The world of Crow’s Theatre’s Uncle Vanya is filled with glorious light courtesy of the ever-reliable Kimberly Purtell and set in a beautiful almost semi-immersive stage design by Julie Fox. It’s looks like a painting and it feels like a return to form for Crows- a starry ensemble anchored by Tom Rooney and directed by […]
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 […]
The final piece of Outdoors at the Shaw programming I saw this year (I sadly missed A Short History of Niagara), Fairground is a kid-inclusive interactive fair that morphs into a roving concert showcasing members of the musical company (plus Kristopher Bowman). The break dancing from season standout Kevin McLachlan and pet puppets are the […]
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 […]
The Outdoors at the Shaw programming is what happiness is made of. Created by the cast who performs it, this superb Shavian variety hour tours audiences around the beautiful Festival Theatre grounds, treating us to pleasures ranging from a cooking demonstration to a magic show to snippets of script and song. The show earnestly embraces […]
The Shaw Festival has elevated The Doctor’s Dilemma into a moving and impactful tent pole of its excellent post-pandemic season.
Just to Get Married is the best sort of Shaw Festival programming, a refreshing treasure unearthed from well-worn ground. It’s every bit the mandate, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Renaissance Now Theatre & Film delivers a capable production of Macbeth thanks to its strong supporting cast and inventive staging; however, the potential of a “Redux” remains underdeveloped and its leads struggle to carry momentum. What starts as a fairly standard interpretation of Macbeth breaks wide open in Act 1, Scene 3: Angus (a […]
Stratford programmed a duo of dark and twisty Shakespeare plays to launch its refurbished Tom Patterson theatre this season. Though the wildly expensive renovation seems like a huge change when you first enter the beautiful new building, the actual experience of watching a play on the relatively similar stage remains pretty much the same. The […]
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. […]
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 […]
We’ve been waiting for this one. The young Shakespeare enthusiasts who came up watching Slings & Arrows only to graduate into a decade of shy Shakespeare from the festival we were indoctrinated to adore, this is the production we’ve been waiting for. We wanted new blood, we wanted new ideas, we wanted someone under the […]
Did you know that one man owns the rights to Batman? Michael Uslan has executive produced every Batman film (including animation!) since 1989. Then he wrote a memoir. And now it’s headed to Broadway! We chatted with Michael in the press room at San Diego Comic-Con about his brilliant Bat-life and the journey to the Great White Way.
Gaslight The 1938 play that inspired the idiom “gaslighting” has dipped briefly into the public domain, allowing the Shaw Festival to commission Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson to adapt the story into this new version. It’s a clever thought, giving audiences the backstory behind such a ubiquitous concept (one that is very much not self-explanatory) […]
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.
After a 2 year hiatus from writing reviews due to the pandemic, I was welcomed back by Driftwood Theatre’s Bard’s Bus Tour opening performance of King Henry Five. In keeping with the past few years, it was fitting that the show did not go off without a hitch. Due to weather conditions, the performance was forced […]
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 […]
Everybody is the dream. If you ever hear someone question the goal of modernizing and diversifying the country’s biggest and most entrenched theatres, tell that person about Everybody. This production is why that forever and always struggle is important. Beyond just issues of fairness and the importance of representation, it’s important because real success means […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
More reviews from the Toronto Fringe Festival! Featuring Sketch T-Rex,
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 […]
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 […]