Environment Minister John Baird's stupid statements notwithstanding, ecological activism and awareness are at an all-time high. No wonder Daniel Brooks has dreamed up The Eco Show.
The Necessary Angel Theatre production deals with overpopulation, energy sources and climate change, and Brooks looks at the impact of the globe's delicate ecology on the delicate ecology of one family. Brooks and Chris Abraham direct a terrific cast that includes Richard Clarkin, Joe Cobden, Fiona Highet, Howard Jerome and Jenny Young.
Note: you've only got four chances to see the show before it heads off to Montreal's Festival TransAmérique. But no doubt it'll return to Toronto soon after for a longer run.
Show goes on
Jukebox songs? B-list stars? Who knows what makes a good musical these days? The folks at Bad Dog Theatre don't care. They send up the whole genre in their weekly late-night Friday musical, Show Stopping Number.
As they sing in the opening number - the only ditty not improvised - this is a show that proudly opens and closes on the same night.
At the Friday, May 10, performance, the troupe elicited more laughs in a couple of minutes than an entire unfunny performance of We Will Rock You.
Based on two audience suggestions - chemical engineer and Easter - the company spun an imaginative tale of two scientists (Jamillah Ross and Rica Eckersley) who discover how to impregnate a man (Sandy Jobin-Bevans).
Subplots involved two scientists (Aurora Browne and Ashley Botting) who become maids, and Rob Hawke played with the troubadour/narrator archetype we've all seen before ad nauseum.
Not everything succeeded, but the performers came up with some insanely clever bits. We loved Browne's line about making hydrochloric acid 100 per cent softer, a double helix joke and a bluesy number between Ross and Eckersley that was foot-stompingly catchy.
Jobin-Bevans kept pushing scenes toward interesting places, and Botting has evolved a lot as a performer. Her choices are clear and confident.
Musician Sean Fisher created moods and scenarios with his awesome skillz at the electric keyboard.
Show Stopping Number, which features a rotating cast, has ended its run at the Bad Dog but returns for a series of fundraiser performances during the Fringe Festival. Look out for them.