Soulpepper review: ‘Billy Bishop Goes to War’

Although it’s been over 30 years since Billy Bishop Goes to War debuted in 1978, the play continues to fit perfectly, delivering the timeless message of the bloody cost of survival. Written and composed by John Gray with actor Eric Peterson, the play is the story of Billy Bishop from Owen Sound, Ontario, who joins the Royal Air Force during World War I and goes on to become the most decorated Canadian of the war.

Review: Soulpepper’s ‘Awake and Sing!’

Clifford Odets’ kitchen sink drama, first produced in 1935, revolves around a Jewish family’s struggles to survive in the Bronx during the Depression. Odets’ play was back on Broadway in 2006, earning the Tony award for best revival that year. By 2007, it was playing in London. Now Soulpepper’s competent production brings the play to Toronto audiences.

Review: Soulpepper’s ‘Loot’

Money makes the world go around, they say, and in Soulpepper’s latest production, Loot, it’s what makes this farce fly. Old Mr McLeavy has no time to grieve for his dead wife. His wife’s nurse (Nicole Underhay) is distracting him with her charms. His son Hal (Matthew Edison) and Hal’s boyfriend Dennis (Jonathan Watton) have robbed a bank and find an ideal hiding place for the loot in her coffin. Now what to do with the corpse?

Review: Soulpepper’s ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’

Once your ear is attuned to the fire hose volume of expletives in David Mamet‘s 1983 play Glengarry Glen Ross, the profane mantra begins to take on a rhythm and cadence of its own. With each line, the play (inspired by Mamet’s experience working in a Chicago real estate office in the 1960s) is more of an indictment of the dog-eat-dog unprincipled capitalism that chews up its participants. The Soulpepper production, tautly directed by company regular David Storch, is an ambitious and successful revival.

Soulpepper’s ‘A Raisin in the Sun’

A richly textured play that eloquently captures the zeitgeist of the post-war society in the U.S., A Raisin in the Sun is just as relevant today. In Lorraine Hansberry‘s powerful play, the characters are on the cusp of a new era of civil rights marches and affirmative action. But they struggle to realize that the pursuit of the American Dream does not replace family honour.