“BLOOD WEDDINGS”; Hatfield/McCoys or Romeo/Juliet Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
            It is great to have the presentation of a modern classic in a bold new version.  Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, had an “abiding insistence on the interdependence of love and death,” according to one critic.  This is clear in the current production of Blood Weddings/Bodas de Sangre , at Buddies in Bad Times. The show is a remounting of the 2015 collaboration between Modern Times Stage Company, led by Iranian-Canadian director Soheil Parsa (director choreographer of this play) and Aluna Theatre, a Latin-Canadian theatre company whose Artistic Director is Beatriz Pizano.

Kwan; Pizano; Lauzon; Yaraghi & Bush in BLOOD WEDDINGS

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A ‘Convenient’ guide to Korean culture Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience is a stunning masterpiece – a speeding train that never stops until Soulpepper’s production of this one act, full length comedy concludes ninety minutes later. The conductor, who keeps the train moving, is Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who has played the role of convenience store owner, Appa, in every production since the play’s origins at the fringe festival, in Toronto, in 2011. He has now given over 400 performances in 10 Canadian cities – and starred in the successful spin off last fall, on CBC TV. The show has already been renewed for next season. Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann

Choi; Lee; Yoon; Kung & Sills, of KIM'S CONVENIENCE

     Choi; Lee; Yoon; Kung & Sills, of KIM’S CONVENIENCE

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TSO concert; not your usual holiday Tchaikovsky Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo ReviewerSylvie2                    

While many musicians may find themselves rehearsing The Nutcracker this season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra found themselves performing other works by Tchaikovsky earlier this week at Roy Thompson Hall. While only one of the pieces performed was intended to debut in the theatre, this evening’s program was as drama-filled as the Russian composer’s life.
There exists no formal record of the chronology of the piece, the Overture for Hamlet conjures images of love and loss. One cannot help but recall the sweet melancholy of Ophelia when listening to oboist Keith Atkinson.

The T.S.O. members in a formal photograph
t-s-o-supplied-official-shot

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“THE CIRCLE”; teens look for love, family & escape Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
What starts out as a typical – though especially fraught and edgy – high school garage party on a suburban Friday night ends in a starkly unexpected way, in Geoffrey Simon Brown’s play The Circle, at the Tarragon Extraspace.  The 26-year-old playwright, close in age to his characters, says the play is about growing up, about family, about friends, about violence and the points where people are stretched so far that they break, and “ultimately, beyond anything else, this is a play about love, about understanding, and hopefully, about forgiveness.”  He has produced a script that is both daring and beautifully-crafted.  Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Duval; Ehman; Endicott-Douglas & Ellis..part of "The Group"

Duval; Ehman; Endicott-Douglas & Ellis…part of “The Circle”

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“The Last Donnelly Standing” fires up history Reply

Review by E. Lisa MosesReviewer E. Lisa
Based on a true story, fit for the finest crime novels, the Blyth Festival’s world premiere of The Last Donnelly Standing resurrects a sinister slice of 19th-century Ontario history. Written by Paul Thompson and Gil Garratt – well known Canadian playwrights, actors and artistic directors, the one-person show challenges the audience to ride along with a tortured soul trying to make sense of his tragic life. Beth Kates’s clever set evokes the spirit of raw and rustic rural Ontario, whether it’s the family homestead, the local watering hole or the big horse-drawn wagon that hauls commercial loads.

Gil Garratt as Robert Donnally

Gil Garratt as Robert Donnelly,  ( Photo by Terry Manzo)

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“As You (WILL) Like it” @ Stratford Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
                        Joke:- Do you know how Les Canadiens™ came about?   Seems a ‘Newfie’ was playing hockey on the St. Lawrence … and got a breakaway!!! Rationale for the above: –Jillian Keiley’s locale setting for “AS YOU LIKE IT” circa 1980, and its only one of numerous surprises that Madame Director has in store for her Stratford audience. A dress code; seeing the cast-members performing on stage before curtain; a goody bag of items needed during the performance; requisite audience participation under strict direction and the play is a semi-musical! ***All Stratford photos by David Hou

Robin Hutton & her NFLD Reelers, amusing the audience

Robin Hutton & her NFLD Reelers, amusing the audience and the cast

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