Rave: Wllm Shkspr’s Wrks works the crowd at Casa Loma

Perhaps the book of the Bard need not be found in every
hotel room, as the actors 
at the Classical Theatre Project’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare exclaim it should be, but we think you should find
yourself
catching this show before the end of August MMXII.


We jumped at the chance to see a Toronto trio perform the
wildly successful London parody, a.k.a. The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr
(Abridged)
, and found ourselves happily situated at the castle on the hill. The
pithy script is a winner and actors Matt Drappel, Jeff Hanson and Kevin Ritchie
thoroughly exercised their right to improvise. They peppered in remarks on Rob
Ford and Canada’s Olympic performance while commenting on their own need for
laughs with the same self-deprecating humour the Brits are known for.



The light-hearted show took the audience from Romeo and
Juliet
to Titus Andronicus the cooking show to Othello the rap song. In dealing with the
comedies, which we were told are actually not as funny as the tragedies, all
the plot lines were tied together and told as one story. The abridged version
of Macbeth was an amusing testament to English sentiments towards the Scottish
and led into the swift demise of the plays Julius Caesar and Antony and
Cleopatra
. The histories became a football match, likely the first one that has
made us chuckle. The show closed with Hamlet. Three times. Once abridged, once
again at breakneck speed and, finally, backwards.



Complete Works will return to Casa Loma on Wednesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 29
with shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Without a doubt we recommend this show as
the perfect Wednesday evening diversion. We have a few tips to offer as well
(garnered from our own errors as the best advice is). First, arrive early.
Stadium style seating is not available at this venue and you’ll want a clear
view, those seated in the front row also have a more interactive experience.
Second, bring bug spray. The late summer mosquitoes can be quite pesky at
the luscious grounds. Third, be prepared for sore cheeks. Ours still hurt from
laughing!  

All images courtesy of Classical Theatre Project.

Fave 5: Not-so-typical Valentine’s Day events

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, for most of us it’s a love-hate relationship. Some of us love it, some of us hate it (and some of us land firmly in the middle). 

For the lovers, a typical V-Day usually entails going out for a romantic dinner and maybe a movie or cocktail after. For the haters out there, (single or coupled up) staying home and pretending you forgot that it’s February 14 isn’t necessary. Embrace your warm fuzzy self, and somebody you love, and check out some unconventional events happening around the city that even the biggest cynic is sure to enjoy.

SPiN Toronto – 461 King St. W.
Singles, couples and groups are invited to SPiN Toronto’s first ever Valentine’s Day party, where fake blood is welcome, gory costumes are encouraged and bloody drinks are being served. There is also a killer photo booth and a prize to be won for goriest costume. Ping pong is free after 9 p.m. Not into Valentine’s Day? Just think of it as a Halloween party in February.
Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace
From the looks of it, horror and romance seem to be going hand in hand this year. If it’s not cheesy, typical love day plans you’re after (we’re not that kinda girls), then head to Casa Loma where the Brant Theatre is presenting Dracula, A Love Story, a play by Sharyl Hudson. The play takes you from room to room throughout Toronto’s own Gothic mansion, as the actors bring the famous Bram Stoker novel to life. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $34. 
Supermarket – 268 Augusta Avenue
WORN FASHION JOURNAL is hosting a karaoke night starting at 9 p.m. at Supermarket in Kensington. Tickets are $7, and just $5 if you wear red. Who doesn’t love belting out love songs and a cheap cover?

Oz Studio – 134 Ossington Ave.
If live music is your thing, then Love Near Bellewoods is the place to be. Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club, Chris White of Bellewoods and Luke Laldone from Born Ruffians are all part of the lineup that may just serenade the crowd with love songs. Rumour has it that there will also be a few surprise guests. And because Valentine’s Day isn’t complete without DIY crafts, there will be a card making station with paper bag mail boxes for the first 50 people to arrive. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $7. 

Whistler’s Grille and Cafe, 995 Broadview Avenue
If you’re in the east end, The Cabbagetown Theatre Company is putting on No Sweetheart Required, a cabaret evening of short and sassy comedies and musical performances. Tickets are $20 and group rates are also available for 10 or more people (you’ll also be entered into a prize draw). The event starts at 8 p.m.