THE CORNER written and directed by Jason Maghanoy (JSquared). Jan 11 and 13 at 7:15 pm, Jan 12 at 5:15 pm. Rating: NNNN
Inspired by the real-life police shooting of 17-year-old Jeffrey Reodica, writer/director Jason Maghanoy takes a powerful look at teens and violence. The young cast, especially Byron Abalos and Andrea Mapili as love interests, serve Maghanoy’s script skilfully with their honest and often tender portrayals.
The private-school uniform costumes instantly establish the characters, the hiphop soundtrack smooths transitions between scenes, and the ambient lighting intensifies the drama. Between the language of the text (poetic, funny and very real) and the purposefully ambiguous ending, Maghanoy keeps you transfixed.
THE NEXT STAGE a festival of new works and remounts. Presented by the Fringe of Toronto at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst). To January 13. $12-$15, passes $48 and $88. 416-966-1062, www.nextstagefestival.com.