Interested in checking out what’s on this week? We’ve rounded up some reviews so you can pick the play that’s right for you. Click the name of the show below or scroll down the page to find the list of reviews.

 

BEARS, Alberta Aboriginal/Punctuate!

  • Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck

  • “The eight dancers conjure all of this in a witty, rather than literal, manner, swirling around Floyd in glow-in-the-dark costumes and across a set that brings to mind a 1990s rave as much as the great outdoors.”
    • Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

    • Bears, a production from Edmonton currently visiting the Theatre Centre, pulls off this improbable task using a combination of ingenuity, humour, and the fire of political commitment.”

CALPURNIA, Nightwood

      • Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck

      • Calpurnia (…) has an undeniably great premise – with its ripped-from-Twitter arguments about our ongoing culture wars over appropriation, intersectionality and what exactly it means to be ‘woke.’ Problems, unfortunately, arise in Dwyer’s execution of her concept – primarily because she’s put characters on stage who are not internally consistent.”
      • NOW Magazine – Glenn Sumi

        “Audrey Dwyer’s new sure-to-sell-out play (…) will get you laughing, thinking and (occasionally) shifting uncomfortably in your seat.”

      • Slotkin Letter – Lynn Slotkin

      • “Each of the six characters could have a whole play devoted to them individually.”

A DELICATE BALANCE, Soulpepper

      • Globe and Mail – Martin Morrow

      • “If anything, this revival of Edward Albee’s 1966 play is a reminder of what we’ve come to value in Soulpepper over the years: well-crafted, skillfully acted productions of the classics.”
      • Toronto Star – Carly Maga

      • A Delicate Balance itself reflects a mood of upheaval, of simmering unpleasantness beneath the veneer of a wealthy, happy American family.”

DR SEUSS’ THE LORAX, Mirvish

      • Globe and Mail – Martin Morrow

      • “Given a certain U.S. president’s desire to claw back environmental protection and enable corporate greed, the Lorax’s message feels far more urgent this holiday season than that of his better-known Seussian cousin, the Grinch.”
      • Toronto Star – Carly Maga

      • “The latest addition to the holiday theatre offerings for the family is also the most pointedly political, except this time it features a plump orange creature with a message that we should have heeded long ago.”
      • NOW Magazine Trevor Campbell

      • “Despite a hardworking cast and some clever staging, it’s a bit like a thneed: Seuss-speak for a tangled mass of yarn that claims to do everything but that we don’t really need.”
      • Slotkin Letter – Lynn Slotkin

      • “Thinking as a purist, the production of The Lorax seems like an overblown way of dealing with such an important subject as the environment.”
      • Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

      • “Based on Dr. Seuss’s 1972 book, the show is ideal family entertainment filled with song and whimsical design that brings Seuss’s distinctive illustrations to three-dimensional life.”

      HAMLET, Tarragon

      Globe and Mail – Martha Schabas

      “The production felt like a kind of protracted conceptual chaos in which very basic questions about what world the action inhabited and how it related to the music (or the audience) hadn’t been asked, let alone resolved.”

          • Toronto Star – Carly Maga

          • “There are some stunning moments where music, performance, and lighting by Jason Hand come together in powerful synchronicity, such as one of the few instances where Shakespeare’s text is actually sung, featuring Jack Nicholsen and Beau Dixon as the two actors in the play within the play, where Dixon is so ferocious that it’s no wonder Claudius outs himself as the murderer of his brother, Hamlet’s father.”
          • NOW Magazine – Glenn Sumi

            “I hope a lot of students go see the Tarragon’s Hamlet. (…) it offers a refreshing, immediate take on the world’s most famous play that should appeal to those with few preconceptions about the work. And who knew that the Bard’s famous lines could withstand a steady, pulsing bass beat?”

          • Slotkin Letter Lynn Slotkin

          • “[Noah Reid] is a thoughtful, emotional Hamlet. He’s brooding, heartsick, and a bit of a hot-head. And he plays the ukulele and accordion with aplomb.”
          • Stage Door Christopher Hoile

          • “(…) those who know the play well will deplore Rose’s willingness to drown out key portions of Shakespeare’s text, like Hamlet’s soliloquies, with music.”

      KRAPP’S LAST TAPE, Passe Muraille

    • Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

    • “Bob Nasmith is one of those iconoclastic members of the original Passe Muraille company and his presence in the title role adds to this sense of the production being offered as a living memorial of his generation’s contributions.”
    • THE LATE HENRY MOSS, Unit 102

      NOW Magazine – Jordan Bimm

      “Unit 102’s intense production of Sam Shepard’s lesser known play provides a moving homage to the late playwright.”

        • Slotkin Letter Lynn Slotkin

        • “for all its heightened emotion, The Late Henry Moss is one deadly dull evening in the theatre because the play seems so padded. “
        • LEAR, Groundling

        • Globe and Mail – Martin Morrow

        • “Making her a woman results in a subtle but significant shift in the play’s dynamics. This is now a mother-daughter tragedy. When McKenna’s trim, silver-haired Lear divides her kingdom among her girls, she does so not as a rash old dotard but as a cold, brusque autocrat who won’t tolerate dispute.”
        • Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

        • “McKenna’s all-out, heart-wrenching performance is more than enough to recommend Graham Abbey’s production, which bears the emerging hallmarks of the Groundling approach.”
        • NOW Magazine – Susan G. Cole

          “Seana McKenna is breathing new life into Lear.”

        • Slotkin Letter Lynn Slotkin

        • “The naïve Cordelia, as played by Mercedes Morris, does not play the flattery game as her sisters do and she endures her mother’s wrath because of it. This is a more subdued performance from Morris. This is a Cordelia full of compassion.”
        • Stage Door Christopher Hoile

        • “To be effective an actor cannot merely fall back on familiar techniques but must find new means of expression to suit the new world of utter deprivation and madness that Lear encounters. This, unfortunately, is exactly what McKenna does not do except for a few moments where she allows us a glimpse of rawer emotion than she has hitherto ever shown on stage.”
        • MUSTARD, Tarragon

        • Slotkin Letter Lynn Slotkin

        • “A very funny comedy with a deeper sensibility.”
        • Stage Door Christopher Hoile

        • “[Playwright Kat Sandler] shows she can also plumb deeper into emotion to uncover the gentler humour of human fallibility.”
        • MY FUNNY VALENTINE, Zee Zee

        • Toronto Star – Carly Maga

        • “It never ceases to be a relevant topic to explore through live performance and sensitive writing, but in a way, exploring the impact of intolerant violence upon a community has become more common, so shedding new light is increasingly difficult to do.”
        • NOW Magazine – Glenn Sumi

          “Dave Deveau’s scattered, unfocused script, which features monologues from those on the periphery of the incident, including a concerned teacher, the homophobic father of the murderer and an elderly gay man who once saw the queer student’s message in a chat room, never comes together. “

        • Slotkin Letter Lynn Slotkin

        • “A thoughtful, moving exploration of a horrific murder from the point of view of how it affected many of the people surrounding the story.”
        • Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

        • “Deveau’s play is not at all what one might expect on this subject. His willingness to reveal the outright hatred and, perhaps even more depressing, the indifference of some of his characters shows how difficult it is to make people see injustice even when they are only one or two steps removed from a hate crime.”
          • THE WEDDING PARTY, Crow’s

        • Slotkin Letter Lynn Slotkin

        • “(…) with the gifted Tom Rooney and the equally gifted Chris Abraham directing, this impossible feat is pulled off with aplomb.”