Photo by Andrew Alexander

The touring production of Lorena Gale’s Angélique (1995) is a class act. Originally presented by Montreal’s Black Theatre Workshop and Tableau D’Hôte, the classic play is performed with both earnestness and imagination. It has taken over two decades for this important play to make it to Toronto, but given the excellence of the production, the wait has been worth it.

Marie-Joseph Angélique was a 29-year-old slave who was
tortured and hanged in 1734 for burning down 46 buildings in –Read More

Recent Blog Posts

I’ve Been Missing in Action – Blame the Internet

In December, I was upgraded by Bell to fibre optics because my modem speed was so slow, and so my troubles began.The braindead subcontractors who put in the fibre optics ended them in our mechanical rooms and not in the actual units themselves. As a result, I did not have a stable internet connection and had to keep rebooting my modem (which required my phoning my concierge to send the patrolman to open the door because we mortal owners/tenants don’t –Read More

A New Gig for Paula

June 17, 2018 – A New Gig for Paula

I am now a contributor to Ludwig van Toronto, an online magazine (mostly music) that is now branching out into dance and theatre. My first review for Ludwig van is The National  Ballet of Canada’s summer mixed program.

Ludwig van is a good-looking, informative magazine and I’m delighted to be a contributor for dance and theatre.

Here’s the link. Enjoy.

https://www.ludwig-van.com/toronto/

Musings – Ontario Election 2018

On the night Donald Trump was elected, comedienne Jenna Friedman on a late night talk show summed up the situation perfectly with – “We’re fucked.” Never did I think that I would be in the same boat with a meathead elected as premier in my own province. Now it’s my turn to say, “We’re fucked.”

The only smart Ontario voters live in Toronto. I’m talking about the old Toronto, the real Toronto without Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough, all of –Read More

TIFF Movies 2016 – Best and Worst

Saw 21 films, almost all of them enjoyable. Due to a broken neck, (I kid you not), caused by a very bad fall in early August, I had to construct a list of films where I didn’t have to switch theatres during the day. I also needed decent access because of my walker, so there are more big-budget English language movies than I would usually choose. My directors were largely women, although that was happenstance and not design. By coincidence, –Read More

Recent Reviews

Theatre Review – Modern Times Stage Company & Crow’s Theatre/The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

Photo by John Lauener

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Modern Times Stage
Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The
Cherry Orchard
is near perfection.

Modern Times is one of my favourite companies in the city. I
particularly love director Soheil Parsa’s take on the classics. He goes right
to the heart of the matter, and you come away from a Modern Times production
completely satisfied because you have experienced the playwright’s intention in
the purist sense. Such is the case of Parsa’s The Cherry Orchard where Chekhov’s human comedy has –Read More

Theatre Review – Puzzle Piece Theatre/The Little Prince: Reimagined, translated and adapted by Richard Lam

Photo by Barry McCluskey

One of the delights of The
Little Prince: Reimagined
is that it is a low-tech production. It is quite
amazing what you can create out of paper airplanes, and the clever use of
flashlights. This enjoyable children’s theatre features a paper puppet show of
immense imagination.

Richard Lam translated and adapted the script from the
beloved 1943 novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He also composed the
light-hearted music, and appears on stage as the pilot and various other
characters. Kira Hall, with her adorable mop –Read More

Theatre Review – Native Earth Performing Arts & Bound to Create Theatre/Isitwendam (An Understanding), co-created by Meegwun Fairbrother and Jack Grinhaus

Photo by Joe Bucci

Before getting into the relative merits of the play, the
production of Isitwendam (An
Understanding)
has one of the finest integrations of theatrical values I
have witnessed in many a moon. The set (Hans Saefkow), lighting (Melissa
Joakim), projections (Andy Moro with Joakim), and sound (Marc Meriläinen) move
together with the precision of a military tattoo. When actor/playwright Meegwun
Fairbrother is added to the mix, a fifth element becomes totally synchronized
into the whole. If I had to sum up the visual/aural impact of –Read More

Theatre Review – Pulse Theatre/The Woods Are Dark and Deep by Mladen Obradovic

The Woods Are Dark and
Deep
is one of those plays whose heart is in the right place, but one that
needs work.

Clearly, playwright Mladen Obradovic is passionate about his
subject – the little known fact that during World War 1, Canada put 8500
immigrants into 24 internment camps, including whole families, who had
passports from the enemy combatants. Given the scope of empires, this included Germans, Italians, Ukrainians, Croats,
Serbs, Austrians, Hungarians and Turks.

Mostly men, these immigrants were used as a manual labour
force, –Read More