Review: Jacqueline (Tapestry Opera)

The tragically brief life and career of virtuoso cellist Jacqueline Du Pré is a source of great interest for contemporary historians and classical music aficionados. Du Pré’s was forced to end her internationally acclaimed performing career at age 28 when worsening multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms made it impossible for her to play. Despite the brevity of her career, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time. Continue reading Review: Jacqueline (Tapestry Opera)

Review: How To Fail As A Popstar (Canadian Stage)

Photo of Vivek Shraya in How To Fail As A Popstar by Dahlia Katz

Vivek Shraya’s How To Fail As A Popstar, now at Canadian Stage, is about confronting failure, showing that it’s not the end of everything, but also not downplaying the disappointment and significance of the experience. It’s about living a life that refuses to conform to an expected narrative arc, and the second-guessing that can occur when that happens. It’s about a love of music that can never quite die, even when it’s in question. It’s about grooving to a ‘90s and 2000s musical nostalgia trip. And it’s about being fabulous and singing your heart out.

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MoT Profiles: The Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

Photo of Rhubarb Festival cover

It’s week two of the 41st Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. I love that the festival has been running longer than a lot of the audience – and performers – have been alive.

I regret that this is the first time I’ve been to the festival. It won’t be the last. It’s the kind of theatre that I love: adventurous, experimental and entertaining. Young artists stretch their wings, and established artists step out of their comfort zones to try new things. Continue reading MoT Profiles: The Rhubarb Festival (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre)

Review: Jungle Book (Young People’s Theatre)

image of two people in the bottom right of a large set with a shadow of an elephant and a jaguar - from Jungle Book at YPT Photo of Matt Lacas and Levin Valayil and by Rick Miller.

Updated multi-media rich adaptation of The Jungle Book sure to please

Jungle Book – an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic works written & directed by Craig Francis & Rick Miller is on stage at Young People’s Theatre until March 21.

It is an immersive theatre experience perfect for children and families. The mainstage theatre transforms into a multi-dimensional living storybook, teaching all about the importance of relationships, wildlife and the consequences of colonialism. This performance is recommended for ages five and up and is inviting school trips from senior kindergarten to grade six.

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Review: Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company)

Stakes aren’t high enough in this modern take of Hansel and Gretel

I was curious as to how setting Hansel and Gretel set in 21st century Toronto, as opposed to the forests of 19th century Bavaria, would change the well-known Grimm brothers fairytale. The themes concerning food insecurity and parents struggling with poverty and addiction are certainly as timely here and now as they have always been.

Directing for Canadian Opera Company, Joel Ivany interprets the story with his signature outside-the-box creativity and makes impressive use of projection to create sets. However, in the interest of making the story more relatable to modern audiences, some of the dramatic tension that has made the fable compelling for centuries is sacrificed. Continue reading Review: Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company)