by Lynn on September 25, 2016

in The Passionate Playgoer


One Thing Leads To Another.

Young People’s Theatre, Toronto, Ont.

A collective collaboration by Maja Ardal, Audrey Dwyer, Mary Francis Moore and Julia Tribe.
Directed by Mary Francis Moore.
Design initiatives by Julia Tribe
Cast: Audrey Dwyer
Eliza-Jane Scott

A glorious return of the magical show for babies and their parents that introduces them to the delights of theatre.

One Thing Leads To Another is back for another run at Young People’s Theatre for babies between three months and 12 months. Toddlers up to 24 months are welcome. Using sound, movement, colour, texture and images the imagination and attention of the babies is captured and held.

Audrey Dwyer and Eliza-Jane Scott are my two performers—at other performances co-creator Maja Ardal performs. Both Dwyer and Scott are smiling, spirited and embracing. They appear and disappear behind a block or a backdrop making surprised noises as they do it. Coloured balls are thrown in the air or against a slide made of silk. Or a silk sheet is floated above the audience are, attracting the babies to look up at the material.

As before the babies are transfixed at what is going on in front of them. Their mothers let them discover what is happening. I rarely see a mother or father indicate anything that the baby should see, because the baby is looking at and hearing whatever he/she wants to see and lookout.

The show only uses two performers this time, not three. I note a tightening of the flow of one thing that leads to another. The performers still appear and disappear behind a covering as before, but they have condensed that and they do not throw as many different balls in the air or down a slide as before, but the effect on the infants is still engaging. And the silence in the place is astonishing given the age of their audience.

Still a fantastic show that is perfect to get a baby into the groove of having theatre in their life and the life of the parent too.

Presented by Young People’s Theatre.

Opened: Sept. 22, 2016.
Closes: Oct. 8, 2016.
Cast: 2 women
Running Time: 30 minutes, then 30 minutes of play.


At Alumnae Theatre Company, Toronto, Ont.

Written by Melissa James Gibson
Directed by Rebecca Ballarin
Costumes by Daina Valiulis
Sound by Kelly Anderson.
Cast: Andrew Batten
Audra Gray
Michael Harvey
Christian Martel
Amanda Jane Smith

Smart play. Well done production.

Four college friends are lurching towards middle age. They are: Jane who is a widowed single mother coping with the first year anniversary of her husband’s death. Jazz singer and new mother Marrell and her harried husband, Tom try to cope with a cranky baby who hates to go to sleep. Their gay mnemonist friend Alan seems at odds with everybody. At a dinner party they meet Jean-Pierre who is a doctor with Doctors Without Boarders. He was invited so he could meet Jane.

It turns out Tom has the eye for Jane and momentarily she returns the gaze. This causes trouble in their relationship with Jane, Tom’s husband. As they get more and more mired in their own troubles, what Jean-Pierre does for a living puts it all in perspective.

Director Rebecca Ballarin is part of this Alumnae season that celebrates playwrights and directors who are women. Ballarin does an awfully good job of establishing the tricky footwork of manoeuvring the characters around to create he relationships with the other characters. She has a strong sense of the play and how to serve and enliven it.

The cast is strong. They capture the ennui of the four friends. Jean-Pierre has the sparky demeanour of a person who has his sense of place in the world and how the world works too. Jean-Pierre puts it all in his finally address to the group about what is important and what is not.

Produced by Alumnae Theatre Company

Began: Sept. 15, 2016.
Closes: Oct. 1, 2016.
Cast: 5, 3 men, two women.
Running Time: 2 hours approx.

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