Kelly Bedard

December 2nd is the beginning of the end for one of Toronto’s most cherished holiday traditions. I don’t remember a time before the Ross Petty Pantomime was a part of my Christmas season but with Peter Pan’s Final Flight the iconic villain/impresario is exiting the scene once and for all.   I got the chance […]

Understudying was always one of the hardest jobs in theatre but in 2022 it’s taken on a whole new meaning. Gone are the days when an actor might learn a role only to see the entire run go by without performing it. In the first full season back for many of Canada’s biggest theatre companies […]

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 […]

  Kelly Bedard

Another hit from the Outdoors at the Shaw programming, this original narrative concert written, curated and directed by Jay Turvey is an unblinking and critical but ultimately joyful examination of where we were 100 years ago and how far we have (and haven’t) come.   The major events and artistic achievements of 1922 are chronicled […]

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

Onstage at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre for four days only, this thrice-postponed iteration of a homegrown cult hit is a shaky attempt at commercial theatre production with community theatre limitations. I admire Mansfield Entertainment’s concept of bringing large-format theatre to a community that could use a serious arts infusion and the professional designation should mean that […]

  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

Every second of this vibrant new staging of Adler & Ross’ 1955 musical comedy about a team in need of a win is packed with delight. From stage magic that rivals anything in The Cursed Child to the thrill of rooting for a new star, The Shaw Festival’s Damn Yankees is the most fun I’ve […]

  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

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 […]

Likeable but slight, Love Quirks at AMT Theatre is little more than a tease. Despite spirited performances and several successful numbers, Love Quirks frustrates due to an under-baked plot and inconsistent vision.   Love Quirks is the story of four thirty-somethings who live (mostly) together in New York City, navigating heartbreak, sex, and the nuances […]

  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 […]

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 […]

  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

For all its traumas and sadnesses, the pandemic was, at the very least, an immensely clarifying experience. With our lives irreparably disrupted and access to so many things denied, it very quickly became obvious how I truly felt about the things in my life that had become routine. My character-defining love of television stood firm […]

  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 […]

  Kelly Bedard

Finally There’s Sun My very favourite thing at the Stratford Festival this year, Finally There’s Sun is the concert production that puts into words the subtext of every other show- after more than a year of darkness this, right here, this sitting together in a theatre, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel. […]

  Kelly Bedard

Why We Tell Our Story Cabaret Marcus Nance absolutely killed it with the curation of this stirring celebration of Black voices. An inspired structure uses the work of iconic Black poets Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou rather than original writing to link together some of the most glorious songs from the musical theatre canon from […]

  Kelly Bedard

Toronto’s High Park is a theatre again. After only a few performances of socially isolated dance pieces last summer, Canadian Stage is back this season, not only filling their outdoor amphitheatre with its first real theatrical productions in two years but lending out the space to co-producers and collaborators for a season of programming that’s […]

  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 […]