A sneak peek at Heather Babcock’s debut novel Filthy Sugar

Heather Babcock photo by Astrid Monge. Filthy Sugar cover design by Val Fullard.   Two years ago, I had the honour and pleasure of getting a sneak peek at Heather Babcock’s debut novel Filthy Sugar after she approached me to give it a read and write a review blurb. Published by Inanna Publications, it’s setContinue reading “A sneak peek at Heather Babcock’s debut novel Filthy Sugar”

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Saying goodbye to the youth of Ireland in the lyrical, hopeful, entertaining Many Young Men of Twenty

Foreground: James Phelan, Tina McCulloch, Emmet Leahy and William Laxamana. Background: Martin McGuane. Set design by Tim O’Connell and Sean Treacy. Costume design by Bernadette Hunt. Lighting design by Karlos Griffith. Photo by Gregory Breen. The Toronto Irish Players take us to a time of desperate hope and dreams, leaving and staying behind, with itsContinue reading “Saying goodbye to the youth of Ireland in the lyrical, hopeful, entertaining Many Young Men of Twenty”

Melanie Peterson’s “Christmas Breaks My Heart” a gentle, melodic nod to holiday heartache

Melanie Peterson, live at Free Times Cafe for last night’s “Christmas Breaks My Heart” launch.   It was standing room only at Free Times Café last night, as Melanie Peterson celebrated the launch of her new holiday single “Christmas Breaks My Heart”, featuring the talents of fellow Toronto-based singer/songwriter guests Matt Gerber and Angela Saini.Continue reading “Melanie Peterson’s “Christmas Breaks My Heart” a gentle, melodic nod to holiday heartache”

FireWorks Festival: Real-life fame, fortune & fall in the entertaining, heart-felt Belle Darling Klondike Queen

Alumnae Theatre Company (ATC) opens its annual FireWorks Festival of new works with Natalie Frijia’s Belle Darling Klondike Queen, directed by Lori Delorme, with music direction by Anita Beaty—running upstairs in the Studio. Part cabaret, part vaudeville, all heart—this highly entertaining and engaging piece of musical storytelling takes us on vaudeville star Klondike Kate’s (bornContinue reading “FireWorks Festival: Real-life fame, fortune & fall in the entertaining, heart-felt Belle Darling Klondike Queen”

Living with ghosts of crimes past in the haunting, darkly funny, immersive The Good Thief

David Mackett. Photo by Allison Bjerkseth. Fly on the Wall Theatre presents Conor McPherson’s The Good Thief, directed by Rod Ceballos and running at the Dora Keogh Irish Pub (141 Danforth Ave., Toronto, east of Broadview). Featuring an outstanding performance from David Mackett, this haunting, darkly funny, immersive piece of solo storytelling goes to HeavenContinue reading “Living with ghosts of crimes past in the haunting, darkly funny, immersive The Good Thief”

Interview: Melanie Peterson heading into the studio to record We Got This

Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based singer songwriter Melanie Peterson has been called “Mary Poppins with a broken heart”; writing and singing about life, love and friendship, her crystal-clear, emotive vocals and evocative lyrics combine bright positivity with a deep sense of longing and loss. Peterson will be heading into the studio to record her next album We Got ThisContinue reading “Interview: Melanie Peterson heading into the studio to record We Got This”

Secrets revealed & dreams denied in the ferociously funny, deeply poignant August: Osage County

The ensemble. Set design by Camellia Koo. Costume design by Gillian Gallow. Lighting design by Davida Tkach. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann. Life is very long.—T.S. Eliot Soulpepper presents a ferociously funny, deeply poignant production of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, running now at the Young Centre. Directed by Jackie Maxwell, assisted by Lindsay Bell, it’sContinue reading “Secrets revealed & dreams denied in the ferociously funny, deeply poignant August: Osage County”

Love, loss & the struggle to avoid getting beached in the poignant, funny Paradise Comics

Filament Incubator closes its #8playsin8months season with Caitie Graham’s Paradise Comics, directed by Darwin Lyons. Graham developed Paradise Comics at the Tarragon Theatre’s Young Playwrights Unit, where she now acts as Assistant Writing Instructor. I caught the opening last night at Kensington Hall (in Kensington Market at 56C Kensington Ave., Toronto). What’s eating 13-year-old BeansContinue reading “Love, loss & the struggle to avoid getting beached in the poignant, funny Paradise Comics”

Love shots & family in the entertaining, quixotic, poignant Quiver

Nightwood Theatre opened its 2016-17 season at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre last week, with a unique double bill of Quote Unquote Collective’s Mouthpiece and Anna Chatterton’s Quiver. I saw both shows last night, starting with Quiver. Written and performed by Anna Chatterton, and directed by Andrea Donaldson, Quiver incorporates a vocal processor, laptop andContinue reading “Love shots & family in the entertaining, quixotic, poignant Quiver”