Thursday, August 30, 2012

AMALUNA in Toronto

The tent went up today...

Cirque du Soleil's newest creation is days away from opening -- AMALUNA arrives next week!

AMALUNA is Cirque du Soleil’s 32nd production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.
Performance schedule: Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 8 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. No performances on Mondays. As it may vary, please visit for the detailed show schedule.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hart House News

EAP is very proud and honoured to announce that we will be covering all shows now on stage at Hart House on the U of T campus. Liza and I are alumni of the University so we are very happy to be promoting this wonderful theatre.

Press Release:

Tom Stoppard's Tony Award Winning Play Opens Hart House Theatre's 2012/2013 Season!

Toronto, Ontario (August 28, 2012) - Hart House Theatre is thrilled to be kicking off our 2012/2013 season on September 21, 2012 with the opening of Tom Stoppard's classic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Written by one of the world's greatest contemporary playwrights the production will run untilOctober 6, 2012.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead retells the story of Shakespeare's Hamlet through the eyes of two of its minor characters as they are mercilessly swept into a world completely beyond their grasp. Using his razor sharp wit and unmatched comedic brilliance, Tom Stoppard creates protagonists who grapple with the big philosophical questions about identity, fate and postmortem toenail growth, while they unwittingly fight for their lives. The Tony Award winning Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead has played across the globe, been adapted into an award-winning film and is now as recognizable as the classic on which it is based.

Bringing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to life is Director Matthew Gorman. As the Artist Director of Cart/Horse Theatre, he has appeared in their critically acclaimed productions of Vincent River, Rum and Vodka, and Winners. As a Director, Matthew has worked on Like A Dog (Your Good Friends, Toronto Fringe Festival 2012) and The River Lady(Lonesome Crowded West). As an actor he has worked with Eastern Front Theatre, Modern Underground, Port Stanley Festival Theatre, The Grand Theatre and Theatre Athena.

Returning to Hart House Theatre to play these iconic characters are Jim Armstrong (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, Macbeth for Hart House Theatre; Charlotte's Web for Touring Players of Canada) as Rosencrantz, Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee Andrew Knowlton (Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear for Hart House Theatre; Twelfth Night for Classical Theatre Project) as Guildenstern and Dave Tripp (Romeo and Juliet andHamlet for Hart House Theatre; Theatre of the Film Noir for For the Love of Louis Theatre Co.;Ballad in Distric of Centuries for Sound the Canon) as the Player.

Making his Hart House Theatre debut is well known and multi Dora Mavor Moore Awardwinning Set and Lighting Designer Stephan Droege. He has contributed to several hundred theatre works, operas, and staged concerts for a diverse set of Canadian and International companies, including a three year commissioned work for H.I.H. Princess Takamado of Japan with Topological/Kageboushi Theatre (Tokyo), The National Arts Centre, Theatre Gargantua and Mirvish Productions. Helping create the extradonairy world of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is Costume Designer Ming Wong. Her previous work with Hart House Theatre includes costume design for Macbeth, Jerry Springer: The Opera and King Lear. She has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for her work on the 2009 SoundStreams Canada/Luminato Festival production of The Children's Crusade and The Thistle Project'sGorey Story.

U of T's Performing Arts Leader Since 1919 - Hart House Theatre is not only a cultural hub for the University of Toronto but a cultural destination for the city. Under the direction of Artsitic Dorector Jeremy Hutton, we are dedicated to developing dynamic productions for a diverse and discerning modern audience with a roster full of the best emerging theatrical talent this country has to offer. The Art Deco theatre has cultivated and featured some of the country's finest actors, directors, playwrights and designers, including Raymond Massey, Dora Mavor Moore, William Hutt, Donald Sutherland, Norman Jewison, Lorne Michaels, and more recently Andre Sills and Tyrone Savage. Recent productions include The Night of the Iguana, Cabaret, Equus,Jerry Springer: The Opera and Macbeth.


By: Tom Stoppard
Directed by: Matthew Gorman
Set Design and Lighting Design by: Stephen Droege
Costume Design by: Ming Wong

September 21 - October 6, 2012
at Hart House Theatre (7 Hart House Circle)
Performances: Wednesday - Saturday at 8PM; 2PM matinee on Saturday, October 6, 2012

Factory Theatre News


News Release
Factory Theatre Announces Michel Marc Bouchard’s Withdrawal of Play from 2012/13 Season as a Result of Boycott Environment

Toronto, August 22, 2012 – The Factory Theatre Board of Directors announced today that due to the boycott of Factory Theatre, playwright Michel Marc Bouchard has informed us that he has no choice but to withdraw his play, Tom and the Coyote, from the opening slot in the 2012/13 season.

“This is the saddest and most difficult decision I have been forced to make in the thirty years of my career,”Bouchard says in a letter to Ron Struys, the Chair of the Factory Board, also sent to Ken Gass. “I am aware of the impact of this decision on my production team. Ten people have just lost a job. I am also aware of the impact of this decision on the staff at Factory Theatre and on the theatre’s subscribers and audiences. I do hope that mediation is still possible and that the rest of the upcoming season will take place and not add to the collateral damage…. Most of all, I hope that Factory Theatre will survive this devastating conflict.”

Ron Struys said that he received the notification of the withdrawal of the English language premiere, in a translation commissioned by Factory Theatre, with regret. “We admire Bouchard so much, and are sorry for the incredible pressures and untenable situation he has been placed in with his artistic team as a result of this boycott environment. We understand that he and other artists want to work in a positive environment, and we are committed to regaining that for all of the Factory Theatre season artists, with the support of its audiences, artists, funders, Board and staff.”

Struys also reported that, “We recently met with Ken with the help of an outside facilitator and agreed to get the wheels in motion for mediation in order to find common ground. We thank everyone who helped get us to this stage. We are now working out the details with Ken on the process and look forward to beginning mediation as soon as possible.”

The Board has heard the calls for mediation and, with talks about to begin, appeals to Gass to call for an end to the boycott or other disruptions to the upcoming season. This is, as Struys notes, “the season that Ken himself put in place. Withdrawing a play has negative financial impact for the company, bringing losses as a result of the boycott to tens of thousands of dollars.” Although Ken Gass has as yet not indicated his willingness to do so, Struys says, “We maintain optimism that he will reconsider because we are confident that the cultural and theatre communities recognize that a boycott serves no one and indeed injures artists, staff and audiences of the theatre.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Next Stage Festival 2013 Line-Up Revealed...

Announcing NSTF 2013’s exciting line-up:
Sudden Death, by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman, presented by Pyretic Productions
The Peace Maker, by Natasha Greenblatt, presented by Pomegranate Productions
Throne of Games presented by Bad Dog Theatre Company
AWAKE, by Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley, presented by Expect Theatre
Post Eden, by Jordan Tannahill, presented by Suburban Beast
Memorial, by Steven Gallagher, presented by Next Step Productions
Salt Baby, by Falen Johnson, presented by You Don’t Look It
With Love and a Major Organ, by Julia Lederer, presented by QuestionMark-Exclamation Theatre
Pitch Blond, by Laura Anne Harris, presented by Convection Productions
Liza Live!, by Jennifer Walls, presented by Jennifer Walls

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SummerWorks 2012 Festival Wrap-Up


Award-winners Celebrated & 20,000 Attend

Toronto, ON --- SummerWorks Performance Festival concluded its 22nd year with a wrap party at the Great Hall on Queen St. West on August 19th where artists, theatre patrons, volunteers, and musical guests gathered to toast this years artistic achievements. SummerWorks saw another year of outstanding attendance with over 20,000 patrons attending the 11 days and nights of theatre, music and performance art. The closing night party awarded some of Canada’s top theatre talent a variety of awards.

“SummerWorks is one of the most if not the single most relevant theatre festival in the country. This notion has been echoed by many in the community and that’s why I proudly declare it,” says Artistic Producer of SummerWorks Performance Festival, Michael Rubenfeld.

Rubenfeld adds, “I am beyond proud of the accomplishment of the artists, the community and the state of artistic expression and work in Canada. It has been a watershed year and choosing the award winners was extremely challenging amongst such an amazing crop of works.”

All awards are adjudicated by a jury of three theatre professionals with the exception of the NOW Audience Choice Award, which is determined by ballot.

The award winners are as follows:

SummerWorks Prize for Outstanding Production
The prize is a free trip back to the festival next year. All companies presenting work were eligible.

Terminus by Outside the March, Directed by Mitchell Cushman

Contra Guys Award for Outstanding New Performance Text
Generously supported by two SummerWorks founders, Benj Gallander and Ben Stadelmann, the $1000 cash award is presented to a theatre-maker for an outstanding new work (script or performance text).

Nicolas Billon for Iceland

National Theatre School Award for Set or Costume Design
This award offers a $750 cash prize to a designer for an outstanding set or costume design.

When It Rains by 2b Theatre Company.

Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation
This $500 cash prize is awarded to an individual or company in recognition of an artistic choice or choices exemplifying innovation and/or artistic risk.

Cliff Cardinal for Huff

Honourable mention: Petrichor

Canadian Stage Award for Direction
Sponsored by The Canadian Stage Company, this $500 cash prize is awarded for an outstanding piece of direction at the Festival.

Tanner Harvey for Big Plans

The Spotlight Award
Awarded to a featured performer in a SummerWorks show. The winner receives a VIP pass to the festival next year.

Ron Pederson for Extinction Song, Tamsin Kelsey for Pietá and Terrence Bryant for Terre Haute

The Theatre Centre Emerging Artist Award
A $500 cash prize awarded to an artist early in their career who made an artistic impression during the festival.

Jeremy Taylor, writer of Big Plans and director of My Pregnant Brother.

RBC Arts Professional Award
This $1000 cash prize recognizes the work, craft and dedication of an emerging arts professional. This award is made possible with the support of RBC.

MotionLive in association with cric crac collective for Aneemah’s Spot

Honourable Mention: Aislinn Rose for Fierce Monsters and France, or the Niqab and Renna Reddie for Iceland

The NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award
Audience members voted by placing their ticket stub in the NOW Audience Choice box before leaving the theatre. The Winner receives $3000 in free advertising with NOW magazine. All shows were eligible for this prize.

Iceland by The Iceland Collective, directed by Ravi Jain

Monday, August 20, 2012

Angelwalk Announces 2012/13 Season

Angelwalk Theatre, Toronto's leading producer of Off-Broadway musical theatre, announced its exciting 2012/2013 subscription season. Launching the season will be the Canadian Premiere of Ordinary Days, a co-production with Winnipeg Studio Theatre. The second production in the subscription series is the hit Off-Broadway musical, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, a co-production with KooGle Theatre Company. New this season, Angelwalk Theatre will also be producing three one-night performances to showcase some of Canada's top musical theatre artists: Dianne and Me (featuring Elena Juatco), from Justin to Kelly (with Justin Bott and Kelly Holiff), and Villains & Vixens (starring Jayme Armstrong, Jay Davis, Kevin Dennis, George Masswohl, Adrienne Merrell, and Astrid Van Wieren). All productions will be presented at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where Angelwalk Theatre is a company in residence. Also new for Angelwalk Theatre's fourth season, is the addition of its inaugural Artist Advisory.

Ordinary Days is an exciting and touching new musical by Adam Gwon about four young 20-30 year olds whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, love and happiness. When Deb loses her most precious possession - the notes to her graduate thesis - she unwittingly starts a chain of events that turns the ordinary days of four New Yorkers into something extraordinary. Ordinary Days made its world-premiere at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City in 2009 to rave reviews. "Full of idiosyncratic charm" (Time Out New York), Ordinary Days contains an emotionally powerful score with lyrics that are "arrestingly poetic" (LA Times). Remotegoat London gave the show five stars and calls it "one of the best musicals I have seen all year". Ordinary Days will run from November 29 until December 9, 2012.

Ordinary Days will be directed by Winnipeg Studio Theatre's Artistic Director, Kayla Gordon (Winnipeg's Spring Awakening, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Altar Boyz), with musical direction by Paul De Gurse (Winnipeg's My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Avenue Q, Title of Show) and choreography by Brenda Gorlick (Winnipeg's Urinetown, The Producers, Altar Boyz). Set and costumes will be designed by Scott Penner (Stratford's Cymbeline, Angelwalk's I Love You Because) with lighting design by Siobhán Sleath (Angelwalk's I Love You Because, Hart House's Cabaret). The cast will star Justin Bott (Angelwalk's Title of Show, Songs for a New World; Hart House's The Great American Trailor Park Musical), Jay Davis (Angelwalk's I Love You Because, The Rose Theatre's The Last Five Years), Connie Manfredi (Winnipeg's Avenue Q, Spring Awakening), and Clara Scott (Angelwalk's Off-Broadway On Stage, The Lower Ossington Theatre's Spring Awakening, Reefer Madness).

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is the second-longest running musical in Off-Broadway history, running for 12 years and 5003 performances. With book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is presented in the form of a series of vignettes connected by the central theme of love and relationships. The show is everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were too afraid to admit. "Hilarious...the most entertaining show on or off Broadway" claims Gannett Newspapers, while Newsday says "if this show were a blind date, you'd feel relieved, grateful and pleasantly surprised," and The Star-Ledger calls it "a great date show, a perfect mating dance, it's 'Seinfeld' set to music!"

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change was produced by KooGle Theatre Company in the summer of 2012 and Angelwalk Theatre is delighted to be building upon this success in the upcoming co-production. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change will be directed by Evan Tsitsias (Acting Up Stage Company's Edges, Summerworks Festival's Strange Mary Strange, Aftershock) and will feature the cast from the original KooGle Theatre Company production: Christopher Alan Gray (Stratford's Inherit the Wind, The Sound of Music; Theatre Aquarius' Toad!), Dean Hollin (Theatre Aquarius, Drayton Entertainment, Stirling Festival), Leslie Kay (Theatre Aquarius, Sunshine Festival, St. Lawrence Stage Co.), and Alison O'Neill (Hart House's Bare; Lower Ossington Theatre's Pinkalicious). I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change will run from May 14 until June 2, 2013.

This season, Angelwalk Theatre will undertake a new initiative to showcase Canadian musical theatre talent on stage. Its brand-new performance series will feature Canadian musical theatre artists in three one-night shows. Dianne and Me stars award-winning actress Elena Juatco (Angelwalk's I Love You Because; Canadian Idol Top Ten Finalist) in a one-woman show directed by Luke Brown (Theatre Aquarius' Bittergirl) and written by Ron Fromstein (2012 Toronto Fringe Festival's One in a Million). Winner of the 2009 Canadian National Playwrighting Award and "a must see" at the 2011 Vancouver Fringe Festival, Dianne and Me will be performed on September 19, 2012. from Justin to Kelly features Justin Bott (Title of Show, Songs for a New World) and Kelly Holiff(Hairspray, Finding Love in Strange Places) in an intimate and exciting evening of musical bliss on October 3, 2012. Villains & Vixens showcases the talents of Jayme Armstrong (Angelwalk's Title of Show), Jay Davis (Angelwalk's I Love You Because), Kevin Dennis (Talk Is Free's Assassins), George Masswohl (Young People's Theatre's Seussical), Adrienne Merrell (Angelwalk's The Last Five Years), and Astrid Van Wieren (Mermaid Parade's This Wide Night) in a musical feast of some of Broadway's most infamous Villains and Vixens, performed on February 20, 2013.

Angelwalk Theatre is also pleased to announce the inaugural members of its new Artist Advisory, a group established to serve as a sounding board for Angelwalk Theatre and to help guide and shape future artistic strategies and decisions. Inaugural members of the Artist Advisory include: Mark Allan, Anthony Bastianon, Justin Bott, Jay Davis, Gabi Epstein, Darcy Evans, Tim French, Elena Juatco, Jeff Madden, Jeigh Madjus, Mike "Nug" Nahrgang, Erica Peck, Scott Penner, Janna Polzin, Stephen Ross, and Jennifer Walls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Theatre 20: Artist Led, story-driven.

Check out this video Theatre 20 published to YouTube yesterday.  It is great to see Canadian grown musical theatre with this kind of star power and panache, back in Toronto.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Planet IndigenUS is on at Harbourfront

Planet IndigenUS takes place at Harbourfront Centre, and at Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, ON. This is the largest contemporary international Indigenous cultural festival in the world, and will feature 10 days of theatre and dance, music, food, film and visual arts from Canada and around-the-world, with close to 300 performers from seven countries.

This weekend features I George, Nepia (New Zeland) The play is the story of a Maouri who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the world's best rugby players. On August 11th and 12th.

There are also several brand new work by native artists Santee Smith and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre with Susuriwka - Willow Bridge , which opens August 17-19.  Also on at the Natrel Pond is  Australia's Polytoxic with Trade Winds, on August 16-18.

Also August 18 there is another theatre production, Paddle Song (Canada) - a one-woman play celebrating the life of Pauline Johnson, beloved Canadian poet and performer.   Click here for more information on this interesting festival and all the events at the Harbourfront Centre.

SummerWorks is Here - Don't Miss It

Phew, more theatre and performance art fun is here.  The SummerWorks Festival kicked off last night, with a fantastic party and live music at The Great Hall.  This years festival features 41 productions, plus the new  Live Art series and an exciting expansion to the Music Series.  This year there is definitely something for everyone.  We couldn't possibly cover it all but Now Magazine has committed to covering the entire festival so be sure to check in with reviews and show announcements there.  Here's Now's Starting off SummerWorks article which ran this week.

Though we wont be at every show and concert there are definitely a few that should not be missed.  A number of the festival highlights are in the much expanded Music Series, this year. Up first is the Hawksley Workman and Christina Barry collaboration The Gods That Come on Saturday night at The Theatre Centre, at The Great Hall.

Hawksley, for those who don't know is one of Canada's best indie pop musicians, and I've thought for a while that his style and creativity would be well suited for the stage.  Add to that, powerhouse director Christina Barry of 2b theatre production company and you've got yourself a winning combination.

Also part of the Music Series is Blood Ties - Musical Works in Concert.  Conceived and directed by up-and-comer and EAP friends Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnson.  This show features EAP regular Jusitn Bott and is musically directed by one of our great friends Jeffery Newberry.  Blood Ties  is a darkly funny chamber musical in one act based on the true story of four friends who must clean up after a suicide.   Blood Ties runs at The Theatre Centre, at The Great Hall Tuesday August 14th at 9pm.

For CBC Radio 2 fans Buck 65 may not ring a bell but you'd be sure to know Drive host Rich Terfry.  Rich has been performing as hip hop artist Buck 65 for over 2 decades.  He makes his SummerWorks debut Wednesday the 15 at 10:30.

EAP is also really excited about some of the Theatre events this year.  Most notably Voodoo Theatre Company's award winning Extinction Song. A one man play about a child's retreat from reality into an imaginary world.  A world of wolves who help save him from his real life alcoholic father.  This is a touching portrayal of the childish spirit and hope, which will pull at even the tightest heartstrings.  Extinction Song runs at Theatre Passe Muraille

Friday August 10th at 5:30 pm.
Sunday the 12, at 3:00 pm.
Wednesday the 15th at 8:00 pm.
Friday Aug. 17 at 8:00 pm
Saturday Aug. 18 at 5:30 pm.
and Sunday Aug 19th at 12:30 pm.

Hoping for something a bit more lighthearted?  France, or the Niqab promises to be a funny, sexy romp of physical humor.  Defense Attorney and high-heel devotee Tabatha is about to risk it all and find out what her heels have in common with the Islamic niqab.  France, or the Niqab plays at Theatre Passe Muraille.

Saturday Aug 11th. at 8:00 pm.
Monday Aug. 13th. at 10:30 pm.
Friday Aug. 17th. at 10:30 pm.
Saturday Aug. 18th at 3:00 pm.
and Sunday Aug. 19th at 8:00 pm.

In addition to the Theatre and Music series this years SummerWorks festival also features late night acts at the Performance Bar.  Click the link for information about the Performance Bar line up.

And last but certainly not least, this year the SummerWorks festival introduces the Live Art series.  As part of the Live Art series Toronto icon Nina Arsenault presents 40 Days + 40 Nights. In the first 29 days of this performance (closed to the public) Nina spent 4 days in isolation in total darkness, 5 days fasting and 3 days without sleep. Inside heightened emotional states she rendered drawings in charcoal and began to design an elaborate decadent cloister for 40 Days + 40 Nights.

She also gave up Facebook, sex, and financial support from her “sugar-daddy.”

The sacred space she created is filled with her drawings and artistic collaborations with Bruce LaBruce, Istvan Kantor, and Jordan Tannahill, meditations towards a contemporary language of lived spiritual beliefs. Nina’s sculpture ‘Pure Form with Blood and Silicone’ will also be on display.

During the final 11 days of this experiment, open to the public, Nina will continue her spiritual actions.

However, visitors to the installation/ gallery can also choose to participate in Nina’s recreation of Marina Abramovic’s ‘The Artist is Present’, listen to a story called ‘The Ecstasy of Nina Arsenault’ about
her surgical/spiritual quest for youth… or simply talk to her (in sacred confidence.) Available for viewings and free of charge from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am throughout the festival.  

These are just a few of this year's offerings.  We will continue to update you here about shows that generate buzz, shows we love and shows you might want to skip.  Check out the full schedule and here for buying tickets.  See you at the SummerWorks Festival!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bad News

The Toronto preview run of a new off-Broadway show called, Honeymoon in Vegas is cancelled.  This is a major bummer.  Check out the article from Playbill here.