All posts by Allison Gerson

Review: New Ideas Festival (Alumnae Theatre)

New Ideas Festival PosterA variety of new works on offer through the New Ideas Festival

The 32nd annual New Ideas Festival is on stage now at the Alumnae Theatre Company.  New Ideas is a three-week juried festival of new, short plays, works-in-progress, and experimental theatre. This year there are 14 plays being presented over the course of three different weekly programs. I attended the opening night of Week One which featured four pieces ranging from melancholy to mystical. Continue reading Review: New Ideas Festival (Alumnae Theatre)

Review: Oh, What a Lovely War! (Hart House Theatre)

Photo of the cast in Oh, What a Lovely War!World War 1 Satire Comes to the Toronto Stage, with Mixed Results

Oh, What a Lovely War!, an abstract, satirical play that traces the history of World War 1,  is currently on stage at Hart House Theatre.

The original version was written by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop and Charles Chilton in 1963. Director Autumn Smith’s version sets the play as a violent war-themed video game, with each scene an episode in the gamers’ quest. The conceit was apt and interesting, but in the end, the play did not work for me. Continue reading Review: Oh, What a Lovely War! (Hart House Theatre)

Review: A.I.M. (Harbourfront Centre)

Photo of A.I.M. in Drive

Fineness and flare took the stage along with plenty of technical skill

Harbourfront Centre recently presented A.I.M. as part of Torque, a festival of international contemporary dance. It’s the third time A.I.M. has performed at Harbourfront, and I am kicking myself for missing the previous shows. What a great evening!

A.I.M. performed a mixed repertory of five pieces which together offered a wide-ranging and extremely well-programmed night of dance. Continue reading Review: A.I.M. (Harbourfront Centre)

Review: This Was The World (Tarragon)

Photo of R.H. Thomson and Kim Nelson in This Was the World

New Play Takes on Important Issues But Doesn’t Quite Hit The Mark

This Was the World, a new play by Ellie Moon on stage now at Tarragon Theatre, addresses issues of status, colonialism, and loss on an Ontario law school campus.

The topic is certainly timely. But despite the relevant and compelling premise, This Was the World did not quite work for me. The dizzying pace and a real change of direction midway through left me unsatisfied. Continue reading Review: This Was The World (Tarragon)

Review: this happened… (Kate Hilliard/Citadel + Compagnie)

Photo ofKate Hilliard in this happened“Challenging and enjoyable” dance piece takes to the Toronto stage

this happened… is a contemporary dance performance by Kate Hilliard and presented by Citadel + Compagnie, currently enjoying its world premiere. The piece explores themes of grief and human connection through a variety of disciplines including movement, visual art, spoken word, and video. The evening started slowly, and I have to admit I was skeptical at first. I needn’t have worried.  this happened…turned out to be inventive and engaging. Continue reading Review: this happened… (Kate Hilliard/Citadel + Compagnie)