There is a joke once seen on tumblr that describes different nationalities’ approaches to death in stories. American writers write I WILL DIE FOR LOVE! British writers write I WILL DIE FOR COUNTRY! And Russian writers write I WILL JUST DIE! An overly simplistic take but this critic’s first thought when seeing that joke was […]

The Canadian Opera Company’s fall season presents a well-balanced duo of contrasting classics to signal that, even without the world renowned artistic director we recently lost to Paris, the COC is back on its feet.   First up, The Flying Dutchman is a quick hit of Wagnerian sorrow coming in at only 2 hours and […]

A restorative 90 minute tour of the heart by way of a gruff Canadian poet, The Shape of Home is an original narrative concert born in isolation with roots in a familiar form. Joined by fellow multi-instrumentalist super-talents Beau Dixon and Raha Javanfar, it’s thrilling see perennial favourites Frank Cox-O’Connell and Hailey Gillis reunite for […]

I love the concept behind Soulpepper’s bold Lear Family Double Bill that pairs a very solid production of Shakespeare’s King Lear with a new play by Erin Shields that imagines what might have happened seven years earlier to inform the behaviour of the characters in King Lear. Shields’ play Queen Goneril focuses not just on […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    At the Table with Keith Brown (A) I hate to be tricked but I love hyper-specific skills that can only be mastered with good old fashioned decades of practice. So magicians often present a bit of a problem for me. What works […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    Clip Show (A-) Jon Blair is one of the most creative minds in Canadian comedy. His joyful, thoughtful, outlandish style is so uniquely his own that his solo shows have begun to take on an almost auteurish quality. Building out this latest […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    2 Robs, 1 Cup: What Happens When You’re Done Eating Shit? (A) I was grateful for Fringe’s masking policy when I saw this atrociously named solo show from the ever-inspiring Vikki Velenosi. The true story opens with a voicemail so shocking that […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    Unmatched (A) This clever piece presents itself at first like a pretty standard storytelling show wherein a comedian regales us with true tales of their less-than-stellar dating history. Caity Smyck is a compelling performer who connects with the audience instantly so I […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    Gay for Pay with Blake & Clay (A-)  In Gay for Pay, noted gay actors Daniel Krolik & Jonathan Wilson play less noted gay actors Blake and Clay who are teaching a seminar to straight actors aspiring to play gay roles. It’s […]

  Kelly Bedard

More reviews from the Toronto Fringe Festival! Featuring Sketch T-Rex,

  Kelly Bedard

The term “jukebox musical” is used to describe two completely different types of productions. It’s a general label thrown onto anything that uses pre-existing songs instead of original music and is thus very often misapplied to biographical musical plays like Jersey Boys or Beautiful where all the music is diegetic. In this context, I completely […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    There are, generally speaking, two types of truly great Fringe productions. The first is a perfectly executed version of something designed for a Fringe setting- really impactful solo shows, hyper-timely parody, brilliant sketch, that particular type of indie new work that thrives […]

  Kelly Bedard

Click Here for a full list of our 2022 Toronto Fringe reviews.    Sleeping, Tucked in the lonely Purple (B+) Conceived and choreographed by Yvonne Ng, this tender three-hander is a lovely inquiry into what we don’t hear when we stop listening. The choreography is simple but evocative, performed beautifully by a trio whose dance […]

  Kelly Bedard

The return of the in-person Toronto Fringe Festival is something I’ve been looking forward to pretty much every day for the past two years. Over the course of 8 days, I reviewed 40 shows. Click the titles below for the full reviews.   In Alphabetical Order:   2 Robs, 1 Cup: What Happens When You’re […]

Justin Miller’s beautiful drag clown Pearle Harbour lives simultaneously in the past and the future, a wise fool with a sharp wit and a big beautiful heart that’s too often broken.   In Distant Early Warning, her new dystopian solo show at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, she’s alone and in love, totally helpless and […]

Pipeline is the perfect work to mark Soulpepper’s return to live theatre. Dominique Morisseau’s exploration of how American public schools set black boys up for failure at best and prison at worst was part of a 2020 program postponed by the pandemic. After two brutally long and tough years, director Weyni Mengesha and this cast […]

Annie Baker is good at making her stories the story. The Flick, a three-hour epic (or dirge, if you prefer) dazzled and bored audiences across North America before taking its talents to Toronto.   After an off-Broadway debut in 2017, Antipodes now prompts audiences at the Coal Mine Theatre to examine the purpose of stories – […]

When you announce you have cancer, nobody quite knows what to say. Veteran Toronto director, writer, and performer Daniel Brooks has heard it all from would-be wellwishers whose missteps become his cautionary tales but the problem runs deeper. It’s Brooks’ problem more than anyone’s – he has a difficult story to tell and perhaps just […]

  Kelly Bedard

After two years of cancelled, digital, and small-scale events, March 19 & 20 we ventured to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to, for the first time in so long, spend time engulfed in a crowd to report on an event that felt almost normal.   Below you can find the links to all our coverage […]

  Kelly Bedard

The awkward reality of the moment is that right now, mere weeks (sometimes days) after many of Toronto’s mainstay artistic institutions finally reopened their doors, ’tis somehow once again not the season to be promoting live in-person experiences. It’s Christmas, we’re all vaccinated (you are vaccinated right? RIGHT?!), and it’s been forever since we’ve been […]

  Alexander Franks

(This review will contain reviews for the movie and choose your own adventure version)   Christmas time in Toronto always has several staples, from the Christmas Market in the Distillery District to the utter chaos of Eaton Centre a week before Christmas. One of the long standing traditions has been the Ross Petty Pantomime Christmas […]

  Kelly Bedard

The first thing that happens in the 50th Anniversary Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, aside from those iconic guitar riffs and the exuberant cast storming down the theatre aisles, is Judas stealing the microphone as Jesus prepares to tell his own story. Over the course of a mere 90 minutes, the mic stand that will […]

  Kelly Bedard

Workman Arts’ Rendezvous with Madness is one of the first festivals back on its feet since the Covid-19 lockdowns. After two years of fear and solitude, the mental health-focused event is an apropos re-beginning as many audience members slowly re-engage with the arts scene outside of their televisions.   RWM this year is serving as […]

  Kelly Bedard

While in-person theatre with a traditional seated audience is still making its way back slowly, one type of live event currently thriving in Toronto is the immersive experience. In the past couple weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to check out three major immersive shows happening downtown and, though none really blew me away, I cannot […]

  Kelly Bedard

Shakespeare’s As You Like It is my favourite play so, when the press invitation came through for the inaugural production of Crow’s Theatre’s in-person season, I was quick to RSVP. Sitting down at my first indoor Toronto venue since March 2020 to watch something billed as “a radical retelling” with a cast to be announced […]

  Alexander Franks

So, full disclosure, when it comes to plays that are societal/global issue- focused, from a purely creative standpoint, I find to be hit or miss. It’s either that the artistic platform that they have is not being used enough so I don’t see the difference between the performance and someone speaking at a rally, or […]