Review: "Venus in Fur" at Theatre on the Ridge

Review: "Venus in Fur" at Theatre on the Ridge

Theatre on the Ridge should be congratulated for a fine summer festival encompassing drama, comedy, classics and Canadiana.  It has been a pool of diversity as wide as the Toronto Raptors’ fan base.  Their final production of David Ives’ ‘Venus in Fur’ deepens the pool even further with a witty production of a complex take on the battle of the sexes.

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Review: "The Valley" at Theatre on the Ridge

Review: "The Valley" at Theatre on the Ridge

Like many other Canadian playwrights, Joan McLeod enjoys writing about Canada. But what sets her apart is her desire to peel back the peaceful veneer of Canadian society and reveal the stark reality of conflict and unease that often goes unacknowledged. This is true of her 2013 play, The Valley, which takes an unflinching look at mental health and, more specifically, the interaction of on-duty police officers with citizens suffering with mental illness.

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Review: "Nathan The Wise" at Stratford Festival

Review: "Nathan The Wise" at Stratford Festival

Nathan the Wise’ is a play that requires at least two or more viewings for its rich subtext of the exploration of three faiths. If anything, for a twenty first century audience, the play allows us hopefully to open that discussion of trying to find a common humanity and element that exists between all of us.

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Review: Driftwood Creates a Rockin’ Fairy Tale with "A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream"

Review: Driftwood Creates a Rockin’ Fairy Tale with "A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream"

Creating Shakespearean productions that are accessible and intriguing entertainment for people of all ages is a true challenge. To do it consistently for a quarter century, well, that’s another thing entirely. Yet, the Driftwood Theatre Group has been doing just that since 1995.

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Review: "Henry VIII" at Stratford Festival

Review: "Henry VIII" at Stratford Festival

As we left the auditorium, I heard some audience members behind me say this production was quite a historical lesson.  A young girl and her father sat next to me.  She turned to him at the end and said, “I understood a bit of what was going on”.  I turned to both and thanked them appreciatively for their support of live theatre and for learning a bit of history.

You should come to Stratford and learn a bit about the history of the Tudors too.

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Review: "Bloom: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable" by 4th Line Theatre

Review: "Bloom: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable" by 4th Line Theatre

Beau Dixon asks some important questions in his Playwright Notes: ‘What does it take to reach success?’; ‘How do you determine success?’ and ‘What do you sacrifice to get you to the next level of success?’ Three extremely important questions which I wished we could have discussed with the playwright and the director post performance. In any event, ‘Bloom: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable’ is a worthy evening of theatrical entertainment.  Get to see it if you can.

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Review: "The Black Drum" by Deaf Culture Centre

Review: "The Black Drum" by Deaf Culture Centre

I attended The Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s Distillery District for the world premiere of the first production in the history of Canadian theatre, specifically musical theatre, of Adam Pottle’s ‘The Black Drum’, produced by The Deaf Culture Centre. After viewing a vibrant opening night production, I predict the deaf culture voice is one which will continue to make its mark within Canadian culture and particularly in the arts community.

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Review: "Little Shop of Horrors" at Stratford Festival

Review: "Little Shop of Horrors" at Stratford Festival

We need The Stratford Festival’s production of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s musical sci-fi spoof right now.  A little wacky, escapist fun is good for the soul and, under the supreme direction and choreography of Donna Feore and sublime music direction of Laura Burton, this ‘Little Shop’ takes us away for two- and a-bit hours to be thoroughly entertained from the score’s first note.

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Review: "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at Stratford Festival

Review: "The Merry Wives of Windsor" at Stratford Festival

A rollicking new version of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor swept through the Festival theatre Saturday night as patrons were treated to an evening of bellicose laughter.  Many academics agree that this is not Shakespeare’s best work – perhaps rushed writing.  But on this night a colleague correctly reminded me that, still, it is Shakespeare.

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