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Play Review: Sousatzka

Sousatzka Toronto

Photo Source: @SousatzkaTO

Sousatzka captivates you as it takes you on an adventure from South Africa and Poland to England. It focuses on the story of a child protégé, Themba, and his piano teacher, Madame Sousatzka.

After his activist father gets arrested in South Africa, Themba and his mother escape and move to London. Once they are introduced to Madame Sousatzka, their families and friends meet, and they begin to exchange stories of struggle and survival.

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Play Review: Forever Plaid

Forever Plaid

Photo Source: Racheal McCaig

What would you do if you could realize your dreams a few decades after you die? For the Plaids, this is not a ridiculous notion—it’s reality. Most fans of the fictitious 1950s male quartet think they died in an emergency room, but patrons in Toronto can experience their music live at the Panasonic Theatre until June 12!

At the beginning of the show, the group explains that they want to seize the opportunity to perform the show they never could when they were alive. This enables the show’s escapist quality, as the oldies music and out-dated costumes make the audience feel like they’re travelling through time with the performers. Continue Reading

Play Review: Vegas The Show

Photo Source:  V Theater Box Office

Photo Source: V Theater Box Office

It’s hard to turn down free tickets, so when one of my former hotel packages included a voucher for a dinner and show at Planet Hollywood, how could I say no? In the end, I chose to eat at the Italian restaurant Lombardi’s and see Vegas! The Show.

The premise of Vegas! The Show is appealing because it’s a variety show that tells audiences about the history of Las Vegas. The show is bookended with narration by a janitor who makes funny quips about the characters you’ll find walking on Las Vegas Blvd, such as pushy promoters. The best parts of the show highlight the glitz and glamour present along the Strip throughout the decades, which includes classy restaurants and showgirls.

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Behind The Books: Kelsey Miller

Kelsey Miller

Name: Kelsey Miller

Best Known For: Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting And Got A Life (2016)

Education: Film & Television, Boston University

Employment: Senior Features Writer, Refinery29

Professional role models: David Sedaris & Tina Fey

How did spending years in therapy help you write a memoir?

The work I did (and still do) in therapy enabled me to grow up and live my life, without which there would be no memoir. I also never would have been able to write about my problems and difficulties without first sorting through them and working my ass off so that they weren’t the controlling force of my life. It’s a lot more complicated than this, but the short version is that I went into therapy feeling like one big problem — I was composed of trauma and disorder and dysfunctional experiences. Therapy doesn’t erase those things but it helped me realize that I’m not simply the sum total of my [problems]. Those things are in me and a part of me, but I don’t have to sit around and wait to be fixed and perfect in order to move forward with my life. I always thought you had to be All Better with a capital B in order to write a reflective memoir. Nope. You just get on with your life and your goals, issues or not.

Do you think your theatre training has helped you become a better storyteller?

Man, I sure hope so. I’d like to think my parents’ investment in a decade’s worth of theatre training paid off somehow. I’d always enjoyed storytelling and have huge admiration for good storytellers. (My mom and dad are both incredibly funny and I used to wish I could crack up a dinner table the way they could.) I haven’t done theatre in ages, but there are certain lessons that will always be with me: finding your intention in a scene, showing and not telling, etc. Those are all good instincts for writers as well.

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Movie Review: The Danish Girl

the -danish-girl-mtv

The Danish Girl is a grownup, British and Americanized version of Ma Vie En Rose, which is a modern story about a young transgender boy in France; however, this biopic is based on real events. It’s a compelling story about an artistic Danish couple whose romance is turned upside down after Gerda (Alicia Vikander) asks her husband Einar (Eddie Redmayne) to dress up as a woman, Lili, for a portrait and Einar enjoys it more than Gerda ever expected.

The movie’s attention to detail is excellent. For example, when Einar fixes Gerda’s lipstick with his finger, it’s clear that he is in touch with his feminine side because that’s rare to see. Likewise, the way Einar always whispers while pretending to be Lili reflects women’s submissive behaviour.

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