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Showing posts from August, 2011

TIFF is Coming!

Buying one or two tickets to the Toronto International Film Festival? Well, mark your calendars! These tickets go on sale on September 3rd.

By Phone: 416-599-8433 or 1-888-599-8433
In Person: Metro Centre, 225 King Street West (underground Concourse level)
On-line: (follow the links)

NB: VISA is the only credit card accepted by TIFF.

Image courtesy of:

ONE: A Rose-ie Winner at SummerWorks

When I took this picture with director, Eric Rose, we had no idea that he would win an award at SummerWorks. Congratulations, Eric!

SummerWorks AwardWinner!
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: Eric Rose forONE.

For a list of other award recipients, please visit:

SummerWorks Reviews: Hot Marmalade and Social Work

Mr. Marmalade
SW Description: Comparable to an episode of Rugrats on LSD, Mr. Marmalade centres around Lucy, age four, and her abusive relationship with her imaginary friend, a violent, sex-obsessed drug addict. The play examines children pressured into adult situations. Our site-specific production takes audiences on the opposite journey, inside the walls of a kindergarten classroom.

Cast: David Storch, Amy Keating, Katherine Cullen, Sebastien Heins, Ishai Buchbinder, Jason Chinn, Producer: Simon Bloom, Designer: Jon Grosz, Audience Guide/Stage Manager: Ava Jane Markus.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Review: Four year old Lucy knows too much about the sully side of adult life. Her vocabulary is full of phrases she has obviously overheard, and her adult imaginary friend, Mr. Marmalade (David Storch) is a manifestation of what she has absorbed. Absurd and heartbreakingly funny, we laugh at the well-acted performance of Amy Keating (Lucy) as we follow her character around a classroom filled wi…

SummerWorks Review: 5 Stars for This Greek ONE


SW Description: The events of the play surround two characters. One is a 23-year old Greek waiter named George who has a confidence issue when it comes to a girl he likes. The other is a 15-year old Greek kid named Kostas D.
My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review: It was fun spending some time listening to the boys and men of the Danforth talk about cars, women, haircuts. They talk of borders as if they live in a world outside of Toronto, a world in which Greek culture comfortably flourishes with its sense of community, but also confines with its traditions. The cast is larger than needed (the female roles could easily have been played by one actress, for example), and the character of George is not well-acted, but I loved the actor who played Kostas, and enjoyed seeing this Toronto story on a mainstream stage.

Remaining Performances
Factory Studio
Friday August 12th 5:30 PM
Saturday August 13th 3:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 8:00 PM

SW Description:
A retelling of the Orpheus myth f…

SummerWorks Review: Hurray for The Trolley Car

Trolley Car
SW Description: In German-occupied Paris, impulsive Florence is drawn into a tempestuous love triangle with her husband’s cousin Inez. Originally commissioned and premiered by Solo Collective from Vancouver, this sleek three-hander presents a boldly theatrical look at the choices we make during frightening times—and our complicity in the events that follow.
My Rating: ****½ 4.5/5 Stars

My Review:
The familiar plot of the love triangle is given a refreshing polish by Amiel Gladstone’s script which offers the right amount of levity in apposition to the serious nature of the play. Gladstone may have borrowed some dialogue and the character of Inez from Jean Paul Sartre’s No Exit, but this does not diminish the fact that The Trolley Car is Gladstone’s creation.

Monica Dottor hooks the audience from the very moment she steps onto the stage as Florence. Dottor’s vocal and facial inflections express perfectly Florence’s attraction to a life of parties and passion as well as the weig…

SummerWorks Reviews: Long Dark Night, Dancing, Still Life

SW Description: A film noir musical comedy set in the red light district of an anonymous city, Long Dark Night follows one night in the life of philandering alcoholic private detective Skip Tracer as he becomes entangled with the beautiful but dangerous Femme Fatale.

My Rating: Play *** 3/5 stars; Actress, Jessica Moss ***** 5/5 stars

My Review: Jessica Moss is the best reason to see this play. She is perfect in the role as Irene Pffeffener, the secretary in love with her drunken, not so bright, private dick boss, Skip Tracer (John McNeill). Moss has the right cadence for her 1940’s Gal Friday character and a good singing voice. Her comic timing and wonderful chops brings the right comic timing and vocal ability to the show’s first song, “Good For You”, an internal monologue in which she expresses her love for Tracer. Moss dominates her duet with Colin Murphy’s Frankie, a shady insurance man. Perhaps a body mic would help Murphy project beyond the front row of Theatre P…

SummerWorks Review: Hero & Leander

Company: Common Descent
Lyrics: Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Music: Scott Christian, Book: Kevin Michael Shea
Director: Kevin Michael Shea

Description: Two would-be lovers must overcome the dangerous sea that divides them, and hide their affair from a disillusioned Venus. Common Descent turns ancient tragedy into romantic comedy in this musical about love, sex, and commitment.

My Rating: ** 2/5 Stars

My Review: There is a great story here, but as I watched the play unfold, I concluded that the current version wasn't ready to be told by this ensemble. With the exception of Rob Kempson, who plays Ganymede, a former prince, now love slave/boyfriend of the callous, non-monogamous Neptune, the cast is not strong enough to take the material to the heights and lows the scripts demand. The character of Venus should a Diva of a lush, with more bawdy dialogue than she is presently given. Actress Kimberly Persona tries her best, and her song about love "what is it?" shou…