Based out of Stratford, Ontario, Lauren is an Occupational Therapist working in mental health by day and a Theatre reviewer/TV Re-Capper by night (or by matinee). Lauren enjoys daring new productions, classic plays, and everything in between. She is particularly fond of Musical Theatre, but she also has a soft spot for Shakespeare, which she studied at the university level. In addition to her theatrical reviews, Lauren is the resident "Grey's Anatomy" Re-capper for BWW TV...At this point, she figures she may as well stick with that show 'til the bitter end! Lauren holds a BA in Psychology and an MSc. in Occupational Therapy. She is a strong advocate for the benefits the Arts have to the overall wellness and happiness of human beings. As much as she loves to perform (she is an alto sax player, and spent her youth working as a mascot), she also takes great pleasure in sitting back and enjoying a good performance. Lauren is very excited to share a variety of reviews, recaps and features as a contributor to Broadway World Toronto and Broadway World TV.
If you are looking for an original musical to see at the Toronto Fringe Festival, look no further than MADDIE'S KARAOKE BIRTHDAY PARTY over at the Monarch Tavern. Written by Barbara Johnston and Suzy Wilde, and Directed by Byron Laviolette, this semi-immersive musical is clever and funny, and the performances are excellent. One might think based on the title that the performers would be singing popular karaoke songs, but in fact, everything is original music (either that, or I'm just really out of the loop on what music is popular with the kids these days!) Between the bountiful balloons, packed house, and pumping music, this really does feel like a party! The story also provides a touching display of the good the bad, the uglyand the beautiful, of millennial friendships. This one shouldn't be missed!BWW Review: CONFIDENTIAL MUSICAL THEATRE PROJECT is a 'Must do' Experience at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 10, 2017
The Toronto Fringe Festival is in full swing and last night, this reviewer had the pleasure to take in a fun and touching production at the Al Green Theatre. AM I PRETTY NOW: A MUSICAL ROMP THROUGH PLASTIC SURGERY written and performed by Stephanie Herrera is described as 'the first plastic surgery musical'. It is poignant and funny, and relatable-even to those who have not gone under the knife. The best comedy comes from a place of vulnerability, and Herrerra does this beautifully with this autobiographical story.BWW Review: THE CHANGELING at the Stratford Festival is Disturbing and Exhilarating July 4, 2017
This season at the Stratford Festival has proven to be a stellar one, and Jackie Maxwell's production of Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's THE CHANGELING on the Tom Patterson Theatre stage is no exception. The questionable morals and values of the characters, and the intense relationships between certain characters leave the audience feeling uncomfortable (as was likely intended by the playwrights) but the performances by the members of the company and the overall impact of the production itself, leaves the audience feeling exhilarated.BWW Review: This is No Hearsay, THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL at the Stratford Festival is a Hit! June 26, 2017
Stratford Festival's Artistic Director, Antoni Cimolino is directing one production this season and it is Richard Brinsley Sheridan's THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL. Mounted on the Avon Theatre stage, this production boasts a fabulous company and a commentary on society that is far from outdated.BWW Review: TREASURE ISLAND at the Stratford Festival is a Treasure Indeed June 11, 2017
If you are planning a family trip to Stratford, Ontario in the coming months, here's something to add to your itinerary. Schulich Children's Plays' TREASURE ISLAND-currently on stage at Stratford Festival's Avon Theatre, is filled with wonder and delight and is sure to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.BWW Review: Stratford Festival's TIMON OF ATHENS is a Powerful Cautionary Tale June 4, 2017
TIMON OF ATHENS opened at Stratford Festival's Tom Patterson Theatre on Friday night. It is probably one of the more relatable cautionary tales that Shakespeare has produced, which explains why the Festival continues to have it set in modern times. Director, Stephen Ouimette takes this production on for a second time, as he also directed it in Stratford in 2004. I did not have the opportunity to see his previous production, but this one is impressive.BWW Review: A Sublime Production of ROMEO AND JULIET is on Stage at the Stratford Festival June 2, 2017
Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS PINAFORE is gracing the Stratford Festival stage for the first time in 25 years and only the fourth time in the history of the festival. Mounted at the Avon Theatre, directed by Lezlie Wade, and choreographed by Kerry Gage, this production possesses the perfect balance of fun, ridiculousness and sentiment. The music is gorgeous, the company is brilliant and as a whole, it is simply delightful.BWW Review: GUYS AND DOLLS at the Stratford Festival is an Exhilarating Experience May 31, 2017
The 65th season of the Stratford Festival officially opened on Monday night with a production of William Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT. Director, Martha Henry has assembled a fabulous group of players and they do not disappoint. Just the thought of Geraint Wyn Davies, Tom Rooney, and Brent Carver sharing comedic scenes together had me rushing to the Festival Theatre to see this play. All three are as fantastic as one could hope for, but everyone else is equally as enchanting in their roles as well.BWW Recap: Season 13 of GREY'S ANATOMY Comes to a Fiery Close May 19, 2017
Well, another season of GREY'S ANATOMY is in the books. Thursday's finale, written by Stacy McKee and directed by Debbie Allen, was packed with action and emotion. We said goodbye to a series regular, and got a glimpse of what will likely be the prominent storylines to start off next season. Oh yaThere was also a huge fire in the hospital.BWW Recap: Season's Penultimate Episode of GREY'S ANATOMY is ...Explosive! May 12, 2017
Wow. What an episode of GREY'S ANATOMY. The penultimate episode of season 13, entitled True Colors went out with a literal bang and left us all waiting with baited breath to see what happens in next week's finale. The three main story-lines of the episode could have each been an episode of it's own; Owen gets life changing news about his sister Megan, Alex has found Jo's abusive husband, and Edwards finds herself and a young patient in a terrifying situation with a dangerous patient. The episode was written by William Harper and directed by Kevin McKidd.BWW Recap: It's a Tale of Two Tumors on GREY'S ANATOMY May 6, 2017
Thursday night's episode of GREY'S ANATOMY, written by Elizabeth R. Finch and directed by Zetna Fuentes, offered viewers a tale of two tumorstwo very different patient cases in which the doctors want to try to remove a tumor but the patient (or patient's parents) do not want them tofor very different reasons. As the medical cases play out, we also get an update on the Arizona/Eliza romance, and the Meredith/Riggs romance (and Maggie's stance on it). We also see Edwards finally reach her boiling point with the existential crisis she has quietly having all season. Oh, and I'm pretty sure Alex is tracking down Jo's estranged, abusive husbandso that should be interesting.BWW Recap: GREY'S ANATOMY 'Worms' its Way Into Our Hearts and Tear Ducts April 28, 2017
Last night's episode of GREY'S ANATOMY, entitled 'Don't Stop Me Now'did not disappoint. The Meredith/Riggs/Maggie story took a giant step forward when Maggie finally learned that Meredith and Riggs are a thing. Richard and Catherine finally buried the hatchet; Alex's patient, Veronica (who we first met earlier this season) returned to have her baby; and a super lovey dovey young couple named Mary and Dennis first disgusted us with their pet names for each otherand then really disgusted us with the worms that were breeding inside Mary. This episode brought the laughs, the tears, the unique medical storylines.And some super gross worms. What else could a GREY'S fan ask for???BWW Recap: A Romance Finally takes Flight on GREY'S ANATOMY April 14, 2017
This week's GREY'S ANATOMY literally took the drama to new heights with the episode In The Air Tonight (which has been advertised all week as #GreysOnAPlane). The bulk of this episode, directed by Chandra Wilson, takes place on a plane that hits some pretty serious turbulence mid flight. Meredith and Riggs both happen to be on the plane and are forced to jump into doctor mode when passengers experience medical emergencies. This doesn't mean that their own romantic turbulence takes the back burner however, as Meredith finally confronts her feelings and reservations about moving forward romantically with Riggs.BWW Recap: Good Grief and Good Laughs on this Week's GREY'S ANATOMY April 7, 2017
GREY'S ANATOMY was in top form on Thursday night. The episode was called WHAT'S INSIDE and newcomer, Nzingha Stewart, was the director. This episode had a little bit of everythinga fascinating medical case, moments of laughter, moments of tears, callbacks to some significant past storylines on the show, new friendships forming, etc. It also provided a beautiful commentary on grief and on how there is no normal way to grieve (though there are certainly some ways that are healthier than others).BWW Recap: GREY'S ANATOMY Pays Tribute to Moms Everywhere in a Heartbreaking Episode; Ellen Pompeo Directs! March 31, 2017
Tonight's emotional hour was entitled Be Still My Soul and it marked lead, Ellen Pompeo's directorial debut. Two weeks ago at Paleyfest, Ms. Pompeo commented on how the story in this episode had a great deal of meaning to her and it was important that this be the one that she direct. The episode centers on Maggie's struggle to come to terms with her mother's illness and eventual death. It also explores the beautiful relationship that exists between a child (of any age) and their mother. Guest star LaTanya Richardson Jackson is fantastic as Diane Pierce and Kelly McCreary (Maggie) breaks hearts with her performance.