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Live Theatre in Toronto

Benc7

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Nine to Five- Dancap Productions- Toronto Centre for The Arts

Very good voices, a really good set, and a few good songs, yet another production where the sum is less than its parts. I had to change my tickets, and got a matinée performance late in the run. The audience was made up of bus loads of seniors, and tourists on a package deal. Interesting.

I filled out an on-line survey from city hall a week of so ago. It asked me to rank just about everything the city does in order of importance and WHO should pay for it. City ownership of theaters was on that list. I'm wondering if the odious mayor will put the Toronto Centre for the Arts up for sale, and if so, wouldn't that be a good thing for Aubrey Dan, who so wants a theatre of his own.
 

Tewder

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Yes, I would imagine that Aubrey is rubbing his hands together in anticipation. At some point he is going to need his own venue.
 

Benc7

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Next to Normal-Four Seasons Centre

This is what I crave in musical theatre; something new, something fierce, something good. I got all three in "Next to Normal". I often disagree with Richard Ouzounian, but not on this:

"One of the great performances in modern musical theatre is taking place on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts until July 30 and you owe it to yourself to see it.

I'm talking about the amazing Alice Ripley in Next to Normal, which we are fortunate enough to have Dancap Productions bringing us and both the lady and the production are well worth your while
."

Read the rest of his review if you like, then go see it!

2 acts, one intermission

http://www.toronto.com/article/692993

http://www.dancaptickets.com/pages/n2n
 

Thanos

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Since this is the theatre page, can anyone tell me what's the story with Wintergarden Theatre. I've heard so many stories of how beautiful it is and the pictures are great. However, i never see any shows playing there. Is it vacant? Does it need extensive renovations?

Also, what would you guys say is the best drama show playing in the city or some good upcoming shows. I've gotten tired of all the musicals and want a diffrent type of theatre show.
 

almog60@yahoo.com

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Winter Garden Theatre

From what I know about the Winter Garden Theatre - is that it is the only still-operating double-decker theatre in the world - it is really uniquely designed (I believe Baroque-style), and you will see it for yourself if you go there.

They still have shows going on there.

Check out their website: http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/EWG/Home.aspx
 

Tewder

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Since this is the theatre page, can anyone tell me what's the story with Wintergarden Theatre. I've heard so many stories of how beautiful it is and the pictures are great. However, i never see any shows playing there. Is it vacant? Does it need extensive renovations?

Also, what would you guys say is the best drama show playing in the city or some good upcoming shows. I've gotten tired of all the musicals and want a diffrent type of theatre show.

I know you said no more musicals... but you may want to give Next To Normal a shot while you still can. Not your typical campy show and the reviews have been excellent. If not, there's all kinds of outdoor theatre happening around both in and outside of the city.
 

TonyV

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Since this is the theatre page, can anyone tell me what's the story with Wintergarden Theatre. I've heard so many stories of how beautiful it is and the pictures are great. However, i never see any shows playing there. Is it vacant? Does it need extensive renovations?

Also, what would you guys say is the best drama show playing in the city or some good upcoming shows. I've gotten tired of all the musicals and want a diffrent type of theatre show.

I have in mind to go and see Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking at the Royal Alexandra. A couple of my friends have seen it, and to me it sounds very intriguing. It may be the answer if you are tired of musicals.

PS--the Elgin/Wintergarden reno occured a generation or more ago. Both of the theatres are gems, and I see Opera Atelier's productions in the Elgin. Hearsay: there is a functional problem with these stacked theatres, and that is the sound leakage from one house to the other, so you generally will not find both theatres busy at once. They were deemed worth preserving regardless of this issue.
 
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Thanos

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Thanks for the info.
Wishful Drinking ends in August which is too soon for me.
I'll probably by going to see Iphigenia in Tauris in October and Blue Dragon in January.
Will let you know how they are.
 

Benc7

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Wishful Drinking- Royal Alexandra Theatre

Carrie Fisher was once Princess Leia in Star Wars. She's never been allowed to forget (or escape) the role she landed when she was just nineteen. Carrie Fisher is also the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, once major stars. She's never been allowed to to forget (or escape) that either. Carrie Fisher is also a very good writer, and it's her writing that you have to listen for in this two hour, one-woman "this-is-my-life-and-man-isn't-it-crazy" monologue. What Carrie Fisher isn't, is a stand-up comic. Her timing is off; some scenes, especially the blackboard presentation of who was married to whom, loses its bite, finds it, then fizzles out. The occasional moments of comic brilliance are more apparent because there are so few of them. The set undermines her; if this is an intimate revelation than why dress the stage as if it were an apartment? Less stuff really would be more.

In the second act, she talks about her on going battle with mental illness; she (as Leia) is both a poster girl for bi-polar disorder AND a pez dispenser. How nuts is that? She's undergoing electric shock therapy; her accounting of its side-effects dovetailed nicely with the superb "Next to Normal" production I saw a few weeks ago.

In the end, I think reading Carrie Fisher is more rewarding than watching Carrie Fisher in this production.

http://www.mirvish.com/shows/wishfu...aimedactress&gclid=CK3Q1t-ls6oCFdTAKgod1Q0Vwg
 
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Benc7

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The Glass Menagerie- Soulpepper Theatre

A wonderful production of Tennessee Williams' play; I hadn't remembered the humour he uses to sheath his knife. Poor Amanda Wingfield, abandoned by a charming, good-for-nothing husband to raise two children on her own , her son, Tom, champing at the bit to get away from her, and her daughter, Laura, too damaged to survive on her own, lost in her collection of fragile glass animals. It's no wonder Amanda takes refuge in a past populated by "gentleman callers", desperate to secure one for Laura. The cast is superb: congratulations to Nancy Palk, Stuart Hughes, Jeff Lillico, and especially Gemma James-Smith as Laura.

Two acts, one intermission.

http://www.soulpepper.ca/performances/11_season/the_glass_menagerie.aspx
 

Benc7

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Come Fly Away-Four Seasons Centre for the Perfoming Arts-DanCap Productions

Thursday night was opening night for "Come Fly Away", the dance tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra, choreographed by Twyla Tharp. Great dancers (fourteen of them!), a hot big-band (on stage), a cool set ( a dance club) and some very impressive lighting (the best I've seen in a while) make for a very slick and sophisticated 80 minutes. So, I should have enjoyed it a lot more than I did, but the choreography was so conservative I found it hard to pay attention (I kept thinking of "Dancing with the Stars"). I will admit I'm not a fan of Sinatra, but I wish Tharp had taken some risks instead of taking such a literal approach to the music. But, since this is all a matter of opinion, The Toronto Star's Richard Ouzounian was in the audience and gave it four stars. Paula Citron of the Globe and Mail (also in the audience) didn't care for it. I loved the lighting.

one act, 80 minutes, no intermission

http://www.dancaptickets.com/pages/cfa
 

Davidackerman

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nyc visit

I was in NYC and saw Master Class with Tyne Dail. The Play, by Terence Macnally is beautifully written and a showpiece for any older woman lead. Here it's Tyne Daly who plays the famous opera diva Maria Callas. Il devio ruled the opera scene before and after the war and was married to billionaire Arisotale onasis (before Jackie Kennedy)

I loved tyne Daly.. yes of Cagney and Lacey, who's really charm and energy is showcased on the state. Her accent was amazing, as was her precence. I think it only runs for another month. If you're in NYC. Go.

BTW did anyone get to see any To Summerworks shows?
 

Benc7

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Exit the King - Soulpepper Theatre

I didn't get to see any of Summerworks, but I did see Soulpepper's terrific production of Eugène Ionesco's play Exit the King. King Berenger the First, (Oliver Dennis) is the ruler of a crumbling kingdom, and is informed he will die at the end of the play. He is the stand-in for all of us, all of us who think that death will come one day, but far in the future, or maybe, just maybe, not at all. But it always does. Written before Kubler-Ross wrote her famous book, Ionesco writes about dying in hilarious, angry, ridiculous, poignant, detail; death comes whether we fight it or not, accept it or not. A terrific cast, and a wonderfully wonky set made for an evening of theatre I won't soon forget.

Two acts, one intermission (2 hours, 20 minutes)

http://www.soulpepper.ca/performances/11_season/exit_the_king.aspx
 

PinkLucy

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I saw Private Lives last night at the Royal Alex. When both Paul Gross and Kim Cattrell entered, they received some applause, and they received a rousing standing ovation at the end. (although standing O's are becoming so common, it really doesn't mean much). The audience laughed throughout and seemed to be enjoying themselves, including some astonished gasps at a few comments related to hitting women.

Typical Noel Coward fun, good performances all 'round. I'm not a big fan of Paul Gross, but I thought this was the best performance I've seen from him. Both men that I was with thought it all went on a bit long. Fortunately, we had good seats in the orchestra section and weren't squished into the balcony seats so at least they were comfortable :)
 

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