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. 

 

AN IDEAL HUSBAND, Stratford

Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck

“But director Lezlie Wade’s mostly sparkling new production at the Stratford Festival, reading the tenor of the times, alters what Wilde has to say to make his essential message more universal – and then, also, smartly raises an eyebrow to add: Up to a point, Lord Goring.”

Toronto Star – Carly Maga

Wade’s production keeps its light tone by presenting a group of characters who, despite their predicaments, seem to be enjoying themselves, thank you very much.”

Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

Where Stratford’s current production fails is in not looking deeply enough into the characters of Lord Goring and Mrs. Cheveley.”

COME FROM AWAY, Mirvish

Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck

“And the new Toronto cast provides a chance for some Canadian performers you may know from ‘supporting’ or ‘featured’ roles to take the lead in this kinetic ensemble production directed by Christopher Ashley.”

Toronto Star – Carly Maga

“This new cast reveals humour as one of the driving forces behind the musical’s identity and message — it builds bonds, it invites, and it makes unimaginable circumstances bearable to start, and eventually joyous.

NOW Magazine – Susan G. Cole

“Christopher Ashley, who won a Tony award for direction, keeps everyone moving non-stop, ingeniously recreating the vibe on a plane, on a careening bus or in a packed bar. If anything, it all moves at almost too much of a breakneck speed.

Slotkin Letter – Lynn Slotkin

“It’s a wonderful story told in this glorious musical and yes, in these troubled times, this show is needed. See it and take Kleenex.”

Stage Door Christopher Hoile

“The result is a musical where the acting and singing of the cast and the folk music–inspired playing of the nine onstage musicians combine in the united goal of telling a story in the most effective way possible.”

INNOCENCE LOST, Soulpepper

Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

“The first act also effectively draws the growing concentric circles of the case — local, provincial, national — though it does start to feel heavy with claims and counterclaims. The second-act storyline about journalist Isabel LeBourdais’ campaign on Truscott’s behalf adds welcome focus and a few extended dialogue-driven scenes to break up the direct audience address.”

Stage Door Christopher Hoile

“Beverley Cooper’s play is still vitally relevant.”

LA BETE, Soulpepper

Globe and Mail – Martha Schabas

“The second reason for the production’s sophistication is the performances. As Valere, Prest is a force to be reckoned with; he is crude, loud, bawdy and hilarious from start to finish. He’s matched by Wilson, whose onstage presence I always find remarkably intense. ”

Toronto Star – Carly Maga

“The entire first act, epitomized by that 30-minute monologue, is the 17th-century version of aggressive mansplaining. Wilson’s pained faces in that time are priceless. And there’s a smart turn in act two when Elomire concocts a plan to oust Valere, and he responds with a particular, unforeseen bite as he calls her “darling” and “dear,” and “a star should take her lickings with a smile.””

NOW Magazine – Glenn Sumi

“[Gregory] Prest, best known as a dramatic actor, is a revelation as the title character, nimble not just vocally but also physically (he’s helped by the unflattering makeup and ridiculous rags by designer Shannon Lea Doyle).

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, Stratford

Toronto Star – Carly Maga

The pairing of Scott Wentworth and Seana McKenna as the heads of the Tyrone family is ingenious — not only do they share decades at the festival (his 24 to her 27), he’s also directing her turn as Julius Caesar this season.”

Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

“Those who have seen the play before will find that the work is so rich there is always more to learn, especially when the two brothers are so well played as here.  Three-and-a-half hours may seem long for a play, but when it is so involving as this, the time passes by almost too swiftly.”

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, Stratford

Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

Loughran and her company have pushed the boat out with this production, which is welcome, but things could also have been taken further.”

Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

The Stratford Festival’s latest production of The Comedy of Errors is given a potentially intriguing concept if it were used wisely.”

THE MUSIC MAN, Stratford

Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

Two hours and 40 minutes fly by. I didn’t want this show to end.”

NOW Magazine – Susan G. Cole

Seventy-Six Trombones got a standing ovation, something I’ve never seen mid-show. The ensemble, including the kids and led by the brilliant dancer Devon Michael-Brown, has fantastic energy.”

Slotkin Letter – Lynn Slotkin

So, while the show is lively, energetically danced with the requisite gymnastic moves,  there is a lot more to The Music Man than just out front singing and dancing, and I found that depth missing in this production.”

Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

Buy your tickets now.  This will be, no doubt, the hit of the season.”

THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, Stratford

Toronto Star – Karen Fricker

Director/choreographer Donna Feore’s production plays directly into this layered nostalgia, which makes for an entertaining evening (with a lot more f-bombs and double entendre than we’re used to at Stratford) but one that sidesteps real engagement with the material’s queer sensibility.”

Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

Eyebrows were raised when the Stratford Festival announced it would present The Rocky Horror Show in its 2018 season and eyebrows will be raised even higher once audiences see the production which is even lewder than the 1975 cult film.”

THE TEMPEST, Stratford

Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck

I’ve never heard anyone speak the word “art” with quite the passion or the power that Martha Henry does playing Prospero in The Tempest at the Stratford Festival.”

Toronto Star – Carly Maga

Henry’s esteem at the festival after 43 seasons — the first of which cast her as Miranda against William Hutt as Prospero (the first of his two cracks at the role) — shows in her Prospero, which is so comfortable with the language that with a casual and relaxed delivery (even daring to mumble a few words, God forbid) she actually builds upon its strengths.”

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Stratford

Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck

But in some ways Williams’s production is strongest when it simply embraces the fact that we are viewing a story of Southern racism told through a limited lens.”

Toronto Star – Carly Maga

Nigel Shawn Williams is going in with a bang.”

Stage Door – Christopher Hoile

At intermission and after the show, everyone seems to be talking about how wonderful the child actors are.  They do so with good reason.  The children are wonderful.”