BWW Reviews: ARRABAL is Passionate, Sexy, and Incredibly Original

BWW Reviews: ARRABAL is Passionate, Sexy, and Incredibly Original

The new tango-focused stage show playing Toronto's Panasonic Theatre is passionate, sexy, and incredibly original.

The title character, Arrabal, loses her father as a baby after he is arrested by the military. The story then goes forward 18 years - showing Arrabal becoming a young woman and learning about her father's past in a milonga (tango club) which is run by her father's old friends.

The production features an incredible vocabulary of dance styles, mixing the traditional tango elements with contemporary and ballet. Julio Zurita's choreography (co-choreography by director Sergio Trujillo) serves the story while still dazzling dance aficionados with it's complexity and intricacy. This productions boasts one of the most creative uses of dance I've seen on stage.

A true highlight of the evening is the music by Gustavo Santaolalla, which is a unique blend of traditional tango with modern pop beats. The music is played by a hand selected group of impeccable musicians called "Orquesta Bajofonderos."

The production is visually stunning, with incredibly elaborate projections by Peter Nigrini, set design by Riccardo Hernandez, and lighting by Vincent Colbert.

Highest praise must be paid to director Sergio Trujillo, who masterfully combines all the elements of this production into a work of art. The story of Arrabal shines through the dance, which is rare to see in a dance-only show. The production could still use a little tightening in order to make it more clear for audience members less experienced in interpreting dance - but overall, Trujillo has crafted a guaranteed hit.

Arrabal should have a bright future beyond it's Toronto run - with a great cast, brilliant design, and impeccable dancing, this show is sure to please even the toughest of critics.

When and Where?


Now trough April 20 at the Panasonic Theatre.

Tickets available by phone or online at

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Alan Henry

Alan is a third year undergraduate student at York University, in Toronto. He has had a passion for the performing arts ever since he saw the original production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Alan has eleven years of intensive dance training under his belt, and in 2006 was the Canadian National Ballroom Champion in his age category. As a performer, Alan has been seen on stage at the Bathurst Street Theatre (now the Randolph Theatre), The FLATO Markham Theatre, The Leah Posluns Theatre, The Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts, and many more.

Alan first started blogging about theatre in 2011 with his now defunct blog, Broadway Toronto. In March 2013, Alan joined the team at BroadwayWorld Toronto and continued his foray into arts journalism. In February of 2014, Alan became the Senior Editor for the Toronto division of – and since then has expanded the regional coverage to include much of Southern Ontario, as well as many of the smaller professional theatre companies in the city.

A long term theatre fan, Alan is grateful to be a part of the Toronto arts community in any capacity.

“I’m incredibly fortunate that I’ve found a way to be involved with our arts community in the position that I have. The Toronto theatre community is made up of some of the kindest and friendliest people I know – and I look forward to serving the community by continuing the high standard of coverage expected of BroadwayWorld.”

Twitter: @alanhenryTO | Facebook:

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