What's on this weekend ... October 27-29th

by Liza Mattimore

There is quite a lot on stages around town these days, and a bunch of buzz worthy shows are closing this weekend so you are definitely gonna want to shake off the cold and head to the theatre. Here are our top picks...

 Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools Co-creators Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools Co-creators Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

Kiinalik in the Inuktitut language refers to a knife's sharp edge and literally means the knife "has a face".  By embodying their heritage, co-Creators Evalyn Perry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, two women from vastly different worlds come together to put a face to colonialism, power, gender, sexuality and the rapidly changing climate that lies between them.  Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools is part concert and part conversation, a meeting place somewhere between North and South.  

We were able to see this show during the opening last night and were absolutely spellbound.  Although Kinnalik is perhaps not as tightly conceived as some of Evalyn's other work this is a fantastic and clear collaboration. Kiinalik is a theatrical piece that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.  Justin and I were mesmorizied both by Kaitlin Hickey's incredible set which features actual ice blocks, and the live video by Elysha Poirier which gave context and grace to the transcendent music of Evalyn, Laakkuluk and cellist Cris Derksen. 

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools is a co-Production of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille. The show is on at Buddies until November 5th. Tickets available here.

directed by ERIN BRUBACHER
live video by ELYSHA POIRIER
lighting design by REBECCA PICHERACK
set design by KAITLIN HICKEY
stage manager CHRISTINA CICKO


Opening this weekend at the Streetcar Crowsnest is Nightwood Theatre's Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells.) We are eager to see this new play by Rose Napoli which examines a student/teacher relationship through the lens of feminism. Lo wrestles with issues of burgeoning sexuality, and consent, literature and passion, right and wrong. Developed through Nightwood Theatre’s Write from the Hip playwright’s unit this new work is sure to give you pause. Click here for tickets.

Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells) 
Written by: Rose Napoli
Directed by: Andrea Donaldson
featuring: Vivien Endicott Douglas
Sam Kalilieh
On until November 11th.  

 Fiona Reid, Claire Burns and Anne van Leeuwen in  The Chance

Fiona Reid, Claire Burns and Anne van Leeuwen in The Chance

Closing this weekend is Leroy Street Theatre's production of The Chance by George F. Walker.  In this dark comedy, a down on her luck Walmart worker (Fiona Reid) finds a cheque made out to cash, but instead of returning it she schemes with her stripper daughter (Claire Burns) and best friend Amie (Anne van Leeuwen) to keep the money and start a new life.  The show has been getting great reviews with critics and looks like a raucously good time.  You've only got a few more days to catch this one at the Assembly Theatre. Tickets available here. 


We are pretty excited about the chance to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Simon Stephen's adaptation of the best selling novel by Mark Haddon, and directed by Marianne Elliott.  We loved the book and it is wonderful to see that the stage adaptation is inspiring fans around the world. The Curious Incident ... is both a Olivier and Tony Award winner and critics and audiences here have been loving the show, with particular praise for Joshua Jenkins who stars as Christopher. The show is being heralded for both technical wizardry and powerful storytelling with real heart, putting it high on our list of shows to see this weekend. 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is onstage at the Princess of Wales until November 19th.  For more information and to buy tickets click here


Now this next one is a bit tricky for us. Cliff Cardinal's Huff has been both a critical and audience darling since its debut at Native Earth two seasons ago. 

Huff tells the story of a young native boy named Wind. After his mother’s death, Wind’s fantastic dream world bleeds into reality when he’s preyed on by the Trickster. With biting humour, and raw imagery, Cardinal’s award-winning solo show shines an unflinching light on life on the Reserve.

Now in remount at Soulpepper we'd love to send you down to the distillery without reservation.  However, about two weeks ago Cliff made a callous and poorly timed joke on his facebook page, which is public by the way, about what kinds of sexual acts he'd happily perform on Harvey Weinstein for a chance to star in Pulp Fiction 2. It truly wasn't very funny and even when community members ripped him apart for his bad timing and generally dismissive attitude Cliff doubled down and refused to take any responsibility for his hurtful words. Does that diminish his hard-hitting, self reflective and wildly creative solo work? Does it mean you shouldn't go see his play?  We will leave that up to you. But we thought you should know.  

Huff starring Cliff Cardinal
JACKIE CHAU, Set & Costume Designer
MICHELLE RAMSAY, Lighting Designer
ALEX WILLIAMS, Sound Designer

Huff closes on October 28th. Tickets can be purchased here.

 Ryan Rosery and Virgilia Griffith in  Other Side of the Game.  Image by Dahlia Katz

Ryan Rosery and Virgilia Griffith in Other Side of the Game. Image by Dahlia Katz

And of course you absolutely can not miss Other Side of the Game.  We wrote about it last week, and we definitely want to encourage you to go out and see this incredible piece.  First time playwright Amanda Parris explores issues of identity, devotion, friendship and community in her debut play produced by Cahoots Theatre and Obsidian TheatreOther Side of the Game runs until November 5th at the Aki Studio. Get your tickets here.

 Welp, there you have it, our recommendations for show this weekend. See you at the theatre.

What to see this weekend - October 13-15th

by Liza Mattimore

The 2017-2018 Toronto theatre season has only just begun, but already it is shaping up to be amazing.  We haven't seen a ton yet but everything so far has been fantastic and there is more on the way.  So with that in mind we'd like to give you an idea of what you won't want to miss this weekend. It's supposed to be a rainy one so be sure to head out to the theatre. 

2017-18 preview.JPG

 Actress Ellen Denny is mesmorizing in Life After. Photographed by Michael cooper

Actress Ellen Denny is mesmorizing in Life After. Photographed by Michael cooper

We had the chance to see Life After, Britta Johnson's musical about loss and coming of age at the Fringe Festival and we have got to admit we weren't sure what all of the fuss was about. But now in full production we have finally seen what The Musical Stage Company,  Canadian Stage  and Yonge Street Theatricals must have known all along, because this show is fantastic 

Every aspect of this production is perfection. The set design, costumes, choreography, direction, orchestral arrangements and perfect performances across the board, make this an absolute standout. And we are obviously not alone because audiences and critics have flocked to the Berkeley Downstairs to see this show. 

It has been extended until October 29th, which means you still have time to catch this one. It is a rare treat for a homegrown musical to get development support on this scale in Toronto, and it is even more wonderful to see this investment paying off. You should definitely not miss Life After.  

 graphic design:  49 Republic Creative Studio  / illustration: Alejandro J. Gomez

graphic design: 49 Republic Creative Studio / illustration: Alejandro J. Gomez

Last night we went to Factory Theatre to see The Adventures of Tom Shadow.  We didn't know much about the show other than Theatre Lab is producing and they have done some very funny social media marketing in support of the show.  

If you have ever seen or heard a children's tale, say, I don't know, Peter Pan, and wondered, "what about the parents, they must be a wreck?" Or maybe you are just someone who enjoys a good laugh, The Adventures of Tom Shadow is for you. I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at the theatre. We shouldn't have been surprise because this show is the brain child of some of Toronto's best comedians, including Mark Little, of Mr. D fame, Lisa Gilroy, improv queen Natalie Metclaf, Kevin Vidal and Christian Smith. You can check out The Adventures of Tom Shadow until October 22nd.   

Here are some other shows we haven't seen but have heard great things about, which you should check out this weekend...

ASKING FOR IT At Streetcar Crowsnest until October 21st, 2017. Written by Ellie Moon and Directed by Brendan Healy.

A documentary play that looks at gender roles and sexual consent in the wake of the Ghomeshi scandal, Asking For It considers the various ways in which sexual consent is understood personally, culturally, and legally. Moon speaks with people of all ages and backgrounds about their assumptions and experiences around consent to sexual relations, and with crown prosecutors and legal experts about the current state of sexual assault law in Canada. The conversations are candid, funny, often uncomfortable, and describe experiences of shame, power, ambiguity, and misunderstanding in communication about sex.

An In Association Production from
Crow's Theatre,
Nightwood Theatre,
and Necessary Angel Theatre Company

Asking For It was developed through Crow’s Theatre's Docu Creators Unit and with Why Not Theatre.

THE FISH EYE TRILOGY - At Factory Theatre until October 15th, 2017. Written and performed by Anita Majumdar and Directed by Brian Quirt

With razor sharp writing, a Dora Award-winning performance, and spellbinding dance, Anita Majumdar’s wildly successful The Fish Eyes Trilogy is a unique portrait of the intertwining lives of three teenage girls at one BC high school. Presented together in a single three-act play; The Fish Eyes Trilogy innovatively tackles coming of age, cultural heritage, empowerment, and consent with humour and elegance.

A Nightswimming Theatre production presented by Factory

SALT WATER MOON Onstage at the Panasonic until October 29th, 2017. Written by  David French and Directed by Ravi Jain 

I for one am thrilled to see Mirvish presenting local productions in their off-Mirvish series.  Last year it was Butcher and this year it is the Factory transfer of Salt Water Moon. This Canadian classic got a stripped down remount as part of Factory's naked season a few years back and it was a tremendous hit with critics and audiences.  We missed it that time around but you better believe we wont miss it this season, and neither should you.  

See you at the theatre...