All stories by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Elena Lev was 12 when she first appeared in Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria. She and the show are back 25 years later by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

In the first instance of Cirque du Soleil bringing a show out of retirement, the retooled Alegria: In a New Light comes to Toronto in September.

Linked From Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Friday, August 16, 2019

The play ‘Art’ is dependable entertainment, but is it itself art? by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Those who prefer theatre that takes formal risks, comments on pressing societal concerns and pushes the art form in new directions will likely find it hard to invest much in ‘Art,’ write…

Linked From Toronto Star at 03:48PM
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Birds of a Kind goes places rarely seen in English-language theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Wajdi Mouawad’s play, now at Stratford, goes deep into the Israel/Palestine conflict and offers a profound experience of feeling and thought, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 02:44PM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Thanks to Tom Rooney, the Shaw Festival’s Cyrano de Bergerac breaks your heart by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The Shaw’s design, costume and makeup teams also deserve praise. And Kate Hennig has brought a welcome contemporary sensibility to the text, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 03:10PM
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Two old friends, two new plays with links to internet culture at SummerWorks by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Graham Isador returns to theatre festival with White Heat, about a journalist faced with alt-right hostility; Lauren Gillis brings Safe and Sorry, about pickup culture, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 01:31PM
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Howard Barker’s Victory is dark, offensive and shocking — and possibly one of the best English plays ever written by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The lead actors in the Shaw Festival’s production of Victory share their admiration for a play that’s extreme but also ‘incredibly human and funny’.

Linked From Toronto Star at 11:30AM
Friday, July 19, 2019

Soulpepper’s Fool for Love challenges Sam Shepard’s mythology, but performances need to deepen by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

It may take more time for Cara Gee and Eion Bailey to flesh out their performances to fill the stage, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 04:17PM
Friday, July 12, 2019

Measure for Measure in High Park races but stays relevant by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The fast-paced version has pleasing performances even if the running time renders part of the climax improbable.

Linked From Toronto Star at 01:00PM
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Recipe for Waitress is sweet — almost too sweet by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Songs are so good and Christine Dwyer so strong in the lead that it’s a bit hard to accept why she’s with her lout of a husband.

Linked From Toronto Star at 11:30AM
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Shakespeare in High Park creates ‘sense of community’ — and that includes the raccoons and squirrels by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This season’s directors, Liza Balkan and Severn Thompson, tell Karen Fricker about the challenges of producing condensed Shakespeare in the great outdoors.

Linked From Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Saturday, July 6, 2019

Shaw Festival gives Mae West’s 1926 play Sex a thrillingly modern sensibility by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

While the writing is overwrought by contemporary standards, the actors commit to the situation while director Peter Hinton-Davis infuses it with the politics of sex and gender circa 2019, wr…

Linked From Toronto Star at 01:53PM
Friday, July 5, 2019

The actors slay in Shaw Festival’s The Ladykillers, even if the humour sometimes doesn’t by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Graham Linehan’s written some great one-liners and the cast are zinging them well. What has yet to come together is the production’s overall rhythm and tone, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 02:26PM
Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sara Bareilles credits writing Waitress songs for opening up ‘endless possibilities’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Musical hitting Toronto next month was an inspiring, even life-altering gig for pop songwriter.

Linked From Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pick up an actor in your car and drive off into the story — it’s theatre for the age of Uber by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Fu-GEN Theatre Company’s wildly ambitious show Fearless lets drivers around Markham pick up actors and experience theatre in their own vehicles.

Linked From Toronto Star at 09:00AM

Soulpepper’s Rose grabs four Dora Awards by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Canadian Opera Company also scores with Eugene Onegin, the big winner in the opera category, as awards honouring Toronto’s theatre community got handed out Tuesday.

Linked From Toronto Star at 12:00AM
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jumbo the elephant lives again on the Blyth Festival stage by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Sean Dixon’s play about the ‘world’s first animal superstar’ revisits his life and death in St. Thomas, Ontario, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 06:19PM

The Cave at Luminato asks us to listen to the animals by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This song cycle gives us sheltering in a cave from a massive forest fire, who entertain themselves and us even as the threat of destruction grows closer, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 12:57PM
Friday, June 14, 2019

Why The Lion King and The Book of Mormon can still pack theatres by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The Lion King enthralls with its design, music and performance while Mormon delivers risqué material ‘with a heart,’ theatre experts tell Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 01:36PM
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Bridge-builder’s royalty-themed plays at Stratford Festival connects us to history by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Busy Kate Hennig’s plays, with their contemporary language, make us see historical figures in a more sympathetic light. That’s just one thing she working on, however.

Linked From Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Full Light of Day sometimes finds message obscured by clashing mediums by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The marriage of the material realities of live theatrical staging and the formal conventions of screen media clash because audiences’ familiarity with the latter are likely to make them im…

Linked From Toronto Star at 01:25PM
Saturday, June 8, 2019

Ronnie Burkett’s Forget Me Not at Luminato is a true hands-on experience for the audience by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

It’s we who illuminate Burkett’s marionettes with flashlights. It’s we whom Burkett entrusts with handmade hand puppets. And it’s we who decide (or not) to buy into his interweaving …

Linked From Toronto Star at 12:51PM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

How a 164-year-old brawl became the show Toronto Circus Riot by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Angela Murdoch and her company Lookup Theatre turned the true story of a battle between Toronto Orangemen and an American circus troupe into a circus-comedy hybrid playing Sterling Rd.

Linked From Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Stratford’s Henry VIII features impressive central performances by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Jonathan Goad plays Henry VIII as rock star; Irene Poole’s Katherine of Aragon leavens the sexism in the play and Rod Beattie fully commits to the role of Wolsey, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 02:21PM
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Nolen Dubuc owns the lead in Billy Elliot the Musical by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Stratford Festival production lives up to festival’s standards of and high-level execution and lets Donna Feore do what she does best: large-scale production numbers with kinetically inven…

Linked From Toronto Star at 02:33PM
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Stratford Festival boldly updates Othello and dares us to look by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

In Nigel Shawn Williams’ hands, racism and misogyny foreground the jealousy traditionally seen as the primary theme of Shakespeare’s Othello, writes Karen Fricker.

Linked From Toronto Star at 12:43PM
Friday, May 17, 2019

Cruelty of Chinese high-tech factories made vivid with musical, mournful theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The poetry of a real-life man labouring in inhumane conditions is set to music in I swallowed a moon made of iron, at Berkeley Street Theatre.

Linked From Toronto Star at 01:03PM
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Paprika addresses Toronto theatre’s old problems in grooming next generation by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Founded 18 years ago as festival of five short plays, the Paprika Festival has grown into an organization supporting young and emerging artists year-round, culminating this year in a weeklon…

Linked From Toronto Star at 09:01AM
Monday, May 13, 2019

Beautiful Man a quiet rage in the time of #MeToo by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Erin Shields’s play Beautiful Man is mostly made up of three women (Ashley Botting, Mayko Nguyen, Sofia Rodriguez) sitting on tall stools narrating their experience of watching that cop sh…

Linked From Toronto Star at 12:00AM
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Rope brings some good old-fashioned nail-biting back to Shaw by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

There is no mystery around the fact that Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo have strangled an Oxford classmate. The suspense is whether or not they’ll be found out.

Linked From Toronto Star at 12:00AM
Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Horse and his Boy is four character’s journey out of limited lives by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Christine Brubaker has created an extraordinary esprit de corps amongst the 14-member cast and the nearly-all-female creative team.

Linked From Toronto Star at 09:00AM
Friday, May 10, 2019

Lilies: or The Revival of a Romantic Drama explores transformative justice, Two-Spirit culture by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Tragic love story between two men in early 20th-century rural Quebec, undermined by homophobia and social conservatism tied to the Catholic Church.

Linked From Toronto Star at 08:00AM

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