All posts by Allison Gerson

Review: Anne (Guild Festival Theatre)

Photo of Claire Boudreau and Michael McLeister in Anne

Guild Festival Theatre Brings Canada’s Favourite Literary Redhead to Life

Are you looking to enjoy an evening of theatre in a beautiful park setting? Luckily, Toronto has many opportunities for just such an evening. One you might not know about is Anne, currently presented by Guild Festival Theatre at Guild Park and Gardens in Scarborough. It might not get as much attention as some larger productions. But this adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables, with script by Paul Ledoux, is definitely worth the trek to the east side of the city. Continue reading Review: Anne (Guild Festival Theatre)

Review: Porch View Dances (Kaeja d’Dance)

photo of Porch View Dances 2019PhPorch View Dances celebrates the love of dance in one of Toronto’s vibrant communities

I had heard about Porch View Dances for a number of years, so when the opportunity to review it came up, I jumped at it. This is the eighth summer that Kaeja d’Dance has presented Porch View Dances in Seaton Village. The event has clearly become a beloved local tradition. It’s a fun relaxed and very accessible celebration of art and community and a great way to spend an evening. Continue reading Review: Porch View Dances (Kaeja d’Dance)

Review: Lot X (adelheid/Harbourfront Centre/DanceWorks)

Photo of Alana Elmer, Nimikii Couchie, Naishi Wang, and Lukas Malkowski in Lot XHarbourfront Centre presents a futuristic and immersive dance experience in Toronto

As I got off the streetcar at Harbourfront Centre to see Lot X, a co-production with DanceWorks, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Lot X is choreographed by Heidi Strauss of adelheid and is part of the Torque contemporary dance series, so I thought it would be a dance performance. But I’d been warned to dress for the weather, be prepared to move, and to download an augmented reality app which would add another layer to my experience. We were ready for anything. Fortunately, the seemingly unrelenting rain and drizzle that has been May in Toronto held off for the evening. And Lot X did in fact deliver a little bit of everything. Some parts really did not work for me, but others were innovative and hauntingly beautiful.

Continue reading Review: Lot X (adelheid/Harbourfront Centre/DanceWorks)

Review: Too Good To Be True (VideoCabaret)

Photo of Ryan Cunnigham, Cheri Maracle, and Patti Shaughnessy in Too Good To Be True VideoCabaret debuts a new play by Cliff Cardinal in their new venue in Toronto

Too Good To Be True is a new play written and directed by Cliff Cardinal and produced by VideoCabaret. The play is a darkly comic exploration of family relationships, the power of storytelling, and what it means to have a home. Fittingly, it is performed in VideoCabaret’s new home at 10 Busy Street. It’s a short wild ride of just over an hour with some very funny moments and some very strong performances. Continue reading Review: Too Good To Be True (VideoCabaret)

Review: Amorous Playlist (Social Growl Dance/Citadel + Compagnie)

Toronto-based choreographer Riley Sims and singer Blunt Chunks collaborate on a new dance show

Photo of Blunt ChunksAmorous Playlist is a multi-disciplinary performance by Social Growl Dance and Blunt Chunks currently being presented by Citadel + Compagnie. The show is a collaboration between two emerging Toronto based artists – artistic director and choreographer Riley Sims and solo singer, Blunt Chunks which explores themes of love, lust, and heartbreak. It’s an informal concert-like experience, which, for me, felt a little too casual and lacking coherence. Continue reading Review: Amorous Playlist (Social Growl Dance/Citadel + Compagnie)

Review: who we are in the dark (Peggy Baker Dance Projects/Canadian Stage)

Photo of Kate Holden, Sarah Neufeld, Mairi Grieg, and Sahara Morimoto in who we are in the darkChoreographer Peggy Baker joins forces with members of Arcade Fire for a multidisciplinary dance show

The world premiere of Peggy Baker Dance Projectswho we are in the dark is currently being presented by Canadian Stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre. Peggy Baker is one of the luminaries of Canadian contemporary dance. She has had a long career as a performer and as a choreographer, both in Canada and internationally. who we are in the dark is her biggest production to date. The piece is a multi-disciplinary evening featuring innovative movement, music, lighting, and visual art which combine into a feast for the senses. Continue reading Review: who we are in the dark (Peggy Baker Dance Projects/Canadian Stage)

Review: Blood Tides (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre/DanceWorks)

Photo of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre in Blood Tides

Blood Tides, performed by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and presented by DanceWorks, explores and reclaims the experiences of Indigenous women across generations and cultures. Choreographer Santee Smith brought together a team of Indigenous artists from Canada, the US, Mexico, New Zealand, and Fiji in a collaboration that used dance, video, music, and even pottery to create something that felt like a sacred ritual.

Continue reading Review: Blood Tides (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre/DanceWorks)

Review: After the Fire (Punctuate! Theatre/Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts)

Photo of Louise Lambert, Jesse Gervais, Kaitlyn Riordan, and Sheldon Elter in After the FireA new play set during the aftermath of the Fort McMurray fire is no on stage in Toronto

In May 2016, a fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta burned over 85,000 hectares and displaced the entire city. After the Fire, written by Matthew MacKenzie, and presented by Punctuate! Theatre, Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and Native Earth Performing Arts at The Theatre Centre, examines the aftermath of this disaster. Through the lens of one extended family, we see the economic, environmental, and, most importantly, the human costs of one of the largest natural disasters in Canadian history. Continue reading Review: After the Fire (Punctuate! Theatre/Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts)

Review: Katherine Is Not A Communist (Epigraph Theatre)

Photo of Katherine Doering in Katherine is Not A CommunistThis site-specific one-hander, on stage in Toronto, is smart and funny but didn’t all add up

Katherine is Not a Communist is a new play written by Katherine Doering and Curtis te Brinke and produced by Epigraph Theatre. The one-woman show, featuring Doering as the title character, packs a lot into 90 minutes. There’s American history, classic Hollywood movies, and witchcraft. It’s a wild ride, but for me, the show didn’t hang together. I thought the different bits were interesting, but as a whole, the show left me confused. Continue reading Review: Katherine Is Not A Communist (Epigraph Theatre)

Review: Ever So Slightly (RUBBERBANDance Group/DanceWorks)

Photo of RUBBERBANDance Group in Ever So Slightly

Montreal-based RUBBERBANDance Group opened the 2018-19 DanceWorks Mainstage series with Ever So Slightly, choreographed by Artistic Director Victor Quijada. The performance was billed as an “avant world premiere”. And Toronto is lucky to be the first to get a sneak peak at this new work. Though it was sometimes hard to watch, Ever So Slightly was a beautiful and inventive evening of dance. Continue reading Review: Ever So Slightly (RUBBERBANDance Group/DanceWorks)