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”

Upcoming hiatus & news

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash   Hi all – Hope 2020 is being good to everyone so far! life with more cowbell celebrated its ninth anniversary earlier this month and—counting two years blogging for Alumnae Theatre Company—that means I’ve been blogging about theatre for 11 years now. Time flies! It’s been an amazing 11 years, reviewing remarkable,Continue reading “Upcoming hiatus & news”

Neighbour vs. neighbour in the timely, poignant The Land Grabber

The Toronto Irish Players present the North American premiere of James Phelan and Edward F. Barrett’s The Land Grabber, directed by Kristin Chan and opening last night on the Alumnae Theatre mainstage. A farm in 1881 County Kerry becomes a microcosm of the social and political unrest in Ireland as The Land War between tenantContinue reading “Neighbour vs. neighbour in the timely, poignant The Land Grabber”

Top 10 theatre 2018

For obvious reasons, I haven’t checked out other reviewers’/blogger folks’ lists—so I don’t know what they’ve been saying—but is it just me or was this year’s top 10 list an especially challenging task? Seems to me that we had an extra large embarrassment of riches with this year’s theatre productions, so I’m cheating with aContinue reading “Top 10 theatre 2018”

The bittersweet rhythms of life in the wistful, nostalgic, entertaining Dancing at Lughnasa

Opening its 2018-19 season at Alumnae Theatre last night, the Toronto Irish Players take us to 1936 Donegal, and the rural home of the Mundy family as they struggle with life, love and changing times, in their wistful, nostalgic and entertaining production of Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa, directed by David Eden. A bittersweet memoryContinue reading “The bittersweet rhythms of life in the wistful, nostalgic, entertaining Dancing at Lughnasa”

Three generations of women navigate life, love & those feelings “down there” in TIP’s hilarious, poignant, intimate Little Gem

Top to bottom: Rebecca De La Cour, Barbara Taylor & Billie Jean Shannon. Photo by Sean Walsh. The Toronto Irish Players (TIP) opened their production of Elaine Murphy’s Little Gem, directed by Cliona Kenny, on the Alumnae Theatre Mainstage to a packed house last night. Drawing from the old tradition of the Gaelic storyteller (theContinue reading “Three generations of women navigate life, love & those feelings “down there” in TIP’s hilarious, poignant, intimate Little Gem”

Courage, poetry & resilience. Final words & accounts of the 16 executed rebels in the moving A Terrible Beauty: Voices from 1916

Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice? That is heaven’s part, our part To murmur name upon name, As a mother names her child When sleep at last has come On limbs that had run wild. What is it but nightfall? No, no, not night butContinue reading “Courage, poetry & resilience. Final words & accounts of the 16 executed rebels in the moving A Terrible Beauty: Voices from 1916”

Liberty at any cost – hardened life choices in Toronto Irish Players’ Big Maggie

Saw another marvelous Toronto Irish Players (TIP) production yesterday afternoon – this time, John B. Keane’s Big Maggie, directed by Harvey Levkoe, on now at Alumnae Theatre. Big Maggie is set in 1960s rural Ireland, where recently widowed Maggie Polpin (Janice Hansen) is delighted at her newfound freedom from a philandering lout of a husbandContinue reading “Liberty at any cost – hardened life choices in Toronto Irish Players’ Big Maggie”

Fierce family tragicomedy – The Beauty Queen of Leenane @ Red Sandcastle Theatre

Took a trip to east end Toronto ‘hood Leslieville last night to see the opening of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Red Sandcastle Theatre. Directed by Wes Berger, this Beauty Queen features an outstanding foursome of a cast: Rosemary Doyle, Lynne Griffin (who Lost Girl fans will recognize from season one ep.Continue reading “Fierce family tragicomedy – The Beauty Queen of Leenane @ Red Sandcastle Theatre”

An excavation of mothers & daughters in Midden

First off, let’s get a big question out of the way – I know it was a big one for me. What the heck is a “midden”? Director Maureen Lukie answers this question in her Director’s Notes in the Midden program: it is a “form of burial mound found in archeological digs, where you canContinue reading “An excavation of mothers & daughters in Midden”