Aubrey Dan says his first act in Toronto is done but I can’t help but feel Dan was a one act show here.
Dan recently revealed that he would pull his theatre production empire, Dancap, out of Toronto after the current subscription season comes to an end, leaving Mirvish Productions back in control of Toronto’s big theatre scene.
Dancap was good for Toronto but it could have been better. The company brought a lot more choice for theatre-goers and tourists in the city, but quality was a problem. There were some great shows, like Avenue Q and Jersey Boys, but a lot of it was either sub-par or had played in this city in the recent past. Not that every show Mirvish brings to town is a winner either, but to really make its mark in Toronto Dancap had to bring something different every time.
Of course, Mirvish managed to shut Dancap out of the best theatres. And without great venues, Dancap suffered. Perhaps if Dancap didn’t lose the Canon, things would have turned out differently.
I admire Dan for his efforts and I think that, overall, the competition he brought to the Toronto theatre market forced others to do better. Hopefully the bar for quality will not fall back to pre-Dancap levels.
I will disagree that Dancap’s exit means Mirvish has a monopoly again. There is tons of great theatre in this city thanks to Soulpepper, Factory, Terragon, and others. They don’t reach mass audiences like Mirvish, nor should they aspire to.