Archive | January, 2016

Check into Chelsea Hotel

18 Jan

ChelseaHotel-photo by Mat Simpson-sm

Credit: Mat Simpson

David Bowie’s sudden passing last week serves as a stark reminder that our cherished musical legends ought not to be taken for granted. One can be thankful that Canada’s own unofficial musical poet-laureate, Leonard Cohen, is still with us – and just as influential as ever. Case in point, Firehall Arts Centre‘s production, Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (presented by Theatre 20 with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille) which is going to be taking over the mainstage at Theatre Passe Muraille from February 3rd to 21st.

This theatrical cabaret homage to the master songwriter set in New York’s famous hotel of the same name has been selling out and picking up rave reviews everywhere it goes, so it’s fair to say Torontonians are in for a real treat. Full details in the press release after the break.

Opens February 4 and runs to February 21, 2016 (Previews February 3)
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto
Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 pm; Matinees Saturday-Sunday at 2:00 pm & Feb. 18 at 1:00 pm, with an additional special show on Valentine’s Day, Sunday February 14 at 7:30pm

Regular Tickets range from $35-$55; Discounted Tickets: Artsworker with valid I.D. – $30; Under 30 with valid I.D. – $25

Tickets can be purchased by calling 416-504-7529 or by visiting or in person at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue.



Theatre 20 (with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille) presents
the Toronto premiere of
Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen
A Firehall Arts Centre Production

Leonard Cohen’s powerful and inspirational music is the heartbeat of this eclectic cabaret of loves won and lost. With extraordinary arrangements, six performers play seventeen instruments in this rollicking tribute to the remarkable writer.

The central character has locked himself up in the Chelsea Hotel as he struggles to write about love – how he’s looked at it over the years, what he’s learned, who he’s hurt, who’s hurt him. Chelsea Hotel is not about Leonard Cohen, but is a celebration of his work.

Through Cohen’s transcendent songs and lyrical honesty, be transported to New York’s infamous hotel – a place full of music and enchantment, desire and passion.

Chelsea Hotel is directed and conceived by Tracey Power with musical direction and arrangements by Steven Charles. It stars Rachel Aberle, Sean Cronin, Christina Cuglietta, Benjamin Elliot, Jonathan Gould & Tracey Power.

Since premiering at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre in 2012, this beautifully inventive show has made stops in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria, Vernon, Banff, Fort McMurray, and returned to Vancouver again before playing Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre until January 24. Audiences and critics have raved:

“This is a seductive evening of rediscovered treasures. Even if you are not a Cohen fan, go see this one.” – Edmonton Sun (2016)

“The production reminds us just how good these songs are…. Chelsea Hotel delivers.” – Calgary Herald (2015)

Chelsea Hotel brings together some of the most beautiful, melancholic and affecting songs in the history of recorded music. ” – Winnipeg Free Press (2014)

Chelsea Hotel is a knockout…. The harmonies are as thick as cabaret smoke and the performers exhale them with astonishing ease.” – Georgia Straight (Vancouver, 2012)


SLIP Into This

16 Jan

slipAward-winning collective Circlesnake Productions are back with SLIP, a whodunit that is more Memento than Miss Marple. With a stellar line up of talent behind it, SLIP promises to be one of the more notable indie productions this winter season.

January 22nd to February 7th. The Box, 89 Niagara, near King and Bathurst. Full details in the press release below.


Circlesnake Productions at The Box

Presents the world premiere of


Circlesnake Productions examines memory loss, identity, and storytelling in its new collaboratively created production Slip, running January 22nd to February 7th at The Box, 89 Niagara St.

WINNER: Best Independent Production for Dark Matter from My Entertainment world

“A must see… Dark Matter is more enjoyable and emotional than Heart of Darkness

without losing the damning commentary of Conrad’s classic” Kelly Bedard

Slip follows Detective Lynn Barrett as she tries to piece together a mysterious death, while trying to hold on to her fading memory. Her attempts to uncover the truth are interrupted by increasingly intrusive memories that interact with the narrative of the murder. Lynn struggles to discern reality from memory and memory from fiction and risks fading into obsolescence and mental decay.

Slip continues Circlesnake’s unique process of creating work through structured improvisation and collective writing. Previous Circlesnake collaborators return, including Mikaela Dyke, Daniel Pagett and director Alec Toller. Toller also directs the award winning troupe Sex T-Rex, winner of numerous awards including the Just For Laughs Best English Comedy award.

“A terrific production of a terrifying, unsettling play” – Lynn Slotkin on Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?


Alec Toller Director – Alec Toller is the artistic director of Circlesnake Productions, for which he directed Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, Dark Matter, Special Constables, and Angel City. Alec also directs for Sex T-Rex, including their award winning productions of Swordplay: A Play of Swords, Watch out Wildkat, and Callaghan. Alec also directed the feature-length comedy Play the Film which won numerous awards across several continents.

Alex Paxton-Beesley Writer/performer – Alex’s work includes Festen (Company Theatre), Copper (BBC America), BURNT GRASS (TIFF Short Cuts 2014), MALODY (Canada’s Top Ten 2012) Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), and dozens of credits in film & television.

Mikaela Dyke Writer/performer – For Circlesnake, Mikaela wrote and performed in Dark Matter and Special Constables. Her solo shows, Dying Hard and Epic Pitch, have toured all across North America and won multiple critical and audience awards. She also has an extensive comedy resume and has appeared at cabarets in New York, Ottawa, Victoria, Winnipeg and Toronto. Other credits include: Jewel (Take the Shot) and Tony Ho’s Peak Falls (Bad Dog Theatre).

Daniel Pagett Writer/performer – For Circlesnake, Daniel acted in Angel City. Daniel Pagett is a Toronto-Based Actor, Director, and Playwright, most recently known for starring in Jeremy Taylor’s Big Plans at the Storefront Theatre. At the Storefront, he has also directed Claudia Dey’s Trout Stanley and Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker. Daniel is a member of Theatre Brouhaha and Red One Theatre Collective.

Anders Yates Writer/performer – Anders Yates has performed across North America and Europe with his multiple Canadian Comedy Award nominated troupe Uncalled For. With Uncalled For he has co-created and performed in such shows as Today Is All Your Birthdays, Hypnogogic Logic, and Playday Mayday. Other stage credits include Slap Shot Live! (Second City), Humans (Tableau d’Hote), Forbidden Zone (Hanakengo) and Dance Animal (Robin Henderson Productions). Anders is an alumni of the Second City National Touring Company and a current member of the Bad Dog Repertory Players. He can be seen on TV in Helix (Sony Pictures Television/Syfy), Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury Films/CBC) and Saving Hope (Entertainment One/CTV). He currently teaches improv with the Bad Dog Theatre Company.

Paloma Nuñez Writer/performer – Over the past 10 years Paloma has worked extensively in theatre, film, tv and improvisation at Bad Dog Theatre and Second City. Recent credits include, Second City Touring Company, the Golden Globe Best Picture nominee Spotlight (Anonymous Content Productions), and The Strain (FX).


Run January 22nd to February 7th,

Thurs – Sun @ 8pm, and Sun @ 2pm


Thursday Jan 21 @ 8pm (Preview)

Friday Jan 22 @ 8pm (Opening)

Saturday Jan 23 @ 8pm

Sunday Jan 24 @ 2pm & 8pm

Thursday Jan 28 @ 8pm

Friday Jan 29 @ 8pm

Saturday Jan 30 @ 8pm

Sunday Jan 31 @ 2pm & 8pm

Thursday Feb 4 @ 8pm

Friday Feb 5 @ 8pm

Saturday Feb 6 @ 8pm

Sunday Feb 7 @ 2pm & 8pm


The Box, 89 Niagara, near King and Bathurst.


$20 at the door or online at

$10/PWYC Sunday matinee performances.




My Entertainment World Awards 2015:

WINNER – Dark Matter – Best Independent Production

WINNER – Kat Letwin, Dark Matter – Best Actress

NOMINEE – Mikaela Dyke, Dark Matter – Best Supporting Actress

NOMINEE – Ensemble, Dark Matter – Best Ensemble



“This is some of the most provocative, beautifully realized theatre in the city.”

– Lynn Slotkin, Slotkin Letter, on Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? and the Caryl Churchill Playwright Project

“Under the direction of Alec Toller, the pacing never lags! Never! I can’t recall even a single dull moment”

– Istvan Dugalin, Mooney on Theatre on Special Constables

“Despite the genre and subject matter, the script doesn’t rely on spaceship tech-speak or nihilistic doom-and-gloom, instead creating believable, accessible characters in an otherworldly setting”

– Carly Maga, The Grid on Dark Matter