Katherine Mansfield – Theatre Smith Gilmore at Factory Theatre

I’m not going to be able to see Katherine Mansfield at Factory Theatre, but it sounds pretty interesting, so let me pass on the information I got from the publicist:

Reasons to check out Theatre Smith-Gilmour, and specifically the show Katherine Mansfield that is playing at the Factory Studio Theatre March 14 – April 5, 2009:

  • Theatre Smith-Gilmour is a pre-eminent Toronto theatre companies that produces original works.
  • Along with a new title, Katherine Mansfield includes twenty minutes of new material, a new beginning and ending, and many cuts to the original The Mansfield Project script.
  • Katherine Mansfield, not only one of the most talented short story writers of her generation, was also praised for her strong feminist writing. She had deep concern for the status of women and most of her characters were women (as is the case with TSG’s production). She employed a feminist approach in both her life and her literature. Her work demonstrates how male sexual and economic dominance, at the time, denied women an independent role. Often, her female characters reject the possibility of independence or are unable to take advantage of it, for example in "The Colonel’s Daughters" (one of the stories featured in Katherine Mansfield).
  • Theatre Smith-Gilmour has a very unique creative process and theatrical style. Their development process is collaborative and they often work with the same actors and creative team. Katherine Mansfield an example of their unique creative style as it is written by Dean Gilmour and Michele Smith in collaboration with Claire Calnan and Adam Paolozza. They work with their actors on the source material in order to create a piece. They believe that when a group of artists who have grown together as the work itself has grown not only is the connection with the audience and the impact upon them richer, but the experience for the artists themselves is richer.
  • There work appears, for the most part, on a bare stage with minimal props. TSG believe in a type of theatre that exists in the here and now; simultaneously on a bare stage and in the actors’ and audiences’ imagination. The style depends on minimal costuming, set pieces and few props.
  • hey are training the next generation. They teach at various institutions, they offer workshops in their unique style, and they even created a new piece, Grimm with the graduating class at Humber College to great acclaim.
  • They work has been featured internationally, including Russia and China.

Katherine Mansfield plays at Factory Theatre Studio (125 Bathurst Street) until April 5
– Showtimes are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 8 PM; Sundays at 2:30 PM
– Tickets are Thursday $20; Friday $25; Saturday $28 ($5 Student/Senior discount on all tickets)
– Tickets are available through Factory Theatre Box Office at 416 504-9971, on-line at www.factorytheatre.ca or at the door

For more information please visit www.theatresmithgilmour.com

Matchmaker, Matchmaker (Listing for Blind Date at Harbourfront)

from the keyboard of: Alex Rayment

So in case you don’t know, I loves the improvs. When I heard that Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage was putting on an improv show, I had to check it out…but unfourtunately it hasn’t happened yet which is why I’m writing this preview.

You, oh readers of the interwebs, have won the glorious chance to be my date(s) to an improv show about someone else’s date and it will only cost you $25. Blind Date is about a woman, played by the brilliant Rebecca Northan, who gets stood up and is forced to turn to the audience to find someone brave and willing to fill the empty void at the table and in her heart.

In case I haven’t mentioned this, she and her randomly chosen audience member (maybe you) are making this up as they go along. I think it sounds like a blast and wouldn’t miss it for the world. The show has a limited run of five nights and opens Tuesday March 3rd, so if you’re as interested as I am – get on your horse and book some tickets.

– Show runs March 3-7 at the Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
– Doors are at 7pm, show at 8 pm.
– Tickets are $25 and can be bought online (www.harbourfrontcentre.com) or via phone -416 973 4000

Proof – East Side Players

by Megan Mooney

Dany Savard, David Nicholson, Rebecca Buttigieg in Proof

Sometimes things combine to make a really delightful experience.  In the case of the East Side Players production of David Auburn’s Proof, it was some wonderful direction from a first-time director, a great script, and some strong actors, to just name a few. 

I often have some trepidation when going to a ‘community theatre’.  Don’t get me wrong, I have worked with community theatre in the past, and am really glad they’re around, but lets face it, sometimes the shows at community theatres leave a bit to be desired.  That’s not the case with this show (and, given Dana’s experience with Tartuffe, I suspect it’s generally not the case with East Side Players).

Continue reading Proof – East Side Players

Baby on board

happyfamily So, I’m no longer pregnant.  I am now a mum.  It’s bloody cool. 

It does mean that I’m still a bit slower than usual in the posting realm.  I have a review that will be going up shortly, it’s for the East Side Players production of David Auburn’s Proof.

Here’s the really short version…  I really liked it.  There was some great chemistry between the leads, and the directing was nice and tight (and impressive for a director’s debut piece).  Also, it’s a script that I’ve never encountered before, but really enjoyed.  All in all, a very enjoyable evening out. 

I’m doing the quickie version here just in case someone wants to make their way to a matinee on Sunday.  Otherwise you can wait for my longer, and hopefully more enlightening version that I will get up as soon as possible.

By the way, the picture has nothing to do with Proof, it’s me and my partner and our wee one that my sister-in-law, Trina Koster, took of us in our exhausted stupor…

You Fancy Yourself – Theatre Passe Muraille (backspace)

by Mark Augustine

Maja Ardal in You Fancy Yourself

Funny! Incredibly harsh but extremely funny! Maja Ardal’s performance in You Fancy Yourself at the Theatre Passe Muraille backspace deserves kudos for the effort and talent she exerts to transform harsh schoolyard life and childhood torment into a comedy juggernaut. This one-woman show will catch the audience off-guard with the clean and deliberate energy that kept me applauding for more even after 2 hours.

Continue reading You Fancy Yourself – Theatre Passe Muraille (backspace)

Zona Pellucida & the Needle Exchange (A Double Bill) – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Review by Mark Augustine

Stephen Lawson, Aaron Pollard

Q: What do you get when you cross the Twilight Zone with Italian Opera and throw in Norma Desmond as the lead character?

A: I’ll be damned if I know. But it’s pretty much what you can expect from Zona Pellucida – a 45 min. one person show from Montreal which played at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

My friend Earnest and I didn’t really know what to expect from “Zona Pellucida”. The posters gave little indication of plot and the programme offered little more. It is one of those kinds of shows where you sit there for the first ten minutes thinking “Ok, I just need to concentrate harder and maybe I’ll get the purpose here!” By the time we hit 25 minutes I just decided to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Continue reading Zona Pellucida & the Needle Exchange (A Double Bill) – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Stranger – Praxis Theatre

James Murray as Meursault

by Alex Rayment

It’s cold, slushy, bleak and the credit card bills from the holiday season have arrived. Happy National Depression Week everyone. It’s the perfect time for me to huddle indoors and dust off my keyboard for some good old theatre bloggin’. It also happens to be perfect setting in which to present the famous, anti-nihilistic French classic L’Étranger – the book on which Stranger by Praxis Theatre is based.

So for starters, go read the book.

Continue reading Stranger – Praxis Theatre

Them & Us – Theatre Passe Muraille


by Sam Mooney

Them & Us, playing at Theatre Passe Muraille, isn’t really a play; it’s a series of vignettes. All these portraits and sketches focus on male-female relationships and the trouble we have connecting with each other.

You’re going to want to see this one with a friend, because you’re going to want to talk about it afterwards. It would be ideal to go with a friend of the opposite sex. That way you can ask if women say “I don’t believe in romantic love” or if men say “I want to stab you with a fork…in the shoulder”, or if those seem to just be ‘guy things’ or ‘girl things’.

Continue reading Them & Us – Theatre Passe Muraille