable Crichton (George Brown Theatre School)

Admirable indeed is the performance of The Admirable Crichton playing at the Young Centre in Toronto

By Sam Mooney

The Admirable Crichton - George Brown Theatre SchoolThis is the first production I’ve seen by the the George Brown Theatre School and it certainly won’t be the last. Pat, my companion for the show, and I both thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

The Admirable Crichton is the story of an earl who believes in equality – when it suits him. His butler finds these views horrifying – believing that everyone has a place and should follow the rules of society. The family and servants are shipwrecked and the butler becomes the leader for the time they are stranded on an island. There is nothing subtle about the social commentary but enjoyable anyway.

Continue reading Review: The Admirable Crichton (George Brown Theatre School)

Eye-catching Toronto live theatre for the week of November 14, 2010

Here are all of the shows we wish we could get out and see this week! Take your pick from our list of great theatre escapes for the week of October 24, 2010:

** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Megan, our editor, wish she could clone herself so she could check them all out. Continue reading Eye-catching Toronto live theatre for the week of November 14, 2010

Review: The Skulls of Posada (Double Double Performing Arts)

by Jenna Rocca

I always love to immerse myself in other cultures. So many different communities from all over the world have formed hubs in our beloved City of Toronto, making themselves available to one another from which to learn and to enjoy.

So I was very excited about joining in the Mexican fun at the Day of the Dead Festival at Harbourfront Centre this past weekend. This was a celebration that always beckoned to me and that I felt akin with, even though I’m Italian and our views of death are highly morbid.

The Skulls of Posada was a special performance put on once each day of the festival (November 6th and 7th). From the director’s note: “The duality of Life and Death is a basic concept among all cultures, but Mexicans embody it in a very peculiar way: passionate, fatalistic, solemn, farcical, humorous [sic], irreverent, disrespectful, are just a few of the adjectives […] that depict Mexicans’ way of living… and dying.” Continue reading Review: The Skulls of Posada (Double Double Performing Arts)

Review: Glengarry Glen Ross (Column 13)

By Dana Lacey

Column 13’s Glengarry Glen Ross will have you handing over cheques you didn’t intend to write. Just don’t let your significant other know.

Robert Bellissimo, Jonah Allison, Brandon Thomas, Mischa Jay Cheeseman, Adam Bradley by Andrea Tingley

The first step to enjoying Column 13′s production of Glengarry Glen Ross is to remember that the 1992 movie version (based on a 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play) is packed with big-name, untouchable, uber-masculine actors — Pacino, Baldwin, Spacey, Lemmon – and features a whole lot of dull, dragged-out and often confusing scenes mixed with explosive, expletive-ridden dialogue. Now, imagine that movie stripped of the boring bits and you’ll get a better idea of what you’re in for.

Column 13’s version of the play skips straight to the goods: at one hour, it’s short, loud, hilariously action-packed and will have you swearing like a sailor for the rest of the week. Continue reading Review: Glengarry Glen Ross (Column 13)

Review: Lenin’s Embalmers (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company)

by George Perry

Toronto’s Al Green Theatre serves up a Bolshevik on the rocks, with lots of twists

Lenin's Embalmers

Vladimir Lenin’s body is on display at Red Square in Moscow.  Lenin’s Embalmers, meanwhile, is on display at The Al Green Theatre in Toronto.  We have The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company to thank for bringing this play to Spadina and Bloor.

Continue reading Review: Lenin’s Embalmers (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company)

Review: The Year of Magical Thinking (Tarragon Theatre)

By Dana Lacey

Joan Didion’s heartbreakingly hilarious grief memoir comes alive onstage

Seana McKenna as Joan Didion, by David Cooper
“Life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down for dinner and life as you know it ends. The question of self-pity.” So begins The Year of Magical Thinking, a grief memoir written by author and journalist Joan Didion at the end of what had been for her a terrible year that began on Dec. 30, 2003, when her husband’s heart seized and left her a widow. Soon after, her adult daughter undergoes emergency neurosurgery and spends months hovering just above death. Just before the book was published, her daughter died.

Continue reading Review: The Year of Magical Thinking (Tarragon Theatre)

The Invisible Girl (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People)

Don’t be fooled: Kids’ theatre can really pack an emotional punch

by Jenna Rocca

The Invisible Girl is a poignant and charming look at peer pressure and bullying. It’s pretty meditative and psychologically driven for a children’s show, and the fact that it’s a one-woman show is already a pretty clear obstacle to keeping a group of fifth graders’ attention sustained for over 40 minutes. But it succeeds.

Amy Lee plays Ali with vulnerability and force which makes for some great physical comedy but also some scary internal conflicts. Michele Riml ‘s challenging piece follows Ali over the course of a week, over which she must make some serious choices on her path to independence. Continue reading The Invisible Girl (Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People)

Review: Homeland (Godot Art Productions)

by Dorianne Emmerton

Homeland, by Godot Art Productions, is a multi-media piece. On one level it is a documentary film featuring interviews on the concept of “home” with people who now live in Toronto but originally came from somewhere else. Some of them consider Toronto their home now and some of them will always consider their native land home.

Homeland is also a music and dance number. Composer Reza Moghaddas has crafted a lush soundtrack of electronic and live music, performed by himself and Lorenzo Castelli. The dance is performed by Megan Nadain, a lovely young woman with admirable physical prowess.

Megan enters the stage through the audience which is very intimate given the small venue of the Theatre Passe Muraille backspace. This entry signifies a journey, foretelling the stories of travelling to Canada we then see, projected onto a crumpled screen hung on the stage.

Megan’s outfit is a similarly crumpled white, adorned by a crude rope around her waist. Reza and Lorenzo wore similar shirts, however the effect was compromised for me by the fact that both men wore contemporary casual jeans and shoes. Continue reading Review: Homeland (Godot Art Productions)