Tag Archives: Toronto stage

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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ROSS PETTY FLIES HIGH WITH PETER PAN – THE BESTEST CHRISTMAS PANTO EVER!!

After 20 years of producing and performing in Toronto’s favourite family holiday musicals, Ross Petty will hang up his Spanx and take his final boo as Captain Hook in a brand new production of PETER PAN, The 20th Anniversary Family Musical PANto-monium now playing at the Elgin Theatre in downtown Toronto.  While Petty will continue to produce the annual family holiday musical, this year will be his final stage appearance as a notorious evil-doer and the last opportunity for the exquisitely twisted form of love he revels in as ‘the man who must be booed.’peter-pan139-e1432559389141Joining Ross for his “glorious goodbye” are Panto stalwarts Eddie Glen (TweedleDum/Smee) who has appeared in 12 of the 20 productions; and Dan Chameroy (Tinkerbum) who starred in the first panto production at the Elgin Theatre in 1996 as the titular Robin Hood.th (2)Yes, this is the story of the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his evil nemesis Hook. The title role of PETER PAN is played by the super cute Anthony MacPherson, a brilliant singer, dancer and actor. The hilarious (and glamorous) Jessica Holmes (below) plays the very frisky Queen of HeartsJordan Clark is Alice and Steffi DiDomenicantonio plays Wendy. The dapper Mad Hatter is played by Lamar Johnson and the ever-smiling Cheshire Cat is purrformed (!) by Taveeta Szymanowitcz.Jessica Holmes as the Queen of HeartsWhile I was unable to attend this glorious extravaganza of the absurd (whew, what a mouthful!) myself, my friend Ayda (9yrs old) who lives down the hall went on my behalf with her mum and dad and she came home with her head filled with wonder and a whole list of great things to say about the show. Here is what she told me:

The mixture of scenery, costumes, make-up and dancing made the prefect onstage cake. Mmmm, yum…just the right amount of each ingredient (you can tell Ayda loves to cook, eh?).   The costumes were amazing, especially the Queen of Hearts who was dressed in a big poofy red sparkly gown. The Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat looked awesome, too.  The stage was designed with lots of colourful scenery and made me feel like I could actually be in Wonderland. The actors and actresses all did a good job and I loved it when the Queen of Hearts called Peter “Fwying Pan” in her weird accent. Haa haa haa. All of us in the audience could sing along with the songs which were re-written with new lyrics to match what was happening on stage. My parents and I danced in our seats to a special version of “Uptown Funk”. Yes, I loved Peter Pan in Wonderland.th (3)So take the hint from Ayda and take your family to see this traditional Christmas show that is so much a part of the British theatre heritage. I myself performed in several Christmas panto’s back in the UK in the early 70’s when I was a bright young actress in the Cheltenham Rep. Company – my fave role was playing Puss in Boots in brown tights, plunging neckline and thigh-high highheeled leather lace-up boots. I think my Puss was a bit more Benny Hill than Mother Goose!!

Tickets are on sale now for PETER PAN, The 20th Anniversary Family Musical PANto-monium, running at the historic Elgin Theatre (below) from now until January 3, 2016.  Follow this link to purchase your tkts: http://rosspetty.com/tickets/ticketselgin-theatre-imgBig thank-you to FLIP Publicity for my media passes and although I really wanted to go myself (post-surgery aches, pains and fuzzy-headedness prevented me from attending), I know young Ayda was given a real appreciation for actors and live shows; she’s a true theatre convert now.