Play Listings for the Week of September 15th, 2014

TIFF is over, and the weather is getting chilly… But the theatre scene in Toronto is heating up for the coming start of the fall! Here’s a list of the shows playing in Toronto during the week of September 15th, 2014. If they’re highlighted in red, and have two asterisks before them, they come highly recommended by our Managing Editor, Wayne. You never know what you might find!

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Review: A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge (The Bony Fiddle Theatre Group)

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Two delightfully performed one-act plays, A Man of Two Minds and Lost Refuge took the stage at Toronto’s Tranzac

One act plays can be a good opportunity for playwrights to tell engaging stories on stage without being burdened by the pressure of carrying on with the concept longer than necessary. As such, it was a wise decision on the part of The Bony Fiddle Theatre Group to present Blair Mueller’s two shows, A Man of Two Minds and Lost Refuge, as a double header. Individually, they might have fallen flat – but together, they served as proof of Mueller’s skill as a writer/director, and the theatre group’s versatility as a whole.

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Review: Richard III: The Pleasures of Violence (Kadozuke Kollektif)

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Despite great performances, visual obstructions and hard plastic chairs make Richard III a drawn out discomfort

Richard III: The Pleasures of Violence, currently being produced by Kadozuke Kollektif, was billed in the press material as a “reimagining” of the classic, which made me expect alterations to the text and possibly plot changes as well. Instead this seems to be Shakespeare’s Richard III with some inventive staging. However, because I need to tell you about the experience of the show as well as about the show itself, I have to talk a bit about my bum.

Richard III is the second longest play in the Shakespeare canon and is almost always produced abridged. I have seen it previously a number of times (including last year at Shakespeare in the Ruff) and the run time is usually around two and a half hours. Kadozuke Kollektif seems to be presenting the whole thing: their show runs three and a half hours. And the seating is hard plastic folding chairs. Continue reading Review: Richard III: The Pleasures of Violence (Kadozuke Kollektif)

The Theatregoer’s Bill of Rights

  1. No folding chairs; no patio furniture. (An exception may be made if your show is literally on a patio.)
  2. If the show runs longer than 90 minutes, it must have an intermission.
    • If the show runs longer than 120 minutes, try for two. (And add an intermission for each additional 45 minutes.)
    • If the show runs longer than 180 minutes, it better be the best thing anyone’s put on a stage since Olivier did Hamlet.
  3. If you’re holding the curtain longer than 5 minutes, tell the audience and give us an estimate of when we’ll kick off. (A vague message about “technical difficulties” is just fine.) Don’t make us sit there wondering whether someone’s died.
  4. Always end your show before 1 AM. (If only so people can catch the subway home.)
  5. Warn your audience in advance — about everything. Warn us about gunshots; wheelchair inaccessibility; audience participation; lack of parking near the venue; strobe lights; graphic sexuality; cigarette smoke; “splash zones”; anything; everything.
    These warnings should be on your website, on your social media presence, on a poster outside your venue, and anywhere else it makes sense to include them. It should be impossible to buy a ticket in a state of obliviousness.
  6. Functional, sanitary, well-maintained and accessible washrooms, inside the venue. Don’t make us cross the street to Starbucks.
  7. The venue will have some indication that it is a venue; at least tape a poster to the front window. Don’t make us tug on anonymous doors hoping we’ve found the right place.
  8. Unless it’s opening night, closing night or a fundraiser, curtain speeches are to be capped at 2 minutes; aim for 90 seconds. If the speaker hits 3 minutes, just start the show and play him off-stage.
  9. Latecomers will be seated in sensibly-located aisle-facing house seats near the doors, not wedged into the middles of rows.
  10. But seriously: NO FOLDING CHAIRS. EVER.

Review: Do You Believe in Goats? (Touch My Stereotype)

Touch My Stereotype presents their sketch comedy show Do You Believe in Goats? at Toronto’s Unit 102 Theatre

GoatsIn this vast world of ours, there are so many things that logic and science alone can’t explain. But just because we don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it can’t be used as comedic fodder. Well, at least that’s what the cast of Do You Believe in Goats? would have you believe.

Taking aim at all things occult and pop culture, this Touch My Stereotype production is a one-hour mixed-media sketch revue that demonstrates that nothing – not even the realm of ghouls and goblins – is safe from ridicule.

Continue reading Review: Do You Believe in Goats? (Touch My Stereotype)