• As I try to describe this show, I feel like one of the old nuns in the Sound of Music that sing, "How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?" They were talking Maria; I'm talking about water and the endeavour of a group of artists to make a show all about its "extraordinary life."

    A Few Little Drops, complete with rope for navigating the depths
  • Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast is, at least in my opinion, one of the towering achievements in modern literature. He presents a fully created world that is charged with vitality and is a celebration of raw imagination.

    gormenghast, Kevin Stark, Jocelyn Gauthier and Maryanne Renzetti; photo by Tim Matheson
  • There are few times when a piece of theatre can truly be described as “epic”. The word is often used to describe the superficial dimensions of a show, usually in the context of massive musicals or other excessive productions that are generated by a big budget but not necessarily a creative vision to match.

    Scorched: Janick Hebert, Valerie Buhagiar; photo: Paul Fujimoto
  • Richard Nixon was famous for his intellect, bad language, viciousness, sweating and, oh, Watergate. Much to my surprise, in Peter Morgan’s Frost Nixon, we get a Nixon who doesn’t swear, doesn’t seem too vicious (except with the intensity of his avarice) and even the sweating – constantly referred to throughout – was missing as Len Cariou seemed quite dry and relaxed, mostly. As for the towering intellect, there wasn’t much of that either.

    Frost Nixon: I am big. It's the theatre that got small.
  • The Panel:
    Alison Broverman is a playwright and freelance arts reporter.
    Kate Hewlett is an actor and a playwright.
    Michael Rubenfeld is an actor, playwright, and the artistic producer of Toronto’s Summerworks Festival.

    Jersey Boys: Jeremy Kushnier, Steve Gouveia, Andrew Rannells and Joseph Leo Bwarie ignore the distraction of Rubenfeld getting out his scotch mints and Alison and Kate putting them in their mouths.
  • The Panel:
    Alison Broverman, a Toronto-based playwright and freelance arts reporter
    Ann McDougall, a Toronto-based playwright and storyteller
    Andrew Lamb, a Toronto-based director

    Norway.Today, Ivea Lucs and Steven McCarthy; photo: Michael Walton|
  • There have been as many versions and interpretations of Hamlet as there have been people who’ve seen it. Directors in China, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland have drawn on the work’s subtexts to make political statements, and actors of all backgrounds –from classically-trained to Hollywood types –tend to see the role as the Holy Grail of acting.

    "Think, Hamlet, think": Ben Carlson as Hamlet, Photo: David Hou
  • Words escape me.

    In two responses posted on the Plank web site, audience members mention the desire they felt to walk out of this show. While I may have had the impulse, I stayed glued to my seat for its duration, jaw dropped.

    Oh Dear. Oy Calcutta!
  • There's something sexy about being around a person who performs a job well. A friend and I once compared notes about being impressed – and somewhat turned on – by being a passenger in a vehicle when the driver had to respond quickly and adroitly to black ice on the road (in my case) or a deer stumbling out of nowhere (in her case). Effortlessly expert performance is hot, baby.

    No photo but here's a logo.
  • Reviewers note: I am not a fan of musicals. I have performed in a few, designed several more and once upon a time I ran lights for a couple of the big ones in a city far, far away. When you hear the same songs night after night for months on end you begin to enter one of two categories: love, or hate. That’s when you know if you like musicals or not, there is no middle ground.

    Quarter Life