Friday, December 30, 2011

Preview: American Idiot


Reviews are in, and American Idiot, the Green Day inspired musical, is a hit!  The Star gave the show four star, and called American Idiot, "the first great musical of the 21st century."  That is some heavy praise.  Justin and I can't wait to see it next week. The show is on now until January 15th, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.  Dancap Productions is having a fantastic season, with many of their shows receiving critical and audience acclaim.  Lets hope audiences agree on American Idiot.  


Photo courtesy of  Toronto.com, and features, from left, cast members, Scott J. Campbell, Van Hughes, and Jake Epstein.

American Idiot, book by Michael Mayer and Billie Joe Armstrong.
Music by Green Day
Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Directed by Michael Mayer
At the Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street
Call 416-644-3665 for ticket information.



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Check this out...


Great article from the New York Times Theater section over the weekend about Shea's Performing Art Center in Buffalo. It was a fascinating read about what an influential stop Buffalo has become on the Broadway touring circuit.  Just as an example, The Addam's Family, which ran last week at Shea's, made close to a million dollars.  By comparison, the show hasn't made that kind of money, in a week on Broadway, since last April.  It was wonderful to see that theatre's and the audiences that love them outside of Manhattan are getting some recognition by the paper of note these days.   I highly recommend this article by Patrick Healy, "Broadway Hits Gold in Buffalo."  Check it out here.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays


Wishing you all much happiness and joy this Christmas.  And a Happy New Year!

Love,

Justin and Liza

Friday, December 23, 2011

Great News



One of Justin and my favourite movies is Once!  And now the film musical is headed for Broadway.  Check out this article from the NYTimes Arts Beat Blog.  The show hasn't even opened off-Broadway but it has already gotten the nod and will be headed for the Great White Way in March of 2012.  And for those of you not familiar with the movie here is the original trailer.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top 10 Theatre Shows of 2011 from NOW Magazine


Photo: HIS GREATNESS

Now Toronto has released their top 10 Theatre shows for 2011 and we here at EAP have to agree with almost all of their decisions. Especially HIS GREATNESS, BILLY ELLIOT and THE NORMAL HEART!

For the complete list please click the link below:

Top 10 Theatre Shows | NOW Magazine

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

American Idiot in Toronto!

We hear tickets are selling fast for the groundbreaking new musical that hits the Toronto stage a week today!

For tickets or more info please click the header!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Preview: HAIR



It was a smash hit a few years ago when it was revived in New York, and its triumph return to the Royal Alex took place this week! It has already opened to strong reviews and we are excited to see such a moving and provocative piece of theatre in town over the holiday season!

HAIR is more than just a musical: it is a social and cultural phenomenon, a jubilant assertion of life and freedom.”

So wrote critic Michael Billington in The Guardian, of the London staging of this joyous new production of the mother of all rock musicals!

It’s the ’60s; war rages in Vietnam, and a group of friends in New York’s East Village turn on, tune in and sing out in celebration of love, life and freedom. The first great rock musical, Hair has some of the most rousing and soulful songs ever written for the stage, including Let the Sun Shine In, Easy to be Hard, Good Morning Starshine, Aquarius and the infectious title song, Hair. It will more than make you want to sing along; It will make you want to go on stage and dance (and maybe you will)! You must not miss this vibrant, joyous piece of living theatre!

On until December 31st!

For tickets or more info please click the header!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Call For Submissions


It is that time of year again producers.  Time to get your proposals together for a number of Toronto theatre festivals.  The Habourfront Centre put out a call for submissions for their Fresh Ground new works series.  Prize winners can win up to $20,000 towards creating their work.  Fresh Ground submissions must be, new, collaborative, artistic creations, incorporating more than one discipline or field.  The work will be presented at the Harbourfront Centre between September 2013 and June 2014.  The deadline for submissions is January 30th.  All letters of intent must be received by 5pm on Monday January 30th to be considered.  More information about submissions is available here.

The application for the 2012 SummerWorks festival are also available now.  Check out the website here for applications.  Deadline dates for the SummerWorks festival are also up.  National Series Submissions are due January 3rd 2012.  While Local Series Submissions  are due February 1st 2012.

These are two great opportunities for local arts creators to have their work staged for local audiences.  Both the Harbourfront Centre and SummerWorks are mainstays in the Toronto theatre, dance and live performance scene.  If have have ever considered applying to have your work show here, this is the year!  Don't delay.  And message us here if you would like advice or insight into applying for either of these festival and grant programs.  We have done them a few times.  

Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes



Wish there was a show like this for the holidays here in Toronto.  I saw this article posted on the San Francisco Facebook page yesterday.  And was so envious of all my peeps back in SF.  Hey Girls you should bring that show on the road!!!!

Preview: Matt & Ben



I think this sounds wonderfully intriguing and funny. Check it out this weekend at the Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street)!

Matt & Ben by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers is a one act play with two females playing the roles of a pre-famous Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and the hijinks that ensue when a completed screenplay for an orignal movie entitled “Good Will Hunting” falls from the sky with their names on the front cover. Is this a test? A message from God?

For tickets please click the header!

Matt & Ben
Directed by Reid Vanier
Starring Adele Dicks and Kristy LaPointe
Stage Manager: Hannah Metcalfe
December 17 &18 at Alumnae Theatre/ 2pm and 8pm.
Tickets $15

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tosca is back at the Canadian Opera Company



This clip pretty much speaks for itself.  If you are an Opera fan, or even just Opera curious and you haven't seen Tosca, then you better book tickets for The Canadian Opera Company's winter season opener.  Tosca opens January 21st and runs until February 25th, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Arts.

Adrianne Pieczonka, featured above, returns the title role.  She received rave reviews when she premiered in this role in 2008.  The Los Angeles Times called her, "radiant."  And she is sure to dazzle again.

Click here for ticket information.  And don't forget that if you are under 30 you can get Opera for the New Age tickets for $22 bucks, and you can pre-order them online.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chatting with the cast of Off Broadway On Stage

Last night, I was invited to speak to some of the cast from Angelwalk Theatre's Off Broadway, On Stage.   It was an extra special night, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, as the touring cast of Memphis was also in the building and many of them were heading out to dinner at Baton Rouge.  It was a lively wait at the stage door.

But the real excitement was happening in the Studio Theatre.  I arrived a few minutes early and got to hear the cast of Off Broadway... rehearsing their closing number.  It was great to get a sneak preview.

After their final rehearsal I sat down with, (from left)  Will, Jennifer NatashaClara, and Dave.  Mike "Nug" Nahrgang, (pictured second from left) was sadly not available.  The cast spoke candidly about their, "intense," as Clara put it, rehearsal process, as well as their joy in working together with some dream musical material.

This cast of six has packed over twenty song from more than eighteen Off-Broadway productions into a brisk eighty minute show.  And all with only two weeks of rehearsals.

"The intensity of it," Dave said, came from the nature of a revue. You can't think of it as, "just a concert. We're digging into the material a lot more than in other productions. We have explored everything, dance acting... a lot of solid work."
Jennifer added that, "the songs have to stand on their own, because they aren't in the context of the original show."
 "It is all about telling the story of the song, and creating links between the pieces. Anthony, [Bastianon the show's musical director] and Denise, [Oucharek, the musical staging director ] have taken the time to find those links between the pieces," said Clara. "It is really wonderful."

There is also the heavier subject matter Off-Broadway tends to produce.  Not to mention the kick ass songs, you almost never get to sing in a show.  Will told me that he appreciated working with the deeper more complex music that Off-Broadway had to offer. "The show is eighty five minutes.  And we fit a lot in.  And because the subject matter of Off-Broadway tends to be more intense, it is really a marathon."

When I asked what the difference was doing a revue and doing a musical Natasha jumped in, "In a musical you get time to study your character, for this revue, playing many characters, you don't have that." The secret to keeping an audience engaged without characters to draw them in?   The creative construction by Anthony Bastianon,  and Dennis Oucharek.

I also got the sense from the cast that they genuinely enjoyed working together.  Clara said, "each of the cast members is so unique and different.  It has been really a great opportunity to blend new songs, meeting a great cast and working with this rich material, everyone brings something very special to the show."

And finally I asked what everyones' favourite number in the show was.  "I get to sing my favourite song, so for me that is the best," said Jennifer in reference to the well know classic from, Tick, Tick... Boom  "Come to Your Senses,"  which brought the house down just before the finale.

It was a really enjoyable evening of songs, some of which I knew and some of which I had never heard.  I particularly liked one of Clara's numbers I wasn't familiar with, " I'll Be Here" from Ordinary Days. 

If you are looking for an entertaining night out this weekend be sure and see Off Broadway On Stage.  And as "Nug," who's humorous interludes provided pleasant reprieve said, with a show like this, "you can see a night of theatre, buy the cast drinks and still pay the sitter." Click here for show and ticket information.  Off Broadway On Stage runs until the 11th of December.




Preview: CRUSH



This piece is getting some good reviews folks and there is only 4 more days left to check it out!!!

CRUSH is a story of desire, denial and violence. When Martin moves into Ronny and Sandra’s trailer park on the edge of a small Ontario city, he captivates them both. Their longing for love and need to escape collide with homophobia and desperation as the play accelerates toward its startling conclusion. CRUSH is loosely based on the true story of the Jenny Jones Show "Secret Admirer" murder, in which Scott Amedure was killed by Jonathan Schmitz after they taped an episode of the talk show together.

Optic Heart Theatre is thrilled to present CRUSH by Hume Baugh, from December 1-11 at the Factory Studio Theatre. First premiered at Summerworks in 2008, CRUSH is newly reworked and updated for its Factory debut.

Please click the header for more info and to purchase tickets!

CRUSH
Written by Hume Baugh
Directed by Mark Cassidy
Factory Theatre
Toronto, ON
On until December 11th!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Preview: PARFUMERIE at Soulpepper



Opening tomorrow evening in the Distillery District is the smash hit of 2009 from Soulpepper. Adam Pettle and Brenda Robins' winning adaptation about two clerks in a Budapest perfume shop who feud by day and unknowingly exchange anonymous love letters by night is one of the world's most beloved stories. 2010 Dora Award
(Outstanding Production).

For tickets and scheduling info please click the header!

PARFUMERIE
Written by f Miklós László
Adaptation by Adam Pettle and Brenda Robins

Directed by Morris Panych
Featuring Maev Beaty, Stacey Bulmer, Kevin Bundy, Oliver Dennis, Patricia Fagan, Jeff Lillico, Miranda Mulholland, Brenda Robins, Mike Ross, Michael Simpson, Kristina Uranowski, William Webster, Joseph Ziegler.

Young Centre for the Performing Arts,
55 Mill, Toronto, 416-866-8666
Runs to Dec 31

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Preview: Off Broadway On Stage

Angelwalk Theatre presents, Off Broadway On Stage, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.  This musical revue features selections from Off-Broadway classics like Alter Boyz, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, [title of show], and many more.  Conceived by Angelwalk creative team Brian Goldenberg, with musical arrangement by Anthony Bastianon, Off Broadway On Stage plays December 7-11. For tickets call 647.351.5055 or click here

Check out the cast here!
   647-351-5055       647-351-5055     

Monday, December 5, 2011

War Horse Toronto Rehearsals Begin!!!



What an exciting day for many local theatre artists who began work today on the upcoming production of War Horse in Toronto!

Rehearsals have officially commenced!

For info or tickets to the piece please click the header!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Preview: Memphis

Opening this week in Toronto! 

This is one of the most anticipated touring shows coming to Toronto this season. Memphis won four Tony's when it debuted on Broadway, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score, for David Bryan (originally of Bon Jovi fame,) and Joe DiPietros' catchy musical. Check out DanCap's promo video for the fantatic show Memphis, which opens in Toronto on Tuesday. 

This show has it all, great music and raucous dance numbers. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Click here for ticket information.  Memphis  is in town until Dec 24th.  The Christmas Eve show is at 1pm, and might make a great gift this year!


Hair - Toronto Premiere



Opening next week is the hit musical HAIR!

This holiday season is offering some major power brokers in terms of musical theatre in the city! Make sure to check them out!

For more info or for tickets please click the header.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Memphis the Musical



Arriving this week care of Dancap Productions is Memphis!

Full preview to come but please check out this clip from the Tony Awards. Incredible!

For tickets or more info please click the header!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

REASONS TO BE PRETTY



We are into the final 4(!) days to catch this fantastic piece of theatre!!!

For tickets please click the header!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Preview: PROOF



Opening tomorrow is a piece of theatre that I have loved for years now. I am really excited to see what is done with this production. Check it out over the next few weeks!!!

For tickets please click the header!

PROOF revolves around Catherine, a woman torn between genius and madness after the loss of her celebrated father, known for his brilliant mathematical mind. His loss reunites Catherine with her estranged sister Claire, and a former student Hal. Together they are forced to determine the legacy left behind, and what it could mean for their own future.

The original New York production of PROOF won both the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Members from the prolific Red One Theatre Collective, who have engaged a new generation of audiences in some of the most critically-acclaimed and exciting theatre in recent history, invite you for a fresh and intimate look at this play.

PROOF
By David Auburn
Directed by David Tompa
Featuring Joanne Kelly, John Evans, Dani Kind, Joe Dinicol
Assistant Direction/Stage Management David Christo

The Branding Factory in Toronto
136 Geary Avenue, Unit #215a
(*Audience entrance at all performances will be through side door on Salem Ave)
Previews Nov 29, 30
Dec 1 - 18 | Tue-Sun 8pm
Tickets $20 ($15 Tuesdays & Wednesdays)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preview: The Nutcracker



Need we say more? Click the header to get your tickets for this holiday classic now. And also, click here to see behind the scenes action at the National Ballet.

COC Ensemble Studio Competition Winner

The Canadian Opera Company held the first ever Ensemble Studio Competition last night, at the Four Seasons Centre. Here are the details from this mornings press release:

MONTREAL’S SASHA DJIHANIAN WINS INAUGURAL COC ENSEMBLE STUDIO COMPETITION

Toronto – Soprano Sasha Djihanian, a native of Montreal, claimed the top prize last night at the inaugural Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio Competition at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, selected from 10 finalists to receive the $5,000 award. Soprano Claire de Sévigné, also from Montreal, won the second prize of $3,000 and tenor Owen McCausland from Saint John, New Brunswick was awarded the third prize of $1,500. In addition, Sudbury soprano Lindsay Barrett was selected by the audience as the winner of the Audience Choice Award, worth $1,500.

The 10 finalists from across Canada were selected from over 160 singers in preliminary auditions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and New York. Each finalist performed two arias with piano accompaniment in front of a live audience and an adjudicator panel comprised of COC General DirectorAlexander Neef, Music Administrator Sandra Gavinchuk, Head of the Ensemble Studio Liz Upchurch, and guest judges Opera Canada editor Wayne Gooding, and Canadian soprano, voice teacher, and Ensemble Studio alumna Wendy Nielsen.

“The audience at last night’s competition was treated to an exclusive preview of the exceptionally bright future of Canadian operatic talent,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “All of the finalists tonight demonstrated remarkable skill, and the prize winners impressed the judges and tonight’s audience with their technique and rich tone, as well their intelligent and emotional delivery. Following all of these young artists’ careers is going to be a pleasure for me personally and for our audiences as well.”


In addition to the four cash prizes, the finalists were competing for
highly coveted positions in the2012/2013 COC Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. The competition marked the first time in COC history that the final auditions for the Ensemble Studio were held in front of a public audience. Taking into account the performances at last night’s Ensemble Studio Competition, COC artistic staff will now finalize the lineup of the 12/13 Ensemble Studio. The full lineup will be announced in the new year. The 12/13 Ensemble Studio members will be joining an illustrious program that, since its inception in 1980, has launched the careers of over 150 Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors, including Ben Heppner, Isabel Bayrakdarian, John Fanning, David Pomeroy, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Segal and Krisztina Szabó.


Click the header for more details about the event.


Check out the photos from the night here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Preview: Dying City



This looks incredibly good! Strong director, strong cast, fantastic venue.
Check out this piece in the west end at the Toronto Free Gallery on Bloor Street!

Show Description:

A year after her husband’s death in Iraq, Kelly, a young therapist, confronts his identical twin brother, Peter, who shows up at her apartment unannounced.

Written to honour the walking wounded following the war brought on by 9/11, Christopher Shinn’s Dying City returns to Toronto under the direction of Dora-nominated director, Peter Pasyk.

“This play is about the difficulties of dealing with a traumatic experience and wanting to do so in your own time,” said Pasyk. “In its opening you quickly learn that Peter is an unwelcomed guest and we wanted to translate Kelly’s feeling of discomfort to the audience by placing them remarkably close to a conversation they would avoid being a part of in every day life.”

For tickets or more info please click the header!

DYING CITY
Written by Christopher Shinn
Directed by Peter Pasyk
Starring Lesley Faulkner & Sergio Di Zio
Runs through to December 10th
Tuesday-Saturday 8pm | Sunday 2pm (PWYC)
Toronto Free Gallery, 1277 Bloor St. W. Lansdowne Station
Tickets: $20 (November 25 – December 4) | $25 (December 6-10)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Preview: REASONS TO BE PRETTY



It brings me an enormous amount of joy to announce that the premiere production from the brand new theatre company Rogue Theatre Co-op is landing this coming week in Toronto!!! The company, which is a collection of local artists - spearheaded by Diana Bentley and Brooke Morgan, has choses Neil LaBute's Reasons to be Pretty as their inaugural piece.

Show Description:

The plot centers on four young working class friends and lovers who become increasingly dissatisfied with their dead-end lives and each other. Following The Shape of Things and Fat Pig, it is the final installment of a trilogy that focuses on modern day obsession with physical appearance.

ROGUE THEATRE CO-OP PRESENTS
Neil LaBute's
REASONS TO BE PRETTY
at N/A Collective (1585 Dundas Street West- behind the Lula Lounge)

Directed by Steven McCarthy
Starring:
Brooke Morgan
Diana Bentley
Mike Majeski
Tim Walker

lighting design Melissa Joakim
Sound design: Gordon Hyland
Production Manager: Suzie Balogh

Opens November 29th and Runs 'til Dec 4th.
Shows nightly at 8pm, Sat and Sun. Matinees at 2pm
Tickets $20

This is a limited engagement! 8 SHOWS ONLY! Get tickets NOW online by clicking the header!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Preview: RED



There is a VERY exciting opening happening this evening and EAP is extremely excited to be apart of it!!! The Tony Award winning play RED is opening tonight! Another really strong and fascinating choice from the Canadian Stage Company.

Show Description:

RED is about Mark Rothko, the American abstract painter who, along with the equally eccentric Jackson Pollock, managed to shift the art world's centre from Paris to New York in the 1940s and 50s.

Alas, such astounding success always comes with its price, and RED is a brilliant examination of an artist torn apart by the outside forces of fame and commercialism - and the inside ones of ego and despair.

Along with the fast-moving story and fascinating depiction of an artist at work, you'll be caught up in Red's passionate exploration of ideas, art and relevance.

This is the Canadian premiere of RED, which swept last year's Tony Awards, and is sure to be one of Toronto's hottest tickets in 2011.

For tickets or more info please click the header!

RED
On now until Dec 17, 2011
Bluma Appel Theatre
WRITTEN BY
John Logan
DIRECTED BY
Kim Collier
COMPOSED BY
Andy Creeggan

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preview: HALLAJ



Opening this past week at Buddies is the fascinating little piece, Hallaj. It is arriving at Buddies from the company that is said to be; "One of the most important theatre companies in the country right now, presenting the best of a new, intercultural Canada to the country and the world" (Canadian Theatre Review).

Show Description:

Hallaj tells the story of the legendary 10th century Sufi mystic, Mansur e-Hallaj, whose poetry and teachings inspired the love of his people and the wrath of the religious orthodoxy. In the current age of political and social upheaval in the Middle East, Hallaj offers a powerful message of compassion from a culture so often perceived as "other". Hallaj marks Modern Times Stage Company's return to Buddies for the first time since their stunning production of Macbeth in 1995.

Show Times: Tuesday-Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 2:30pm. For tickets or for more info please click the header!

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes
a Modern Times Stage Company production
HALLAJ
By Peter Farbridge and Soheil Parsa
Directed by Soheil Parsa
Featuring Stewart Arnott, Steven Bush, Peter Farbridge, Carlos González-Vio, John Ng, Beatriz Pizano, Costa Tovarnisky and Bahareh Yaraghi
On stage until December 4th

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Preview: Enter The Shadow and Klorofyl

If you are a fan of hip hop or street style dancing, then you have three chances this week to see the Harbourfront Centre's and NextStage 11/12's presentation of, Enter the Shadow. This three day festival of urban dance combines hip hop, theatre, traditional dance, and so much more. The show is a dynamic journey through the creative world of b-boy dance culture. The show runs at the Enware Theatre from Thursday November 24th till Sunday November 27th. The show is part of the Fresh Ground new works program, and was created by the youth-led organisation Break it Down.

Fans of dance can also get their fill at the Fleck Theatre this weekend, when Klorofyl opens. Based on the classic film Seven Samurai, Klorofyl follows the re-birth of seven warriors, who when reunited aspire to greatness. Klorofyl was developed by the Toronto-based dance company Gadfly. Gadfly is a dance company that focuses of studying and creating movement that is at the junction between urban and traditional styles of dance. Klorofyl runs at the Fleck Thursday the 24 to Sunday the 27th.

You can get a special rate for a package of tickets to both shows, of 45$ per person. Both of these shows sound great, but if you need some extra convincing here is the teaser from Klorofyl.




Sunday, November 20, 2011

Preview: Mary Poppins



Opening to strong reviews from both the critics and theatre go-ers is the adorable Mary Poppins. Tickets are pricey and there is no rush system applying to this tour, however, we have heard that it is well worth the price!

Show Description:

Mary Poppins marks the first collaboration between Disney, producer of the acclaimed The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, and Cameron Mackintosh, legendary producer of the record-breaking The Phantom of the Opera, Cats and Les Misérables. The result is a new musical so extraordinarily enchanting you’ll have just one word for it: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Since the curtain first rose on Mary Poppins, critics and audiences alike have been raving. This effervescent hit has astonished over six and a half million people worldwide with its pure Broadway magic. With four productions currently running on three continents, Mary Poppins is one of the biggest stage musical successes in recent years. This consummate production features the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand, new breathtaking dance numbers and astonishing stage-craft to make it everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show.

Now on stage to Jan 8 at the Princess of Wales Theatre: 300 King Street West Toronto!

For tickets or for more info please click the header!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Preview: The Addams Family


Reviews are coming in from last night's opening of The Addams Family, and they are surprisingly good. Richard Ouzounian, at The Star has seen The Addams Family a few times and has never had great things to say about the show. But," as he put it, "...it’s actually a joy to eat those words now in light of the warm-hearted (if cold-blooded) fun that’s up there on the stage to enjoy."

The Addams Family, is part of Dancap's subscription season. The two week run, on now until November 27th, is at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. There are still tickets available for the brief run. Richard also mentions the show's rough start with Broadway audiences and critics, making the current touring productions success all the sweeter. Be sure to check out this family friendly musical before it is gone!

Click the header for ticket information.
Image courtesy of The Star. You can read Richard's review here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Head to Tarragon for Play Reading Week

All this week at Tarragon Theatre are free readings, as part of the annual Play Reading Week. Readings are upstairs at 8pm nightly, except Sunday's reading which will take place at 2:30pm.

Tonight - Everyday Neurotics by Haley McGee. We first heard about Haley when she was reviewed here, for her play Oh My Irma. Tonight she is reading from her newest work. Should be fun! And did we mention it's FREE.

The line-up for the week can be found here. Or by clicking the header.

Preview: Ride the Cyclone


Justin and I saw Ride the Cyclone at last year SummerWorks, and we are both glad to see the show return to Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille. The show opened late last week and runs until December 2nd. If you haven't seen Atomic Vaudeville's Ride the Cyclone yet be sure to click the header for ticket information.

Ride the Cyclone is one of the most memorable Canadian musical creations we've seen. There is some great musical moments. As well as an inventive and unique story that grabs the audience and carries them, quite literally, away for a ride.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Preview: The Children's Republic



Opening this week at Tarragon is another piece from the scorching hot young Canadian Playwright Hanna Moscovitch. We are looking forward to seeing what Ms. Moscovitch delivers here.

Show Description:

Dr. Janusz Korczak, revolutionary champion of children and signatory to the League of Nations' Declaration of the Rights of the Child, meets his match in a defiant boy named Israel. When war threatens the children in Korczak's Warsaw orphanage, it is Israel who comes to the rescue. In the face of looming catastrophe, Israel gives his teacher the greatest gift of all: courage.

Hannah Moscovitch is currently playwright-in-residence at Tarragon. She is considered one of the strongest young voices in the country and was nominated for the prestigious international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her works include East of Berlin, Essay and The Russian Play.

For tickets or for more information please click the header!

The Children's Republic
By Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Alisa Palmer
Starring Peter Hutt, Mark Correia, Elliot Larson, Kelli Fox, Amy Rutherford, Katie Frances Cohen, Emma Burke-Kleinman
A CO-PRODUCTION WITH
HAROLD GREEN JEWISH THEATRE COMPANY
November 8–December 18
30 Bridgman Avenue

Friday, November 11, 2011

Preview: IMPRINTS



Opening this evening in the Factory Studio Theatre is Theatre Garantua's World Premiere of IMPRINTS!

Inspired by current theories of genetic memory – and taking them further in a fascinating mix of science and fantasy – playwright Michael Spence explores the ghosts of our ancestral past by imagining them as existing within our genes. IMPRINTS speculates about the thousands and thousands of intimate strangers that make up our lineage and how their experiences are manifested in our instincts, fears and dreams.

Lily is haunted. Her body is overrun with ghosts. They surreptitiously influence all aspects of her life. She does not even know they are there, until she meets them face-to-face.

IMPRINTS tells the fantastical tale of Lily, a woman haunted by the ghosts of her ancestors. While undergoing an experimental procedure for an incurable disease, she is inadvertently transported down a very peculiar rabbit-hole. There she encounters the ghosts of her genealogical past - and discovers alarming keys to her present.

For tickets and for more info please click the header!!!

Theatre Gargantua
in association with Factory Theatre presents the WORLD PREMIERE of
IMPRINTS
A new play by Michael Spence
Directed by Jacquie P.A. Thomas
The acting ensemble for IMPRINTS features Stephanie Belding, Cosette Derome, Conor Green, Ron Kennell, Kat Sandler and Michael Spence
Opens November 11 and runs to November 26, 2011
Factory Studio Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Preview: Romeo and Juliet

Opening November 16th, for a very special world premiere performance, and running until November 27th is Romeo and Juliet. This iconic ballet has been part of the National Ballet Company since 1964. But this year the company will present a new version choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.

Romeo and Juliet is much beloved by Ballet fans for Its powerful score by, Sergei Prokofiev, and traditionally romantic and beautiful choreography. It will be a thrill for both ballet fans and novices to see this new production.

And don't forget, young people can get day of, rush ticket pricing by going to the box office at the Four Seasons Centre. Click the header for general ticket information. See you at the ballet!

*Image courtesy of the National Ballet. Dancers featured are Elena Lobsanova and Guillaume Coté. The photo is by Christopher Wahl.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Preview: The Sankofa Trilogy



Opening to VERY strong reviews at Tarragon in the Extra Space is The Sankofa Trilogy. The sankofa trilogy features three extraordinary stories of three powerful women—Mugdu Sankofa, her daughter Sekesu and her granddaughter Benu—and their resolute belief in blood and truth. One of North America's most celebrated storytellers, d’bi.young anitafrika is an award-winning afrikan-jamaican-canadian playwright, actor, educator and dub poet. d’bi.young weaves together pieces of her own life with the herstory and mythology of her Jamaican heritage. The performer describes her work as biomyth monodrama, where the term biomyth represents biography—pertaining to the accounting of one’s own lived experience—and mythology pertaining to the poetic reinterpretation of a lived experience, as well as the use of orature, folklore, myth and magic in the process of reinterpretation. “Biomyth is the poetic space between what we interpret as real and what we deem make-believe. It is magic making!” says d’bi.young.

d’bi.young will host an informal question and answer period after each of her performances.

the sankofa trilogy
written and performed by d'bi.young anitafrika

featuring word!sound!powah!
in repertory with blood.claat, and benu
TRILOGY PREMIERE
On until December 4th
For tickets or for more info please click the header!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Preview: Love Lies Bleeding

Coming to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, for six performances only is, Alberta Ballet's Love Lies Bleeding. The critically acclaimed new ballet features the music of Elton John. For the past few seasons we have been intrigued by the ballet headlines coming out of Calgary, so it is very exciting that Love Lies Bleeding is coming to Toronto. Over the past few years the creative team at Alberta Ballet have produced several works with contemporary composers including Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan and of course Elton John.

I for one would not want to miss this show. Our spies in Calgary said it was their favourite of the last few years. Click the header for ticket information
Love Lies Bleeding runs November 8-12.

Preview: The Test



The Test has just opened at the Berkeley Street Theatre. The piece is said to be challenging, witty and quite dark. We are excited to check it out this week!

Show Description:

The Test is a dark comedy by rising Swiss playwright Lukas Bärfuss, in a production starring Canadian Stage favourite Eric Peterson.

The "test" of the title is a paternity test – one that Peter Korach undergoes to find out if his son is really biologically his. Having opted to build happiness in his private life (rather than politics, as did his father before him), Korach finds the test results shattering.

Bärfuss's witty exploration of what the paternity test means for today's family - and, on a deeper level, what happens when we allow science to act as our only barometer of truth – will have you on the edge of your seat, and thinking deeply about the ties that bind us to those we love.

THE TEST

WRITTEN BY: Lukas Bärfuss
DIRECTED BY: Jason Byrne
TRANSLATED BY: Birgit Schreyer Duarte
STARING: Eric Peterson, Sonja Smits, Gord Rand, Liisa Repo-Martell and Philip Riccio

October 31st-November 26th 2011
Berkeley Street Theatre
Toronto, Ontario

For Tickets call Box office 416-368-3110 or please click the header!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Canadians in Mary Poppins



A nice little piece from thestar.com and toronto.com on some of our Canadian talent in the upcoming premiere of Mary Poppins.

Check it out below or click the header!

Canadians in Mary Poppins. - Opinion, Columns, Arts... - Toronto.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Preview: DITCH

Geoff Kavanagh's, Chalmers Award winning play, DITCH returns to Toronto this month with a run at Theatre Passe Muraille. The show is presented by Sometimes Y Theatre. This marks the first time DITCH has appeared in Toronto since 1994.

A fictional account of Sir John Franklin's Arctic exploration in 1845, DITCH focuses on two members of the crew who were left for dead by their shipmates. Whitebread and Hennessey are suffering from pneumonia and a broken foot respectively, with death a certainty they sustain themselves with courage, humour and fantasy.

DITCH opens in preview November 2nd and runs Tuesday - Saturday until November 20th.
Click the header for ticket information

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Preview: The Rez Sisters


Factory Theatre presents an all new production of The Rez Sisters, opening this week. The story of seven women who dream of winning The Biggest Bingo in the World is shocking and hilarious. Together they raise money to travel to Toronto, and risk it all for a chance to change their lives. Artistic Director Ken Gass takes the helm of this newest production with a great cast.
It has been 25 years since writer Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters was performed at Factory. The original production was nominated for both Chalmers and Govern General's Awards, and won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play. The show premiered as a production by Native Earth Performing Arts on November 26, 1986, and was part of Factory's season the following year.

The cast for this production includes:

Cara Gee
Kyra Harper
Djennie Laguerre
Jani Lauzon
Billy Merasty
Pamela Sinha
Michaela Washburn and
Jean Yoon


The Rez Sisters begins previews November 5th and runs on various dates through December 11. Click the header for show times, dates and pricing. There are RUSH tickets available, as well as student and senior discounts. Call the box office at 416.504.9971 for more information.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Final Week for The Normal Heart in Toronto!



This is one of the most profound pieces of theatre I HAVE EVER SEEN. Please buy yourself a ticket to this masterful production. The Normal Heart is playing until Sunday November 6th at Buddies in Bad Times.

Please click the header to purchase tickets or for more info.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Soulpepper announces their 2012 season!!!



On October 25, 2011 Albert Schultz, Founding Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, announced the 12 plays comprising Soulpepper's 15th anniversary season, including ten new productions, two remounts, and a revisit, to run in repertory from January to December, 2012. The season includes plays from Canada, Ireland, England, the United States and Russia, and brings Soulpepper to 107 original productions over 15 seasons. The season opens with Soulpepper's very first original full-length play, continuing the company's commitment to new works about the city of Toronto as seen in this year's Window on Toronto and 2009's Civil Elegies.

"When we initiated the Soulpepper Academy in 2008, the goal was two-fold. Of course we were aiming to equip a new generation of artists with the skill and rigour to approach the world's great plays, but at the same time we were looking for a younger generation to tell us how we could, should and would define our company's future. One of the great discoveries of these last few years is the fascination our young artists have had with the city in which they live. It is this energy and passion that we celebrate with our 15th anniversary season opener, Ins Choi's Kim's Convenience, directed and designed by three of Ins' fellow Soulpepper Academy alumni. This very funny, insightful and touching play was written during Ins' time here at the Academy and marks an astonishing debut for this multi-talented Canadian artist," said Albert Schultz, Artistic Director.

Soulpepper's 2012 Season
*complete casting to be announced at a later date

Kim's Convenience (January 12)
The stand-out hit of this year's Toronto Fringe Festival, Kim's Convenience is set in a Regent Park convenience store and describes the journey of a fractured but loving family confronting the future and forgiving the past. A Toronto classic in the making.
Directed by Soulpepper Academy alumna Weyni Mengesha
Set and costumes by Soulpepper Academy alumnus Ken MacKenzie and lights by Soulpepper Academy alumnus Lorenzo Savoini

High Life (February 13)
Four ne'er-do-well morphine addicts get together in a Toronto apartment to discuss a dangerous but seemingly foolproof robbery. As the four try to put their differences aside and concentrate on the job at hand, Lee MacDougall's unflinching black comedy makes it clear that some personalities are too much to repress.
Directed by Stuart Hughes
Starring: Oliver Dennis, Diego Matamoros and Mike Ross

Long Day's Journey Into Night (February 14)
Eugene O'Neill's revelation of a day in the life of his own tortured family is considered by many to be the greatest of all American plays. Here, Founding Member Diana Leblanc, revisiting O'Neill's masterpiece, directs her lastest interpretation of a 20th century American classic.
Directed by Diana Leblanc
Starring: Evan Buliung, Nancy Palk, Gregory Prest and Joseph Ziegler

You Can't Take it With You (April 19)
The chaotic, eccentric lives of the Sycamore family are thrown into unaccustomed order when their sensible daughter Alice brings a prospective beau and his conservative parents home for dinner. Kaufman and Hart are at their frenetic best with this Pulitzer Prize-winning romp.
Directed by Joseph Ziegler
Starring: Derek Boyes, Nancy Palk, Eric Peterson and Krystin Pellerin

Home (May 8)
David Storey's plays are a vital element to the renaissance of English playwriting in the 60s and 70s. This almost-forgotten masterpiece about the fragility of human interaction demonstrates Storey's brilliance.
Directed by Albert Schultz

Speed-the-Plow (July 5)
David Mamet's savage insight into the morals (or lack thereof) involved with producing Hollywood blockbusters sees two executives gamble their integrity for profit, only to be complicated by a surprise dissenting perspective. In Mamet's hands, quaint notions of loyalty, integrity, and straight talk become mere pawns in this scathing comedy.
Directed by David Storch
Starring: Ari Cohen, Jordan Pettle and Sarah Wilson

The Sunshine Boys (July 14)
When the popular vaudeville duo of 'Lewis and Clark' is invited to reunite after 12 years for a television special, it appears to be a can't-miss proposition, with one problem: they can't stand each other. Neil Simon's uproarious comedy takes an insightful look inside what happens when the spotlight shifts away and life crowds in.
Directed by Ted Dykstra
Starring: Eric Peterson, Kenneth Welsh and Jordan Pettle

The summer rep includes two 20th century plays that address urgent political situations through the use of historical allegory:

The Royal Comedians (July 24)
Soviet master Mikhail Bulgakov speaks to the necessary freedom of the artist by delving into the opulent world of 18th century France and the life of Moliere. Dramatist, actor, theatre manager, lover, and scoundrel, Moliere shrewdly crafts his own legend while battling the forces that hunger for his downfall.
Directed by Laszlo Marton
Starring: Diego Matamoros (as Moliere), Gregory Prest and William Webster

&

The Crucible (July 25)
Salem, Massachusetts, 1692: a small, devout town is thrown into chaos with accusations of witchcraft and spiritual possession. Arthur Miller's explosive account of the famous Salem witch trials caused a sensation with its parallels to the Communist scares of the 1950s, and remains one of his most enduring classics.
Directed by Albert Schultz
Starring: Stuart Hughes, Patricia Fagan and Joseph Ziegler

Death of a Salesman (September 5)
Soulpepper's acclaimed and award-winning production of Arthur Miller's fine play returns for a limited engagement. Joseph Ziegler's searing, wrenching portrayal of the prideful, vulnerable Willy Loman justly earned the Best Actor Dora for 2010.
Directed by Albert Schultz

Endgame (October 26)
For the first time in the company's history, Soulpepper revisits a play from its past to create a new production. In 1999, director Daniel Brooks created a production of Samuel Beckett's Endgame. In 2012 Daniel will return to the play, not as a remount, but with a new design and a new cast (with the exception of Diego Matamoros who will again play Clov).

In a room safe from the desolate landscape outside, Hamm, a blind man unable to stand, gives orders to his servant, Clov, a man unable to sit, as Hamm's elderly parents, Nagg and Nell, look on from their trashcan homes. One of master absurdist Samuel Beckett's most important works, Soulpepper's acclaimed Endgame is reimagined for the 2012 season.
Directed by Daniel Brooks
Starring: Diego Matamoros and Joseph Ziegler

A Christmas Carol (December 3)
Soulpepper's beloved production of Michael Shamata's A Christmas Carol has become a Toronto holiday tradition. Joseph Ziegler's Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who help him understand the importance of charity in the holiday season.
Directed by Michael Shamata
Starring: Joseph Ziegler

Current Soulpepper subscribers can renew as of today, October 25, 2011. New subscriptions are available as of November 15, 2011, and single tickets as of November 22, 2011, by calling the Young Centre box office at 416.866.8666 or by clicking the header!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bharati is here!

Bharati: The Wonder of India, lands in Toronto tonight at the Sony Centre. This dazzling spectacle, features over 100 dancers, singers, acrobats and musicians, in a modern Indian epic.


Tonight's presentation is made even more special, because it coincides with this year's Diwali festival, or festival of lights. One of Indian's most important national holidays.

Bharati tells the story of Indian born, American raised Siddhartha, who travels to the holy city of Varanasi to work with an environmental team trying to clean up the holy Ganges river. Siddhartha meets Bharati, who's foster father Domraja, is the king of Varanasi's cremation grounds.

Siddhartha is instantly drawn to Bharati, but first he must come to understand her, and India as well. Their differences and Domraja conspire to keep them apart.

Through Bharati, Siddhartha is transformed. He feels a deeper connection to roots and longs to cleanse himself as well as the holy river, that serves as the backdrop for this epic love story.

Bharati: runs at the Sony Centre until October 30th. Click the header for more ticket information.