All posts by Winston Soon

Review: Was Spring (Tarragon)

Daniel MacIvor’s Was Spring showcases powerful performances in Toronto

So let’s start this with a public outing – I love me some Daniel MacIvor. When I was in theatre school out east,  his work equated to theatrical coolness and when I first moved to Toronto it was a thrill like no other actually getting to see his work. So it was with a tickle of dreamy anticipation that I went to see his latest piece – Was Spring – at the Tarragon’s Extra Space. Now this is a lot to put on a show, I could have been setting myself up for a pretty grave disappointment. I normally try my best to see things that I know little or nothing about to give the production the benefit of walking in Tabula Rasa.

Continue reading Review: Was Spring (Tarragon)

Review: The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs (Tarragon)

The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs by critically acclaimed playwright plays at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre

The beguiling and suspense driven The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs  is Tarragon’s latest mainstage offering from critically acclaimed Canadian writer Carole Fréchette.  Sometimes there is no better date than a night out at the theatre and the nature of this show makes for a great date night.  My date and I marvel as we walk into the theatre.  Staged on a completely bare floor that looks as though it is made of glass, the audience creates an L-shape around the action.

The effect of Astrid Janson’s set and Weyni Mengesha’s direction is one of complete intimacy and I can’t imagine a better staging for a show that is built around suspenseful intensity.

Continue reading Review: The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs (Tarragon)

Review: The Paprika Festival (Tarragon Theatre)

The Paprika Festival in Toronto showcases emerging theatre talent

The Paprika Festival is the only festival of its kind in Canada and I can say first hand, it makes one truly excited for the future of theatre in Toronto.

Perhaps one day this festival will be Canada-wide, but for now, it is a wonderful celebration of the work of young theatrical artists in our fair city. Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman is a notable alumna. I saw three plays in the Festival this week or, rather, workshops of each. I have to say I was stunned by the amount of talent from these young artists. If you are feeling old and unaccomplished, this is definitely not the festival for you!

Continue reading Review: The Paprika Festival (Tarragon Theatre)

Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Soulpepper)

Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night is the stuff that 15-year-old Soulpepper was founded on. A piece of classic American theatre, it is the largely biographical story of Eugene O’Neill’s family, published 25 years after his death. Who other than Soulpepper to tackle an arduously long and painful microscope into an Irish American family at the turn of the century?

I have to admit that during a grey midwinter week this play comes as a double whammy. I walked into the theatre from a particularly bumming week, with a friend who felt the same, and braced myself for a whole lot of sadness. We weren’t disappointed, just driven to drink afterward. Continue reading Review: Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Soulpepper)

Review: All in the Timing (Down n’ Out Productions)

It’s All In The Timing at Toronto’s historic Campbell House Museum

Campbell House Museum is a venue that is ripe with possibility.  The Georgian-style home is serving up a delectable dinner theatre with All in the Timing, which also serves as part of Toronto’s Winterlicious celebration.

All in the Timing is a series of 5 sketches/short plays , all written by playwright David Ives.  Campbell House teamed up with Down n’ Out Productions to make this rare dinner theatre experience happen downtown. Continue reading Review: All in the Timing (Down n’ Out Productions)