Buzz: Just back from two years in England, where he worked with director Peter Hall, Jansen - a sharp performer who's always worth watching - makes a welcome return to the T.O. stage.
Buzz: NOW music writer Bromstein waxes bitchy about other performers' shortcomings, so let's see if she can deliver the goods herself. Her experience in burlesque troupe the Scandelles should come in handy.
ANNA CHATTERTON and EVALYN PARRY
Buzz: Last year the co-creators (with director Karin Randoja ) deservedly walked home with the SummerWorks Jury Prize for their Edward Gorey-esque Clean Irene & Dirty Maxine. Their new show looks like it's also filled with wordplay, sardonic observations and physicality. More of the same, or something new?
Buzz: Better known as a playwright (Zadie's Shoes, Sunday Father), Pettle's also performed in his own Therac 25. What are his acting chops like when he tackles someone else's writing?
of the Pinocchio story, with the former wooden boy working in the porn trade.
Buzz: Baugh and playwright Michael Maclean previously collaborated on the riveting Smoke. Will this new solo show burn up the stage the way Smoke did?
Buzz: After spending four years directing short films by Judith Thompson and James Harkness, Gass-Donnelly - who's written and directed a number of indie plays - returns to the theatre. How's his stagecraft been affected by his time in the film world?
Buzz: Kamino's seen way too infrequently onstage (Dreams Of Blonde & Blue), so her grounded, thoughtful approach to acting should heat up this look at life, language and limits.
Buzz: The folks behind last SummerWorks' Ma Jolie - writer/director Alan Dilworth , performers Maev Beaty and Patrick Robinson - know how to tell ambitious stories with bold theatricality and playfulness. But is 1930s BC as theatrical as Ma Jolie's fin-de-siécle Paris setting?
Buzz: Smith-McGregor has worked with Stranger Theatre and Nightwood. Let's see how she applies her feminist imagination to a historic figure caught up in opera, painting and philosophy, a world soon to catch fire on several levels.