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iPhoto caption: Jessica Vosk and Kelli Barrett in Beaches the Musical. Photo by Trudie Lee.

‘Their most important love is for each other’: Inside the lifelong female friendships of Beaches the Musical

“Usually, when we put women on the stage, we either pit them against each other for the affections of a man,” says actor Kelli Barrett, who stars opposite Jessica Vosk in Beaches the Musical. “A platonic female friendship that is still a love story is very rare — not since Wicked, and even then, Glinda and Elphaba are mortal enemies for a long time.”

By Aisling Murphy / May 24, 2024
iPhoto caption: Photo by Michael Cooper

REVIEW: Chiara Isotton burns like a supernova in COC’s Medea

Isotton is riveting, offering a masterful vocal and physical performance that swings wildly from one emotional episode to the next.

By Stephen Low / May 24, 2024
iPhoto caption: Jessica Vosk and Kelli Barrett in Beaches the Musical. Photo by Trudie Lee.

‘Their most important love is for each other’: Inside the lifelong female friendships of Beaches the Musical

“Usually, when we put women on the stage, we either pit them against each other for the affections of a man,” says actor Kelli Barrett, who stars opposite Jessica Vosk in Beaches the Musical. “A platonic female friendship that is still a love story is very rare — not since Wicked, and even then, Glinda and Elphaba are mortal enemies for a long time.”

By Aisling Murphy / May 24, 2024
iPhoto caption: Photo by Michael Cooper

REVIEW: Chiara Isotton burns like a supernova in COC’s Medea

Isotton is riveting, offering a masterful vocal and physical performance that swings wildly from one emotional episode to the next.

By Stephen Low / May 24, 2024
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz.

The Wrong Bashir is a celebration of family both on and off the stage

“What's great about this play,” says actor Sugith Varughese, “is that it respects and honours the culture and traditions of [the Ismaili] community, but also it takes them for granted. Non-Ismaili audiences are going to be dropped into the world of this family, this community. It’s a bit ‘inside baseball’ to start, but you’ll figure it out. It’s like a medical show where you just get caught up in the jargon. What Zahida is doing… represents a maturity of cultural expression, which is why I wanted to do the play.”

By Nathaniel Hanula-James / May 22, 2024
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz.

REVIEW: seven methods of killing kylie jenner is vital and raw

seven methods of killing kylie jenner is a slam dunk, a poignant meditation on Black womanhood, internet culture, and the cult of celebrity.

By Aisling Murphy / May 22, 2024

Reviews

iPhoto caption: Photo by Michael Cooper

REVIEW: Chiara Isotton burns like a supernova in COC’s Medea

Isotton is riveting, offering a masterful vocal and physical performance that swings wildly from one emotional episode to the next.

By Stephen Low
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz.

REVIEW: seven methods of killing kylie jenner is vital and raw

seven methods of killing kylie jenner is a slam dunk, a poignant meditation on Black womanhood, internet culture, and the cult of celebrity.

By Aisling Murphy
iPhoto caption: Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil.

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil is back in town, an echo of circuses past

It should say something about the Cirque du Soleil brand that even a show like ECHO — unclear in concept and messy around the edges — is a great time for audience members of all ages.

By Aisling Murphy
iPhoto caption: Photo courtesy of Canadian Opera Company.

REVIEW: A new take on Don Pasquale re-imagines its lead as a cat-loving crank

If you love cats, you’ll like Barbe & Doucet’s production of Don Pasquale. 

By Stephen Low
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz

REVIEW: Studio 180 Theatre’s Four Minutes Twelve Seconds stirs one moment and puzzles the next

As the script ties itself in narrative knots, Megan Follows never loses sight of the dramatic situation’s overwhelming nature; it’s as if her character is fending off a panic attack at every moment, grabbing onto any scrap of hope she can.

By Liam Donovan
iPhoto caption: Photo by Dahlia Katz.

REVIEW: Beautiful Scars is a rousing, heartfelt new musical on the life of Tom Wilson

In Beautiful Scars, Hamilton’s hometown hero shares his life story, using the ever-magnetic Sheldon Elter as a mouthpiece.

By Aisling Murphy

Spotlight

iPhoto caption: Philip Akin at home. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Spotlight: Philip Akin

“I don't know why it is being placed on Black people to change minds,” says Akin. “I ain't here to pick your intellectual cotton.”

Written by Fiona Raye Clarke, Photography by Dahlia Katz
iPhoto caption: "There are some actors for whom the delight of being funny just fills up every part of what they do, and Maev Beaty is one of those actors," says director Chris Abraham. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Spotlight: Maev Beaty

“I’ve really realized that those minutes that I spend on stage are minutes of my life,” says Beaty. “We're not up there to present good, clean work — we’re up there to try and catch some truth for the listener that is shared in real time. You can't do that if you're just presenting your good homework; you have to live.”

Written by Mira Miller, Photography by Dahlia Katz

Spotlight: Yvette Nolan

“I don’t believe in this world. I don’t see how we can pull ourselves back from the brink. Human beings are greedy, and not mindful, and the only way I can think about making the world better is by getting rid of a lot of it.”

Written by Aisling Murphy, Photography by Dahlia Katz
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Artist Perspectives

iPhoto caption: Rose Napoli appears as Margaret in her play Mad Madge. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

What is a feminist rom-com?

Rose Napoli reflects on Mad Madge, rom-coms, and the undeniable power of Patrick Swayze.

By Rose Napoli
iPhoto caption: Image by Haley Sarfeld.

Every play is fantastic: A small-city theatre critic’s manifesto

My top priority as a critic will be to furnish every marketing team with as many easily quotable compliments as possible. I'll do this dutifully and without ambivalence.

By Haley Sarfeld

Invisibility cloaks, cardboard rockets, and flying orbs of light: Here’s how Canadian theatre uses the art of magic

In many ways, theatre artists and magicians have the same job. We push the bounds of a live experience to startle audiences into confronting their realities. We aim to tell stories that linger. For a magician, there’s no such thing as “it can’t be done.” It can always be done, one way or another.

By Michael Kras
iPhoto caption: Urjo Kareda was an Estonian-born Canadian theatre and music critic, dramaturg, and stage director. He died in 2001.

Urjo Kareda was metal as hell 

A sign outside Urjo Kareda's office read, "no whining." A framed letter inside said "Fuck you, Mr. Kareda."

By Ivana Shein

The good and the bad (and everything in between)

If we’re not building a theatre that can hold the contradictions of our time, let alone the contradictions that make humans human, we probably shouldn’t be making theatre.

By Cole Lewis, , Patrick Blenkarn

An open letter to lighting designers

At a time when theatres are struggling to get their pre-pandemic audiences back, it’s shocking that strobe lights are still featured in many productions. They might seem like a splashy yet innocuous design choice, but they are at best a barrier for potential audience members — and, at worst, they have painful consequences.

By Hannah Foulger