Review: bug (Manidoons Collective)

Photo of profile of a woman covering her face with both her hands, her long hair in a braid which stands straight up Yolanda Bonnell in bugbug is ” one of the most important works of theatre you can see right now.”

bug’s poetic exploration of intergenerational trauma, the oppressive tactics utilized by the settler colonialist state we call Canada, and internalized colonization could not be more timely.

bug pulls back the curtain on the falsehood of reconciliation using storytelling and movement, bringing everything we’ve seen in the news and the history books into the heart and gut. I felt a visceral and powerful connection with the performer and the audience throughout the performance. Continue reading Review: bug (Manidoons Collective)

Request for Only IBPOC Reviewers For bug is an Exciting Big Deal

Photo of woman sitting on the floor looking up - Yolanda Bonnell in bug

This week marks the opening of manidoons collective’s piece bug co-presented by Theatre Passe Muraille and Native Earth Performing Arts. The piece is created and performed by Yolanda Bonnell.

If you follow theatre in Toronto at all, you’ve probably heard by now that manidoons collective – run by Bonnell and Cole Alvis – had a request:

Continue reading Request for Only IBPOC Reviewers For bug is an Exciting Big Deal

Review: Class (Progress Festival / Scottee and Friends Ltd.)

Scottee in ClassA “stunning piece of theatre” both brutally funny and honest

There are two more performances of Class, Scottee’s one-person show. Go see it. It’s amazing. I can’t remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did last night. My stomach muscles are still tender this morning. I also can’t remember the last time I worked as hard to not sob during a performance. Or was as angry.

Class is part of the Progress Festival at The Theatre Centre. Earlier this week I saw Scottee’s show, Working Class Dinner Party and really enjoyed it. We spent 90 minutes trying to decide how to define working class. We didn’t arrive at a definition. Continue reading Review: Class (Progress Festival / Scottee and Friends Ltd.)

Review: Hamilton (Mirvish)

Photo of Joseph Morales and company by Joan MarcusThe Hamilton Phenomena Arrives at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto

If you’re the type of person who reads theatre reviews, you’re probably well aware of Hamilton, now playing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. As lyricist-composer Lin-Manuel Miranda puts it, it’s that quintessential hip-hop story of a scrappy young man who starts from the bottom, succeeds by sheer bravado and talent, and is then undone by the same hubris that precipitated his meteoric rise. The story just applies, in this case, to America’s first Secretary of the Treasury, as the country violently transitions from colonial rule to self-government.

Based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, the show was a cultural and award-winning juggernaut, one of few modern works to actually claim the title of game-changer outside of the insular theatre scene. The only question is: does the Toronto production live up to the quality and hype of the show itself? The answer is: yes, mostly.

Continue reading Review: Hamilton (Mirvish)

Review: Secret Life of a Mother (Crow’s Theatre / The SLOM Collective / The Theatre Centre)

Photo of a Woman Crouched in an Aquarium - Maev Beaty in Secret life of a MotherThe Secret Life of a Mother is “unapologetically human”

The review for Secret Life of a Mother was supposed to be easy. It was supposed to be a slam dunk. It’s an incredible show created by a powerhouse team. With so much talent and heart on display, it’s hard to imagine anyone not finding something to enjoy about it. The shows you love are supposed to be easy to write about.

But for some reason, here I am, submitting this review three days late (being the boss has its perks).

Continue reading Review: Secret Life of a Mother (Crow’s Theatre / The SLOM Collective / The Theatre Centre)