• Hamlet-911 At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    Hamlet-911 At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    Hamlet-911 at The Stratford Festival If you’re not feeling sufficiently woke, hie thee to Hamlet-911, Ann-Marie MacDonald’s cheerfully anarchic mishmash of a play now receiving it’s much-delayed world premiere at the Stratford Festival’s Studio Theatre. Hamlet-911 is a satiric comedy about white male privilege in the theatre, specifically the Stratford Festival, and the exclusion of […]

  • Uncle Vanya At Crow’s Theatre – A Review

    Uncle Vanya At Crow’s Theatre – A Review

    Uncle Vanya At Crow’s Theatre The astonishment of Artistic Director Chris Abraham’s electrifying production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre begins with the set and lighting. Co-designers of set and props Julie Fox and Josh Quinlan have transformed the Crow’s capacious Guloien Theatre into one of the most impressive sets I’ve seen […]

  • 1939 At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    1939 At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    1939 at The Stratford Festival In a canny bit of programming at the Studio Theatre, the Stratford Festival has paired its production of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well with 1939, a masterful and moving play about Canada’s residential schools, by Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan. The residential school system was created to turn the […]

  • John Ware Reimagined At The Blyth Festival – A Review

    John Ware Reimagined At The Blyth Festival – A Review

    (Image: Blyth Festival) John Ware Reimagined at the Blyth Festival Something remarkable is happening on the bucolic, outdoor Harvest Stage at The Blyth Festival. What could have been a disaster — the last-minute illness of a lead performer — has become the occasion for a remarkable tour de force for Janelle Cooper, director, music director, […]

  • The Real Poems at Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    The Real Poems at Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    (Image: Here For Now Theatre) The Real Poems at Here For Now With its closing production of Robert McQueen’s beautifully written, magnificently performed, and quietly devastating The Real Poems, Here For Now Theatre once again establishes itself as a theatrical company that, despite vast differences in scale and resources, is every bit the equal of […]

  • Death and the King’s Horseman at the Stratford Festival  A Review

    Death and the King’s Horseman at the Stratford Festival A Review

    Death and the King’s Horseman at Stratford Wole Soyinka’s poetic and elegiac play, Death and the King’s Horseman, widely considered the masterpiece of this Nigerian Nobel Laureate in Literature, packs quite an emotional wallop. Director Tawiah M’Carthy mounted this play just two years ago at Soulpepper in Toronto with a much smaller cast. Thanks to […]

  • The Miser At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    The Miser At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    The Miser at the Stratford Festival Intermittent hilarity and a bravura central performance manage to salvage the Stratford Festival’s uneven production of Moliere’s The Miser, one in which high comedy style at times verges on desperation. In Ranjit Bolt’s new version of the 1668 comedy, the miser Harpagon becomes despicable Canadian skinflint and usurer Harper […]

  • Spit At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    Spit At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    (Image: Here For Now Theatre) Spit at Here For Now Theatre Here For Now Theatre continues its admirable run of plays by and about women with Irish playwright Noelle Brown’s brief (just an hour) but powerful Spit, which with admirable economy lays bare the shame of Ireland’s infamous Mother and Baby Homes. Sisters Jessica (Siobhan […]

  • Just To Get Married at the Shaw Festival – A Review

    Just To Get Married at the Shaw Festival – A Review

    (Image: Shaw Festival) Just To Get Married at the Shaw Festival One of the hallmarks of Jackie Maxwell’s tenure as Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival was the revival of forgotten comedies from the “mandate period” (Shaw’s lengthy lifespan), and they proved to be some of the most enjoyable plays the Festival produced. The mandate […]

  • The Doctor’s Dilemma At The Shaw Festival – A Review

    The Doctor’s Dilemma At The Shaw Festival – A Review

    (Image: The Shaw Festival) The Doctor’s Dilemma at the Shaw Festival There’s a bit of bait and switch going on at the Shaw Festival. Since I’d never seen George Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma, I looked forward to the Shaw’s production, helmed by Diana Donnelly. I still haven’t seen George Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma, […]

  • Gem Of The Ocean at the Shaw Festival – A Review

    Gem Of The Ocean at the Shaw Festival – A Review

    (Image: Shaw Festival) Gem Of The Ocean at the Shaw Festival August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, the first installment in his ten-play “Century Cycle” (although the ninth to be written), is receiving a powerful, even explosive production in the intimate confines of the Shaw Festival’s Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre under the taut direction of […]

  • Take Care At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    Take Care At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    (Image: Here For Now Theatre) Take Care At Here For Now Take Care by Ellen Denny, now at Here For Now Theatre, strikes me as an earnest effort to depict a woman at a crisis point in her life. But a game cast and some deft direction failed to make the piece even remotely believable […]

  • Wingfield’s Inferno At Stratford Perth Museum – A Review

    Wingfield’s Inferno At Stratford Perth Museum – A Review

    (Image: Huron Perth Museum) Wingfield’s Inferno At Huron Perth Museum Read and weep. The entire run of Wingfield Farms: The Complete Works starring Rod Beattie is sold out (deservedly so) and has been for quite some time. I was fortunate enough to catch Wingfield’s Inferno, the penultimate installment of the seven play series that has […]

  • Girls & Boys At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    Girls & Boys At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    (Image: Here For Now Theatre) Girls & Boys At Here For Now Theatre Girls & Boys is the deceptively benign title of the most powerful play you are likely to see this season, or any other season for that matter. What’s more, this solo piece is graced with one of the most deeply moving performances […]

  • Every Day She Rose At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    Every Day She Rose At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    (Image: Here For Now Theatre) Every Day She Rose At Here For Now Theatre If you can’t decrypt the acronym 2SLGBTQIAA+ then Every Day She Rose may not be the play for you. If, however, you have even a passing interest in the kaleidoscopic changes in sexual and identity politics that are sweeping not just […]

  • All’s Well That Ends Well At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    All’s Well That Ends Well At The Stratford Festival – A Review

    All’s Well That Ends Well At The Stratford Festival All’s Well That Ends Well was one of two plays by William Shakespeare that inaugurated the Stratford Festival in 1953; the other was Richard III. Both are being revived to celebrate the opening of the new Tom Patterson Theatre. While I had some quibbles with Antoni […]

  • It Runs In The Family At Drayton – A Review

    It Runs In The Family At Drayton – A Review

    (Image: Drayton Entertainment) It Runs In The Family At Drayton Tired of all that high-brow nonsense at Stratford and Shaw? Then fire up the family car, point it west, and head for the Huron Country Playhouse outside Grand Bend, the largest of Drayton Entertainment’s venues. Check your critical faculties at the door and immerse yourself […]

  • Cottagers And Indians At The Blyth Festival – A Review

    Cottagers And Indians At The Blyth Festival – A Review

    (Image: Bruce Horak) Cottagers And Indians At The Blyth Festival If you’ve ever sat through a land acknowledgment at the beginning of a play and thought “What a load of happy horses**t this is,” boy do I have a play for you! It’s Drew Hayden Taylor’s 2018 Cottagers and Indians, now being revived at the […]

  • On Golden Pond At Drayton – A Review

    On Golden Pond At Drayton – A Review

    (Image: Drayton Entertainment) On Golden Pond At Drayton If Marti Maraden is directing a play and there’s any way I can get to it, I’ll be there. That, and the lure of the redoubtable Benedict Campbell in the lead role, is what took me to Drayton Entertainment’s Hamilton Family Theatre in Cambridge to see Ernest […]

  • Forty-Seven At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    Forty-Seven At Here For Now Theatre – A Review

    (Image Here For Now Theatre) Forty-Seven At Here For Now Theatre When I was forty-seven, it was a very good year. I married the love of my life, who also turned forty-seven that year, and we’ve been together happily for thirty years. Perhaps Deanna Kruger hasn’t been as lucky because her new play, Forty-Seven is […]