All posts by Keira Grant

Review: Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre)

“Riotously funny” Figaro adaptation is a “must see” in Toronto

Figaro’s Wedding, Against the Grain Theatre‘s remount of their critically acclaimed 2013 production, provides a much needed 21st century facelift to one of the most beloved operas of all time, Le nozze di Figaro. Da ponte’s libretto is full of fluff and nonsense, with a large pinch of subtle (and not so subtle) class critique. However, there are plot points that don’t time travel well, and jokes that are simply not funny to modern sensibilities.

AtG artistic director Joel Ivany’s adaption in modern English cleverly retains the main plot points of the original work and incorporates most of the opera’s iconic musical numbers. But Ivany’s version departs from the original at leisure to tell a very familiar modern-day tale of a millennial wedding beset by family drama, financial woes, and questionable friends. Continue reading Review: Figaro’s Wedding (Against the Grain Theatre)

Review: Citadel Dance Mix 2019 (Citadel+Compagnie)

Ballet ‘sampler’ perfect for old hats and newcomers alike

Citadel Dance Mix 2019 is like a sample platter of contemporary ballet, showcasing the choreography of three local dancers, Syreeta Hector, Christianne Ullmark, and Nova Bhattacharya. Their styles are highly contrasting and the themes explored are varied, creating a good opportunity for newcomers to modern ballet to experience the diversity of expression that is possible. Suffice it to say, it is a far cry from The Nutcracker or Swan Lake. Continue reading Review: Citadel Dance Mix 2019 (Citadel+Compagnie)

Review: TAP:Ex Augmented Opera (Tapestry Opera/re:Naissance Opera)

Tap:EX blends opera with new age technology in their new Augmented Opera experience

TAP:EX Augmented Opera, Tapestry Opera’s latest installment of its Tap:EX series, unites form and content to explore the impact of technology on experience and memory. As my companion put it, Augmented Opera is like an operatic episode of Black Mirror, but the jury is hung on whether the technology is friend or foe. Continue reading Review: TAP:Ex Augmented Opera (Tapestry Opera/re:Naissance Opera)

Review: Dead Parents Society (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

The loss of one’s parents is probably the most dreaded, expected life event for most people. I do not really like to talk about it for fear the Grim Reaper will suddenly jump up and snatch them as though summoned. Dead Parent Society is about finding healing through humor in this intimate, grief-themed sketch comedy show. Continue reading Review: Dead Parents Society (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

Review: Rusalka (Canadian Opera Company)

 0253 – Sondra Radvanovsky as Rusalka in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Rusalka, 2019. Conductor Johannes Debus, director Sir David McVicar, costume designer Moritz Junge, set designer John Macfarlane, lighting designer David Finn, choreographer Andrew George. Photo: Michael CooperThe COC’s Rusalka is a full-body immersive experience that tingles the spine

In the Canadian Opera Company’s current presentation of the Chicago Lyric Opera production of Rusalka, by Antonin Dvořák, the storytelling begins during the overture, before the curtain comes up. The dedication to telling a philosophical and darkly beautiful version of this well-known fairy tale is unwavering to the final haunting note.

Continue reading Review: Rusalka (Canadian Opera Company)