It’s that time of the year again. Here are my top 10 theatre productions for 2019, in alphabetical order (based on Toronto productions I reviewed this calendar year):
Athabasca. Convergence Theatre
Between Riverside and Crazy. Coal Mine Theatre
The Black Drum. Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf and Deaf Cultural Centre
The Flick. Outside the March
The Huns. One Four One Collective
Night Feed. Canvas Sky Theatre
Pass Over. Obsidian Theatre
White Heat. Pressgang Theatre
The Winter’s Tale. Shakespeare in the Ruff
Actually. The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, in association with Obsidian Theatre
Election. Common Boots Theatre, in association with Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Direct
Every Day She Rose. Nightwood Theatre
Intangible Adorations. Haus of Dada, Workman Arts, KC Cooper and Meek
The Learned Ladies. George Brown Theatre School
Othello. Shakespeare BASH’d
Cass Van Wyck & Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster. Costumes by Lindsay Dagger Junkin. Photo by Emily Dix.
One Four One Collective and The Spadina Avenue Gang take us to the middle of a tension-filled stand-off between a suburban Airbnb host and guest with Michael Ross Albert’s gripping, darkly funny Anywhere, directed by David LaFontaine and running in the Factory Theatre Studio for Toronto Fringe.
Returning late from her last day at a business conference, bus tour booking agent Liz (Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster) finds her Airbnb host, bartender Joy (Cass Van Wyck), waiting up for her; and Joy’s not happy. An interrogation kicks off an uncomfortable debate and anger-tinged power struggle as the tables turn and Liz confronts Joy about the events of the previous evening—events that Liz can’t entirely recall, only that they included Joy’s estranged husband.
Part mystery, part psychodrama, part class struggle, Anywhere starts at a slow boil; then the heat gets turned up as suspicions, confessions and demands explode—and the verbal sparring takes an unexpected turn.
Outstanding work from Ch’ng Lancaster and Van Wyck in this sharp, compelling game of human chess; each revealing and concealing as accusations shift and tides turn.
Anywhere continues in the Factory Theatre Studio until July 14; check the show page for exact dates and times. Yesterday’s afternoon show was packed—and Ross’s other Toronto Fringe show, The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome, is sold out* for the run—so best to book ahead.
Speaking of The Grass is Greenest…, it turned out to be a Michael Ross Albert double header for me yesterday—purely by chance; that review will be up next.
*Want to check if the show you want to see is sold out? The Toronto Fringe folks have set up a page for sold-out shows, updated daily.