Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Most of us remember Alice’s words, “curiouser and curiouser”, as she explored the absurdities of Wonderland, sometimes funny; sometimes scary. In this elaborate and truly extra-ordinary production of Alice in Wonderland at the Shaw Festival, Alice’s curiosity and courage help her overcome fear and confusion, as she journeys through a world of imagination, reflecting Victorian society & turning it upside-down.
Oxford mathematics professor, Charles Dodgson, originally created the story in 1862, while taking the three Liddell sisters – including Alice – on a summer afternoon boat ride. Dodgson published the classic novel under the pen-name, Lewis Carroll, in 1865, and staged in 1886.
The cast of ALICE in WONDERLAND – photo by David Cooper
Review by Judith Robinson
Stratford’s stunning production of Arthur Miller’s, All My Sons, takes the audience on a gut-wrenching, roller coaster in which the concepts of loyalty, patriotism and the American Dream are tested and tried. Recommendation- watch the show with seat belt fastened. There are twists and turns in every scene and something evil lurks beneath the surface. As the tree – so skillfully split by lightening in the first scene indicates – make the wrong move and you’re dead.
There is a lot of death and destruction in Miller’s brilliant script, first produced in 1947, but there is also a lot of hope. Photo courtesy of David Hou
Blake & Afful in a dramatic on-stage moment
Review by Judith Robinson
Wendy Wasserstein’s play, The Heidi Chronicles, captures the essence of Hillary Clinton’s generation of feminists. With its female encounter groups, strobe light dances, protest movements, power lunches and baby showers, the Soulpepper production, tracks the progress of the women’s movement from the 1960’s to 1990’s America, and provides glimpses of pivotal moments in a woman’s life—from her teens to her forties.
In a compelling performance by Michelle Monteith, Heidi Holland, an art historian/professor, has made it her life’s mission to make sure women artists aren’t erased from the canon of prominent painters.
The original off-Broadway cast of the HEIDI CHRONICLES
Review by Danny Gaisin
The GTA’s ‘Fringe Festival’ season looms just over the horizon; what better time to stage a couple of Fringe-type 1-hour plays than now! Izad Etemadi’s “LAUGH WITH LEILA” and “XOXO: the RELATIONSHIP SHOW” created & starring Meghan Chalmers & Franny McCabe-Bennett, both inform and educate as well as entertain.
The former one-man effort introduces us to a young and single Iranian girl growing up in post-Shah Pahlevi Persia and under the sharia rule of Khomeini. ‘Hijab’; Chador; ‘Niqab’ and Burkas are all humorously defined and visually delineated.
Izad Etemadi’s “LEILA”
Chalmers & McCabe-Bennett’s “XOXO RELATIONSHIPS”
Review by Michael Piscitelli
A play should make you feel. If it doesn’t, it falls short. If it does, it hits you like a truck and makes your heart race. You despise a character or alternatively appreciate an actor for a terrific performance. Lemon by Andrew Markowiak hits the mark as part of Filament Incubator’s #8playsin8months.
Lemon is the story of a girl named Liz (Julia Hussey) coming home after 5 years away, dreading and cursing the slim pickings of the post-school job market, and decides to open a lemonade stand out on her parent’s front lawn.
LEMON’s creative play poster