Recent Theatre Reviews

Theatre Review: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – Gertrude and Alice, conceived & created by The Independent Aunties

Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

It might seem self-serving that Evalyn Parry, the artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, has opened up the 40th anniversary season (“40 Years of Queer”) with her own play, but when a vehicle is brilliant, I say flaunt it. Gertrude and Alice was a giant hit in 2016 and is always welcome.

The play about long time lovers Gertrude Stein (Parry) and Alice B. Toklas (Anna Chatterton) was written by Parry and Chatterton, and –Read More

Theatre Review on Ludwig van/Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Just published my review on the Ludwig van website of Musical Stage Company and Outside the March/ Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life, book, music & lyrics by Anika and Britta Johnson, directed by Mitchell Cushman, music director Elizabeth Braid, Heliconian Hall, Sept. 13 to Oct. 14. Tickets available at 1-888-324-6282 or DrSilverTO.ca.

Here’s the link. https://bit.ly/2IfSzAz.

Theatre Review: 4th Line Theatre 2018 – Who Killed Snow White? by Judith Thompson

Photo by Wayne Eardley

The 4th Line Theatre bill of fare is typically jolly and/or whimsical, and always informative because of a tie-in to local historical happenings. (The outdoor summer theatre is located on a farm near Millbrook, Ontario.) The world premiere of Who Killed Snow White? by Judith Thompson is a radical departure. Thompson is a distinguished Canadian playwright who writes with her heart on her sleeve. Who Killed Snow White? addresses sexual assault, cyberbullying and teenage suicide –Read More

Interview – Laura Nanni, artistic and managing director of SummerWorks Performance Festival

Photo by Tanja Tiziana

INTRODUCTION

Laura Nanni, 38, is a mover and shaker in the arts. She is a curator, artist and producer, who since 2016, has been the artistic and managing director of the prestigious SummerWorks Performance Festival, Toronto’s annual curated showcase for contemporary new work in theatre, dance, music, live art and multidisciplinary productions. She has also been on the staff of some of the city’s most experimental forums such Nuit Blanche, the Rhubarb Festival and HATCH. Nanni’s –Read More

Theatre Review/Blyth Festival 2018 – The New Canadian Curling Club by Mark Crawford

Photo by Terry Manzo

Playwright Mark Crawford is a comedy genius. The Blyth Festival is featuring the world premiere of his The New Canadian Curling Club, and it is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Crawford’s wickedly funny and very clever one-liners just keep rolling off the stage. But here’s the kicker – the subject of the play is anything but funny, because the main theme is racism and prejudice, with searching questions about what makes someone a Canadian thrown in for good –Read More

Luminato 2018 Theatre Review – Burning Doors/Belarus Free Theatre

Belarus Free Theatre is an ironic name, because the renown company is anything but free in their own country where they are banned. In fact, when they do manage to perform there, they have to go underground. To inform their audience, they put up fliers in university washrooms. Belarus, apparently, is the last dictatorship left in Europe. The exiled company, founded in Minsk in 2005, now calls London home.

Clearly BFT is a company of dissent, and their production Burning –Read More

Luminato 2018 Theatre Review: RIOT (THISISPOPBABY)

The Irish theme at this year’s Luminato Festival continues with RIOT. The production is the brainchild of THISISPOPBABY (aka Jennifer Jennings & Phillip McMahon), a company that bills itself as having one foot in high art and the other in trash culture. Their mandate is to produce high-octane shows that blur the lines between circus, comedy, burlesque, dance and nightclub. Clearly Luminato programmed RIOT to attract the younger demographic, and the audience was filled with twenty and thirtysomethings out –Read More

Luminato 2018 Dancetheatre Review: Swan Lake/Loch na hEala (Teac Damsa

Alex Leonhartsberger and Rachel Poirier Photo: Foteini Christofilopoulou

The point of a festival is seeing performing arts that are different or unique to showings in your own town – or why have a festival at all? With this statement as a dictum, let’s look at one of the opening shows of Luminato 2018 – Swan Lake/Loch na hEala. As it happens, the production is perfect festival fare.

The dancetheatre piece is the brainchild of writer, director, choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan, artistic –Read More

Theatre Review: The RISER Project 1/Mr. Truth and Tell Me What It’s Called

Toronto’s acclaimed Why Not Theatre is behind the annual RISER Project staged at the Theatre Centre. Called “A Collaborative Producing Model”, the aim is to provide performance opportunities for emerging artists with Why Not helping out with production infrastructure to allow the newbies maximum creation time. Four groups are chosen and appear two by two. The second set of RISER offerings has just opened and runs until May 12 featuring Speaking of Sneaking and Everything I Couldn’t Tell You. –Read More

Theatre Profile – Jacquie P.A. Thomas/Theatre Gargantua and the new work Reflector

Theatre Gargantua’s Reflector is showing at Theatre Passe Muraille Nov. 2-18. The production’s wellspring is the impact that photojournalism has on public consciousness, and how information can be framed and manipulated.

INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE GARGANTUA.

Jacquie P.A. Thomas

For 25 years, Theatre Gargantua has defined the term multi-disciplinary with original productions, built from scratch, that are an eye-popping mix of narrative, movement, music, stage design and state-of-the-art technology. The devised play is always about a substantive topic – usually concerning the –Read More