All stories by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic on BroadwayStars

Sunday, July 16, 2023

We asked 15 theatre companies across Ontario to recommend the best shows to see this summer. Their picks are worth a road trip by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The companies and festivals offer an incredible variety of theatre, including Hitchcock, historical dramas, even a tropical dinner theatre murder mystery.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Friday, July 14, 2023

Are antidepressants a boon or a curse? The question is grippingly explored in ‘The Effect’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Aviva Armour-Ostroff’s performance is a slowly rising storm in Coal Mine production of this Lucy Prebble play set in a drug trial.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:12PM
Thursday, July 13, 2023

Can ‘Spamalot’s’ Lady of the Lake be pregnant? Yes, if it’s Jennifer Rider-Shaw and the Stratford Festival by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Theatre actors Jennifer Rider-Shaw and Robert Markus are expecting their first child in October. Here’s how they made the timing work alongside the Stratford Festival.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:30AM
Saturday, July 8, 2023

‘Hadestown’ heads to some dark and moody places by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Anaïs Mitchell’s celebrated tuner blends together ancient myths, musical influences from roots to show tunes, and bravura stagecraft into a celebration of the capacity of love to pierce b…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:37PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Stratford 2023: ‘A Wrinkle In Time, a loving, heartwarming production for the whole family by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The stage adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s much-loved play provides nostalgia for the grown-ups and connects with younger audiences

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:48PM
Monday, June 19, 2023

Stratford 2023: Brad Fraser’s adaptation of ‘Richard II’ is as expert as it is provocative by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Unabashedly physical performance draws parallels to the AIDS crisis but also to issue of representation and power

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:21PM
Saturday, June 17, 2023

Women get more to say in Much Ado About Nothing by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Director Chris Abraham casts new light on a Shakespeare comedy by reading it through a contemporary lens, Karen Fricker writes.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:33PM

‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ on-stage family keep it fresh after a year-long run by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Stars Trevor White, Trish Lindstrom and Luke Kimball talk about on creating a stage family in the Toronto production of the smash play

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Friday, June 16, 2023
Saturday, June 10, 2023

‘My mother burst into tears’: Inside ‘Casey and Diana,’ the most moving Canadian play of the year by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Writer Nick Green and director Andrew Kushnir on bringing the acclaimed Stratford Festival production to life.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:00AM
Friday, June 9, 2023

Luminato Festival’s ‘Aalaapi’ offers a literal window into life in the North by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Performed in English, French, and Inuktitut, this production follows the lives of Inuit women living in the North.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:47PM
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Amaka Umeh proves she’s one of the best actors of her generation in ‘Sizwe Banzi is dead’ at Soulpepper Theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

A jaw-dropping performance by Umeh in the roles of Styles and Buntu reflects the play’s focus on split identities

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:13AM
Saturday, June 3, 2023

Impassioned reimagining of pop-rock play energizes summer theatre stage by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Iconic 90s play led by a new generation of performers could lure younger demographic to Stratford this summer

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:00PM

‘Incredibly moving’: Stratford play ‘Casey and Diana’ captures Princess Diana’s iconic visit to Toronto’s Casey house by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Writer Nick Green’s play deeply honours the experiences of gay men at the end of their lives and the people who care for them

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Yes, Canadian TV star Paul Gross has the chops to play King Lear by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Gross and director Kimberley Rampersad have the guts and vision to let this Stratford Festival Lear be genuinely unlikeable at the start.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:51PM

Eric Idle sings with the cast in surprise Stratford ‘Spamalot’ appearance by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The original Monty Python troupe member reflects on collaboration, laughter and being a ghost

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:23AM
Friday, May 26, 2023

Kate Hennig is a commanding Momma Rose in the Shaw Festival’s ‘Gypsy’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The musical based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee is musically resplendent and boasts two superb performances from Hennig and Julie Lumsden.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:38PM
Friday, May 19, 2023

Enchanting ‘Prince Caspian’ at Shaw Festival likely to stir fond memories of the Narnia books by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Damien Atkins’ retelling puts the focus on the four Pevensie children and the delightful creatures who join them in their quest.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:31PM
Monday, May 1, 2023

‘New’ a fresh take on on-stage portrayals of new immigrants deserves to get the on-screen series treatment by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Pamela Mala Sinha latest play has so many such fascinating episodes and layers it feels as if it’s bursting out of its 2.5-hour long run

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:15PM
Sunday, April 23, 2023

What’s in a page? To print theatre programs or deliver them digitally, that is the question by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

For some stage fans, downloading a program via QR code is a poor substitute for a record you can hold in your hand.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM
Sunday, April 16, 2023

‘Kooza’ is Cirque du Soleil distilled to its essence with signature risks and humour by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The acts, as expected, are world-class and nicely varied. And the clowns are even funny, not always a guarantee.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:04PM

‘The best kind of staging’: ‘Mesmerizing’ production of Anton Chekhov’s play ‘The Seagull’ at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Director Daniel Brooks creates an updated production in which the actors talk like real people and that includes the audience in a fully realized, emotionally engulfing world.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Friday, April 14, 2023

‘Sort Of’ star Amanda Cordner is ‘incandescent’ in ‘Body So Fluorescent’ at Buddies In Bad Times theatre: ‘The show deserves full houses by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Lightning transformations between characters and the emerging revelation of the relationship between them is the central theatrical conceit

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Saturday, April 8, 2023

Young African and Asian women reclaim their sexuality in ‘Vierge’ and ‘Love You Wrong Time’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

One looks at the cost of not talking to girls about sex. The other pokes fun at the sexualization and fetishization of Asian women.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:37PM
Friday, March 31, 2023

A Grimm Night is a wonderful, disorienting, ethereal evening of immersive dance theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Transcen|Dance Project has done excellent work in delivering a luxurious evening’s entertainment, a local alternative to New York’s “Sleep No More.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:44PM
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Giving myths a makeover on the big stage: Adam and Eve/Hawa and Ovid’s ‘Metamorphosis’ told in fresh ways at Crow’s and Tarragon theatres by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Makram Ayache’s new play “The Hooves Belonged to the Deer” and “Metamorphoses 2023,” based on Ovid’s epic poem, produced by Theatre Smith-Gilmour.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:52PM
Monday, March 20, 2023

Play ‘Anahita’s Republic’ gives a sharp-edged view of the struggle for women’s rights in Iran by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Title character Anahita offers an insider perspective into gender, power and freedom in contemporary Iran. I walked away without easy answers.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:26PM
Tuesday, March 14, 2023

How Cliff Cardinal’s annoyance with land acknowledgments became a provocative piece of theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

His “sly, funny, charming” solo show about the practice is now playing as “The Land Acknowledgement, or As You Like It” — minus the Shakespeare bait and switch.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:20PM
Friday, March 10, 2023

A troubled woman, a janitor on his nightly rounds — two immersive theatre productions explore isolation by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

In “The Yellow Wallpaper” spectators hear and see images of a woman whose mental health is deteriorating. In “Le Concierge” they follow a silent high school janitor.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:00PM

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

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