Lorenzo Pagnotta

Michel Marc Bouchard’s classic play Lilies (Les Feluettes) was made into one of the most beautiful Canadian films in the 90s, and more recently an opera (2016, Opéra de Montréal) that has been described as containing an “uncommon dramatic intensity.” This latest staged adaptation Lilies; Or, The Revival of a Romantic Drama, unfortunately, misses that […]

Several cast members made their mainstage Canadian Opera Company…

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

In the play OUT, first produced at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival, writer-performer Greg Campbell takes us on a personal walk in 1977 Montreal, channelling his autobiography through Glen as he slowly comes out, amidst the unfolding gay liberation movements across North America. It’s captivating to see a story rooted in a time when “gay” […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

The Father by Florian Zeller, directed by Ted Dykstra and Oyin Oladejo, is a brave close look at aging, specifically with Alzheimer’s Disease. The title character, known as André (Eric Peterson), demonstrates with great accuracy several key characteristic of living with dementia. Further, Peterson’s interpretation of the progression of some of these characteristics is carefully […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

In the gloomy socio-political climate we live in, Come from Away offers beams of hope that even tragedy and despair can lead to long-lasting friendships and renewed faith. The show is delightfully foot-stomping from start to finish. Canadian duo Irene Sankoff and David Hein have created something equally original and insightful. Have your ever been […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

The Canadian Opera Company’s latest production of Elektra opened up recently to warm us right up, piercing through the snow. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts was abuzz with folks of all ages. I wondered if this was a result of COC’s efforts to make opera exciting for younger audiences, or many of […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

The Rendezvous with Madness Festival – known for its films – expanded this year to include visual art and performance. The mental health themes addressed in the festival are relevant in today’s world more than ever, and the programming was fittingly launched on World Mental Health Day. I had the opportunity to catch some of […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Given the heated discourse on race relations today – on and off stage – I am not sure if my title’s statement is positive or negative. One thing is for sure: we can never escape our history. This is the position which Sybil (Virgilia Griffith) maintains and will fight to the death to honour in […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of SummerWorks Reviews Body So Fluorescent (A+) Desiree and Gary are close friends. Very close. Until one night in a club leads to an explosive fight. Lets just say that Desiree is black and Gary is white, but sometimes takes on the mask of a black woman […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews Tears of a Bullet (A-) You don’t have to know anything about sci-fi writer Thomas Disch who inspired the subject matter, to appreciate this strongly written play by Josh Downing, effectively directed by Jeff Kennes. The feat of this show is the convincing delivery […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews Josephine, A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play (A+) POC can, should, and will tell their stories. I am thrilled they do because I get to learn about fabulous people like Josephine Baker. Tymisha Harris sings and dances her way through the stories that explain how […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews Andy Warhol Musical: In Rehearsal (A) The fabulous cast of triple threats warm-up and stretch as the audience trickles in. The director (Vinetta Strombergs) notes inform us that this production is an exploration of several possible versions currently in development. Nevertheless, it’s mind-blowingly enthralling […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews #KanderAndEbb (A) No stranger to cabarets, Ryan G. Hinds has delighted us over the years with many equally passionate and comedic one-man shows. #KanderAndEbb though is the most personal in my opinion. I really enjoyed hearing so many anecdotes, not only about the lives […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Without a doubt, I am a huge fan of non-linear work. I feel it’s more reflective of how our brain’s complex neural pathways actually work. Red Light District and Buddies’ co-production of LULU V.7//Aspects of a Femme Fatale has had four years and seven versions to explore the intimate relationship one has with the subconscious, […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Two more pieces had their opening at Progress Festival on Valentine’s Day. While they couldn’t be more different, they did share something in common. Dis Merci When it comes to creating healthy inclusive communities, let face it, sometimes even our best intentions give way to tension and friction amongst neighbours. Sometimes we even end up […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

MDLSX, produced by Italian theatre company Motus, bravely opened the Progress Festival at Toronto’s Theatre Centre. It certainly lives up to the festival’s intentions. Just like Progress brings together theatre collectives with a contemporary focus from across the world, MDLSX itself has been developed in collaboration with many European collectives and festivals, extending from Paris […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Rightfully branded as a family show, The Lorax is a feast for the senses, and enjoyable for adults and children alike. Straight from London’s The Old Vic, this stage adaptation (David Greig) is carefully directed (Max Webster) beat by beat, taking us on a metaphorical journey from industrialization to late capitalism. I believe this production […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

My expectations were high going into Oleanna at Red Sandcastle Theatre. Grace Gordon and James McGowan are extremely accomplished both on stage and on TV. The play tackles very relevant material about power dynamics, authority and sexual harassment. Carol (Gordon), a young student, seeks to address her failing grades and confusion with course concepts by […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

I was at the opening night of actor-writer-comedian Daniel Stolfi’s Another Trip Around the Sun at The Bad Dog Theatre. The opening act for the night was improv duo Probably Pregnant (Lisa Gilroy and Natalie Metcalfe) who almost had us rolling off of our seats. A persistent Natalie begs Lisa to join her at the […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews Falling Angel (A) An angel (Erica Wood) falls from the sky. In a park. What follows are endless jokes exchanged with a mortal man (Stevie Jay) who has been drinking in the park, as well as, (the voice) of God (Jamillah Ross) who also […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Based on Pushkin and Tchaikovsky’s nineteenth century poem and opera, respectively, with themes including love at first sight, unrequited love, and regret, one might be weary of another attempt to adapt old tales for our current times. However, you will be very surprised with what The Musical Stage Company has created with Onegin. A powerful […]

What a delightful pleasure to familiarize myself with the unique performance style of Haley McGee for the first time…

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

What I loved most about Yell Rebel’s Agency is its originality. I’ve never experienced a story of this sort before. A young women, Hannah (Eva Barrie), shows up at a travel agency in a former East Berlin neighbourhood determined to learn what really happened to her father after her family fled to West Berlin. After having […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Bad New Days recently premiered their intriguing double bill Italian Mime Suicide & Three Red Days at The Theatre Centre. Both pieces take on a physical approach to delve in to the complex topic of politics and art, using mime. The absence of words to clutter our minds presents an opportunity to focus closer on […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews Knots (A) It’s a big task keeping an audience engaged at 10:30pm but Lucy Meanwell and Jake Runeckles have no problem doing that whatsoever in their show Knots. You might think a show about a topic as broad as knots sounds too experimental – […]

  Lorenzo Pagnotta

Be sure to check out our Full List of Fringe Reviews Silk Bath (A) Silk Bath Collective (Bessie Cheng, Aaron Jan, and Gloria Mok) assembles what is a very unique piece for a Fringe festival. In fact, it’s not often you can see a show in Toronto performed in Mandarin and Cantonese at all, unless, […]