Heading to Nobody’s Business‘s Amusement at the Helen Phelan Gardiner Playhouse I was super excited to be seeing my first Toronto Fringe Festival show of the year. It was an adorable way to start.
Amusement is a classic musical comedy that you so often find at Fringe. The perfect mix of modern reality, humour, fairy tale drive, and a splash of mouse ear references.
We are introduced to the Disney theme when Sebastian, one of the heroes, of the story wakes up with animated chirping birds offering him tea. And we get the urban equivalent when Rose the other character gets woken up by a raccoon offering her a beer after a one night stand. I enjoyed these two slightly off-kilter characters.
Continue reading Amusement (Nobody’s Business Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review
The tunes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash are brought to life in dance in Elvis and the Man in Black at Toronto’s Citadel
The Citadel was packed tight on the opening night of Coleman and Lemieux’s Elvis and the Man in Black. There was even a waitlist to see this dance show about two great musicians. The space was certainly lively, with everyone chatting up a storm before the show started. My neighbour, whom I met as I sat down, was eager to chat with me about the show we were about to see.
As the name indicates, Elvis and the Man in Black, was about none other than Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Two of my favourite musicians. The Man in Black, choreographed by James Kudelka, opened the show. Square dances, country dances, and good ol’ country grit were definitely inspirations for this work. Continue reading Review: Elvis and the Man in Black (Coleman Lemieux and Compagnie)
NextSteps presents Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s NeoIndigenA Santee Smith’s personal story in dance
NeoIndigenA is performer and choreographer Santee Smith’s first full length solo dance show presented at the Enwave theatre with Smith’s company Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. A live musical performance kicked off the show on opening night creating a lively atmosphere.
NeoIndigenA is Smith’s personal journey to find humanity, ancient ways of knowing, and spiritual evolution. She explores these concepts through their relation to the sacred portals between Skyworld, Earthworld, and Underworld. The three worlds are represented visually in distinct areas on the stage. Skyworld is illustrated partially through the lighting design; Earthworld is represented with bones across the stage; and Underworld is shown using a beautiful arch way in one corner of the stage.
Continue reading Review: NeoIndigenA – Mixed Works (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre / Harbourfront Centre NextSteps)
Abigail’s Party provides a time capsule view into the excesses of the 70’s, playing at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille
Abigail’s Party was Director John Shooter’s first production in Canada. Both Shooter and the play he chose to direct hail from the rolling hills of England. The intimate Backspace at Theatre Passe Muraille was home to Precisely Peter Productions‘ Canadian debut.
Abigail’s Party depicts a small get together of suburban neighbours. It opens with Beverly sitting in her living room waiting on her husband to arrive home from work. Soon after Lawrence gets home, Beverly’s guests arrive and her party gets underway. This sitcom, written by British playwright Mike Leigh, looks at the collapse of two marriages and the stresses of being a single mother.
Continue reading Review: Abigail’s Party (Precisely Peter Productions)
Three people’s lives intertwine in the face of a horrific crime in Frozen on stage at the Box Theatre in Toronto
Standing in the lobby of the Box Theatre (which was essentially on the street) I was trying really hard not to reel off bad puns about being cold and waiting to see En(live)n’s production of Frozen. Needless to say I was relieved that the small theatre space was not cheap with their heating.
Frozen looks at three people’s experiences with forgiveness, remorse, and their ability to change. The characters’ lives begin to intersect when Nancy’s 10-year-old daughter disappears on her way to her grandmother’s house. Some 10 to 20 years later, we hear the story of how these characters’ lives touch. Ralph is convicted of abducting and murdering an unspecified number of children – Nancy’s daughter is one of them. Agnetha is studying serial killers. Continue reading Review: Frozen (En(Live)n Productions)