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canadian stage News

Review: ‘Heisenberg’ keeps the uncertainty going in romantic two-hander Special

Toronto - For a light romantic comedy, Simon Stephens’ “Heisenberg” is surprisingly compelling. This may be because of the way the acclaimed British playwright plays with – and overcomes – many of the familiar conventions of the genre.

Review: ‘Twelfth Night’ in High Park loaded with fast-paced fun Special

Toronto - Now this is what a Shakespeare comedy should be. Canadian Stage’s “Twelfth Night”, which opened last Friday, is so much delirious fun that it will make you forget all the boring academic blather you heard about the Bard in Grade 11 English.

Review: Strong ‘Lear’ in Toronto’s High Park brings women to forefront Special

Toronto - It’s 2017, and it’s beyond time that the women of the acting world got to walk in the footsteps of William Shakespeare’s great tragic heroes. Canadian Stage’s new “King Lear”, with Diane D’Aquila in the lead, makes a strong case.

Review: Robert Lepage’s ‘887’ turns memory into a multimedia masterpiece Special

Toronto - There are a lot of ways you could categorize Robert Lepage’s spellbinding “887” – magic show? Confessional monologue? History lesson? – and none would be wrong. But only by blending these unlikely elements does it become a masterwork.

Review: Compelling drama ‘Liv Stein’ relentless in English-language debut Special

Toronto - “Liv Stein” is like an edgier “All About Eve”, set in the classical music world, with a climax that takes cues from “Saw”. If that description is hard to believe, it suits a play about how the desperate believe anything they want to be true.

Review: ‘Constellations’ tries to find string theory in relationships Special

Toronto - Not everybody finds quantum physics romantic or sexy. British playwright Nick Payne evidently does, as his acclaimed 2012 stage hit “Constellations” tries to examine different incarnations of a relationship between two scientists.

Review: ‘Hamlet’ in Toronto’s High Park scores with strong lead, energy Special

Toronto - How do you scrunch “Hamlet” down to ninety minutes without killing the plot or losing too many of the great soliloquies? Sounds like an impossible task, but Canadian Stage manages to pull it off in a surprisingly solid High Park production.

Review: Fast-paced staging fires up ‘All’s Well’ in Toronto’s High Park Special

Toronto - “All’s Well that Ends Well” is a famous title, but it’s not one of William Shakespeare’s better-known plays. This year, Canadian Stage is tackling this rarely remounted work with a wide comedic onslaught – mostly to its advantage.

Review: ‘Das Ding’ hits Toronto with eccentric take on globalization Special

Toronto - If you’ve always wanted to see a play about a large, sentient cotton ball that travels around the world and observes how people’s behaviour interconnects through modern technology and economics, German playwright Philipp Löhle has you covered.

Review: 'Comedy of Errors' takes simple approach in Toronto's High Park Special

Toronto - With an implausible plot about mistaken identity and bawdy puns, “The Comedy of Errors” may be the Shakespeare play that's closest to being a “Three's Company” episode. Thankfully, Canadian Stage's new production doesn't pretend it's much more.

Review: ‘Caesar’ in High Park makes bold choices; not all of them work Special

Toronto - There are moments in Canadian Stage’s new “Julius Caesar” that are so affecting and original, you’re tempted to ignore other moments when it misfires. Director Estelle Shook turns this classic into high spectacle, but not always to its benefit.

Review: ‘Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play’ cleverly brightens the darkness Special

‘Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play’ is a little light on ‘The Simpsons’ content, but still a very inventive and entertaining adaptation of the beloved TV show.

Review: Drama brings dementia to another place in new Toronto production Special

Toronto - “When I add up the balance sheet of my life,” says Juliana (Tamsin Kelsey), a seemingly confident neurologist, in “The Other Place”, “the numbers say I'm happy.” But things are never as they look in this fresh depiction of mental illness.

Review: Holiday-Themed Toronto Theatre Special

Toronto - The holiday season is upon us whether we are ready for it or not. Take time to escape the madness with one of these theatre productions currently running in venues across the city.

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: 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.

Review: 'Venus in Fur' sizzles with humour, tension on the Toronto stage Special

Toronto - Gender politics are rarely as funny, or as thought-provoking, as they are in “Venus in Fur.” Making its Canadian debut in Toronto, David Ives' Tony-winning one-act play cleverly twists satire and eroticism into an exciting, sexy stage winner.

Review: Toronto High Park production attempts to tame Shrew's misogyny Special

Toronto - “The Taming of the Shrew” remains one of Shakespeare's most problematic and debated comedies, in its endorsement of male-dominated gender politics from four centuries ago. Is it possible to adapt the text in a way that's acceptable in 2013?

Review: Toronto's 'Macbeth' in High Park lacks tragic feeling and scope Special

Toronto - Nothing undermines a Shakespeare play like a tragic hero who can't arouse your sympathy. And “Macbeth”, in which the title role is a murderous usurper, particularly requires a lead who can charm empathy from an audience, in order for it to work.

Review: David Mamet's frank but unsatisfying 'Race' premieres in Toronto Special

Toronto - If David Mamet's “Race” were a musical, its big closing number would probably be “Everyone's a Little Bit Racist” from “Avenue Q”. It's a shame Mamet's play never quite reaches that tune's level of insight into humanity's tribal tendencies.

Canadian Stage director Daniel Brooks takes on racy Mamet play Special

Toronto - “I'm a good liberal, and I've always made a lot of assumptions about my own liberal purity,” says director Daniel Brooks. “I haven't thought a lot about race, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to enter a discussion about it.”

Review: Superbly scripted adultery comedy 'THIS' makes Toronto debut Special

Toronto - The theatre of Melissa James Gibson has arrived north, and it's about time. The Canuck scribe's 'THIS', a brilliantly written comedy-drama about a group of thirtysomething friends in crisis, opened at Toronto's Berkeley Street Theatre last night.

Review: Canadian debut of 'The Arsonists' a mixed bag of musical satire Special

Toronto - It's hard to believe that Max Frisch's darkly comic parable “The Arsonists” has never been staged in Canada before. The Toronto debut of the 1958 play captures Frisch's absurdism nicely – but also adds a rock-and-roll edge that doesn't really fit.

Review: Toronto's 'Dream' full of high energy, mixed performances Special

Toronto - Shakespeare in High Park marks its 30th season this year with the comedy that launched this annual Toronto tradition in 1983, “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, but the new production takes many unusual risks – many of which pay off.
 

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Orsino (Richard Lee) and a disguised Viola (Amelia Sargisson) find out that it takes two to tango in...
Orsino (Richard Lee) and a disguised Viola (Amelia Sargisson) find out that it takes two to tango in Canadian Stage's "Twelfth Night", in High Park.
Cylla von Tiedemann
Alex (David Schurmann  left) and Georgie (Carly Street) have themselves an encounter in Simon Stephe...
Alex (David Schurmann, left) and Georgie (Carly Street) have themselves an encounter in Simon Stephens' "Heisenberg".
Cylla von Tiedemann
Hamlet (Frank Cox-O’Connell) isn t quite at his best after his mother and uncle s marriage  in Can...
Hamlet (Frank Cox-O’Connell) isn't quite at his best after his mother and uncle's marriage, in Canadian Stage's "Hamlet".
Cylla von Tiedemann
Aging classical pianist Liv (Leslie Hope  left) finds a new purpose thanks to student Lore (Sheila I...
Aging classical pianist Liv (Leslie Hope, left) finds a new purpose thanks to student Lore (Sheila Ingabire-Isaro, right) in Canadian Stage's "Liv Stein".
Cylla von Tiedemann
Sylvia (Holly Lewis) and Billy (Stephen Drabicki) sign each other in Nina Raine s  Tribes   running ...
Sylvia (Holly Lewis) and Billy (Stephen Drabicki) sign each other in Nina Raine's "Tribes", running at Toronto's Berkeley Street Theatre.
David Hou
Ipswich residents react (in song) to the arrest of serial murderer Steven Wright  in Canadian Stage ...
Ipswich residents react (in song) to the arrest of serial murderer Steven Wright, in Canadian Stage's production of the extraordinary British musical "London Road"
David Hou
From left  Jonathon Young  Christian Laurin  Laura Condlln and Yanna McIntosh star in Melissa James ...
From left, Jonathon Young, Christian Laurin, Laura Condlln and Yanna McIntosh star in Melissa James Gibson's "THIS".
Bruce Zinger, Canadian Stage
Ian (Jim Mezon) confronts his wife Juliana (Tamsin Kelsey) in Sharr White s  The Other Place  in Tor...
Ian (Jim Mezon) confronts his wife Juliana (Tamsin Kelsey) in Sharr White's "The Other Place" in Toronto.
David Hou
Biedermann (Michael Ball)  left  unwittingly helps Eisenring (Shawn Wright) build a detonator in Can...
Biedermann (Michael Ball), left, unwittingly helps Eisenring (Shawn Wright) build a detonator in Canadian Stage's "The Arsonists".
Canadian Stage
L - R Colin Doyle  Amy Keating  Rielle Braid and Katherine Cullen. (Photo by David Leyes)
L - R Colin Doyle, Amy Keating, Rielle Braid and Katherine Cullen. (Photo by David Leyes)
rock-it promotions
Thomas (Rick Miller) and Vanda (Carly Street) get up to some (mostly verbal) shenanigans in David Iv...
Thomas (Rick Miller) and Vanda (Carly Street) get up to some (mostly verbal) shenanigans in David Ives' “Venus in Fur”, now running in Toronto.
David Hou
Petruchio (Kevin MacDonald) and Katherina (Sophie Goulet) go at it in Shakespeare in High Park s  Th...
Petruchio (Kevin MacDonald) and Katherina (Sophie Goulet) go at it in Shakespeare in High Park's "The Taming of the Shrew", in Toronto.
David Hou
Marianne (Cara Ricketts)  left  and Roland (Graham Cuthbertson) ponder love and the universe in Nick...
Marianne (Cara Ricketts), left, and Roland (Graham Cuthbertson) ponder love and the universe in Nick Payne's "Constellations".
Cylla von Tiedemann
Quebec actor and director Robert Lepage revisits his childhood hime in  887   now back at Canadian S...
Quebec actor and director Robert Lepage revisits his childhood hime in "887", now back at Canadian Stage.
Erick Labbé
Lear (Diane D Aquila) reunites with Cordelia (Amelia Sargisson) in  King Lear  at Shakespeare in Hig...
Lear (Diane D'Aquila) reunites with Cordelia (Amelia Sargisson) in "King Lear" at Shakespeare in High Park.
Cylla von Tiedemann

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