Monday, May 30, 2011

Shaw Festival Openings

Mary Haney and Craig Pike as Eddie Twohig in the Shaw production of Drama at Inish - A Comedy

The always engaging, growing and interesting Shaw Festival is well under way in Niagara on the Lake. The festival is celebrating its 50th year (amazing). My friend Craig Pike is in two productions this year, Drama at Inish - A Comedy and the classic Tennessee Williams piece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, both of which opened just a few days ago!

For tickets or more info on the festival click here.

Moya O'Connell in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Preview: Tightrope

Opening this week at Buddies is Tightrope. This world premiere was developed by the well-known, Montreal-based cabaret duo, (Sephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard.)

The show was inspired by Lawson and Pollards' desire to explore and come to grips with the lost generation, who vanished during the AIDS outbreak of the late 80's and early 90's. The duo travelled throughout Latin America where they encountered stories of individuals and cultures threatened by cultural extinction. The result of their travels is Tightrope a song-cycle for the forgotten. With the aid of a virtual choir of international singers, the pair, along with the rest of the cast, summon the shadows, aspirations and voices of the past in a multimedia tribute to the departed.

This show is sure to be an emotional spectacle and definitely worth stopping by Buddies this weekend. EAP will be at the show Friday night. Hope to see you there!?

Tightrope runs until June 5th. Click the header for theatre, and ticket information.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preview: Deuce

I couldn't be more excited about what I'm going to blog about right now...

My very dear friend Diana Bentley has written a one act play, Deuce, and the World Premiere of it is happening this week in the city!!! I am so very proud of her and I urge you to check it out. She has an incredibly talented woman working with her as well, Brooke Morgan, one of Toronto's finest young actresses I would say.

Furthermore, the poster(see above) could very well be one of my favourite theatre posters I have ever laid eyes on, pure artistic brilliance. Thank you Erika Brodzky.

Here is all the information:


A one act play. A comedy. It's about women. They play tennis. They hit balls. They talk about hitting balls. They think about hitting balls. Needless to say...there will be balls.

A collaboration by Diana Bentley and Brooke Morgan
Written by Diana Bentley

In conjunction with Vitus Production and 3 dimes down Theatre Company's BIRDBATH by Leonard Melfi

Only FOUR opportunities to see this edgy, dark comedy
Tickets $20
To reserve seats please call 647-344-1483 or email

Thursday, May 19 - 8pm
Saturday, May 21 - 8pm
Wednesday, May 25 - 8pm
Friday, May 27 - 8pm

Scotiabank Studio Theatre
Pia Bouman School
6 Noble Street

Friday, May 13, 2011

Preview: Zadie's Shoes

Opening last week over at Factory Theatre and running until June 5th is Dora Award nominee Zadie's Shoes. The show is getting universal acclaim from all the top critics in the city and we highly recommend checking it out! Allegedly the show has been tweaked and adjusted and all elements are really working well together, including a new cast.

Show Description:

One of the most successful Canadian plays of the last decade, Zadie’s Shoes tells the story of Benjamin - a compulsive gambler who’s just lost the money for his girlfriend’s “alternative” cancer treatment. With only 72 hours to win it back, a desperate Benjamin finds himself at synagogue for the first time since his Bar Mitzvah, praying for a miracle and a sure-fire winner. Zadie’s Shoes presents a hilarious yet moving look at the nature of luck and the power of faith.

Zadie’s Shoes

Written by Adam Pettle
Directed by Jordan Pettle and Adam Pettle
Starring Joe Cobden, Patricia Fagan, William MacDonald, Harry Nelken, Shannon Perreault, Geoffrey Pounsett and Lisa Ryder

For tickets please click the header!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Preview: Agokwe

From the Buddies in Bad Times Press Release -

Waawaate Fobister returns to Toronto with his lauded story of gay love on the rez. Fobister is a unique voice in the Canadian cultural landscape. Once a shy gay youth raised on the Grassy Narrows First Nation reserve, Fobister has emerged as a star on the national theatre scene.

Since his 2008 debut at Buddies, Fobister has written a new play, starred in productions across Canada (including the National Arts Centre), lectured at Ted-X, and choreographed for theatre and TV. Agokwe is the tragic story of unrequited love between two teenage boys from neighbouring reserves. Brave and revealing, this spectacular one-man show speaks to homophobia, social isolation and the lost traditions of the Anishnaabe.

The Vancouver Courier writes, “In the struggle against homophobia, every teenager in town should see this [show]. Make that everyone in town.”

Agokwe brings a message of hope and survival in a time when the topic of gay-teen suicide prevails in conversations and in headlines. Agokwe was originally created through Buddies’ Queer Youth Arts Program and presented as part of the Buddies 2008-09 Season. That production garnered 6 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding New Play, Production of a Play, Direction and Performance. With support from the National Arts Center, Agokwe has developed even further into a remarkable, well-crafted piece of theatre and its creator, Waawaate Fobister, has matured into one of Canada’s most important First Nations performers.

EAP is going to see Agokwe this Saturday evening and we are super excited. This is one of the most talked about shows of the Buddies season. Almost everything Justin or I have seen this season at Buddies has been amazing, and I expect this show will continue that trend. As the closing work for the 2010-11 season I am sure it will be fantastic, and should not be missed.

Agokwe runs until May 15th. Click the header for ticket information.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Night at the Opera

Many readers my not know that I moonlight at a small tech firm with four of the coolest geeks around. I really enjoy working with the guys at Big Bang, but I don't often get to share my love of theatre, opera or dance much with them. On the rare occasion I do mention a great show or song from a musical I've seen, I get a lot of blank stares and polite murmurs. But a few months back, Cameron one of the guys, asked me for some advice about live performances he could bring his fiancée to. I, of course, jumped at the chance to offer suggestions.

He had a few guidelines; one being price, and the other being that he wanted to see something out of the ordinary, that he would enjoy as much as Crystal, his fiancée. Almost immediately I suggested that they see La Cenerentola, Rossini's version of Cinderella. Cameron is a music lover, so I knew he would appreciate the artistry and music of opera. While Crystal loves fashion and spectacle. Plus it's a love story. Not to mention that they were able to get tickets for less than $25.00 as part of the COC's special ticket pricing for people under thirty. When Cameron told me that neither had seen an opera I knew this would be a perfect night out for them.

A few weeks pasted before the COC's social media Co-ordinator Cecily Carver, emailed me to say that there were tickets available for EAP, if we were interested. Justin and I jumped at the offer. We're very lucky to get to see so much theatre and dance, but getting a chance to see a classic opera like La Cenerentola at the Four Seasons Centre was a treat we would not easily miss.

On the day before of the opera, I happened to mention I was going at the office. And was excited to learn that Cameron and Crystal had also gotten opera tickets for the same performance. I often find going to live theatre, or opera a very solitary experience, since I often go alone. Getting to see Cinderella with not one but three good friends was a welcomed treat.
We all got dressed up and had dinner and really made a big night of it.

In my mind this is one of the most magical things about the opera. The grandeur and spectacle of the opera proceedings sets it apart from any other theatre going experience. Every opera I have ever seen, and La Cenerentola was no different, has been a tremendous event and always reminds me of a different time and place. The transformative power of opera is truly unparalleled.

Of all the opera I have seen, La Cenerentola was fairly average. I enjoyed a lot of the staging elements, and in fact thought the dance ensemble who played the mice were wonderful. They were truly charming, and a clever use of the dance ensemble. I often found myself watching them during some of the lesser recitative. I also really enjoyed that Cinderella, or Angelina as she is known in the opera, is a role for a contralto, which is largely out of fashion these days, in favour of sopranos leads. Angelina is also presented in a more feminist light than popular portrayals of Cinderella. In Rossini's version Angelina gives her diamond bracelet to the Prince rather than losing a slipper, there by empowering herself and choosing her own destiny.

On the other hand I didn't find the score to be as memorable as some of my favourite operas. In fact I think the score of The Barber of Seville is much stronger of the two Rossini works. But that is not a knock to the COC company presentation at all. And the cast sounded wonderful.

La Cenerentola is the perfect introductory opera, especially for younger audiences. There were quite a few young children at the Four Season the night we attended, and not one of them seemed bored or disinterested. If you are looking for an opportunity to introduce kids to opera this is the one to see.

All in all my friends and I had a perfect night out and I think Cameron won major points for his event choice.

La Cenerentola runs on various dates for the rest of May. Click here for dates and ticket information.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Don't Miss the return of BITCH SALAD - Tonight at Buddies

After what feels like months (it feels like it, because it HAS been months), BITCH SALAD IS BACK!!! With one of the most hotly anticipated editions of the year, featuring an all-new lineup of bitches who ain't nevah been tossed on BITCH SALAD before!!!

It's terribly glamorous.
Claire Brosseau!
Veronika Swartz!
Laura Di Labio!
Georgea Brooks-Hancock!
Emma Hunter!
Sarah Hilliler!
Crystal Ferrier!
Zachary Pearse!

with resident news corres-PUN-dant Heidi Brander (who, I'm told, will be joined by her newly adopted muppet child, Howdi... you'll need to see this to believe it...)

and, as always, it's hosted by Andrew Johnston!!!

Tuesday, May 3rd!
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.)!
Doors at 8, Show at 8:30!
$10 at the door (reservations taken at!

We'll be there. Super excited!

Tony Award Nominations - 2011

Past Tony winners Anika Noni Rose and Matthew Broderick announced the 2011 Tony Awards nominees live from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City.

The American Theatre Wing's 65th Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, which are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will air on CBS on Sunday, June 12th from 8:00 - 11:00 PM (ET/PT time delay).

THE 65th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS take place at the Beacon Theatre. The awards will be followed by the invite-only Tony Gala which will take place at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Best Play

Good People
Author: David Lindsay-Abaire

Author: Jez Butterworth

The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Author: Stephen Adly Guirgis

War Horse
Author: Nick Stafford

Best Musical

The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can
The Scottsboro Boys
Sister Act

Best Book of a Musical

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Alex Timbers

The Book of Mormon
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone

The Scottsboro Boys
David Thompson

Sister Act
Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

The Book of Mormon
Music & Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone

The Scottsboro Boys
Music & Lyrics: John Kander and Fred Ebb

Sister Act
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Glenn Slater

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Best Revival of a Play

The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

Best Revival of a Musical

Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand, Good People
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland, Brief Encounter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon
Joshua Henry, The Scottsboro Boys
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It's You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Mackenzie Crook, Jerusalem
Billy Crudup, Arcadia
John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Yul Vázquez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light, Lombardi
Joanna Lumley, La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Colman Domingo, The Scottsboro Boys
Adam Godley, Anything Goes
John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Forrest McClendon, The Scottsboro Boys
Rory O'Malley, The Book of Mormon

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Todd Rosenthal, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Rae Smith, War Horse
Ultz, Jerusalem
Mark Wendland, The Merchant of Venice

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Beowulf Boritt, The Scottsboro Boys
Derek McLane, Anything Goes
Scott Pask, The Book of Mormon
Donyale Werle, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jess Goldstein, The Merchant of Venice
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Mark Thompson, La Bête
Catherine Zuber, Born Yesterday

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Catherine Zuber, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, War Horse
David Lander, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Kenneth Posner, The Merchant of Venice
Mimi Jordan Sherin, Jerusalem

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Ken Billington, The Scottsboro Boys
Howell Binkley, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Peter Kaczorowski, Anything Goes
Brian MacDevitt, The Book of Mormon

Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Simon Baker, Brief Encounter
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Jerusalem
Christopher Shutt, War Horse

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, The Scottsboro Boys
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Catch Me If You Can
Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse
Joel Grey & George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
Anna D. Shapiro, The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Daniel Sullivan, The Merchant of Venice

Best Direction of a Musical
Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Larry Hochman, The Scottsboro Boys
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman & Larry Blank, Catch Me If You Can

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Athol Fugard
Philip J. Smith

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, Ill.)

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Eve Ensler

Special Tony Award
Handspring Puppet Company

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
William Berloni
The Drama Book Shop
Sharon Jensen and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

Tony Nominations by Production
The Book of Mormon - 14
The Scottsboro Boys - 12
Anything Goes - 9
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - 8
The Merchant of Venice - 7
Jerusalem - 6
The Motherf**ker with the Hat - 6
The Normal Heart - 5
Sister Act - 5
War Horse - 5
Catch Me If You Can - 4
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo - 3
The Importance of Being Earnest - 3
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - 3
Arcadia - 2
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson - 2
Born Yesterday - 2
Brief Encounter - 2
Good People - 2
La Bête - 2
Priscilla Queen of the Desert - 2
Baby It's You! - 1
Driving Miss Daisy - 1
The House of Blue Leaves - 1
Lombardi - 1
The People in the Picture - 1


Monday, May 2, 2011

Preview: Atomic Weight of Happiness

On now at Hub 14 is Stand Up Dance's newest show Atomic Weight of Happiness. Created by Megan O'Shea, Atomic ... was inspired by a birth defect that gave Megan the unique experience of being a dancer born with 12 toes. By harnessing her inner outcast O'Shea takes the audience on an hour-long ride to arrest global warming, dissect identity, and measure the ingredients of each human emotion, to determine whether her anatomical deviations are drug induced oddities or random genetic mutations. In a bicycle-powered theatre/dance mash-up the audience is confronted by many (un)true stories.

The show is on each weekend with Friday through Sunday performances. Each weekend also features different opening acts, so click the header to read the openers bios, and for more ticket information. EAP will be there next Friday night, see you at the theatre!