All posts by Stephen Lubin

The Archive of Missing Things (Zuppa Theatre Company) 2019 Summerworks Review

Image of a Building for The Archive of Missing Things

Zuppa Theatre Company’s The Archive of Missing Things is being put on as part of Summerworks 2019 at The Sanderson Library (327 Bathurst Street). It is an interactive theatre piece taking place in the library with other patrons there. This show an open-concept, it’s performed throughout the library rather than on a stage. It has a digital component as well as live action which all melds together incredibly.

I’ll say here that I think The Archive of Missing Things is one of the most incredible experiences with performance art that I’ve had in recent memory. There’s a great deal of mystery and intrigue woven in and thus, I do think the best experience one can have is going in blind as I did. If you want, stop reading now and just go experience this wonderfully thoughtful show.

Continue reading The Archive of Missing Things (Zuppa Theatre Company) 2019 Summerworks Review

I’m A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me? (Lois Brown) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Lois Brown in I'm a Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me

I Am A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me is a piece of performance art, melded with storytelling. Created by Lois Brown and composer James O’Callaghan, it’s taking place as part of Summerworks 2019, and you can catch it at the Longboat Hall in The Great Hall.

Though this show isn’t the kind of thing I normally gravitate towards, it was a very satisfying experience. I also think it fulfilled what it set out to do, engage the audience in its sonic improvisations throughout. Continue reading I’m A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me? (Lois Brown) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Fox Woman (Palabra Flamenco) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Denise Yeo in Fox Woman Palabra Flamenco

If you are in the mood for either flamenco dancing, beautiful guitar playing, or storytelling at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival,  look no further than Fox Woman, produced by Palabra Flamenco and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival in the Streetcar Crowsnest Studio. And if you weren’t in the mood for these things, you should be.

Fox Woman begins with performer Denise Yeo recounting a Siberian folk tale of a lonely hunter and the titular Fox Woman. Her tone is delicate and inviting, and this first telling of the story is quite bare bones. There’s none of the dancing or music that will come in this flamenco storytelling show. In retrospect, I feel like this decision to tell the folk tale twice helped it to resonate with me on a profound level when she next danced to it.

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Some People To Think About (Rapid Fire Theatre) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Picture of Paul Blinov in Some People To Think AboutLaughs and jokes from the future are abound in Some People To Think About, produced by Edmonton’s Rapid Fire Theatre and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival at the Streetcar Crowsnest Studio.

This short sketch show stars Edmonton-based performer Paul Blinov and is directed by Beth Dart. It was a light romp and would be a great addition to your Fringe schedule.

Continue reading Some People To Think About (Rapid Fire Theatre) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

By Heart (Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage presented a truly magical piece of participatory theatre in Toronto

This past weekend By Heart, a truly magical piece of theatre was put on by Canadian Stage, performed at the Berkeley St. Theatre. A limited engagement, from May 30 to June 2, in the Upstairs Space.

By Heart is an interactive theatre performance created by Portuguese actor Tiago Rodrigues, in which Rodrigues brings up ten audience members and over the span of ninety minutes to two hours, teaches them one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. As he does so, he breaks up his teachings with stories about his grandmother and his favorite authors. Continue reading By Heart (Canadian Stage)

Review: Prophecy Fog (Theatre Centre)

A woman holds her hand to her head.

Entrancing, Intimate and Challenging: Prophecy Fog Opens in Toronto

If you’re looking for a thoughtful and intimate performance this weekend, look no further than Jani Lauzon’s Prophecy Fog, on at the Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W) until May 26. Produced by the Theatre Centre in collaboration with Paper Canoe Projects, in association with Nightswimming.

The history of Giant Rock is fascinating and sad. At the heart of Lauzon’s story is a question: “can a site still be sacred if it has been desecrated”? But at its narrative core, Prophecy Fog is the story of Lauzon’s journey to Giant Rock in the Mojave with her daughter. Continue reading Review: Prophecy Fog (Theatre Centre)

Review: Impressionism (Alumnae Theatre)

Alumnae Theatre stages a play by television writer Michael Jacobs in Toronto

If you want to see some paintings this weekend and don’t want to go to just any old gallery, check out Alumnae Theatre’s production of Impressionism by Michael Jacobs. On until April 27 in Alumnae’s main space.

Impressionism is a play by writer Michael Jacobs, whom you’re probably more familiar with as the creator of Boy Meets World as well as several other television shows. In Impressionism Jacobs’ television writing shines through in the show’s humour, with some truly funny banter and zingers. Continue reading Review: Impressionism (Alumnae Theatre)

Review: New Magic Valley Fun Town (Tarragon Theatre)

Tarragon Theatre presents a new play by Daniel MacIvor in Toronto

New Magic Valley Fun Town is wonderfully funny, extremely moving, and quintessentially Nova Scotian.  This new play is written by, and starring, Daniel MacIvor. You can catch it at Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Ave.) from now until March 31st.

New Magic Valley Fun Town captures the lives of a family of Cape Bretoners in their hilarious nuances. It opens with lighthearted comedy, but by the end you may get a bit misty eyed.  With great acting and writing, I found this play to be immensely rewarding. Continue reading Review: New Magic Valley Fun Town (Tarragon Theatre)

Review: The Virgin Trial (Soulpepper)

The Stratford Festival production of The Virgin Trial, a play by Kate Hennig, is onstage in Toronto

After premiering at the Stratford Festival‘s 2017 season, The Virgin Trial by Kate Hennig has hit Toronto stages, being produced by Soulpepper. It’s on until February 3rd, so this is your last week to catch it at the Young Center For The Performing Arts (50 Tankhouse Lane).

The Virgin Trial is a tense historical, political thriller that tells the story of a 15-year-old Elizabeth Tudor (Elizabeth The First). After an attempt on King Edward VI’s life, his Lord Protector brings in Elizabeth, called Bess in the show, to question her involvement and inquire about her supposed virtue.

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Review: The Wonder Pageant (Coal Mine Theatre)

Holiday Improv arrives on the Toronto stage

The Wonder Pageant isn’t the Coal Mine Theatre’s (1454 Danforth Ave.) typical kind of production, and the cast jokes about this early into the show. This is hilarious improv show taking place in Toronto’s East End, and I highly recommend checking it out this holiday season.

While the company is known for its more serious theatrical productions, this evening of improv is anything but. What it does manage to be is exceedingly charming. The set is a homey little living room, and when you sink into your chair it really feels like you’re over at a friends’ holiday party. Continue reading Review: The Wonder Pageant (Coal Mine Theatre)