All stories by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic on BroadwayStars

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
Thursday, March 24, 2022

Two North Bay notables — the Dionne quintuplets and shadflies — inspire a play about memory by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Drives to Sudbury and a visit to a Nebraskan retirement home, where some of the residents were passionate about the quints, fuelled Alain Doom’s “Le Club des éphémères.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:40PM
Monday, March 21, 2022

Central story of Shaw Festival’s ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ feels relevant in the age of catfishing by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” play was written in 1897 — long before the internet — but there are resonances with catfishing, say key creatives involved in a production now…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Friday, March 18, 2022

Canadian performer Jewelle Blackman takes on starring role in Broadway musical ‘Hadestown’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Jewelle Blackman has been the understudy for Persephone since the show returned from COVID-19 hiatus last September; she takes over the role April 5.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 09:00AM
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

First he got cancer, then he meditated, then he wrote a show about it: Daniel Brooks’ ‘Other People’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“I just wanted to offer something of what I’d learned,” says the director, writer and artistic director about “Other People,” playing at Canadian Stage.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:29PM

Makambe K Simamba brings her show ‘Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers’ to Tarragon Theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“The youth are the best, they’re going to take over the world,” Makambe K Simamba says. She thinks of her show as “a prayer for Black life.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre board chairperson left after brief stint by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Buddies has been in a process of organizational review and transformation since the summer of 2020, involving two outside consultants and a third-party review committee

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:12PM
Thursday, March 3, 2022

How Branden Jacobs-Jenkins got from Alice Munro stories to his ‘fear and loathing’ play ‘Gloria’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The American playwright and Canadian director André Sills on bringing “Gloria” to Toronto for its Canadian debut.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Four good things that have happened for theatre in Toronto by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Bright new initiatives helped chase off the darkness of the pandemic that was responsible for over $900 million in losses in performing arts during COVID’S first year

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM
Thursday, January 20, 2022

Entire board steps down at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Two board members will stay on temporarily in an administrative capacity during a transitional period in which Buddies will rebuild the board.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:51PM
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

After an epic pivot, the Next Stage Festival shifts online by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Yes, they’d rather play in person, but creators of three of the nine shows are happy to share their work digitally around the world.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:11PM
Thursday, December 16, 2021

Audience and cast of ‘Come From Away’ welcome each other back in emotional night at the theatre by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“I’ve had a lot of openings in my life and this is probably the most overwhelming experience,” says actor Lisa Horner.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 04:15PM
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Tyrone Huntley suddenly found himself on stage with Alvin Crawford for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ after a lead actor was arrested on Jan. 6 riot cha by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Huntley from England and Brampton’s Crawford play side by side in the show, currently running till Jan. 2 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM
Monday, December 6, 2021

With electric staging, dancing and singing, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ offers catharsis to pandemic-weary Toronto audiences by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The excellent cast dig deep into the songs; the band rocks hard and the choreography offers physical expression of the intense, shifting emotions.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:16PM
Friday, December 3, 2021

A composer and a gentleman: Canadian theatre artists remember Stephen Sondheim by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“The most important thing that he taught us was never underestimate your audience. If you don’t do your best they’ll know.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 03:56PM
Thursday, December 2, 2021

Electrifying, visceral and deeply emotional: this ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ aims to deliver the ‘wow factor’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The production that hit Toronto this week — making headlines over the arrest of its lead actor in the Capitol riot — is meant to be as much rock gig as stage musical, giving audiences th…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:30AM
Thursday, November 18, 2021

Loyal patrons and a cheque from Martha Henry kept the Coal Mine Theatre going through pandemic times by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“If we were grateful to them before, now we’re indebted,” says Coal Mine co-founder Diana Bentley. The tiny Danforth theatre returns with a half season of two highly acclaimed plays.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Dusty props and tears of joy: returning to live theatre ‘feels fantastic’ for local artists by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

“Come From Away” stage manager stepped into a “time capsule” his first time back in the theatre since March 13, 2020. Shaw Festival performers cried when they played “Irving Berlin…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:52PM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Canada’s ‘Harry Potter’ can’t wait to bring ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ to Toronto. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Canadian actor Trevor White is ‘nervous but thrilled’ to portray an adult Harry Potter in the blockbuster play that picks up nearly two decades from where J.K. Rowling’s books left off…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Shakespeare’s King Henry V becomes a protest leader in Toronto in ‘Henry G20’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

‘As a piece of art this play will do its job to educate people,’ says lead actor Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah. The play is set during the G20 protests of 2010 when police kettled hundreds o…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Musical Stage Company invites audiences into Dolly Parton’s world with UnCovered concert by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

‘She’s this great unifier,’ says Fiona Sauder. The concert will use the ‘connective tissue’ of Parton’s music to help audiences celebrate being together again.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM
Saturday, September 25, 2021

What does the word ‘home’ mean? Three theatre artists explain in ‘The Home Project’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

For Akosua Amo-Adem, it’s about being a Ghana-born Canadian, which she explores through standup comedy. Cheyenne Scott and Qasim Khan also perform in ‘The Home Project.’

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

After 101 years, the Ed Mirvish Theatre gets yet another name change by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Toronto venue that started out as the Pantages in 1920 will now be the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:00AM
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The stress of being a child stage actor made Maggie Blake physically sick. She wants to make sure no other young person endures that by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Blake served as a youth advocate this summer on the Stratford Festival’s “R+J,” an adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet.” Her role included helping 14-year-old Eponine Lee as Juliet eng…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:49PM
Friday, September 10, 2021

What role do racial slurs play onstage? The Shaw and Stratford festivals consider the use of a particularly offensive word in the wake of a racial rec by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Both festivals are staging productions this summer in which the N-word is used. To some Black theatre artists, removing the word isn’t a solution: ‘If you decide to cut that term, you de…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM