All stories by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic on BroadwayStars

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Actors shine in a longish modern spin on beloved ‘Little Women’ at Stratford by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Jordi Mand’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved autobiographical novel as directed by Esther Jun, begins with a delightful flourish but sags in the second half

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM

Insider tips on where to go, shop and eat in Stratford this summer by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Thinking of taking in a few shows in Festival City? The little Ontario town is more than just theatre.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Monday, August 8, 2022

A tangled love story unfolds with lavish costumes and expert performances in Stratford’s ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The riddle of Shakespeare’s dark comedy is taken to extremes but comes around to a resolution, thanks to arresting stagecraft and an excellent cast

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:30PM
Thursday, August 4, 2022

Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ is reimagined as a ‘utopia’ with talking plants for the Dream in High Park by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Director Anand Rajaram wanted it to work for children or those who don’t know Shakespeare. “There’s a very strong cartoon esthetic to the show.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Thomas Mitchell Barnet is still figuring out Scorpius Malfoy in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“You can’t count on getting a part with this much to do, ever. So I’m just trying to enjoy this,” Barnet says.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:03PM
Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Two very different Hamlets open a conversation about where the Stratford Festival is heading by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Amaka Umeh is the festival’s first female, Black “Hamlet.” Mike Shara plays an actor in “Hamlet-911,” a “middle-aged white guy making room for the next generation of Hamlets.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM
Tuesday, July 12, 2022

With a winning smile, Aliya Kanani drops truth bombs at the Fringe festival about doing comedy as a Muslim woman by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The Toronto-based performer is taking this well-structured and entertaining hour of stand-up around the world

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:22PM
Monday, July 11, 2022

He went viral with his I-quit-from-Starbucks song. Now comic songwriter Anesti Danelis has a Fringe revue taking aim at self-help books by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Having built a following on YouTube, the Toronto-based artist is back with a new laugh-filled, live-music how

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:34AM
Saturday, July 9, 2022

Trauma clown John Michael’s got dead mommy issues and he’s coming for you in the remarkably funny ‘Meatball Séance’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Audience participation, onstage cooking, and Fleetwood Mac are all on the menu in this award-winning solo show.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:44AM
Friday, July 8, 2022

In ‘Sex T-Rex presents SKETCH T-REX,’ a favourite local troupe makes its first hilarious foray into full-length sketch comedy by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Murderous puppets, feral chairs and an airborne James Bond feature in this hour-long show at the Toronto Fringe Festival

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:38AM
Thursday, July 7, 2022

‘& Juliet’ is pop king Max Martin’s latest guaranteed hit by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Highly contemporary, slightly overlong new musical weaves indelible pop melodies from Swede’s chart-topping catalogue with a reimagined take on Shakespeare into a winning result, writes Ka…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 09:30PM
Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Indigenous playwright Kim Senklip Harvey puts the power of her people on the stage by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“Kamloopa” starts out as almost slapstick comedy but turns serious as Harvey’s strong female characters embrace their identities.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:03PM
Monday, July 4, 2022

The Toronto Fringe is back and it’s extending an even wider welcome to artists and theatregoers alike by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The festival has changed its lottery process to involve more BIPOC productions. And it has committed to being inclusive and accessible for both artists and patrons.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:05PM
Sunday, June 19, 2022

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ works its magic on many levels by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Emotionally gripping show that opened Sunday uses dazzling stagecraft and relatable characters to brilliant effect.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2022

A new version of ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ beefs up the women’s point of view by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

In Théâtre français de Toronto web series filmed at the Windsor Arms, Valmont isn’t a hero and Merteuil isn’t “the mean, mean queen.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:51PM
Monday, June 13, 2022

Two George Bernard Shaw plays get ultra-topical in these pandemic times by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

In “Too True to Be Good,” a microbe blames a patient for its illness while a physician has to choose who gets treated in “The Doctor’s Dilemma,” both part of the Shaw Festival’s …

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:33PM
Saturday, June 11, 2022

‘The whole company already feels like a family’: How the cast of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ bonded even as show was on hold by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The production was on hold because of the pandemic for over two years before rehearsals finally started this past April.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:00AM
Thursday, June 9, 2022

Fatuma Adar’s DIY approach leads to new ‘Dixon Road’ musical by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Fatuma Adar, 30, does not have formal musical training. She started creating the music for the show by recording herself singing on her mobile phone.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:00PM
Wednesday, June 8, 2022

David Suzuki and partner Tara Cullis take their climate change activism to centre stage in Luminato production by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

David Suzuki, and his wife and professional partner Tara Cullis, are the stars of a theatre production called “What You Won’t Do For Love,” playing at this year’s Luminato Festival.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:30PM
Friday, June 3, 2022

Amaka Umeh is engrossing and revelatory in the Stratford Festival’s ‘Hamlet’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Umeh, the first actor of colour to play the role, rivets attention in monologues that take us deeply into her character’s thoughts and feelings.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:35PM
Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt are still spinning theatre gold from their failure as concert pianists by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“2 Pianos 4 Hands,” based on the theatre artists’ unrealized musical dreams, is back for its sixth major Toronto run June 4.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:28PM
Monday, May 30, 2022

The Shaw Festival’s ‘Damn Yankees’ isn’t a home run, but there are many pleasures by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The show is musically strong and looks great, but large-scale dance numbers feel overextended and there’s a spark missing in central relationships.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:45PM
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Tweaked ‘Gaslight’ at Shaw Festival is skilled and suspenseful by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This much-adapted story has been given a smart and satisfying update by Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson, writes Karen Fricker.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:09PM
Friday, May 20, 2022

‘The job kept me sane’: How some Stratford Festival actors filled their days and their pocketbooks when the show couldn’t go on by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This year’s opening is a welcome return for a workforce that was particularly hard-hit during the pandemic.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:20PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

VideoCabaret is back to being busy on Busy Street in the spirit of its late co-founder Deanne Taylor by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The company has revived its hit 1995 show, “The Cold War — Part One,” one of Michael Hollingsworth’s epic series of plays lampooning Canadian history.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:19PM
Monday, May 2, 2022

‘Is God Is,’ an ‘audacious piece’ of theatre about Black twin sisters on an epic journey of revenge, makes its Canadian debut by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The play presents “Black women in a way that I hadn’t seen them portrayed onstage before,” says director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:09PM
Monday, April 11, 2022

A mother’s fear for her Black son animates the play ‘Pipeline.’ Director Weyni Mengesha and actor Akosua Amo-Adem can relate by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The play’s title refers to the school-to-prison pipeline, the policies and procedures that send a disproportionate number of Black students toward the criminal justice system.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:34PM
Thursday, April 7, 2022

Two theatre friends dive beneath the surface in ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Soheil Parsa is directing Beatriz Pizano in the play by Federico Garcia Lorca, about a domineering matriarch who essentially puts her five adult daughters under house arrest after the death …

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:21PM
Monday, April 4, 2022

Toronto cast and crew venture to Hogwarts for the first rehearsal of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“I love this world,” says Luke Kimball, who plays Albus Potter. “Cursed Child” “takes a skill set unlike anything I’ve done,” says Fiona Reid, who plays Professor McGonagall an…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:32PM
Monday, March 28, 2022

‘Every author should be so lucky’ to have enduring story, says ‘Room’ author Emma Donoghue in advance of musical adaptation’s Toronto openin by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

At long last, the musical “Room” has opened at the Grand Theatre in London, Ont. It will play at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre April 5-May 8.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:42PM

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