Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2019 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Robert Markus singing ‘Waving Through a Window’ was on my Best of the Decade list of outstanding moments in Toronto theatre. His performance as Evan Hansen was not only vocally masterful but nuanced and thoughtful as well. […]

  Jack Graham

For those who enjoy booking a play without knowing anything about it, Us/Them may provide a shock. It did for an elementary school teacher in attendance. The subject matter was very close to home: Us/Them tells the story of the 2004 school siege in Beslan, Russia, when hundreds of children, mothers and grandmothers were killed. […]

  Kelly Bedard

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is the smashiest smash hit to ever smash on Broadway and it has subsequently inspired a cult-like devotion that strains the limits of the word “cult-like” (the intensity is there but the breadth of the fandom defies limitation). It’s a consensus masterpiece- a dense, inventive, skillful revolution of form cheekily set against the […]

  Kelly Bedard

It’s Christmastime, which means that many people are either celebrating beloved family traditions or searching for some moderately pleasant activity the whole family can agree on. The solution Toronto’s commercial theatre producers are offering up is musical theatre. And not just any musical theatre- big, shiny, happy, mostly stupid but very nice Musical Theatre. The […]

  Kelly Bedard

I’m going for a big metaphorical stretch here guys so I just need you to bear with me- seeing Cats live is like going to church. Inside the theatre you’ll find deep skeptics and true devotees sitting side by side with people who are only there because it means a lot to their mother. There’s music, chants, […]

  Jack Graham

Set in Duluth, Minnesota in winter 1934, Girl from the North Country is not a typical musical. Understated and thoughtful, this Depression-era drama does not conform to what people might expect from a West End and soon to be Broadway hit. Instead of attempting to blow you away, the production quietly pulls at your heart […]

  Kelly Bedard

David Yazbek & Itamar Moses’ slinky musical adaptation of the 2007 Israeli film The Band’s Visit is one of those artistic oddities that wins incredible acclaim and most people still have never heard of it. Its 2017 Broadway premiere earned 10 Tony Awards, including all the big ones, including Best Musical, but it hasn’t captured […]

  Kelly Bedard

Some stories take a few tries to find their perfect medium. Les Miserables, for example, is a meandering bore of a novel (hot take? Whatever, I don’t want to hear about it) but, when it found its rightful home in musical theatre, everything clicked. Eugene Onegin is a poem, an opera, and a musical, but […]

  Kelly Bedard

If you ever get the chance to see The Lion King on Broadway, you have to take it. Stop me if you’ve heard this lecture before but I honestly believe Julie Taymor’s visionary adaptation to be one of the great feats of human imagination in theatrical history. First some crazy person in a Disney boardroom […]

  Amy Strizic

The Book of Mormon has returned to Toronto, and thank Heavenly Father it has! A hit since the beginning, the show has traveled to Toronto a few times and always packs an audience in. The deliciously sacrilegious show first opened in 2011 after years of development. It still feels fresh and poignant, with some interpreted […]

  Amy Strizic

I came out of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical with a smile on my face. Seeing a musical is always a night full of fun and passion, and this show provides the audience with no less. There were flashing lights, impressive costume changes, and an evening of music we all know and love. However, despite […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2018 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Evan Buliung is one of Canada’s great theatrical leading men. Nominated for his third Critics’ Pick Award, he’s the rare actor who is just as wonderful whether he’s doing Shakespeare, a modern play, or a musical. […]

  Kelly Bedard

Alright, here we go, I’m just going to come out and say it- I don’t like Dear Evan Hansen. I find Pasek & Paul’s music a little cheap in its emotional trickery and while that drum-kit-here/belt-note-there/get-your-heart-pumping “This Is Me” theatrics work brilliantly in something like The Greatest Showman where the spectacle is the substance, Dear […]

  Jack Graham

It’s very easy to understand how Jersey Boys has been such a big hit with audiences around the world. Combining the feel-good hits of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons with the lively story of how it all came together, the show really puts other jukebox musicals to shame. Now in its 13th touring season, […]

  Jack Graham

From success in the UK to sinking on Broadway, The Last Ship has enjoyed a mixed reception around the world. Though not always plain sailing, Sting’s musical has launched successfully at its new home in Toronto. Director/book writer Lorne Campbell’s revamped production is by no means perfect, but boasts a number of strong performances and […]

  Dom Harvey

Oslo’s very existence is remarkable. Staging a full-length work about the most incendiary issue in foreign policy is already a major diplomatic achievement. Turning that into an award-winning Broadway hit? The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded for less. It’s no surprise that playwright JT Rogers embraces that challenge, having already brought a theatrical perspective to […]

  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 […]

  Dom Harvey

At Mirvish Productions’ The Play That Goes Wrong, only the title is an understatement. Audiences are quickly enveloped in a fully immersive farce that never lets go- not during the curiously long intermission, and not even leaving the show as fears linger that the ‘fuh-caydes’ of the whole world could collapse at any moment. It’s […]

  Amy Strizic

The 7 Fingers have returned once again to Toronto, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Pioneers in the contemporary circus movement, the company now based in Montreal travels the world and shows us the truth and honesty of how wonderful and how difficult circus really is. No doubt it is an amazing spectacle to see […]

  Kelly Bedard

That’s right, I’m talking about Mirvish’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical and Tarragon’s Marshall McLuhan one-act in one article. They’re both terrible- dull, simplistic, varying degrees of ridiculous- and they’re playing in Toronto at the same time, but the two have more in common than just ruining my Wednesday nights. In Jason Sherman’s The […]

  Amy Strizic

Watching Mirvish’s production of Ain’t Too Proud was an absolute joy. I am a bigtime Motown music lover, and was so excited for the evening of music and to learn even more about “The Life and Times of The Temptations”. My Motown mix is the most frequently played playlist in my home: its use is […]

  Kelly Bedard

Mirvish Productions has been on a run of great programming for the last little while with Come From Away’s Canadian sit-down production as a quality anchor, and tours of The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked coming through town. Phantom certainly can take some criticism but I’d argue its messages about empathy and mercy ultimately […]

  Kelly Bedard

15 years ago, Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman adapted for the stage a novel by Gregory Maguire that was itself an adaptation, or perhaps more accurately a revision, of The Wizard of Oz. The novel was dark and strange and long, full of deeply unlikeable characters and bleak allegorical observations about a world more real […]

Girls Like That (Tarragon Theatre) The more I think about this fantastic ensemble piece about teenage girls dealing with the age of slut-shaming gone viral, the more shocked I am that it was written by a man. Playwright Evan Placey captures the complexities and contradictions and crushing, inescapable pressures of girlhood with such painful authenticity […]

  Kelly Bedard

Theatre can be a gamble so sometimes it’s nice to see something you’re relatively sure about going in. On stage now in Toronto there are three such shows- one a critical favourite (Second City), one from a never-fail company (Coal Mine), and one with the sort of dependable source material that’s impactful no matter what […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Overcoat: a musical tailoring (Canadian Stage with Tapestry Opera & Vancouver Opera) This new opera is a strong achievement for Tapestry- a smallish contemporary opera company that suffers for exposure while staying admirably dedicated to their fresh-feeling operatic ideals (James Rolfe’s score is pretty and the opera is light, modern and distinct in a […]