NSTF: Love, grief & celebrating life in the deeply moving, resonant musical Every Silver Lining

Allison Wither & Laura Piccinin. Photo by Tanja-Tiziana.   Silver Lining Productions brings its Toronto Fringe 2019 breakout musical theatre hit Every Silver Lining to the Factory Theatre Mainspace for the Next Stage Theatre Festival. Written by Laura Piccinin and Allison Wither, and directed by Jennifer Stewart, with music direction by Aaron Eyre, Every SilverContinue reading “NSTF: Love, grief & celebrating life in the deeply moving, resonant musical Every Silver Lining”

NSTF: Keep calm & sing along with the timely, funny, moving Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop!

Steven Conway & Pearle Harbour. Lighting design by Logan Raju Cracknell. Photo by Michael Cooper.   Pearle Harbour pops onto the Factory Theatre Mainspace stage for Next Stage Theatre Festival with her timely, funny and moving pre-apocalyptic multimedia drag cabaret Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop! Written by Justin Miller and directed by Rebecca Ballarin, with music directionContinue reading “NSTF: Keep calm & sing along with the timely, funny, moving Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop!”

NSTF: Family, community, music & lots of love in the entertaining, heartwarming Tita Jokes

Alia Rasul, Ellie Posadas, Isabel Kanaan, Maricris Rivera, Ann Paula Bautista & Belinda Corpuz. Photo by Martin Nicolas. Cathleen Jayne Calica, stylist.   The Tita Collective invites us into Filipin* kitchens, living rooms and lives with its Next Stage Theatre Festival production of its hilariously entertaining sold-out Toronto Fringe 2019 hit Tita Jokes. Created andContinue reading “NSTF: Family, community, music & lots of love in the entertaining, heartwarming Tita Jokes”

Remembering Carlin Belof

Carlin was in her mid-teens and I was in my early 20s when we first met, both students at Theatre Aquarius Summer Theatre School in Hamilton, Ontario during the mid-80s—and I remember being struck by her focus, maturity and talent. An old, creative soul, she was already writing songs that were melodic, poignant and catchy;Continue reading “Remembering Carlin Belof”

December (pseudo) hiatus

Hey all—I can’t believe it’s December already! That means it’s time for the cowbell blog’s annual December (pseudo) hiatus. I say “pseudo” because, as usual, I’ll be seeing and reviewing a few holiday shows this month. In the spirit of holiday surprises, I won’t say what shows—but I will say there will be some holiday-themed/pantoContinue reading “December (pseudo) hiatus”

Shades of gray in the intimate, entertaining, deeply poignant Between Riverside and Crazy

Allegra Fulton & Alexander Thomas. Set design by Anna Treusch. Costume design by Michelle Bohn. Lighting design by Steve Lucas. Photo by Dahlia Katz. Coal Mine Theatre opened its Toronto premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Between Riverside and Crazy to a packed house at its home on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue last night. Directed by KelliContinue reading “Shades of gray in the intimate, entertaining, deeply poignant Between Riverside and Crazy”

Pride & BLM divide between friends in the provocative, fierce, meta Every Day She Rose

Adrian Shepherd-Gawinski & Monice Peter (as Mark and Cathy-Ann). Set design by Michelle Tracey. Costume design by Ming Wong. Lighting design by Rebecca Picherack. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann. Nightwood Theatre continues its 40th season with the premiere of Andrea Scott and Nick Green’s Every Day She Rose, co-directed by Andrea Donaldson and Sedina Fiati,Continue reading “Pride & BLM divide between friends in the provocative, fierce, meta Every Day She Rose”

Love, joy & connection in the deeply moving, inspiring Between Breaths

Darryl Hopkins, Steve O’Connell & Berni Stapleton. Set & costume design by Shawn Kerwin. Lighting design by Leigh Ann Vardy. Photo by Rich Blenkinsopp. Factory Theatre continues the celebration of its 50th anniversary with a presentation of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland’s production of Robert Chafe’s Between Breaths, directed by Jillian Keiley, assisted by Sharon King-Campbell,Continue reading “Love, joy & connection in the deeply moving, inspiring Between Breaths”

FireWorks Festival: Navigating the media circus in the face of profound loss in the moving, razor-sharp, thought-provoking Grief Circus

Bronson Lake & Alison Dickson. Set design by Teodoro Dragonieri. Costume design by Paige Foskett. Lighting design by Liam Stewart. Photo by Bruce Peters. Alumnae Theatre opened its second week of the FireWorks Festival last night, with Crystal Wood’s Grief Circus, directed by Paige Foskett. As moving as it is razor-sharp, this timely multimedia pieceContinue reading “FireWorks Festival: Navigating the media circus in the face of profound loss in the moving, razor-sharp, thought-provoking Grief Circus”

Tragic Indigenous love story & pointed satire in the profoundly moving, playful, poetic Almighty Voice and His Wife

James Dallas Smith & Michaela Washburn. Set & video design by Ken MacKenzie. Costume design by Kinoo Arcentales. Lighting design by Jennifer Lennon. Photo by Dahlia Katz. Biography meets pointed satire in Soulpepper’s production of Daniel David Moses’ Almighty Voice and His Wife; directed by Jani Lauzon, who performed in the Great Canadian Theatre Company’sContinue reading “Tragic Indigenous love story & pointed satire in the profoundly moving, playful, poetic Almighty Voice and His Wife”