A juried festival of independent theatre, Toronto's Summerworks blooms in August every year, offering a bouquet of dramatic delights. Here are a few reviews.
The new work by acclaimed playwright Hannah Moscovitch (The Russian Play) doesn’t disappoint as it leads the audience through an uncomfortable story that, like the car accident, we can’t turn away from. Actor Joe Cobden is superb as the storyteller, Aaron, a long suffering teenage brother whose adopted sister Claire (played by Michelle Monteith with a wonderful reined-in neurotic flourish) is emotionally disturbed due to an early childhood featuring unnamed abuses that are never spelled out but only alluded to (making them all the more horrifying).
Theatre critic Susan Down continues her reviews from the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, which runs until July 17 in venues across Toronto. Reviews include: The Sparrow and the Mouse: Creating the Music of Edith Piaf, So I Married a Muslim, Bloom, and Wishes Are Horses.
Theatre critic Susan Down wades deep into the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, which runs until July 17 in venues across the city. Reviews include: Pitch Blond, Finally: An Epic Cycle, Mary's Wedding, Man on My Face, The Godot Cycle, She Said What, and Limbo.
Edward Albee's seminal play about the degradation of American marriage and ethics is another vehicle for a successful Soulpepper event. It's a supremely difficult task to follow an act like Mike Nichols' movie adaptation starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, whose famously tempestuous marriage imitated Albee's plot. Difficult, yes, but not impossible.
It's no surprise that Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar's popular tale, which premiered in Budapest in 1910, was translated and has been embraced by the English theatre. The story of disguising a character to test a lover's fidelity is a familiar one, employed in many a performance from classic mythology to Shakespeare.
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.
Theatre critic Jory Brophy takes a look at a collection of plays from the 2009 Toronto Fringe Festival, which runs until July 12 in numerous venues across the city. Reviews include: Lockdown, Quarter Life Calamity, Icarus Redux, Weaverville Waltz, Things Base and Weill, Moving Along, Pen Pals, TransCanada '69, Head First, and Bad Skater, Good Hands.
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.