Having reviewed for Mooney on Theatre for a number of years now, I must admit that I’ve become a bit of a theatre snob. This is of course contrary to the mandate of MoT, which aims to share opinions that are constructive and accessible for theatre lovers and soon-to-be-converts. After years of biweekly (or more) productions, it’s rare to see a production as clever, well-rehearsed, and completely spot-on as Nictophobia Films’ Night of the Living Dead Live, playing at Theatre Passe Muraille until May 19th.
From cult-classic film to Toronto’s stage – Young Frankenstein dazzles while hitting the right spot on your funny bone
If you are not already a fan of comedian Mel Brooks, then this show – or any of his cult-classic film work – will not be for you. If however, you find his lewd goofiness entertaining, as I do, then be prepared to giggle throughout Alexander Showcase Theatre’s Young Frankenstein: The Musical, playing at the Al Green Theatre in the Spadina JCC. Continue reading Review: Young Frankenstein: The Musical (Alexander Showcase Theatre)
Thought-provoking theatre in The Seagull in Four Movements, staged at Toronto’s Winchester Kitchen and Bar
Upstart Theatre’s The Seagull in Four Movements takes place in a faded cocktail bar in present day Toronto. Like its late nineteenth-century Chekhovian reference, it’s rife with the passion of a love-pentagon – much more complex than a love-triangle – and balances everyday issues of vanity, insecurity and the pursuit of a mother’s love with modern-day vernacular. Writer/Director Meg Moran included lines like, “Sorry I was late, the College car was backed up” or “God I love Toronto!” to make the piece instantly accessible and applicable to the here and now, despite The Seagull’s antique origin.
A deep look into theatrical great Sky Gilbert’s life, playing at Toronto’s Videofag
Typically, when I choose a show which looks dynamic, interesting and topical to review, I write about it after seeing it. But once I chose To Myself at 28 taking place at videofag for an extremely limited run, I received an email stating that Friday’s To Myself at 28 is more workshop than fully fleshed production, “feedback is welcome but a full review is not appropriate.” Perfect. I can just sit back and relax when I watch this one.
Théâtre français de Toronto stages II (Two Rooms), an evocative French-language theatre production
I don’t know a ton of Anglophones who high-tail it over to see French theatre in Toronto. It’s a shame, because watching something live, in another language, is like taking a different path to a familiar destination or ordering a flakey croissant over a breakfast bagel. It’s a refreshing way to experience theatre because it requires a level of attention beyond the typically passive observer. To understand, you must read the surtitles, sometimes leaning forward to catch both inflection and the written word.
And heck, if you like going to the opera -almost never in English- or the ballet -requiring visual interpretation- why not taste the French style? Frankly, the quality of Théâtre Français de Toronto, now celebrating its 45th season, merits the extra effort. Continue reading Review: II(Two Rooms) (Théâtre Français)