All posts by Dana Lacey

Review: The Real Inspector Hound & After Magritte (Alumnae Theatre)

Tom Stoppard’s duo of one-act comedies: you’ll laugh, you’ll giggle, you’ll try to keep up.

By Dana Lacey

Moon (Scott Moore) and rival critic Birdboot (Richard Jones*) watch the play “The Mystery of Muldoon Manor” in The Real Inspector Hound. Photo by Joshua Meles

Alumnae Theatre’s production of two one-act Tom Stoppard comedies, After Magritte and The Real Inspector Hound, will most likely change your life. The physical comedy, the bad puns, the double-entendres, the surreal surprises, the belly laughs, the subtle irony… it’s reminiscent of the masters of various genres (you decide which).

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Review: Photog (Boca del Lupo)

By Dana Lacey

Uncompromising and raw, Photog uses new media to give a glimpse into the world of conflict photojournalism.

Jay Dodge by Sherry J. Yoon

The first rule of conflict photography: never let your boss know you’re anything but “normal.” The second rule: don’t get killed.

Photog is a new-media mash-up of true stories from conflict photojournalists, quoted verbatim but told as first-person events by the fictional Thomas Smith, played by writer/performer Jay Dodge.

The project began in Brooklyn, 2008, when theatre company Boca del Lupo interviewed a number of conflict photographers about the nature of their experiences trying to reconcile the worlds they photograph with the worlds they live in. In a series of raw and revealing revelations, photos and videos, they talk about privilege, about feeling disconnected from the world, about following the sound of gunfire instead of running from it. It was commissioned as part of the Harbourfront Centre’s Fresh Ground program.
Continue reading Review: Photog (Boca del Lupo)

Review: Glengarry Glen Ross (Column 13)

By Dana Lacey

Column 13’s Glengarry Glen Ross will have you handing over cheques you didn’t intend to write. Just don’t let your significant other know.

Robert Bellissimo, Jonah Allison, Brandon Thomas, Mischa Jay Cheeseman, Adam Bradley by Andrea Tingley

The first step to enjoying Column 13′s production of Glengarry Glen Ross is to remember that the 1992 movie version (based on a 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play) is packed with big-name, untouchable, uber-masculine actors — Pacino, Baldwin, Spacey, Lemmon – and features a whole lot of dull, dragged-out and often confusing scenes mixed with explosive, expletive-ridden dialogue. Now, imagine that movie stripped of the boring bits and you’ll get a better idea of what you’re in for.

Column 13’s version of the play skips straight to the goods: at one hour, it’s short, loud, hilariously action-packed and will have you swearing like a sailor for the rest of the week. Continue reading Review: Glengarry Glen Ross (Column 13)

Review: The Year of Magical Thinking (Tarragon Theatre)

By Dana Lacey

Joan Didion’s heartbreakingly hilarious grief memoir comes alive onstage

Seana McKenna as Joan Didion, by David Cooper
“Life changes fast. Life changes in an instant. You sit down for dinner and life as you know it ends. The question of self-pity.” So begins The Year of Magical Thinking, a grief memoir written by author and journalist Joan Didion at the end of what had been for her a terrible year that began on Dec. 30, 2003, when her husband’s heart seized and left her a widow. Soon after, her adult daughter undergoes emergency neurosurgery and spends months hovering just above death. Just before the book was published, her daughter died.

Continue reading Review: The Year of Magical Thinking (Tarragon Theatre)

Afternoon Tea with Jane Austen (Orange Wine Productions) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

Love letters, rejected manuscripts and an intimate evening with the woman who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility…what more could an Austen fan want?

By Dana Lacey

I shoulda known better. I should have known that a play titled “Afternoon tea with Jane Austen” would be a lot like reading Austen herself – clever, occasionally insightful and frightfully boring. It was the story of Jane Austen as told by Jane Austen, who supposedly wants to debunk the kindly-sweet-and-dull aunty persona that has sprung up in the 200 years since she penned some of my high school english teacher’s favourite tomes. Continue reading Afternoon Tea with Jane Austen (Orange Wine Productions) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review