By Judith Robinson
The Adventures of The Black Girl in Her Search for God – Lisa Codrington’s adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s 1932 short story – is an over-the-top satire on western civilization’s attempts to convert Africans to the Judeo-Christian model. And the Shaw Festival’s lunch hour production is zany, outrageous and through provoking. Director, Ravi Jain, kept the energy high. Characters moved in and off the stage, through trap doors, across the balcony and through the audience. The tone and pitch was intense and the actions at times frenetic. The third wall was frequently smashed. Photo by David Cooper
the cast of ‘BLACK GIRL…”
By Ellen S. Jaffe
TOLLER (Toller-on-the-run Productions), written and directed by Sky Gilbert, is about figure-skater Toller Cranston as he muses on his life and times. The piece was inspired by Cranston’s 1997 memoir Zero Tollerance: An Intimate Memoir by The Man That Revolutionized Figure Skating. Gilbert premiered the play at the Artword Artbar in November 2015 and remounted it for the Toronto Fringe. David Benjamin Tomlinson re-creates his brilliant portrayal of Toller, talking about isolation, identity, sexuality, art and beauty, in language that conveys both sparkle and shadow. More…
Review by Danny Gaisin
Episode 2 in the Figaro Saga. When we left off; Figaro- the factotum cum barber had finessed Rosina away from her patron Dr. Bartolo and arranged for her to be with her Count Almaviva (aka) Lindoro.
Mozart takes up the story a half-decade later. Almaviva has turned into a horny married old man; hired a maid for his countess (Rosina) and employed Figaro as his butler. Figaro wants to marry maid Susanna; Almaviva wants to deflower her before the wedding.
Cue the overture!
l-r Bartolo; Basilio; Marcellina; Almaviva; Figaro; Susanna & Rosina
Review by E. Lisa Moses
Alfred Uhry’s 1987 magnum opus, Driving Miss Daisy, never runs out of gas. At the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, actor Michael Learned (famous for playing “Olivia Walton”) alternately grinds the gears and jump-starts the cantankerous widow, Miss Daisy. At age 72, Daisy is forced by her son Boolie, played by Darren Keay, to use a chauffeur after she wipes out her Chrysler in spectacular demolition-derby style.
Directed by David Hogan, this one-act play set in Atlanta, Georgia in the mid-1990s tracks a 20-year friendship between the white Jewish (but “not rich”) Daisy and Neville Edwards’s steadfast black chauffeur Hoke Colburn. Photo by Diane ODell, of Ms. Learned & Neville Edwards
As in previous years our Ontario Arts Review will endeavor to cover as many of the entries as our time and writer-availability will permit. Having received venue and backing support from Honest Ed’s, the Fringe Administration has decided to caricature the store’s famous logo in the late Ed Mirvish’s honour. We’ll be adding and updating our critiques on a daily basis, so be sure and check out the column regularly. Remember, many Fringe-style offerings (including Toronto’s) have gone on to mainstream performances. ‘The Fantasticks’; ‘Urinetown’; and ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ are just the most renowned. If you see us and notice our Press accreditation badges – say hello! We’re Terry, Danny, Jordan, Ellen & Michael.
Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin
The concept of an accepted program of familiar arias from classical opera presented in a concert format has faded into a same old, same old listing of ‘Nessun dorma; Habanera; “Au fond du temple Sainte” and the flower duet from Lakmé, usually with the invariable divas & divos. The National Academy Orchestra’s Brott summer Festival has pushed the envelope. Less familiar arias; new voices and program notes defining the actual pieces made this year’s edition a novel experience, especially for aficionados of the genre.
the soloists taking well-deserved kudos