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

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

The Glenn Gould School Opera/The Magic Flute by W.A. Mozart

Photo: Nicola Betts

There are student performances, and then there are student
performances. At the Glenn Gould School, the students are mostly in their
twenties and are on a career track. One expects both the singers and the
orchestra to be at near professional level, and musically, the performance of
Mozart’s The Magic Flute did not
disappoint. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

One of the main impacts of these professional training
program performances is to introduce the young artists to watch, and the most
accomplished singer of the –Read More

Theatre Review – Canadian Stage/Unsafe by Sook-Yin Lee

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Unsafe is billed
as a performance documentary that is an inquiry into censorship and art in
Canada. It is also the story of its own creation, as it were, because we follow
how the idea behind Unsafe, grew into
the show now being performed at the Berkeley. It is also, of course, something
much more. Unsafe may fly off in tangents,
and at times be unruly, but it is a fund of fascinating information that leads
to provocative questions.

Polymath Sook-Yin Lee, who is credited –Read More

Theatre Review – Theatre Passe Muraille, Pencil Kit Productions & Aluna Theatre/Chicho by Augusto Bitter

Photo by Tanja Tiziana

From the program cover: “Chicho: (NOT Chico!) – a queer-Catholic-man-boy from Venezuela”. And that, in a nutshell is what this one-man show is all about.

If there is a more charismatic performer gracing Toronto stages this year than Augusto Bitter, I’d be very surprised. Bitter is both the writer and performer of Chicho, and he is beyond talented, not to mention that he possess an inquiring mind of immense intelligence. He can act, dance, and sing, and has –Read More

Theatre Review – Obsidian Theatre & Nightwood Theatre/School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh

Photo by Cesar Ghisilieri

Among the many refreshing elements of Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, is that it features schoolgirls who happen to be black. With a little customization, these girls could be Jewish, Italian, Chinese or whatever. In other words, this play allows us to see black girls in their own specific context, but one that has universal resonance.

Bioh is a Ghanaian-American playwright based in New York, and she has given us a –Read More