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Theatre News

Op-Ed: The future of theatre: Is this the final curtain call?

London - In 2014, just how relevant is theatre? In London audiences have been falling gradually for the past few years, but away from the capital the decline is even more marked. So what's causing these slumps? And is this really the end of theatre as we know it?

Review: 'Harry Potter' stage parody makes glorious return to Toronto Special

Toronto - I've missed several chances to see “Potted Potter”; besides its previous Toronto run in 2012, the world-touring revue has been in London and New York at times when I happened to be in those cities. Despite the new cast, it was worth the wait.

Review: 'Concord Floral' an eerie, powerful look at suburban T.O. teens Special

Toronto - It's hard to write good dialogue and monologue for teen characters. Adult playwrights and screenwriters often suffer from a lack of familiarity with the new lingo, yo, or resort to contrived, artificial “Buffy”-style irony and pop culture.

In Donetsk theatre, a refuge from Ukraine's tragedy

Donetsk - After the bombs, the fur coats. After the air raids, the air kisses. After six months of war, even the fighters attending an opening night at the Donetsk theatre traded in weapons for a rare moment of refinement.

As state TV takes over, Venezuela soap stars turn to stage

Caracas - Crowded out of a once-booming "telenovela" industry by a government takeover of nearly half the country's TV networks, Venezuelan soap opera stars are increasingly taking their craft to the stage.

Broadway outshines Hollywood on and off screen

Venice - The age-old rivalry between Broadway and Hollywood took centre stage at this year's Venice film festival, which winds up on Saturday, with a host of theatre-based tales and stars denouncing a declining Silver Screen industry.

Review: Soulpepper's 'Crucible' remount in Toronto still full of power Special

Toronto - “Death of a Salesman” may be Arthur Miller’s most revered play, but “The Crucible”, his 1953 drama about the seventeenth-century witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, holds up as his most stinging study of evil and hypocrisy in human nature.

Video: Vancouver Fringe Festival kicks off Special

Vancouver - The 30th annual Vancouver Fringe festival is now in full swing. Vancouver’s best theatre festival is back again from September 4-14 with 10 days of un-censored, un-juried theatre fun.

Review: 'Glenn' a complex, abstract tribute to iconic Toronto pianist Special

Toronto - From the peak of his career to his death in 1982, Glenn Gould was a baffling enigma as much as he was a classical-music superstar. As many artistic geniuses were, from Picasso to Salinger, the Toronto pianist could be eccentric and difficult.

Review: Toronto 'Tartuffe' has good moments, odd directorial choices Special

Toronto - It's a tricky business, trying to make an old theatre warhorse seem fresh and new. Bold or eccentric choices can spark new life into a classic, or they can massacre it. Soulpepper's new mounting of “Tartuffe” tastes both ends of the lollipop.

Review: CanStage tries to soften 'Titus Andronicus' brutality in Toronto Special

Toronto - Not that I'm a fan of Trigger Warnings, but if any Shakespeare play really needs to be preceded by one, it's “Titus Andronicus”. Murder, rape, mutilation, cannibalism, racism — this early Bard tragedy is a grim celebration of meaningless atrocity.

Review: Toronto's High Park is the perfect setting for 'As You Like It' Special

Toronto - Canadian Stage's annual Shakespeare in High Park has become a respected Toronto summer tradition, and this year, the Bard's pastoral comedy “As You Like It” is a fine match for the High Park Amphitheatre's outdoor setting and young audiences.

'Of Human Bondage', 'London Road' top the Dora Awards in Toronto Special

Toronto - It was an evening full of bondage and murder at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards last night — with local productions “Of Human Bondage,” “Venus in Fur” and “London Road” among the big winners at the annual awards ceremony for theatre in Toronto.

Review: ‘Twelve Angry Men’ remains powerful in flawed Toronto production Special

Toronto - A stinging, gripping defence of presumption of innocence, “Twelve Angry Men” hasn’t lost any of its guts after nearly 60 years. It’s a credit to Reginald Rose’s sharp writing that the play overcomes the flaws of Soulpepper’s production.

Toronto's Summerworks announces 2014 schedule

Toronto - SummerWorks Performance Festival returns for its 24th year August 7 -17, 2014. This year’s season is sure to thrill with exciting changes, a crop of new works and moments of intensity, self-discovery and much more waiting to be discovered.

Review: Thompson exposes prison brutality in new show's Toronto debut Special

Toronto - Judith Thompson's new solo show “Watching Glory Die” is a brutal, unsentimental tragedy of a teenage girl's mental and psychological decline in juvenile-detention centres. What it lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in honest, righteous passion.

Theatre: Of Human Bondage perfectly adapts Maugham's novel Special

Toronto - Few theatre productions have moved me as much as Of Human Bondage, the adaptation of the classic 1915 W. Somerset Maugham novel, staged by Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Theatre group to fly its freak flag

Edmonton - A theatre company is challenging the notion of public acceptability with an onstage chronicle of women who may otherwise be considered monsters.

Disney's 'Aladdin' unleashes a genie on Broadway

It has a flying carpet, a cave full of treasures and show-stopping songs, but critics said on Friday the Broadway debut of Disney's "Aladdin" lacks the magic of the original Oscar-winning animated fi...

'Rocky' musical packs punch on Broadway with rousing finale

With its full-size boxing ring, giant video screens and techno wizardry, "Rocky" the musical thrilled audiences on Broadway with its rousing finale, but critics said overall it wasn't a knockout.

Rights groups query wisdom of Hamlet tour in N. Korea

Seoul - Human rights groups have questioned the wisdom of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London taking a production of Hamlet to North Korea, but stopped short of calling for the plan to be scrapped.The Globe will perform the play in the secretive state in Sep...

Dahl's 'Chocolate Factory', Sondheim revival lead for Oliviers

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", the new musical based on Roald Dahl's novel, and a revival of the Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince 1981 box-office flop "Merrily We Roll Along" received seven nominations each on Monday for the ...

Review: Daniel MacIvor's play-writing shines in A Beautiful View Special

Toronto - The Toronto production of Daniel MacIvor's brilliant play A Beautiful View is both entertaining and thought-provoking, as the two-women production looks at how friendships flourish and falter.

World War One, a hundred years on, entrenched on London stages

The centenary year of the start of World War One is being marked on the London stage as a bloodbath that wasted millions of lives and ended in failure, setting the world on the destructive path for World...

Anita Majumdar talks 'shadeism' in new play Special

Toronto - Award-winning actress, playwright, and dancer, Anita Majumdar is making waves with her new play, Same, Same But Different. Majumdar speaks to Digital Journal about growing up a shade darker and her passion for telling the stories she does.

Prize in honor of late US actor Philip Seymour Hoffman

New York - An annual prize will award $45,000 to a playwright in honor of Oscar-winning American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died this month from a suspected heroin overdose.The prize is being funded by gossip magazine The National Enquirer and its publishe...

Review: Nina Raine's drama about deafness, 'Tribes', debuts in Toronto Special

Toronto - Winner of a few major 2012 awards in both London and New York, Nina Raine's play “Tribes” is a powerful examination of communication issues between the deaf and the hearing. Too bad that Canadian Stage's new production doesn't always get it right.

Review: ‘London Road’, making its Toronto debut, is a bona fide original Special

Toronto - In all the years I've been writing sporadic theatre reviews — from student papers through local weeklies to “Digital Journal” — this is the first time I’ve ever had to write these words: I’ve honestly never seen anything like this play.

'Craving For Travel' makes world premiere Off-Broadway

New York - Director Andy Sandberg captures the humor in this new play, telling the tales of travel woes. "Craving for Travel" is much likened to a series of late night television skits, or perhaps the classic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Review: Flesh and Other Fragments of Love is a slow burn worth seeing Special

Toronto - Evelyne de la Chenelière's Flesh and Other Fragments of Love begins with a discovered corpse but the emotional core of this Toronto production is very much alive as a married couple explore their own fears and frailties.
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New York s Eugene O Neill Theatre sports a marquee of  The Book of Mormon   June 22  2012.
New York's Eugene O'Neill Theatre sports a marquee of "The Book of Mormon", June 22, 2012.
"Joe Shlabotnik"
Four Glenn Goulds (clockwise from top: Brent Carver  Steven Sutcliffe  Jeff Lillico and Mike Ross) p...
Four Glenn Goulds (clockwise from top: Brent Carver, Steven Sutcliffe, Jeff Lillico and Mike Ross) portray different sides of the famed pianist in Soulpepper's production of "Glenn".
Cylla von Tiedemann
The Nokia Theatre in Los Angles  where the Adobe Max 2011 convention was held  is more known among g...
The Nokia Theatre in Los Angles, where the Adobe Max 2011 convention was held, is more known among geeks as the last place Michael Jackson danced, and not as the place where TV actors win Emmy Awards.
Siriz/Flickr
Crime of the week in Aurora  Colorado  USA
Crime of the week in Aurora, Colorado, USA
Lifted from the internet
Judith Thompson plays three roles  including a maladjusted teenage prisoner  in her solo show  Watch...
Judith Thompson plays three roles, including a maladjusted teenage prisoner, in her solo show "Watching Glory Die".
Wendy D
Watching a movie
Watching a movie
The Rogue
Untitled
Sandy MacPherson
Cutler Majestic Theatre
Cutler Majestic Theatre
sushiesque
Christopher Sieber (L) and George Hamilton (R) star in the touring production of La Cage Aux Folles ...
Christopher Sieber (L) and George Hamilton (R) star in the touring production of La Cage Aux Folles, currently running at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre through mid-November.
Paul Kolnik
From the stage adaptation of The Tin Drum  performed by UnSpun Theatre
From the stage adaptation of The Tin Drum, performed by UnSpun Theatre
Courtesy UnSpun Theatre
A scene from the theatrical adaptation of Of Human Bondage
A scene from the theatrical adaptation of Of Human Bondage
Courtesy Soulpepper
Rosa (Jessica Munk  left) and Nearly (Erum Khan) find there s something creepy going on in Jordan Ta...
Rosa (Jessica Munk, left) and Nearly (Erum Khan) find there's something creepy going on in Jordan Tannahill's "Concord Floral", now running at Toronto's Theatre Centre.
Erin Brubacher
Untitled
Eric Labbe
Théâtre de la Gaîté  rue de la Gaîté  Montparnasse  Paris
Théâtre de la Gaîté, rue de la Gaîté, Montparnasse, Paris
Roundabout Theatre Company’s ANYTHING GOES. Pictured: Ryan Steer  Bobby Pestka  Rachel York  Jerem...
Roundabout Theatre Company’s ANYTHING GOES. Pictured: Ryan Steer, Bobby Pestka, Rachel York, Jeremy Benton, Kristopher Thompson-Bolden.
Joan Marcus
Les Miserables at London s Palace Theatre
Les Miserables at London's Palace Theatre
Rick Payette
Toronto Fringe Festival
Toronto Fringe Festival
Toronto Fringe Festival
Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt in 2 Pianos 4 Hands.
Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt in 2 Pianos 4 Hands.
Courtesy of Mirvish Productions
IN THE HEIGHTS North American Tour Company
IN THE HEIGHTS North American Tour Company
John Daughtry
Claire Calnan in the 2012 SummerWorks production of Nicolas Billon s  Iceland .  The play is on at T...
Claire Calnan in the 2012 SummerWorks production of Nicolas Billon's "Iceland". The play is on at Toronto's Factory Theatre now through March 24th.
Hugh Probyn