This is Progress

Messiah Complex

SummerWorks launches Progress; a new festival bringing international performances to Toronto

This week marks the opening of Toronto’s newest festival; Progress. Produced by the SummerWorks performance festival, Progress is dubbed an “international festival of performance and ideas”. The focus is global but the size is more manageable than its summer counterpart; the programme features roughly a dozen performances, workshops, talks and exhibits, hosted in a single venue; the new home of The Theatre Centre on Queen West. Continue reading This is Progress

Toronto Playlistings for the Week of February 2nd, 2015

Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week

It’s easy to think of February as a less-than-awesome month. There are no holidays except for Valentine’s Day (which can be a bit of an unhappy day for a lot of folks, and a very stressful one even for people who are in relationships). But this February, you’re going to have more fun, because you’re going to see a lot of theatre! And these are the shows playing in Toronto for the start of the month. Anything highlighted in red with two asterisks comes highly recommended by our Managing Editor, Wayne.

Continue reading Toronto Playlistings for the Week of February 2nd, 2015

Review: Vincent Mantsoe (Danceworks)

Vincent Mantsoe

Dance virtuoso Vincent Mantsoe wows Toronto audiences at the Harbourfront Centre

The word “virtuoso” is one that has understandably lost its impact. Like all superlatives, it’s easy to toss around, and if it ever made readers perk up, it doesn’t anymore.

But when Danceworks curator Mimi Beck writes that Vincent Mantsoe — performing his two-part show NTU and Skwatta at Harbourfront Centre Theatre until January 31 — is a dancer of “breathtaking virtuosity,” she’s just stating the facts. He’s incredible.

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The Other Place (Canadian Stage)

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Canadian Stage wows Toronto audiences with the “emotionally gripping” The Other Place

When I first read the description of The Other Place, I was expecting to walk into an emotional thriller that would have me at the edge of my seat. Instead, I was taken into another journey that wasn’t quite dark and mysterious but informative and at times emotionally gripping. The talented cast and the creative set design by Judith Bowden were the highlights of this Canadian Stage production.

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Review: Ginger Nation (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

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Shawn Hitchins’ one man show was “funny yet moving” at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

I sat down in my seat for Ginger Nation by Shawn Hitchins and looked around the room. I was not used to seeing Buddies in Bad Times Theatre looking so calm. On Saturday nights the theatre opens its doors as a bar and dance club. I was so accustomed to the speakers blasting 90’s hits and glorious drag queens strutting down the main staircase. This version of “Buddies” was toned down, but it had just as much spirit as the Saturday night crowd. I left the theatre just as elated as I do when I dance the night away.

The show opened with who I thought was an overly-enthusiastic Emcee. Soon I found out that it was Diana Love, the opening comedian. Love can only be described as a delightful weirdo. She introduced herself to the room as “your best friend for the next twenty minutes.” She did feel like a close friend who really lets loose over pitchers of sangria. She flipped from silly jokes about her hometown in P.E.I to lewd jokes about her sex life. Every punch line was followed by a laugh like she was shocked that she confessed that to a room full of people. By the end of her set, I was trying to wipe the tears from under my glasses.
Continue reading Review: Ginger Nation (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)