Toronto Theatre Reviews

Review: Quartet (East Side Players)

Quartet - East Side Players

Quartet, story of four retirement home performers, takes to the stage in Toronto

Last night, my friend Elaine and I went to see Quartet, the final show in East Side Players’ 2014/2015 season.

Quartet is set in a retirement home for singers and musicians. Every year they celebrate Verdi’s birthday in October with a gala, and all the residents perform. Cissy (Malorie Mandolidis), Wilfred (Daryn DeWalt) and Reg (Robert Ouelette) plan to perform as a trio.

Then Jean (Jane Hunter), Reg’s ex-wife and a prima-donna supreme, shows up.

Will she sing at the gala? Will she join them to form a quartet?

Continue reading Review: Quartet (East Side Players)

Review: Weather (Anandam Dance)

Louis Laberge-Cote in Weather

Weather, on stage in Toronto, blends augmented reality technology with dance

Yesterday I attended the preview of Anandam Dance’s Weather, an interdisciplinary work integrating dance with the emerging technology of ‘augmented reality’ for mobile devices. The piece was partially about ecology and climate change, and partially about how we see the world in modern times – including the natural world – through our mobile devices.

Continue reading Review: Weather (Anandam Dance)

Review: Straight White Men (World Stage/Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company)

SWM

World Stage presents the Toronto premiere of Young Jean Lee’s play Straight White Men

Fact: white privilege, heterosexual privilege and male privilege all exist and together they give straight, white males countless systemic advantages in society.

If that statement isn’t a truism to you, you should probably just stop reading now and move on; none of the rest of this review or this play will make much sense to you. American playwright Young Jean Lee’s new play Straight White Men is a timely, relevant, subversive and remarkably insightful exploration of the concept of privilege from the point of view of its beneficiaries. Continue reading Review: Straight White Men (World Stage/Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company)

Review: The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine (Coffeehouse Theatre/Off the Grid)

Kasey Dunn Andrew Gaboury

A story of domestic discontent took the stage at Toronto’s Sidemart Theatrical Grocery

Take your lover to see The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine at Toronto’s Sidemart Theatrical Grocery and use the given scenes as a means to talk about your post-honeymoon disappointment, built-up resentment and your annoyance with your better half’s morning routine. Domestic bliss becomes a hilarious domestic nightmare in this wonderfully staged play by Leah Cherniak, Robert Morgan and Martha Ross. Continue reading Review: The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine (Coffeehouse Theatre/Off the Grid)

Review: redShow (InspiraTO Festival)

Meeting Mr Right

Seven more 10-minute plays arrive on the Toronto stage through InspiraTO Festival

On Thursday night I saw blueShow at the InspiraTO Festival. On Friday I saw redShow, which is the same format as blueShow – seven 10 minute plays in 70 minutes. The sets are minimal, and the backdrops are projections.

The difference between blue and red? According to the website, if you like your plays “full of passion,” this (redShow) is for you. blueShow is for you if “you like your plays sublime.” On Friday, I learned that I’m a blueShow kind of girl. Continue reading Review: redShow (InspiraTO Festival)