Toronto Theatre Reviews

Review: Comedians Stand-Up to Stigma (Distress Centres of Greater Toronto)

Comedians Stand-Up to Stigma

We lose approximately 4,000 Canadians to suicide each year. Many of us have felt the heartbreak that comes from a friend, family member, or colleague’s very final action taken in response to a struggle with mental illness. Comedians Stand-Up to Stigma is a comedy event supporting a wonderful organization, Distress Centres of Greater Toronto, which is the recent result of a merger between Peel’s Spectra Helpline and Toronto’s Distress Centres.

The organizations’ crisis lines are open 24 hours a day, trained volunteers fielding more than 118,000 calls and texts, while 60,000 outbound calls are made a year to at-risk seniors, and volunteer grief facilitators support families and friends through their losses. As September 10th was World Suicide Prevention Day, the Thursday event felt timely and urgent, and it was good to see a large crowd at the Royal Cinema.

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Review: YAS KWEEN (Bad Dog Comedy Theatre)

The ladies take over Bad Dog Theatre Company for a night of stand up magic in YAS KWEEN

An ongoing problem in the comedy scene, basically everywhere, is jokes that “punch down”: that is, comedy that gets its laugh by taking shots at people with less cultural power, relying on stereotypes for a lazy punch line. How refreshing, then, to settle in at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre‘s YAS KWEEN, a monthly comedy show curated by Nelu Handa and featuring all women of color comedians and hear a lot of very funny women.

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Review: Rabbit Hole (Scarborough Players)

Poster image from Rabbit Hole - hold in the grown surrounded by green grass with a pair of discarded pink running shoesThe Rabbit Hole, a Pulitzer-prize winning story by David Lindsay-Abaire, is playing at the Scarborough Village Theatre. It’s a touching family drama that’s tightly directed by Maureen Lukie, and it won’t leave anyone indifferent.

A little boy has been accidentally killed. The tragic loss still permeates every word and gesture of his family members eight months after the fact.

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Review: The BFF Variety Hour (Waycik Productions)

Promotional image for the BFF Variety Hour by Waycik Productions The BFF Variety Hour is “bright, bubbly and fun,” now playing at the Comedy Bar!

The BFF Variety Hour, Susan Waycik’s new rotating-guest show at Comedy Bar, is a mix of stand-up, solo sketch comedy, singing, dance and magic, all wrapped in a cozy cocoon of ‘90s friendship-necklace nostalgia and scored by a soundtrack including Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, and, of course, Vitamin C’s seminal “Graduation (Friends Forever).”

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