Banana Boys Returns To Factory Theatre

Where: Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst
When:  April 18 – May 14, 2017
Cost: Ticket prices range from $25-$55 including Student, Arts Worker and Senior Prices. Purchase in person at Factory or visit or call 416.504.9971

Details: Written by Leon Aureus, Banana Boys makes a triumphant return to Factory Theatre. The production is adapted from Terry Woo’s game-changing novel by Leon Aureus, and is one of the hit shows from Factory’s Naked Season. Factory Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino will close the current season with her highly inventive reimagining of the show, which she first directed in 2004 for fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company.

Five Asian-Canadian men must confront unrealized potential, devastating loss, and time travel . . . all while trying not to punch too many white boys in the face. “Yellow on the outside and white on the inside,” the production delves deeply into Asian-Canadian stereotypes while also dealing with death, rage, addiction, racism and familial expectations. Wickedly funny and incredibly fresh, the show is set for an extended run in celebration of Asian Heritage Month in May.

Returning cast members include Darrel Gamotin (Monday Nights/The Theatre Centre) as Sheldon Kwan, the man in search of love; Matthew Gin, (One Good Morning/Toronto Fringe) as reluctant  med student Mike Chao; and Oliver Koomsatira (Comfort/Red Snow Collective) as the frightening and violent Dave Lowe.
New cast members include Jonathan Kim (the CBC TV series 21 Thunder) in the pivotal role of Rick Wong; and actor and sound designer Miquelon Rodriguez (Cowboy Versus Samurai/Soulpepper) as Luke Yeung, the boy who won’t grow up.

The 2016/17 Factory season looks beyond Canadian borders to navigate new identities and redefine the meaning of home, as citizens, residents, and visitors, in six plays charting new Canadian experiences.

More Info: @FactoryToronto  #beyond1617  #FTBananaBoys

Australia’s Hottest Celebrity Workout Launches in Yorkville

When it comes to workouts it’s always a good idea to try something new, give your muscles a surprise and a challenge. So when I got the opportunity to try out F45, I jumped at the chance to attend the Yorkville class.

Originating from Australia, the F45 is a new workout which combines elements of conventional weight training and cardio with functional movements in a High Intensity Interval workout all done in 45 minutes. The F is for Functional Training, which is the engagement in exercises that mimic or recreate everyday movement.

A big bonus about the F45 is that everything is pre-planned for you and no two workouts are the same; the style of training uses movements such as lifting, squatting, jumping, rowing, punching and biking. This style is used by some of Australia’s biggest celebrities such as Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman!

The workout is fun because music is involved – on the weekends there’s a live DJ! I found this to be very helpful, especially in the tough sections where I could focus on the music instead of how much that particular station was making me work.

In addition, the class I attended was viewed on a series of TV monitors which provided a station by station diagram of the workout; this made it easy for me to see exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Motivating instructors were also available to help and encourage.

All in all, F45 is a great workout that is challenging but fun. Give it a try but bring your water bottle … you’re definitely going to need it!

F45 Training is available at 110 Bloor Street West in Yorkville. For more info visit and Instagram @f45yorkville. Contact [email protected] or call 416.409.8908.

Prince Hamlet at The Theatre Centre


Christine Horne as Prince Hamlet. Photo by Dahlia Katz

Where: Franco Boni Theatre, The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West
When: April 17-29, 2017
Cost:  All Tickets Pay-What-You-Can-AFFORD $5/$25/$50/$75. To purchase tickets call 416.538.0988 or

Details: Why Not Theatre marks their tenth anniversary in 2017 with a groundbreaking English and American Sign Language bilingual production of Prince Hamlet, adapted and directed by Why Not Artistic Director Ravi Jain. 
Ravi’s reordered, reconstructed and bilingual Prince Hamlet features a gender-bending, cross-cultural cast which illuminates the contemporary relevance of the 400-year-old play and asks the question “who gets to tell this story?”

Not yet two months after the death of his father the King, his mother has remarried and Prince Hamlet struggles to understand the world they live in. The ghost of his father directs Hamlet to avenge his murder, but is that the right thing to do? What is Hamlet’s responsibility? How does someone exist in a world that is not their truth?

In every way Ravi Jain makes theatre, he defies convention. The tenth anniversary of Why Not Theatre offers an opportunity for reflection and Jain is looking back to his first production of Prince Hamlet—Why Not’s inaugural production which The Globe and Mail called “an astonishingly absorbing piece of theatre for his first Toronto show”—to see what the future can offer.
This new production of Prince Hamlet stars the multi-award winning actress Christine Horne as Hamlet. Also starring Dawn Jani Birley, Miriam Fernandes, Jeff Ho, Christine Horne,
Hannah Miller,  Rick Roberts, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah, Karen Robinson and Maria Vacratsis

Set and costume design by Lorenzo Savoini, lighting design by Andre du Toit and sound design by Thomas Ryder Payne.

In the pursuit of ticket price accessibility, Why Not is offering four different price points for the same general admission ticket, to be chosen based “pay-what-you-can-afford” for a night out.

More Info:  @theatrewhynot #PrinceHamlet

Riser Project 2017 at The Theatre Centre 

BMO Incubator, The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West
When:  April 17-May 13, 2017
Cost: $15 each show, $20 for any two shows. Purchase tickets call 416.538.0988 or visit

Details: Why Not Theatre presents Riser Project 2017, a collaborative producing model for local emerging and indie artists at The Theatre Centre. Features the world premieres of four new Canadian plays; The Draupadi Project, Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua, El Retorno/I Return and Two Birds One Stone, is being presented as part of Why Not Theatre’s 10th anniversary season.

The fourth edition of the Riser Project begins with Sharada Eswar’s The Draupadi Project (April 17-26), a half-history, half-mythology, wholly-magical reimagining of the ancient Indian epic, “The Mahabharata”. In this contemporary retelling, the spirit of Draupadi, an important feminist icon in the tale, is channeled through the character of a 19-year old girl confined in a cell, wrestling with the voices in her head and grappling with the status of women in today’s society. Karin Randoja directs the production which features the playwright, storyteller and musician Sharada Eswar.

Chautauqua is a place, a movement, and a mindset. American World-Wartime gal Pearle Harbour, Toronto’s most cerebral drag queen, is literally pitching her tent in The Theatre Centre for Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua (April 19-26), a show that’s part revival, part cabaret, part drag and part salvation. Created and performed by Justin Miller, accompanied by Steven Conway, Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua is directed by Byron LaViolette. “In our Chautauqua tent, we come together because we’re falling apart.” #liveyourtruth

Rimah Jabr and Natasha Greenblatt first met in Toronto. Rimah was born a Palestinian Muslim. Natasha was born a Canadian Jew. Is this just an ordinary meeting between two women or has some force conspired through time and across continents to bring them together? Two Birds One Stone (May 3-13) is a fictional documentary that investigates the two artists unknown shared history, discovering truth isn’t always better than fiction.

Playwright and director Marilo Nuñez presents El Retorno/I Return (May 5-13), a search for answers to childhood questions when, for one year, her family was part of The Return Plan – the return to Chile to help fight against the brutality of the Pinochet dictatorship. Utilizing verbatim interviews and fractured memories, El Retorno is a personal and political journey into the heart of Latin America. Augusto Bitter, Ximena Huizi, Anita La Selva, Sofia Rodriguez and Francisco Trujillo star in El Retorno.

More Info:  @theatrewhynot  #RISER17

Canadian Improv Games 40th Anniversary Celebration

The Sufferettes featuring Kayla Lorette and Becky Johnson

Where:  The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West
When: April 15, 2017 at 7pm
Cost: Tickets starts at $25 and are available at

Details: Canadian Improv Games (CIG) will celebrate 40 years of success in advancing the practice of improvisational theatre in Canada. To mark the occasion CIG will host the CIG40 Anniversary Celebration featuring an evening of improv comedy, music, award presentations and many special guests. This fundraiser is organized in support of the CIG’s 2018 national theatre programs that run in partnership with high schools across Canada.

Performers at the CIG40 Anniversary Celebration will include a number of established and emerging Canadian personalities such as Mark Little (CBC’s Mr. D, Picnicface), Toronto-based comedy troupe Elephant Empire, the beloved improv duo The Sufferettes featuring Kayla Lorette (That’s So Weird!, Network Notes), Becky Johnson (CTV’s Space Riders, The Second City), improv collective Mantown featuring three-time Canadian Comedy Award Winner Adam Cawley, improvised musical juggernaut Songbuster and so much more.

Canadian Improv Games will also be presenting the CIG Improv Awards earlier in the evening honouring people and organizations that have played a major role in promoting Canadian improv theatre. Raina Douris (CBC Radio 2) will DJ the event in between performances, followed by a late-night Much Video Dance Party.  
The Canadian Improv Games got its start in Ottawa in 1977 as an educational adventure into a new style of theatre learning aimed at local high school students. 40 years later this national charity organization is now home to one of the largest and most geographically dispersed youth theatre festivals in Canada with 100,000+ alumni including Sandra Oh, Tatiana Maslany and Seth Rogen. Boasting fourteen regional programs across Canada where students gain access to workshops, training sessions, summer camps and performance opportunities, The Canadian Improv Games is a proven learning platform formatted to promote communication, teamwork confidence and help students explore their full potential in a fun and nurturing environment.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards supporting CIG’s 2018 national programs and subsidizing school participation in underfunded areas.

More Info:  @CanadianImprov

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