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. 

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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...