Alice in Wonderland in all of its iterations has primarily focused on Wonderland being a mental representation of Alice and her current situations. Whether it was from the original story about Alice embracing the nonsensical and learning to question, or the American McGee games that took Wonderland and Alice to more mature/darker realms of living […]

Stratford’s big flagship production this year is Chicago, promising programming for its darkness and modernity compared to the festival’s usual musical fare. With two leading female characters and a few great supporting ones, the musical also presented a great opportunity for the festival to highlight some overlooked talent and maybe even recruit some new stars. […]

  Kelly Bedard

The landing page for all of our Shaw & Stratford Festival reviews from the 2022 season. Stay tuned as this page will update throughout the summer. 

  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.    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.    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

Robert & Willie Reale’s musical adaptation of Arnold Lobel’s Frog & Toad books is so deliriously pleasant that I nearly got heatstroke sitting in the uncovered section of its outdoor audience at the Shaw Festival and barely noticed. My cheeks hurt from smiling and I cried so much that it’s better measured by time than […]

  Kelly Bedard

Three Tall Women It’s difficult to separate Stratford’s fine production of this enjoyable and alienating Edward Albee play from the experience of seeing it. A holdover from the cancelled 2020 season, Three Tall Women was the lone indoor performance in the Stratford 2021 season. It was staged in the intimate studio theatre with very little […]

  Dom Harvey

Soulpepper and Bad Hats Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland (available to stream at home until Sunday, April 18) is a welcome detour into a world no more absurd than our own. Lewis Carroll’s classic is an ideal canvas for a creative mind – a story so popular that even this young audience will know it well […]

From December 26-29, Puppetmongers Theatre are celebrating the 30th Anniversary…

  Dom Harvey

The safest compliment for art is that it knows who it’s for. Stratford’s roster in a given year mostly consists of sober, supposedly thoughtful pieces aimed at some cross-section of a reliable clientele: there will be something for the Shakespeare crowd, a high-concept work that tickles critics pink, and maybe a disappointingly rote dalliance with […]

  Kelly Bedard

After I saw Brigadoon, the Shaw Festival’s magical staging of a reimagined classic musical, I right away sat down to write about the experience. At least for me, the night I saw it, the mood I was in, Brigadoon was a fully contained theatrical moment about which I had plenty to say. Another staff writer […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Sanjay Talwar returned to the Shaw Festival in 2017 to play Joe Clark in one of two premiere productions of Michael Healey’s delightful political one-act 1979. A principled, glamourless, centrist conservative whose administration lasted less than a […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. The charming and candid Marion Day gave a lively, versatile slew of performances in The Shaw Festival’s awesome production of Micheal Healey’s new political comedy 1979, a short, tense, hilarious fictionalization of one key night in Canadian […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. I used to say that Kelly Wong was one of my favourite musical theatre performers in Canada (I complained in almost every Shaw Festival musical review that he didn’t have a bigger role) but in 2017 […]

  Kymberley Feltham

The lush golden light of the Peter Pan set was a welcome contrast to the sharp cold evening we had rushed through en-route to the theatre, and the space itself served as a refuge from the busy Christmas Market (which Soulpepper ticket holders receive free admission to) surrounding the Young Centre for the Performing Arts […]

  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 […]

  Kymberley Feltham

Pippi: The Strongest Girl in the World is a high-quality children’s musical theatre treasure. Set on a stylized pirate ship, produced in association with piratelife.ca, the immersive in – the – round experience also includes a short but pleasant harbour tour. Pippi, known for living by no one’s rules but her own, invites her friends […]

  Kelly Bedard

If you’ve been to the Shaw Festival in the last decade, you’ve probably seen the stunning Moya O’Connell play one of the great parts in the 19th/20th century canon- Hedda Gabler, Tracy Lord, Maggie the Cat, even the Queen of Hearts. In 2016 she turned in her most remarkable performance yet, a quiet and complex […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Energetic and engaged triple threat Peter Fernandes is one of the fastest rising stars out of the most recent graduating class at the Soulpepper Academy. He’s nominated this year as a key player in not one but two […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2016 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Bad Hats Theatre Co-Artistic Director Fiona Sauder adapted (with Reanne Spitzer) and played the title role in Peter Pan, a new musical interpretation of the classic story that toured to breweries around the city in December and scored […]

  Kelly Bedard

Bad Hats Theatre’s all-new musical adaptation of Peter Pan is brimming with wonder and enthusiasm. Co-adapters Fiona Sauder and Reanne Spitzer have updated the tale to cure a few of its sorrier gender issues and speed up the pace. The excellent ensemble cast is vibrant and goofy without neglecting their characters’ emotional realities. And Landon […]

  Kelly Bedard

I love Seussical the Musical. I think it’s just about the cutest thing in the world, Ahrens & Flaherty’s songs are catchy beyond belief, and there’s more intellectual and emotional complexity in the storytelling than one might ever expect from such silliness. “A person’s a person no matter how small”, “tell yourself how lucky you […]

  Kelly Bedard

It’s tempting to criticize Peter Hinton’s new adaptation of Alice in Wonderland for its emptiness. There is no real story, no great moral, no particular meaning, not even a coherent character to invest in beyond Tara Rosling’s cute but fairly blank-slate Alice. That feels like a flaw of the production but, let’s just be honest, […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2015 MyTheatre Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. After winning Best Actor in 2013 and Best Ensemble in 2014, we had to talk the always delightful Damien Atkins into joining the Nominee Interview Series a third year in a row. He feared the readers had had […]

  Caroline Schurman-Grenier

Once in a while, there is nothing more pleasurable than feeling like a child again. This musical production of Red Riding Hood, written by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary, currently playing at the Pleasance Theatre, makes even the most serious of adults laugh and smile like children again. While it is a musical dedicated to […]