Tag Archives: Toronto actors

Joanne Latimer

SHADOWTIME PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS PROVOCATIVE DARK COMEDY “AUNT DAN & LEMON” IN TORONTO SEPT. 14th

Award-winning Toronto theatre director Dan Spurgeon brings Wallace Shawn’s Obie Award-winning play Aunt Dan and Lemon to Toronto audiences next month at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. The play takes us into the disquieting world of Lemon, a reclusive British invalid who fills her days reading and remembering. She recounts the overwhelming influence on her life of her parents’ friend Aunt Dan, a sophisticated, passionate American scholar whose colourful stories and seductive opinions provide Lemon an escape from her unhappy family life.  Her deepening influence on the young Lemon shapes this exploration of the superficial nature of political orientation and the allure of hardening one’s heart. A forceful morality tale that is both an exquisitely painful horror story and the blackest of black comedies, Aunt Dan and Lemon examines the ease with which good and evil become reconciled in the human mind.

Program from original NY production

Program from original NY production

Shadowtime Productions is proud to present the first professional production of this poetic, deeply unsettling play in Toronto in almost 30 years. With racism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism on the rise around the world, Aunt Dan and Lemon is an uncannily timely study of how even the most literate, civilized individuals can drift en masse into depravity and justify the most obscene acts of history.

What the critics said about Aunt Dan and Lemon:

A provocative, disquieting play that slyly raises questions about the unseen links between the personal ethics of citizens and the policies of their leaders. Variety

Stimulating and demanding – the most dangerous play in town. I can’t remember the last time I saw a play make an audience so uncomfortable, and I mean that as high praise. NY Times

 Arresting and disturbing. Shawn uses shock tactics to propose unpalatable arguments. London Times

 A wondrously subversive, cataclysmic morality tale that is entertaining, infuriating, and determined to provoke its audience. Newsday

 One of the most significant plays since the end of World War II, a powerful challenge to our collective responsibility.  Daily Mail

The cast features award-winning and popular actors Joanne Latimer and Helen Juvonen in the title roles (pictured below) with Philip Cairns, Jane Hailes, Daniel Cristofori, Daniel Carter and Breton Lalama. Produced by Drew Blakeman with Set & Scenic Design by Elizabeth Traicus and Costume Design by Jenni Lee Pickett.

Joanne Latimer

Joanne Latimer

Helen Juvonen

Helen Juvonen

PRODUCTION HISTORY
The world premiere of Wallace Shawn’s Aunt Dan and Lemon was produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival (Joseph Papp, producer) at the Royal Court Theatre in London, England in August 1985, with Linda Hunt and Kathryn Pogson in the title roles and Shawn in the ensemble cast. This production opened in New York at The Public Theater in October 1985, winning that year’s Obie Award for Playwriting. The play was revived off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre in 2004 with Kristen Johnston and Lili Taylor, and returned for a West End revival in 2009 at the Royal Court starring Lorraine Ashbourne and Jane Horrocks. Aunt Dan and Lemon has received major regional productions through the years, including at Steppenwolf (Chicago), Mark Taper Forum (LA), and Woolly Mammoth (Washington, DC). The 1987 Dora-nominated production at Tarragon Theatre was the most recent Toronto production.

Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn

AUNT DAN AND LEMON runs September 14th through 25th – space is limited so get your tickets NOW!!

Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto
Showtimes: Wed thru Sat @ 7:30pm, Sat & Sun matinees @ 2:00pm
Tickets available from www.passemuraille.ca
Media night: Thurs. Sept. 15th 

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THE BABY DEBUTS TO FULL HOUSE….AND A STANDING OVATION!

Award-winning writer/director Dan Spurgeon‘s hilarious homage to 70’s grindhouse movies, THE BABY, debuted live on stage at the Storefront Theatre tonight and if the enthusiastic preview audience is any indication, the play’s gonna be a BIG HIT!20151015_212740The talented cast of local actors bring “high camp” to a whole new level, delivering lines in a manner Benny Hill would envy! New York actor Frank Blocker (below) reprises the role of Mama he made famous in LA when the play premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2013, winning numerous awards as well as critical acclaim. 20151009_222104Jeanie Calleja sparkles as the seemingly good-hearted social worker, Ms. Gentry, but things turn decidedly dark when she meets Baby (below) and the whole Wadsworth family. Jeff Dingle‘s portrayal of Baby the man-child is sweet, hysterically funny and poignant, and he chews up the scenery…including the carpet, the stuffed toys…even his hotsie-totsie babysitter, played by Olivia Marshman!

Photo: John Gundy

Photo: John Gundy

Photo: John Gundy

Photo: John Gundy

Baby’s sisters are over-the-top, wildly funny and played to perfection by Alicia Richardson as Alba, the ultimate wicked yet sexy villainess (below left) and Claire Burns (below right) as Germaine…think Ellie-May Clampett meets Ann Margaret!20151009_213835Winner of Best of Hollywood Fringeand “Top 10 LA Theatre Production” honours in 2013

What the LA Critics said about The Baby:
“Gleefully perverse with a delicious campiness!”  Paul Birchall, LA Weekly
“The most fun I’ve had at a play in a long time!”  Andrew Moore, Mad Theatrics
and my favourite…..   “That was fuckin’ funny!”  Ron Jeremy, adult film legend

But don’t take their word for it….come enjoy this raucous, vulgar, naughty, high camp entertainment yourself.
THE BABY runs now until Nov. 1, 2015 at The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Showtimes: Tues. thru Sat. @ 8pm & Sun. @ 2pm
Tickets: $20-$25 available from www.thebabyliveonstage.com or at the theatre box office.logoCongratulations to the cast and crew…take your well-deserved bows!20151015_212736