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”

Literary family snapshots told with unflinching candor & wry humour in Pamela Williams’ Evelyn’s Stories

Cover photo of Evelyn by Pamela Williams.   I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Pamela Williams’ new book Evelyn’s Stories at a reading to a packed room on Sunday at the Tranzac Club. Known mostly for her beautiful, haunting black and white photographs of cemetery sculpture, Williams has assembled a collection ofContinue reading “Literary family snapshots told with unflinching candor & wry humour in Pamela Williams’ Evelyn’s Stories”

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”

The power, magic & malice of words in the fascinating, visceral, philosophical, sensual Knives in Hens

Clockwise from top: Jonathon Young, Diana Bentley & Jim Mezon. Set and lighting design by Kaitlin Hickey. Costume design by Michelle Tracey. Photo by Dahlia Katz. Coal Mine Theatre kicks off its 6th season with David Harrower’s Knives in Hens, directed by Leora Morris. Set in 15th century Scotland in the outskirts of a small,Continue reading “The power, magic & malice of words in the fascinating, visceral, philosophical, sensual Knives in Hens”

Toronto Fringe: Getting in & out of Scientology in the hilarious, heartbreaking, irreverent Squeeze My Cans

Cathy Schenkelberg. Sound & production design by Victoria (Toy) Deiorio. Photo by Michael C. Daft.   Squeeze My Cans presents Squeeze My Cans, the true story of Cathy Schenkelberg’s indoctrination into and exit from Scientology—a multimedia solo show trip that is by turns hilarious, heartbreaking, irreverent, infuriating and terrifying. Written and performed by Schenkelberg, andContinue reading “Toronto Fringe: Getting in & out of Scientology in the hilarious, heartbreaking, irreverent Squeeze My Cans”

Toronto Fringe: Heaven calling in the sharply funny, fiercely candid The Commandment

Phil Rickaby. Photo by Phil Rickaby.   Have you heard the one about God and the atheist? Simple Truth Theatre present this unlikely match in its sharply funny, fiercely candid Toronto Fringe production of The Commandment; written and performed by Phil Rickaby, directed by Richard Beaune, assisted by Adrianna Prosser, and running in the Tarragon TheatreContinue reading “Toronto Fringe: Heaven calling in the sharply funny, fiercely candid The Commandment”

Ancestors calling on a hero’s journey through fear to true self in the engaging, powerful 11:11

Samson Bonkeabantu Brown. Set design by d’bi.young anitafrika. Costume design by Samson Bonkeabantu Brown. Lighting design by André du Toit. Photo by Brett Haynes. A.V.O. Collective brings the world premiere of its engaging, powerful production of 11:11, presented as part of Why Not Theatre’s RISER Project 2019, to the Theatre Centre’s Incubator stage. Written/performed byContinue reading “Ancestors calling on a hero’s journey through fear to true self in the engaging, powerful 11:11”

A family slogs through the fallout of mental illness & tragedy in the brutally honest, wry-witted And So It Goes

Left: Deborah Drakeford & Scott McCulloch. Right: Tyshia Drake & Dan Willmott. Set & costume design by Kelly Wolf. Scenic art by Ksenia Ivanova. Lighting design by Chin Palipane. Photos by John Gundy.   Kyanite Theatre presents George F. Walker’s And So It Goes, directed by Walker, assisted by Martha Moldaver—running in the Pia BoumanContinue reading “A family slogs through the fallout of mental illness & tragedy in the brutally honest, wry-witted And So It Goes”

A photo album of family, love & memento mori in the profoundly moving, nostalgic, candid Dividing Lines/Líneas Divisorias

Beatriz Pizano & Julia (projected photo). Scenography by Trevor Schwellnus, with associate lighting designer Rebecca Vandevelde. Costume design by Andjelija Djuric. Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh.   “They say blood is thicker than water — I say, love is thicker than blood.” Aluna Theatre premieres Beatriz Pizano’s Dividing Lines/Líneas Divisorias, a photo album of family, love andContinue reading “A photo album of family, love & memento mori in the profoundly moving, nostalgic, candid Dividing Lines/Líneas Divisorias”

Tea time at the end of the world in the surreal, intimate, unsettling Escaped Alone

Clockwise, from bottom left: Brenda Robins, Clare Coulter, Maria Vacratsis & Kyra Harper. Set & costume design by Teresa Przybylski. Lighting design by Jennifer Lennon. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.   Soulpepper and Necessary Angel, with an all-female cast and production team, take us to the edge of calamity—in a suburban backyard where four 70-somethingContinue reading “Tea time at the end of the world in the surreal, intimate, unsettling Escaped Alone”