All stories by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic on BroadwayStars

Friday, March 10, 2023

Tawiah M’Carthy’s career takes another leap as he directs Pulitzer-winning play ‘Fairview’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

M’Carthy has gone from one- or two-person shows to the Stratford Festival to a Canadian stage doubleheader — and he’s ready for much more.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 10:17AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Making the ‘Mahabharata’: How do you bring a 4,000-year-old Sanskrit epic to the stage? by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Ravi Jain and Miriam Fernandes wrestled with serving both South Asian audiences familiar with the poem and people who wouldn’t even know how to pronounce it.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 10:00AM
Thursday, March 2, 2023

‘The Darkest Dark’ successfully brings Chris Hadfield’s bestseller to the stage by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Gorgeous production at Young People’s Theatre set in the days before the moon landing is about facing your fears head on.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:56PM
Friday, February 17, 2023

Sanaz Toossi’s ‘English’ unpacks the complexity of navigating the world with an accent by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

In an English-language classroom in Iran, personalities emerge, relationships form, secrets are revealed.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:35PM

‘Redbone Coonhound’: A couple’s heated disagreement about a racist dog name gets turned into a funny play by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Play weaves together scenes featuring an interracial couple modelled on playwrights Amy Lee Lavoie and Omari Newton with fanciful vignettes riffing on issues about race.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 10:48AM
Friday, February 10, 2023

Sarah Gadon brings intensity as a woman destructively obsessed with motherhood in ‘Yerma’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This play about the pressures on women to reproduce is difficult and discomfiting, and evidence Coal Mine’s commitment to bold texts in bold productions will continue.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:46PM
Thursday, February 2, 2023

‘Pressure’ starring Kevin Doyle is an engrossing story and a good old-fashioned play by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The story about how two competing weather forecasts affected the D-Day invasion in the Second World War builds tension into the unscrolling of weather maps.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:25PM

Tom McCamus and Seana McKenna bring 50 years of friendship and performing to ‘Things I Know To Be True’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The stage veterans play a husband and wife in Andrew Bovell’s story of family relationships in its Canadian debut.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 09:00AM
Saturday, January 28, 2023

The work that went into ‘Fall on Your Knees’ is inspiring and humbling by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Camellia Koo’s set is visually striking — tall diagonal wooden slats create a frame over the stage — and Leigh Ann Vardy’s lighting helps shift location and mood in sometimes natural…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:51PM
Thursday, January 26, 2023

How do you solve a problem like an outdated play or musical? by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“Some Like It Hot” on Broadway does a spectacular job of it. “Funny Girl” not so much, despite the star presence of Lea Michele.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 10:00AM
Thursday, January 12, 2023

‘Illuminated Text’ brings Shakespeare and the Stratford experience to homes across Canada by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Interactive video experience offers deep dives into the Bard’s works, allowing the festival to engage with people across the country and beyond.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:10PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

‘Fifteen Dogs’ at Crow’s Theatre offers a dog’s eye view of Toronto by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This month Crow’s Theatre is producing the world premiere stage version of “Fifteen Dogs,” adapted and directed by Marie Farsi and featuring a cast of six.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Saturday, December 17, 2022

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a crowd-pleaser but shows its age at times by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The show’s simple, hooky premise — a song cycle in different pop genres retelling the Biblical story of Joseph — is an opportunity for one spectacular musical number after another

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:46PM
Monday, December 12, 2022

Entertaining and hard-hitting, ‘’da Kink in My Hair’ still holds up 20 years later by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

New Soulpepper and TO Live production is updated with topical references while maintaining the dramatic situation and structure that are key to the play’s success.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:09PM
Friday, December 2, 2022

Ross Petty couldn’t leave 25 years of pantos behind without playing his ‘favourite evil person’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Now that his company’s holiday pantos are coming to an end, Petty will take one final bow as Captain Hook in “Peter’s Final Flight.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 09:00AM
Thursday, December 1, 2022

‘Shenanigans and love happen’: Alexis Gordon welcomes her role in ‘White Christmas’ after a year of darker theatre material by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Gordon won a Dora Award for “Room” and starred in “The Doctor’s Dilemma,” with more to come in 2023. She’s tired, but it’s a “champagne problem.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 09:00AM
Monday, November 28, 2022

Allan Louis is excellent as pioneering Black actor Ira Aldridge in ‘Red Velvet’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Lolita Chakrabarti’s 2012 play is an ambitious work of activist theatre history served up in an entertaining package of 19th-century backstage drama.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:30PM
Friday, November 18, 2022

Hannah Moscovitch’s ‘Post-Democracy’ gives us a ‘Succession’-like story of despicable behaviour among the super-rich by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The actors impressively deliver the extreme naturalism of the performance style, but the play leaves us with little hope.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:04PM

The ballet ‘MADDADDAM’ should be like Margaret Atwood’s novels: something you can’t put down, says Wayne McGregor by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

McGregor’s ballet based on the ‘MaddAddam’ book trilogy has its world premiere in Toronto Nov. 23 and Atwood’s looking forward to being surprised.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM
Monday, November 14, 2022

The music makes this Canadian Stage production of ‘Choir Boy’ soar by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The play’s plotting is not always strong, but its cast, led by Andrew Broderick, digs beautifully into its language and songs.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:31PM
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Here goes ‘UnCovered’ again with the music of ABBA by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Latest in Musical Stage Company’s ‘UnCovered’ concert series puts a new spin on the songs of the Swedish supergroup Nov. 8 to 10.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Friday, November 4, 2022

This excellently acted ‘Three Sisters’ doesn’t always connect by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Cavernous theatre and raised stage can put emotional and psychological distance between actors and audience, but it’s worth going for Robert Persichini’s performance alone.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:12PM
Friday, October 28, 2022

‘The Waltz’ at Factory Theatre is a sweet romance with substance by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

This sequel to Marie Beath Badian’s “Prairie Nurse” shows how the lives of that play’s heroines diverged and shaped the experiences of their Filipino-Canadian offspring.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:24PM
Monday, October 10, 2022

Iraqi actor Ahmed Moneka came to Toronto in 2015 and couldn’t go home. Now he’s on stage in ‘Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Ahmed Moneka marks a professional milestone by playing a major role at a Toronto theatre — one in which he brings his life experience to bear.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Sunday, October 2, 2022

This ‘Jaws’ play didn’t need a bigger theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The waves never peak, nor does the action in the intimate three-header ‘The Shark is Broken,’ now struggling to fill the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:30PM
Sunday, September 25, 2022

Family bickering and a current of violence keep things dark and edgy in ‘Public Enemy’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Canadian Stage boldly launches its 2022-23 season with a precise performance of a troubling play by Québécois provocateur Olivier Choinière

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:51PM
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Stratford’s ‘Hamlet-911’ suffers from too many layers of issues and subplots by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The riff-on-‘Hamlet’ play by Canadian novelist and playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald collapses under the weight of all it tries to achieve.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Monday, September 12, 2022

Indigenous stories find expression through Shakespeare in the Stratford Festival’s ‘1939’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Jani Lauzon’s and Kaitlyn Riordan’s play shows Shakespeare may not necessarily always represent the cold, dead hand of colonialism.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:09PM
Monday, August 29, 2022

Wole Soyinka’s masterpiece ‘Death and the King’s Horseman’ gets a thrilling Stratford Festival production by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The festival has provided the resources and time to do the script justice and Tawiah M’Carthy leads a world-class company in a staging as moving as it is thought-provoking.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:39PM
Sunday, August 28, 2022

Stratford’s ‘The Miser’ gets a richly comic reward from star Colm Feore by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Thoroughly up-to-date script and a production right in director Antoni Cimolino’s wheelhouse add up to a delight, writes Karen Fricker.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:45PM
Thursday, August 25, 2022

Making theatre safe, culturally specific and nuanced is the job of these professionals by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Stratford and other theatres are turning frequently to consultants in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the global racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards