All stories by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

With graves confirmed at former residential schools, the cast of Tomson Highway’s ‘The Rez Sisters’ finds deeper meaning in the play by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

‘It was written in 1986 … all of the characters were affected by residential school,’ says actor Tracey Nepinak, part of the all-Indigenous cast of the Stratford Festival production.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:09PM
Saturday, July 24, 2021

Curtains reopen on Shaw and Stratford festivals with outdoor productions of “The Devil’s Disciple” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Theatre under the canopies allows producers to make full use of the audience space in ‘joyful, satisfying heartbreaking’ return

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:18PM
Thursday, July 22, 2021

How Stratford and Shaw brought theatre festivals back to life in Ontario by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Both theatres are premiering their first plays of the season this week, and it’s been a monumental and emotional journey to get here.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:09AM
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The circus skills are top notch in ‘Together Apart, Summer, Cirque’ — a welcome return to live performance in the GTA by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The circus acts include hoop diving, Cyr wheel, aerial silks, juggling and Chinese pole: acrobats scrambling up, spinning around and doing death dives off of vertical poles. Most thrillingly…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:36PM

Outdoors now, indoors in the fall (maybe): How theatre is coming back in Ontario by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Here’s what the Shaw Festival, the Stratford Festival, Mirvish Productions and other theatre companies in Toronto have planned as they welcome patrons back to live performances — with pl…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

It’s pandemic-friendly, kid-friendly and acrobat-friendly: The circus is back in town by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Montreal’s 7 Fingers brings ‘Together Apart, Summer Cirque’ to the Markham Fairgrounds. Its artists have been missing performing ‘death-defying acts,’ says 7 Fingers co-artistic di…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:27PM
Monday, June 28, 2021

‘C-O-N-T-A-C-T’ is acted out while, all around, Torontonians go about their daily lives. The sense of enchantment that engenders is a beautiful gi by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

But given the immersive show’s otherwise impressive attention to detail, it’s disappointing that the English-language soundtrack still features the voices of actors from the London, U.K.…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:10PM
Thursday, June 24, 2021

A new musical theatre show ponders aloneness and togetherness — no, not in the pandemic, during the 2003 blackout by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Toronto’s Musical Stage Company presents ‘BLACKOUT’ from July 23 to Aug. 15 — fittingly, under the stars at the High Park Amphitheatre.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Monday, May 31, 2021

Why are film and TV productions allowed to go on and theatre groups can’t even rehearse? arts coalition asks the Ford government by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Close to 100 arts organizations ask the province to amend its Roadmap to Reopen or risk more damage to the already devastated performing arts industry.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:23PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Only two of the four actors doing the Zoom play ‘An Acorn’ will have rehearsed it — and that’s part of the fun of it by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Toronto actors Blythe Haynes and Ryan G. Hinds have been rehearsing a week in advance. English actors Mina Anwar and Darren Jeffries will come into the May 6 performance pretty much cold. …

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 05:00AM
Friday, April 9, 2021

The show will go on, beleaguered performing arts companies hope — but mostly outdoors by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

With the latest COVID-19 stay-at-home order in Ontario preventing theatre companies from even rehearsing or recording content, organizations are cautiously planning late spring or summer sho…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM
Friday, March 12, 2021

In the 1930s a Black actor from Canada played God in a hit Broadway play — now another Black actor is bringing him back to audiences by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Richard B. Harrison made a living touring North America reading Shakespeare and poetry until ‘The Green Pastures’ came along. Actor Walter Borden and director Jeff Culbert want to make s…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:30AM
Thursday, March 11, 2021

As shows like ‘Come From Away’ and ‘Hamilton’ play to full houses in Australia, the rest of the theatre world watches and waits by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Some of the world’s most successful musicals are hitting Australian stages thanks to that country’s COVID-19 measures. In Toronto, where theatres are still closed, arts organizations are…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 08:00AM
Thursday, January 21, 2021

‘A year ago, I would not have applied for this job’: Karine Ricard on becoming the first Black leader of a professional Francophone theatre compan by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Ricard, who takes over the helm of the Théâtre français de Toronto in July, joins a number of other recently appointed female Black theatre leaders in Toronto, including Weyni Mengesha at…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 09:00AM
Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Drag performer Taylor Mac has a Christmas treat for you: a livestreamed version of variety show ‘Holiday Sauce’ by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

TO Live and Buddies in Bad Times are among the international organizations supporting ‘Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce — Pandemic!’ — a vaudeville-style revue of musical numbers, film, …

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Friday, December 4, 2020

How Toronto’s Harold Green Jewish Theatre brought the world together for ‘A Global Hanukkah Celebration’ concert by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

From Berlin to Sydney, Toronto’s co-artistic directors David Eisner and Avery Saltzman bring together a dozen Jewish theatres from around the world to link up in seasonal concert

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:27PM
Sunday, November 1, 2020

Students connect with online play’s real-life pandemic plot by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Theatre Direct’s new online show pulls young audiences in with its Zoom-style staging and post-show talkback.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Stratford fest creates deliciously ridiculous online soap opera to get us through a COVID-19 winter by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Freshly created web series ‘Leer Estates’ is just one highlight of theatre fest’s new digital subscription service, also a Shakespearean game show and films of famed stage productions …

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Thursday, September 17, 2020

First came the pandemic, then the Black Lives Matter uprising: Toronto’s theatre industry has to find a way to address both by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

What will the future hold for theatre in Toronto? It has to extend beyond how to stage live productions again during COVID-19 to the very structure of organizations, to who’s making theatr…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:00AM
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Playwright Tomson Highway on why artists need to fight evil by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The Cree playwright, whose ‘The Cave’ is part of the online Luminato Festival, says ‘the greater the challenge the greater the fight,’ whether it’s anti-Black racism, climate chang…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 07:00AM
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Watch: In the musical ‘In Real Life,’ characters communicate online. When COVID-19 struck, life imitated art on Zoom by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Thanks to technology and the perseverance of all involved, Sheridan College put on a workshop production of the show this month, with rehearsals and a performance all happening online, write…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 02:14PM
Sunday, April 26, 2020

Disaster insurance keeps the Shaw Festival going by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

As theatres across Canada close their seasons due to COVID-19, a policy update three years ago keeps the Shaw’s staff employed and rehearsing

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:53AM
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Friday, March 6, 2020

‘Hamilton’ stars want more noise from Toronto audience by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The actors in the top roles from ‘Hamilton’ talk about how they got here and the noise they’d like to hear from their Toronto audience.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 06:30AM
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

‘Sunday in the Park With George’ is a Pulitzer Prize-winning musical — and it’s never had a full production in Toronto by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

Opinions vary as to why. Is it the challenges of the staging, a second act that some consider weak or the fact it’s about artists and making art?

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:42PM
Saturday, February 22, 2020

‘Lady Sunrise’ offers moving portraits of isolation and psychological struggle by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

While the play is full of loss, the meta-story behind it is that of empowerment: nearly all the lead creatives and the entire cast are Asian-Canadian women, writes Karen Fricker.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:42PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

What do you do when the love of your life fails you? Vivek Shraya turned it into a solo show by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

‘How to Fail as a Popstar’ is about how the author, visual artist, filmmaker and trans activist failed at what she wanted more than anything: to make it as a pop musician. But she’ll a…

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:12PM
Saturday, February 15, 2020

At ‘You and I,’ it’s OK if theatregoers wander onstage during the performance by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The play at Young People’s Theatre is for children 12 to 30 months old — or ‘explorers,’ as playwright Maja Ardal likes to call them.

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 12:29PM
Monday, February 10, 2020

Critics who aren’t Indigenous, Black or people of colour aren’t invited to ‘bug.’ Yolanda Bonnell explains why by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

The Indigenous theatre artist says “bug” is an artistic ceremony, which she says “does not align with colonial reviewing practices.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 11:01PM
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Harry and Meghan as a Second City sketch? A look at how the comedy group improvises its shows by Karen Fricker - Theatre Critic

What’s the method behind the Second City magic? We put these questions to the director of “She The People.”

SOURCE: Toronto Star at 01:32PM

All that Chat

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Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54