All posts by Diana Manole

Wha’ ha’ happened was… (Habib Siam and Jean Paul) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Artwork by Scott Martin for WHA' HA' HAPPENED WAS… When Habib Siam told us that Jean Paul, the second performer and producer of Wha’ Ha’ Happened Was…, playing now at the Toronto Fringe Festival, couldn’t come to the July 6th show because of a family emergency, I panicked. Spending the next eighty minutes with one guy on a mic wasn’t exactly what I had signed up for. I feared boredom, but I was wrong. The show went by in a flash.

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Decaying Tongue (Human Burrito Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Sachi Lovatt, Mei Miyazawa, Cory Bertrand in DECAYING TONGUE. Photo by Leo Montero

Produced by Human Burrito Productions, Decaying Tongue playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival is touching in its honesty, interesting through specific cultural details, and compelling with its ingenious structure and staging. It is inspired by the real-life search for self of Kaho Koda, the Japanese-born and, for eight years now, Canadian resident playwright and director of the show. Continue reading Decaying Tongue (Human Burrito Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

King Stag (Randolph College) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Marie-Pier Jean and Molly Rumball in KING STAG. Photo by Matthew WalkerComedy is hard work and the final year students of the Randolph College for the Performing Arts take it very seriously under the direction of Matthew Walker. In King Stag by Carlo Gozzi (translated by Albert Bermel and Ted Emery), playing now at the Toronto Fringe Festival, the timing, character work, and gags are impeccable and fully entertaining.

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Who you Callin Black Eh? (RJ DEverell Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Chattrisse Dolabaille in WHO YOU CALLIN BLACK EH?

Playing now at the Toronto Fringe Festival, Who You Callin Black Eh? by Rita Shelton Deverell (RJ DEverell Productions) tells us the story of a young woman born in Atlantic Canada and now living in Toronto. As a bi-racial kid (white mother, black father), called Our Heroine, she is either not “Black Enough” or not “White Enough.” She is lonely and struggles to find her people.

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Checkpoint 300 (Tamaya Productions) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Liz Mynhardt and Brittany Cope in CHECKPOINT 300 photo by Adrianna ProsserDo you want to see a winner? Go see Tamaya ProductionsCheckpoint 300 written and directed by Michelle Wise, this year’s winner of the Fringe’s First Play Competition. It is indeed very well-crafted and it continuously surprises us with unexpected facts and plot twists. I will not go into details, no need for spoiler alerts.

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Review: THE BLACK DRUM (Soulpepper/ DEAF CULTURE CENTRE)

Photo of Ensemble of Black Drum at Soulpepper

The World’s First Entirely Deaf Musical Is Now on Stage in Toronto

The Black Drum is a fairy tale that feels like Alice meets Dracula in a black & white wonderland – and sharing the music and love we carry in our hearts and bodies defeats the evil, at least for the moment. Sounds familiar? Maybe, but I can assure you that what you can see and feel at this show is truly extraordinary.

Produced by Soulpepper and the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE, a project of the Canadian Cultural Centre of the Deaf (CCSD), The Black Drum is a visually stunning spectacle and an emotionally-engaging performance. It is also the world’s first entirely Deaf musical.

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