Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Love You Because Debuts in Toronto

Friday night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a new off-Broadway musical, in Toronto, thanks to Angelwalk Theatre Company’s production of I Love You Because.  A charming piece of theatre with memorable tunes, a sweet story and some good laughs, I Love You Because is another sure hit for the company.  Artistic Director Brian Goldenberg continues to demonstrate a commitment to bringing new musical theatre to the Toronto audience, and we at EAP couldn't be happier. 

A modern day romance inspired by the Jane Austin classic, Pride and Prejuidce, I Love You Because is set in contemporary New York City.  Our hero, Austin, (Jeff Madden) is nursing a broken heart when he falls in love with the flighty photographer Marcy, played to perfection by Elena Juatco.  The pair couldn't be more opposite.  Austin is a romantic, lover of poetry and emotionally open while Marcy is a fly by the seat of her pants artist-type, who's determined to break her bad romantic track record by keeping things casual.  With the help of their friends and siblings the pair eventually discovers their differences make them perfect for one another. 

Before the show I had the chance to chat with cast member Michael De Rose about his experience working on this show, and more generally as an actor in Toronto.  The Woodbridge native is thrilled to be debuting with Angelwalk in I Love You Because.  

We talked about the company’s mandate and track record of quirky off-beat musicals like last year’s [title of show] and Songs for a New World. The tradition continues with I Love You Because.
I haven’t worked with Angelwalk before,” Michael said, “but I have been watching their work for a number of years... [T]hey have picked such interesting work, and it has been a great experience being on stage in this show.”

 In fact, Michael nor I were familiar with I Love You Because until this production. I was able to previews some of the songs on iTunes, where the off-Broadway cast recording is available.  I had the same reaction as Michael to the catchy tunes and wanted to know more about the show’s writers Joshua Saltzman and Ryan Cunningham.  

The pair were nominated for a Drama Desk  for the off-Broadway production.  And it turns out they are also graduates of the NYU TISCH Graduate Musical Theatre Writing  Program.  The very same program were our friends Julianne Wick Davis and Dan Collins developed Wood.  

All in all I enjoyed the show tremendously.  The cast is very even, and it's the kind of show where all of the six cast members, whether leading lady or supporting character, are clearly having a ball up there.  You surely will too!  

I Love You Because  runs until April 15th.  Shows are Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.  There is no performance next Sunday, April 8th, for Easter. Tickets are $35-$45 dollars and $25 for persons under 30 with valid I.D.  Group rates are also available.  For more information please call 416.872.1111.  Or online here.  Be sure and check out this Toronto debut!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Announcing the World Premiere of Ajax and Little Iliad

World Stage at the Harbourfront Centre is proud to present the World Premiere of Ajax and the Little Iliad.  This is an intimate theatrical experience, with only 30 seats available per show.  So act now because once tickets are gone they are gone.  Ajax... runs April 4-8, 2012 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.

Taking a cue from contemporary military rehabilitation programs, Toronto artists, Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell set out to define "Theatre of War" expressly for the civilian population. Ajax & Little Iliad is a pair of companion works that explore the ways that storytelling connects the actions of artists and soldiers. The 30 audience members also wear pair of headphones; this is contemporary performance at its most topical, personal, immediate and intimate.

 “Powerful... a tiny treat of a show.” -Irish Times
A profound and poignant synthesis of art and war.” – Irish Theatre magazine

Staging a lost fragment from the Trojan cycle best known from Sophocles’ adaptations, Little Iliad examines the ever-present reality of war in an intimate Skype-like encounter between childhood friends Evan, a writer, and Thom, a soldier about to be deployed (who appears projected upon a clay puppet). Discussing the methods of the US Army-funded company Theatre of War, Little Iliad subtly draws parallels between the ancient epic and modern context of Canada’s involvement in war. Written by Webber and directed by Cox-O’Connell, it premiered at the Festival de l’Outaouais Émergent in Quebec and the Absolute Fringe in Dublin, Ireland in 2010.

The world premiere of Ajax expands on the theme of “theatre of war”, presenting a series of letters addressed to the doomed classical hero. Ajax pushes further into the ideas in Little Iliad but shifts from cinematic naturalism to a richly theatrical imagination of ‘the classical’, complete with helmets and sandals. We are in the golden age of democratic Athens, and we are going to the premiere of Sophocles’ new play: the story of a victorious but conflicted general who acts to oppose the corruption in his own army. The audience and actors all sit together for a dangerous experiment in classical drama: a scripted play in which the actors play the role of the audience and the audience plays a chorus who comment on invisible heroes. Ajax is an unnervingly funny and uncompromising set of questions about theatricality, performance and the authors of history.

Performance makers Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell have created and performed over a dozen performance works in Canada, the United States and Europe – most frequently, with fellow co-founders, in the group One Reed Theatre and as core collaborators with Small Wooden Shoe. Their work aims to unite the informal and participatory with the precisely rehearsed; it documents their ongoing conversation about reality, performance and change.

Performance details:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012: 8 pm
Thursday, April 5, 2012: 7 pm
Thursday, April 5, 2012: 9 pm
Friday, April 6, 2012: 8 pm
Saturday, April 7, 2012: 4 pm
Saturday, April 7, 2012: 8 pm
Sunday, April 8, 2012: 2 pm
Sunday, April 8, 2012: 4 pm

Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West.

Tickets: $35, $28 (seniors and arts workers), $15 (CultureBreak – 13 to 25 years-old, or students of any age) available at Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Call 416.973.4000, or email or visit you can also get tickets by visiting the Harburfront Centre website here.

There is a talk back show with Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O'Connell following the 9pm performance on Thursday, April 5, and a second talk back show Friday April 6.

Boeing Boeing Opens tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day! Rogue Theatre Co-op's second production is hitting the stage and we couldn't be more excited. For more info on how to get tickets please click the header and to watch the incredibly endearing promo video please click the video below!!!

by Marc Camoletti
Translated by Beverley Cross & Francis Evans

Common Good Underground Space (837 Dundas Street West)
Opens March 28th, 2012 and runs to April 8th
Performances Tuesday- Sunday at 8pm

Monday, March 26, 2012

Preview: Bliss

Previews begin tomorrow for this highly anticipated show that was a sleeper hit at the 2010 SummerWorks festival! The show is being staged at Buddies in Bad Times and runs until April 8th. For tickets or more info please click the header!

Show Description:

Buddies is thrilled to present the professional English Canadian premiere of this internationally acclaimed play, in a translation by Caryl Churchill.

A disturbing dissection of our celebrity obsessed culture.
As four Wal-Mart employees lovingly recount the details of Céline Dion’s farewell concert, their story becomes dark and violent tales of a miscarriage, a young woman who has been chained to the bed by her abusive family, and a woman who has literally turned herself inside out. Choinière’s script masterfully blends these stories to point where the glamour of a pop star and the horrors of abuse are indistinguishable. As each story mirrors the others, we begin to see the darker side of our insatiable appetite for the private lives of public figures, and the underlying mythic origins of these desires. INSPIRED BY THE TRUE STORY OF ISABELLE COTE.

Candles are for Burning in association with
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents
By Olivier Choinère
Translated by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Steven McCarthy
Featuring Delphine Bienvenu, Jean-Robert Bourdage, Trent Pardy and France Rolland
Set and Costume Designer James Lavoie
Sound Designer Diane Labrosse
Lighting Designer Andrea Lundy

Show Times:
Tuesday-Saturday 8:00pm | Sunday 2:30pm

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Newsies Heading to Broadway

Everyone is waiting for this one!

This show is probably gonna be awesome.  I was so happy to see this write up on Jezebel.  I'd say they nailed it.  And it led me to this.  Spot Collins! Brooklyn forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Preview: World Stage Presents The Wooster Group's Vieux Carre

The Tennessee Williams' classic Vieux Carre gets a new look in the Canadian Premiere, The Wooster Group's Version of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carre.  This unique show is on, March 28th-31st, at the Fleck Dance Theatre.  Directed by The Wooster Group's founding member, Elizabeth LeCompte and stars long-time company members Ari Fliakos, Scott Sheppard and Kate Valk.  A bold re-imaging of Williams' story this experimental theatre company returns to Toronto for the first time since 1989.

If you are not familiar with the 30 plus years of work by the Wooster Group don't miss this opportunity to see one of New York's most radical companies in action.  The show stays true to Williams' original text, but takes the story in an inspired and new direction.  Art greatly influences Ms. LeCompte, particularly the work of Andy Warhol, and 70's film maker Paul Morrissey.  Supported by a layered sound score and inventive video use the play deftly translates to the 21st century.

Performance details:

Wednesday, March 28th: 8pm
Thursday, March 29th: 8pm
Friday, March 30th: 8pm
and Saturday March 31st: 8pm.
All performances are at the Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West, Toronto.

Tickets are $45, $36 (seniors and artsworkers), $15 (CultureBreak - 13 to 25 years-old.) available at the Harbourfront Centre's Box Office.  Call 416.973.4000 or email or visit the ticket link here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preview: Shrek The Musical

Dancap's season continues with Shrek the Musical, on now until April 1st.  This is a very limited run of a great family-friendly show.  If you have seen the films, or even if you haven't you will be in for a real treat with this one.  Shrek is the story, of a swamp dwelling ogre, who's miserable life is turned upside-down by a loveable donkey and a princess, as he goes in search of the deed to his swamp land.

The movie is delightful and the musical is sure to be even better.  With great costumes, sets, choreography and characters this one will be a joy to parents and children of all ages.

For ticket information click here or call the box office at 416.640.0172.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Preview: My Granny the Goldfish

Previews began yesterday for Factory Theatre's new release, My Granny the Goldfish. We are excited for some spring laughter and lightness at the theatre and this piece sounds like exactly what the Doctor ordered. Great pricing choices are always available at Factory (including a Sunday PWYC performance)please click the header for more info or to purchase tickets!

Show Description:

Toronto Premiere
Granny travels from Bombay to visit her beloved grandson Nico who is in hospital in Vancouver. Her “cure alls” are attitudes, platitudes and a full flask of whiskey. Despite Nico’s neurotic and hysterical protests, Granny helps him truly heal – ultimately proving that laughter is the best medicine.

My Granny the Goldfish
March 17 – April 15, 2012
Mainspace Theatre
Written by Anosh Irani
Directed by Rosemary Dunsmore
Starring Kawa Ada, Yolande Bavan, Veena Sood, Sanjay Talwar

Factory Theatre is located at 125 Bathurst Street at Adelaide

What Toronto can learn from death of Vancouver... -

Richard Ouzounian is sharing his opinion on the Vancouver playhouse closing and offering advice to our city in an article for The Star. Click below to check it out!

What Toronto can learn from death of Vancouver... -

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Preview: Boeing Boeing

TORONTO - Marc Camoletti’s classic French farce Boeing-Boeing has been chosen as Rogue Theatre Company’s second production! The play opens March 28th and continues to April 8th at the new Common Good Underground Space. For tickets please click the header!

Show Description:

Boeing Boeing opens with Bernard bidding his American-stewardess-fiancée goodbye. When his old friend Robert arrives unexpectedly for a visit, the truth comes out that Bernard has not one fiancée, but in fact three, and that they are all stewardesses for different international airlines. Hilarity, chaos, and romance ensues.

Rogue Theatre Co-op
by Marc Camoletti
Translated by Beverley Cross & Francis Evans
Directed by Jeremy Hutton, Artistic Director of Hart House Theatre.
Featuring Diana Bentley, John Fray, Eleanor Hewlings, Kelly McCormack, Brooke Morgan and Tim Walker.

Common Good Underground Space (837 Dundas Street West)
Previews March 27th and Opens March 28th, 2012 and runs to April 8th
Performances Tuesday- Sunday at 8pm
Tickets: $25; $15 students (With Student ID-in person only)

George Takei's Happy Dance should be on Broadway

After excitedly announcing that his new musical Allegiance successfully raised the necessary funds for Its Broadway run, George celebrated with a sexy little number of his own.

You go George!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Harbourfront Centre News: Hatch presents Mortified

The Harbourfront's 2012 HATCH season continues with MORTIFIED.  HATCH is the Harbourfront Centre's performing arts residency program, and this year they have collaborated with dancer/choreographer Jenn Goodwin and visual artist Camilla Singh.  The pair have created MORTIFIED, an experimental experience of movement and mayhem. The two utilize mediums unfamiliar to them, like cheerleading, drums and tap dance, to connect with the audience and to facilitate a renegade concert.  Throughout,Goodwin and Singh use their new skills to explore themes of tension and transition with an eye towards emotional states of being.

“We like the uncertainty that’s contained in this way of working,” says Singh. “It has lead to a method of being able to read the information that’s contained in something like a state of anxiety rather than being by controlled it, says Singh.

*Jenn Goodwin is from Burlington, Ont. She grew up playing with Barbie, listening to Black Sabbath, hosting make-out parties in her parents’ basement, and falling in love weekly. She moved to Montreal and received a BFA at Concordia University in Contemporary Dance with a minor in Video, and was at once thrilled and horrified by the amount of rolling around on the floor. Her dance work has been performed all over Canada, NYC, Amsterdam, Australia and Brussels. She was twice nominated for the KM Hunter Award in dance. Her short dance films have been screened at festivals across Canada, NYC and Europe. She also programs art and performances for Toronto Special Events, including Nuit Blanche.

*Camilla Singh builds things faithfully to her ideas and not always to a recurrent medium or form, and she shares Catherine Opie’s view that “…it’s transgressive just to try to live your life the way you actually want to live it.”  Singh left her role as curator of Toronto’s MOCCA to experiment with materials in her studio and probe the questions that had formed around the experience of working in an office for decade. She is currently researching and producing a series of uniforms for curators called Uniforms for Non-Uniform Workwhich will comprise a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University in 2013, curated by Emelie Chhangur. 

*HATCH 2012 runs from April 14 – May 5, 2012. Patrons can purchase a HATCH pass (includes tickets to all four productions) for $40, individual tickets for $15, or students/seniors/arts professionals $12. Visit the Harbourfront Centre website or call the box office at 416. 973.4000 for more information.  Following each HATCH presentation, there is a Q&A and opportunity to engage and interact with the artists, as well as a post-show reception.

*ABOUT HATCH Now in its ninth year, HATCH is a key initiative in Harbourfront Centre’s mission to develop local artists and their unique practices. HATCH mentorship provides resources and professional assistance to contemporary artists looking to explore a new element of their practice. By giving the space and time for this to happen, Harbourfront Centre hopes to develop and grow the best new work coming out of Toronto. This season’s guest curator is Toronto-based performance artist Jess Dobkin.

*Information from the Harbourfront Centre Press Release 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Preview: Legally Blonde at the Lower Ossington Theatre

Opening tonight and running till March 31st is, Legally Blonde: The Musical.   Shows areTuesdays through Saturdays at 8pm.  Sundays at 4 pm.  Tickets are $45-$60.

This production was cast locally and is produced by the Lower Ossington Theatre.  If you haven't seen this show yet, now is your chance.  This one would make a great girl's night out!

For ticket information call 416.915.6747. Or visit the website here!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SummerWorks News: S.L.I.P Applications Available Now

For the fourth year SummerWorks is offering aspiring Arts Managers the opportunity to participate in their Leadership Intensive Program (S.L.I.P.)  This two week intensive is for emerging arts professionals with a specific focus on business and management.  The S.L.I.P program is designed to coincide with the SummerWorks Festival and will take place this summer from August 9-19th.

Applications for S.L.I.P are available on the SummerWorks website here.

If you have ever dreamed of producing or managing in the performing arts this is a unique chance to explore the world of theatre arts business, in a hands-on and dynamic environment.  Past points of focus have included: Professional Etiquette, Marketing, Publicity, Grant Writing, Fundraising, Touring Logistics, Financial Planning, Artistic Directing and How to Do Everything at Once.

There are some requirements for applicants which can be found by downloading the pdf. application at the above link.  There is also a $25.00 application fee.  The deadline for applications is April 6th.

Preview: High Life

We have been hearing a lot of good things about the new staging of High Life at Soulpepper. Expect strong acting and directing from this piece! For tickets please click the header. For the trailer please see below the description.

Show Description:

In Lee MacDougall's internationally celebrated black comedy, the most unlikely bunch of masterminds plan "the perfect crime" with dangerous, gripping and hilarious results.

Directed by Stuart Hughes
Featuring Michael Hanrahan, Oliver Dennis, Diego Matamoros and Mike Ross

On until the end of the month.
At the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.
55 Mill Street in the Distillery District .

Canadian Opera Company News

Next month the Canadian Opera Company will feature a double bill of A Florentine Tragedy and Gianni Schicchi.  Both are new productions and A Florentine Tragedy is a Canadian premiere.  Both works are also directed by legendary soprano-turned-director Catherine Malfitano, and feature acclaimed bass-baritone Alan Held, in his COC debut.  This double bill begins April 26th and runs on various dates until May 25th.  

The operas were written one year apart, and are each is set in Florence.  In fact, not only are they both set in Florence, they are both set in the same palazzo, but in different time periods.   These are both exciting new shows for the Toronto Opera lover.

Check out the set and costume designs details, available online, here.  Tickets for the COC have never been more affordable, so if you are an opera fan, or just want to try something new click here for ticket deals to these and all other COC 2012 productions.  

Also check out this sound bite from Gianni Schicchi's, guarantee you'll recognize Il trittico.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Preview: Long Day's Journey Into Night

Now on at Soulpepper is the Eugene O'Neil classic Long Day's Journey Into Night.  This tragedy about an American family whose members lose themselves in alcohol and drugs as an attempt to forget the desperation of their lives.  This show has been solidly reviewed by a number of local publications including Now Magazine. The show is on at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the historic Distillery District.  55 Mill St. In Toronto.

This show runs on various dates until March 28th.  Click here to see the Soulpepper calendar and to order tickets.  You can also call the box office at 416.866.8666.  And if you are a student don't miss this opportunity to see a classic play, for as little as $5.

Preview: The Happy Woman

Opening tonight at the Berkeley Street Theatre is Nightwood Theatre's World Premiere of The Happy Woman.  This darkly comic play looks at how a middle-class family suppresses truth to maintain a happy veneer for the outside world.  The show is in previews tonight and tomorrow and opens officially March 7th.  The Happy Woman runs until March 24th.  Monday through Saturday 8pm, matinees Wednesday at 1:30 pm and Saturdays at 2pm.

Tickets are $22 - $46.

The Happy Woman  is written by Rose Cullis.  
Directed by Kelly Thornton

Click here for ticket information or to buy tickets online.  Or call 416.368.3110

Friday, March 2, 2012

Preview: Badass Dance Fun at the Harbourfront Centre

Life is too short to take it seriously all the time.  That is why this month Toronto-based choreographer Eroca Nicols is teaming up with the Harbourfront Centre to bring you Badass Dance Fun, as part of the NextSteps Festival 2012.  Badass Dance Fun  is the newest platform for experimental contemporary dance, featuring emerging artists who interact with the audience and explore their relationship with the performers.  All in the hopes of letting our hair down and loosening our ties.  The work is presented in a casual and community-based way, which include the public in their performances.  These dancers and choreographers are exploring new ways to intensify the connection with their audience.  And in return hopefully demystify dance for the public.

Badass ...  is curated by Eroca Nicols (aka Lady Janitor.) This show will feel like a festival with music, play and unapologetic fun.  Susan Walker of the Toronto Star says, "Eroca... is on a mission to make contemporary dance fun and accessible."

Below are the two programme line-ups

Programme A
March 28 and 30th at 8pm.
Tara Gaucher (Edmonton)
Meg Foley (Philadelphia)
Lady Janitor, Eroca Nicols (Toronto)
cube 3 (Toronto)

Programme B
March 29th and 31st at 8pm
Meryem Alaoui (Toronto)
Julia Male (Toronto)
kirsch&keenan dance endeavors (Montreal/Germany)
Cara Spooner (Toronto)

A double bill programme featuring both Programme A and B will be held March 31st at 2pm.  There will also be audience talk backs held March 28th and 29th, and will be led by Eroca Nicols and Cara Spooner.

Tickets are $15 for single a programme and $25 for the double bill on the afternoon of the 31st.  For ticket information contact the Harbourfront Centre by phone at 416.973.4000 or through the website by clicking here.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dancemakers Presents The Adaptation Project

Dancemakers' 2012 Spring Home Season is here, and features a new work by Artistic Director Michael Trent.  Dancemakers have been working for over 38 years, and from that body of work Michael has created The Adaptation Project.  By utilizing the work of over 100 pieces of Dancemakers' repertoire, Trent will create a new performance in response to Mitchell Rose's work, Follow Station Identification, from 1974.  This piece will reflect and is inspired by looking backward and forward through the lens of now.

Featuring: Robert Abubo, Amanda Acorn, Kate Holden, Benjamin Kamino and Simon Renaud.

Performances will be held at the Dancemakers Centre for Creation in the Distillery District at 55 Mill Street The Cannery, Bldg. 58, Studio 313.

The Performances will be April 18-29th.  Wednesday - Saturday at 8pm Sunday at 4pm.  Tickets are $25, Students/Seniors, CADA, Arts workers $20.  To book tickets call 416.367.1800. or email or online here.

*Image of Choreographer and Artistic Director Michael Trent, courtesy of Flip Publicity and Promotions.