Toronto Theatre Reviews

Review: Girl From the North Country (David Mirvish)

Photo of Katie Brayben and Shak Taylor dancing together in Girl from the North CountryBob Dylan musical is “dramatically beautiful,” now on stage in Toronto

It’s a mistake to expect Girl from the North Country — playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre — to be a musical. It’s a play with singing and some dancing. With a couple of exceptions, the songs are sung to the audience, not by one character to another the way they usually are in musicals. Playwright Conor McPherson says it’s “a conversation between the songs and the story.”

Simon Hale’s superb arrangements of 20 Bob Dylan songs — or sometimes parts of songs — as solo and ensemble pieces bring new depth to old favourites like “Slow Train”, “Like a Rolling Stone”, and “Forever Young.” And the music is just part of what makes the play terrific.

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Review: Stories in the Woods (Frog in Hand)

Frog in Hand presents a dystopian journey into the deep unknown with Stories in the Woods

A mysterious walk through the cold woods at night turns into an eerie exploration into a dystopian future where climate change has rendered the world nearly unlivable. For two nights, Frog in Hand led a group of wanderers deep into the unknown where dancers utilized a haunting soundscape, the deep woods and rough terrain in the dark, and strategic lighting to illustrate a tale of what could possibly be in Stories in the Woods.

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Review: Program Three (Fall For Dance North)

Program Three of Fall for Dance North rounds out an exciting bill of theatre

Celebrating five years, Fall For Dance North returns to Toronto. Program three comes with a scene change, taking place at Ryerson Theatre instead of Meridian Hall. Fall For Dance North brings leading dance companies from all over the world to Toronto and makes them accessible to a wide audience as all tickets, for any night and any seat, are only fifteen dollars. Make sure to read our reviews of program one and program two.

This bill presents an international selection of current Indigenous dance expressions with works from New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia and the Lac La Croix First Nations.

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Review: Good Morning, Tonight (Karis Anderson & Aidan O’Loughlin)

New comedy festival brings the laughs with a diverse lineup in Toronto

Good Morning, Tonight!This October, The Theatre Centre launched a new festival, COMEDY IS ART, in support of comedy in Canada. Comedy is not currently recognized as its own art form in Canada, which has limited the amount of government funding available for comedians. In its inaugural year, the festival ran from October 1 to 5, and featured 8 shows with over 40 artists. I was fortunate enough to spend an evening watching Good Morning, Tonight!, a stand-up comedy show produced and hosted by spirited comedians Karis Anderson and Aidan O’Loughlin.

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Review: Un Poyo Rojo (Canadian Stage)

Picture of Nicolás Poggi and Luciano Rosso in Un Poyo RojoUn Poyo Rojo is “deliciously deceptive, sidesplittingly antagonistic, and completely perfect.”

The house lights go down and we sit in the pitch black for a few moments. When the lights come up, Nicolás Poggi and Luciano Rosso stare out at the audience silently – two men in an empty locker room. The performers stay like this, unmoving, for a full minute: an unnerving amount of time. Then the performance begins.

Un Poyo Rojo was created ten years ago by Nicolás Poggi, Luciano Rosso, Alfonso Barón, and Hermes Gaido. The production has been touring internationally since 2015. This season, Un Poyo Rojo comes to Toronto with Canadian Stage at The Marilyn and Charles Baillie Theatre. Continue reading Review: Un Poyo Rojo (Canadian Stage)