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Paula Citron
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Critic, Broadcaster, Arts Journalist
Critic, Broadcaster, Arts Journalist

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PAULA’S PICKS AND PANS (of Toronto theatre, dance and opera)

THEATRE – NOW PLAYING (five start rating system)

Canadian Stage. London Road (4 ½ stars). Run don’t walk to see one of the most unusual shows in town that is soon to close. The serial killer of five prostitutes in Ipswich, England, had a flat on London Road. Verbatim playwright Alecky Blythe interviewed residents of the street to capture what they went through during the investigation, arrest and trial. These conversations were then set to music by composer Adam Cork. The resulting sung monologues/dialogues are astonishing in their reaiity. The cast is unbelievable (all kinds of Stratford/Shaw types), gilded by director Jackie Maxwell and her Shaw Festival music director Reza Jacobs. The costumes and the set are terrific. I’m deducting marks for some impenetrable accents. Nonetheless, once again, CanStage scores big with a North American premiere. (Closes Feb. 9, Bluma Appel Theatre, www.canadianstage.com.)

DANCE – NOW PLAYING

KYLE ABRAHAM/ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION. THE RADIO SHOW. You only have until Saturday to catch this World Stage offering. Abraham is one of New York’s brightest lights. The supple dancers execute fluid, total body choreography in this show about memory and communication. As a dancesmith, Abraham knows how to rivet the eye with movement that always catches you by surprise. No wonder he won a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation. An ambitious show in content that maybe doesn’t get quite get to where it should in substance, but the choreography rocks. (Closes Feb. 8, Fleck Dance Theatre, www.harbourfrontcentre.com.)

DANCE IMMERSION. CELEBRATING OUR MEN IN DANCE. This show, also on a short run, is part of Black History Month. Curator Vivine Scarlett has opted to program 8 male choreographers to present black men in a positive light. They hail originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique, and Jamaica, while two are Toronto born. The dance ranges from traditional to contemporary and presents a wide spectrum of themes. While the quality is uneven, the bill of fare is entertaining. This is an important show because it speaks to Canada’s multicultural mosaic. (Closes Feb 8, Enwave Theatre, www.harbourfrontcentre.com.)

Mirvish Productions. Heartbeat of Home. This new production, from the team that brought you Riverdance two decades ago, is an immensely enjoyable, professional-looking, polished dance show where everything hangs together as smooth as silk. The music score is sensational and the band it hot. Despite some weaknesses to the look of the show, it certainly deserves a long shelf life. (Closes Mar. 2, Ed Mirvish Theatre, www.mirvish.com.) See full website review, http://wp.me/p2s1nr-zz.
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posted my review of Nightwood Theatre's production of Jordi Mand's Between the Sheets. Worthy play. Two great actors. http://wp.me/p2s1nr-bx
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Just posted my review of Dear Liar starring the wonderful Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah. http://wp.me/p2s1nr-bn
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Posted my extensive interview with English playwright Bryony Lavery on my website, paulacitron.ca. Lavery wrote the controversial play Stockholm, currently running at the Tarragon Extra Space. The interview also includes choreographer Susie Burpee who did the movement for Stockholm. Here's the link. http://bit.ly/yeni0O
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Posted my review for the charming The Exquisite Hour on my website. Here's the link. http://bit.ly/yeni0O
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Too bad Hatch was only one night. Watch for my Dancemakers review in the Globe (print and web). Here's the link. http://bit.ly/yD4b5q
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Just saw The Exquisite Hour at Factory Studio. An absolute charmer of a play. Bad publicity. Nobody there. The place should be packed. Ted Dykstra is a hoot. Try and get to it this week.
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First of all, mea culpa, I had left out a comment about Lauren Segal's wonderful performance of Nicklausse in the COC Tales of Hoffmann review. I've now corrected that omission in my web review. Just posted a review of Artistic Fraud's Oil and Water. http://bit.ly/yeni0O. Dance reviews of Bboyizm and Esmeralda Enrique's 30th anniversary are on the Globe website and in print.
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A Hoffmann photo from the COC production.
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Just posted a lengthy review of the COC's Tales of Hoffmann. Here's the link to my website. http://bit.ly/yeni0O
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