Continuing until January 13, the Next Stage Festival at the Factory Theatre serves offers Toronto a winter dose of Fringe productions. Though maintaining the attitude of the summer Fringe fest, Next Stage gives playwrights, artists and producers a chance to mount their works before larger audiences. NOW has been on the scene, filing reviews for the bulk of the Next Stage program. Here's what we've seen so far. (More to come, of course, so stay tuned.)
connotes Critic's Pick
Awake by Chris Tolley and Laura Mullin: Verbatim play about gun violence in Toronto's at-risk neighbourhoods hits its targets.
Liza Live! By Jennifer Walls: A cabaret take on Liza Minnelli's life and music resonates with high energy and powerful songs.
Memorial by Steven Gallagher: Love finds a way to make things right in a moving blend of anger, laughs and loss.
The Peace Maker by Natasha Greenblatt: The Peace Maker uses music to look at the question of identity in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Salt Baby by Falen Johnson: Falen Johnson uses comedy to explore what it means to look white but have native ancestry.
Sudden Death by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman: Hockey enforcer John Kordic's surreal last night has the intensity of an NHL playoff game.
With Love And A Major Organ by Julia Lederer: Julia Lederer's quirky relationship comedy rings true.