All posts by Megan Mooney

Megan loves being in the thick of all things theatre, but her ultimate goal is to promote theatre to the world of non-theatre people. It was the same when she was the theatre writer for blogTO, or the Fringe Correspondent for CBC Radio One‘s Here and Now, as it is as the founder of Mooney on Theatre. Her basic belief is that there is theatre/performance out there for everyone to love, they just need to find it. This is not to be confused with the idea that everyone should love theatre for theatre’s sake, in fact, as obsessed as she is with theatre, even *she* doesn’t love all types of theatre.

What Makes an MoT Fringe Rave (includes a list of all Rave Reviews)

Graphic saying "MoT is Raving"

How come Mooney on Theatre doesn’t have a star rating system? What the heck is a Rave Review? What makes a show a Rave anyway?

People have been asking, we’ve been answering individually, but it’s time for a big group answer.

There’s also a big list of all our Rave Reviews down a the bottom in case you’ve been looking for something like that.

Continue reading What Makes an MoT Fringe Rave (includes a list of all Rave Reviews)

Daily Picks from our Raves at the Toronto Fringe 2018 (July 11th)

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By the time we get into the second week of the Toronto Fringe Festival I’m always stunned by how fast time moves. By the time you are reading this most shows will only have two or three performances left. How can that even be?!?

Well, to help you decide what to see, every day we’re featuring three of our rave reviews from our long list of the reviews of each show. And today is no different. Keep reading to see what we have picked out for you today.

Continue reading Daily Picks from our Raves at the Toronto Fringe 2018 (July 11th)

Daily Picks from Raves at the 2018 Toronto Fringe (July 8th)

image saying daily raves

Well folks, we’re 5 days into the Toronto Fringe Festival. Mooney on Theatre has published 154 reviews so far (6 more to come today) and 32 of those are Raves. That’s a lot of rave reviews! I think we can safely say the 30th Toronto Fringe Festival is a pretty exciting one!

We’ve been featuring three of our Rave reviews each day, and today is no differet. So read on to see what we have in store for you today.

Continue reading Daily Picks from Raves at the 2018 Toronto Fringe (July 8th)

Wounds To the Face – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

Photo of Abigail Carey in Wounds to the Face

From Press Release

QUESTIONS OF IDENTITY AND POWER EXPLORED IN WOUNDS TO THE FACE,
DIRECTED BY MATJASH MROZEWSKI
What is a face? What does it mean to “lose face”? And what if it was literal? Theatre of Catastrophe founder – and enfant terrible of contemporary British theatre – Howard Barker explores these questions of identity and power in the poetic, violent and, at times, humorous Wounds to the Face, presented by Randolph College for the Performing Arts at the Toronto Fringe Festival, July 4-15, 2018. Wounds to the Face is directed by Matjash Mrozewski.
Mrozewski, who is a multiple Dora Award nominee, brings a unique background comprising 20 years in dance and the last five years immersed in text, to his work on Wounds to the Face, paying equal attention to text, design and the physical body in space. “Barker’s work is not easy – for the audience or the actors – but it stretches our imaginative capacity,” says Mrozewski. “Barker’s text is so muscular and precise, I want the audience to experience that without distraction. The command his characters have of their language is thrilling; we should all be alive again to the power of carefully chosen words and articulate, powerful expression.
He continues, “As with all of my work, there will be a theatrical lift. I want to invite the audience into this strange and disturbing world to witness a range of human behaviour that shocks, disturbs and delights.”
Considered one of the major writers of modern European theatre, yet largely unknown in his home country of Britain, Howard Barker is known for plays that fearlessly explore power, sexuality and human motivation. Like a taut piece of chamber music, Wounds to the Face weaves themes and variations dealing with how we perceive ourselves and those around us. While touching on myriad subjects–beauty, decay, disguise, vanity, injury and propaganda–this play moves beyond how we read and, in turn, wish to be read by others, and examines how we choose to move through life. To accept or defy? With cruelty and wit, Howard Barker sets his characters in a time of upheaval, and we witness their struggles to dominate or conciliate.
The cast features a troupe of emerging artists who are all in their final year of training at the Randolph College for the Performing Arts. On working with a group of emerging artists, Mrozewski says, “Randolph College is going in lots of exciting directions in terms of its programming and this work is a bold choice. Howard Barker’s imagination and language challenge the actors and the audience in a way that few playwrights do. For these young actors, his plays are an immense gift in terms of text and dramatic possibilities.”
Randolph College in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents Wounds to the Face by Howard Barker, directed by Matjash Mrozewski, and featuring: Angelica Bonacini (Italy), Abigail Carey (Nova Scotia), Hope Clarkin (Ontario), Amanda Coochey (Quebec), Rachel Fehr (Saslatchewan), Kayla Ironside (Ontario), Nikki Kuehnel (New Brunswick), Diana Lavelle (Ontario), Adriana Longo (Ontario), Lee-Orr Orbach (Ontario), Catherine Ouimet (Quebec), Justin P. Douglas (Ontario), Talia-Marina Street (Ontario), and Arthur Yip (Ontario).
An amateur production presented by the Randolph College in community partnership with the Toronto Fringe Festival.
Performances: July 6 at 3 p.m., July 8 at 9:15 p.m., July 9 at 2:45 p.m., July 11 at 8:45 p.m., July 12 at 7 p.m., July 13 at 4 p.m., July 15 at 12 p.m.
Randolph Centre for the Arts — Annex Theatre, 730 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating.
Tickets: $13 ($11 + $2 service charge) – ON SALE JUNE 7
If available, at-the-door tickets will be sold at the Annex Theatre starting one hour prior to show time, cash sales only, limit of 4/person
Purchase online: fringetoronto.com
By Phone: 416-966-1062
In Person: During the festival at Fringe Festival Box Office, Scadding Court – 707 Dundas Street West.
ABOUT THE RANDOLPH COLLEGE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Since 1992, the Randolph College for the Performing Arts has transformed aspiring artists into multi-talented performers through a rigorous training program that integrates the core disciplines of acting for stage, film and TV; voice; and dance, taught by a pre-eminent faculty of entertainment industry professionals. Faculty and alumni have appeared on Broadway, West End-London, Toronto, Stratford Festival, and Shaw Festival stages, as well as U.S. Tours and in feature films and TV series; worked with Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Vancouver Opera, Globe Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Neptune Theatre, Rainbow Stage, and Charlottetown Festival; and distinguished themselves as singer-songwriters, playwrights, music directors, directors, choreographers, producer, and arts entrepreneurs. www.randolphacollege.ca

Photo of Abigail Carey by Aleksandar Antonijevic

La Femme Kabarett – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

Photo of the Cast of La Femme Kabarett

From Press Release

LA FEMME KABARETT
The Exploration of the Woman: An Original Dance Production
2018 is the year of the woman. Directed and Choreographed by Christina Digiuseppe, La Femme Kabarett, an original dance production, was born out of the desire to share all the complexities and experiences that come with being a woman. Defying what it means to be female, this show weaves a story about identity, sensuality and explores the raw journey of womanhood through the beauty and art of dance.
Christina is a passionate dance artist and choreographer based in Toronto, Canada. Christina’s choreography has received both local and international accolades. From producing and choreographing over 6 of her own professional shows here in Toronto, to receiving prestigious opportunities such as a Capezio Ace Award’s Finalist, Christina is one of Toronto’s most highly respected and sought after choreographers.
Combining the classic cabaret ambience with contemporary and jazz dance, La Femme Kabarett features 8 dancers, each with their own uplifting and inspiring story to tell. The cast includes some of
Toronto’s top and most accredited dancers including Dominique Tersigni (The Next Step), Mackenzie Carlson (So You Think You Can Dance Canada) and many more.
In association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents
La Femme Kabarett
Produced & Choreographed by: Christina Digiuseppe
Public Relations by: Stratus Events Inc.
THURSDAY JULY 5 runs to SUNDAY JULY 15
Randolph Theatre: 736 Bathurst St, Toronto, M5S 1Z5
Performances:
Thursday July 5th 10:30pm
Saturday, July 7th 4:00pm
Monday, July 9th 10:00pm
Tuesday, July 10th 4:45pm
Thursday, July 12th 1:45pm
Friday, July 13th 7:00pm
Sunday, July 15th 12:00pm
Tickets will be on sale: JUNE 7, 2018
Purchase Online: fringetoronto.com
By Phone: 416-966-1062
In Person: During the festival at our main box office at the Fringe patio at Scadding Court – 707
Dundas Street West.

Photo of Mackenzie Carlson, Sydney Levitt, Dominique Tersigni, Zsakira Del Col, Emily Nodwell, Marisa Ricci, Brianna Salmon, and Eleanor van Veen by Leah Thomas Productions

#KanderAndEbb – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

Photo of Ryan G. Hinds in #kanderandebb

From Press Release

#KanderAndEbb
Showtunes! Celebrity Gossip! Kinky Sex!.
May 24th, 2018, Toronto – #KanderAndEbb is where Broadway showtunes, celebrity gossip, &
kinky sex meet! What happens when lifelong fan and international Fringe veteran Ryan G.
Hinds (2015 Fringe hit Starry Notions; We Will Rock You; MacArthur Park Suite: A Disco
Ballet; MSM [men seeking men]; “Exuberant, charismatic and tons of star presence” – Glenn
Sumi, NOW ) finds himself semi-close to legendary songwriters John Kander & Fred Ebb’s
world?
Featuring a live 4-piece band led by Musical Director Tara Litvack, hear the true story of
how a queer kid from Mississauga found himself in a rehearsal studio with Liza Minnelli,
discover the secret sexiness behind one of K & E’s most wholesome shows, and learn why
you should always meet your heroes, as Hinds weaves storytelling, factoids, and both classic
and lesser-known songs into a hilarious and moving one-man show that’s been critically
acclaimed from Toronto to Montreal to Orlando to New York City! Winner of the
BroadwayWorld Award for Best Cabaret/Solo Concert. This show is for fans of musical
theatre, cabaret, and solo shows. It is particularly well suited for LGBTQ audiences, and has
some mature themes.
“Come to his cabaret, old chums! A powerful performance” -Brandon Voss, Next (NYC)”
“Truly first-rate and so much fun! Hinds is the ideal interpreter of the works of Kander &
Ebb” -Michael W. Freeman, Freeline Media (ORLANDO)
“Blissful and moving” -Joe Regan Jr.,Theatre Pizzazzz (NYC)
“A joyful, saucy fantasia of fandom. Irresistibly infectious!” -Seth Kubersky, Orlando Weekly
(ORLANDO)
colored lights
in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents
#KanderAndEbb
created and performed by Ryan G. Hinds
Musical Direction by Tara Litvack
Production Design by Joe Pagnan
Musicians: Quinton Naughton, Julian Clarke, Jeff Deegan
Production Associates: Julie Bergervin and Paulo Lima
Stage management by Heather Bellingham
Performances: July 4th 8:15 pm; July 7th 12:00 pm; Jul 8th, 5:45 pm; July 10th 9:45
pm; July 12th 9:15 pm; July 13th 6:15 pm; July 15th, 2:15 pm. No latecomer seating.
The Annex Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street (south of Lennox Street).
Tickets:
Tickets are $11 (plus #2 service charge)
Purchase online: fringetoronto.com
By Phone: 416-966-1062
In Person: During the festival at our main box office at the Fringe patio at Scadding Court –
707 Dundas Street West.

Photo of Photo of Ryan G. Hinds by Dahlia Katz

The Fall – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

Photo of Alvin Collantes and Kelly Shaw in The Fall

From Press Release

The Fall presented at the Toronto Fringe Festival

An original site-specific dance work by Frog in Hand

 

Trinity-St. Paul’s, Toronto Ontario, 427 Bloor St. West

July 7th & July 14th (1:30pm – 2:30pm) (6:30 – 7:30pm)

July 8th & July 15th (4:00pm – 5:00pm) (6:00pm – 7:00pm)

Tickets from $11. Ticket information HERE.

 

Toronto, ON – At the edge of the abyss, do we fly or do we fall? Do we land or crash? The body hurtles through space, collapses, gives in to gravity. This is the choreographic language of The Fall, an original, site-specific dance by Frog in Hand, presented at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

The Fall explores the battle to stay upright, the influence of gravity, exhaustion, control and loss of control. It is the story of our relationship with the speed of life. This multigenerational dance work is performed by established dance artists including: Frances Samson, JT Papandreos, Daniel McArthur, Sydney McManus, Alvin Collantes, Micha Baltman, and Aria Evans and emerging artists, part of the Frog in Hand Apprentice Company.

Colleen Snell, Director of Frog in Hand says, “Our performance involves both apprenticing dancers who are currently students, as well as professional dancers currently in the industry. It is a wonderful, rare opportunity for both established and emerging generations of dancers to collaborate. Thus, this project supports two generations of artists in a tangible way. Our cast is large because of this – 15 highly skilled artists, 8 are current students and 7 are professional dancers. To have 15 performers is almost unheard of in the dance industry.”

 

Choreography involves massive, thick crash mats in the gym at Trinity Saint Paul’s, an immense, lofty space with beautiful, natural light. Costume design for the performance is by Noelle Hamlyn, Frog in Hand’s co-artistic director.

 

Frog in Hand is a collaborative venture – a contemporary dance theatre network of storytellers. While our “discipline” is difficult to define, we play on a spectrum between visual art and dance, often creating installation projects and performance work that includes contemporary dance theatre. We tell stories that question human nature – stories with emotional resonance and challenging thematic material relevant to the time in which we live. Our mission is to craft narratives that question human nature through the creation and performance of powerful new work, and to transfer knowledge / wisdom through outreach and engagement with diverse communities.

https://www.froginhand.com/

Photo of Alvin Collantes and Kelly Shaw by Rosemary Snell

A Kev ’n Cal Mystery – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

Photo of Christopher Hedrick and Allan Turner in A Kev 'n Cal Mystery

 

From Press Release

A KEV ’N CAL MYSTERY

Case #31: The Curse of the Jade Dragon

 

Danger! Foul play! Puberty!

Whatever the risks, Kev ’n Cal can always count on each other. Or can they?

New comedy runs July 4-15 at the Annex Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street.

 

TORONTO, ON – Part Hardy Boys, part Scooby Doo. Stranger Things have happened. Kev ’n Cal are two mystery solving brothers, boy adventurers on the trail of trouble across dimensions ending up on the wrong side of reality. Danger! Foul play! Puberty! Whatever the risks, Kev ’n Cal can always count on each other. Or can they?

 

This thrilling new comedy is brought to you by an award winning team of Toronto comic actors. Directed by Second City alumnus Nigel Downer, who wrote and performed in four critically acclaimed mainstage revues including Dreams Really Do Come True (and Other Lies) and The Meme’ing of Life. In 2016, Nigel was assistant director to The Second City’s mainstage revue Come What Mayhem!. The cast includes Ted Ludzik, a veteran of film and television known for his roles in The Expanse, Murdoch Mysteries, Hannibal and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Ted’s stage experience includes 10 years performing with sketch troupe The Riot Act, who had their own special on CBC’s SketchCom.

 

Kev ’n Cal were created by Allan Turner and Christopher Hedrick. Allan is a longtime member of the Toronto comedy scene. In 2015, he was voted Toronto’s ‘Best Male Improviser’ in the Now Magazine Reader’s Choice Poll. Past Toronto Fringe shows include Sour Grapes, which won Now Magazine’s Best Ensemble award. For 18 years he has embodied Toronto’s cult celebrity Jean-Paul Mullet, having performed in Fringes, festivals, and comedy stages across North America. Television appearances include YTV, Orphan Black, Murdoch Mysteries, and Ed & Red’s Night Party where he was a recurring guest star. Christopher met Allan through improv, and together along with Ted and Darren Joy, they formed the troupe Assface. Their mandate is to deliver a unique mix of emotionally charged, physically demanding, silly, surreal stories.

 

A Kev ’n Cal Mystery is set to do all this and more, with a fully scripted, laugh out loud comedy mystery that will keep you guessing. With live music performed by Matt Gerber, whose recent children’s album Lady Bugs and Dandy Lions has garnered rave reviews.

 

Suitable for children! If they’re old enough to watch The Goonies, they’re old enough for Kev ‘n Cal!

 

 

the Assface project in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents:

 

A Kev ’n Cal Mystery

Created and Performed by Allan Turner and Christopher Hedrick

With Ted Ludzik, Darren Joy, and live music by Matt Gerber

Directed by Nigel Downer

 

July 4-15, 2018

Venue 6

Annex Theatre

736 Bathurst Street

Air Conditioned!

 

Performance Times

Wednesday, July 4 − 10:00 pm

Friday, July 6 − 1:15 pm

Saturday, July 7 − 5:45 pm

Monday, July 9 − 9:00 pm

Wednesday, July 11 − 1:45 pm

Friday, July 13 − 8:00 pm

Sunday, July 15 − 5:45 pm

 

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating.

 

**Tickets on sale now**

Purchase online: www.fringetoronto.com

By Phone: 416-966-1062

In Person:

  • Throughout the Festival at the Main Box Office at the Fringe Patio at Scadding Court

707 Dundas Street West

  • One hour prior to show time at the Annex Theatre

736 Bathurst Street

Photo of Christopher Hedrick and Allan Turner by Fee Gunn

Crave – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

Photo of Liz Der & Breanna Maloney in Crave

From Press Release

Sarah Kane gets a physical reimagining at the Toronto Fringe

Crave Collective and Pure Carbon present Sarah Kane’s Crave. This physically expressive and poetic reimagining of Kane’s searing drama highlights the play’s exploration of love’s assault upon the wholeness of the self. Presented as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, the work runs at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace from July 4-15.

Four different bodies occupying one life. The fractured voices of the whole describe their desires, remember losses in the past, and question their future in the face of their trauma. The play is known for the sheer force of its language and its penetrating gaze into the human psyche. Twenty years later it still has the power to arouse pity, fear, laughter, and catharsis.

Crave was originally produced by The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in August 1998 under a pseudonym, to avoid association with Kane’s violent, controversial earlier work, such as Blasted and Phaedra’s Love. Kane’s work was extremely controversial in its time, buts he has since become a revered voice in contemporary theatre, with productions of her work performed all over the globe. She has been described as “a radical and profoundly influential playwright” (Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times), and “a uniquely experimental voice” (Dominic Cavendish, The Independent).

Pure Carbon is known for their visceral, intelligent, contemporary reimaginings of classic works, including Private Lives (Kensington Hall, 2017), Bitchcraft (The Box, 2015), and The House of Bernadette Alba (The Box, 2015). Crave features a dynamic cast of indie performers including Wayne Burns (Miss, Unit 102; 2017 NOW Magazine Breakthrough Artist), Brenna Maloney (4.48 Psychosis, Skipping Stones Theatre), Laura Meadows (Titus Andronicus, Hart House Theatre), and Liz Der (The Ballad of Sadie Wong, Alumnae Theatre Company).

Crave Collective and Pure Carbon present

Crave

at the Toronto Fringe Festival

written by Sarah Kane

directed by Katy Murphy

performed by Wayne Burns, Liz Der, Breanna Maloney, & Laura Meadows

produced by Alexander Kentris

lighting design by Chin Palipane

performances run July 4th 6:15pm, July 7th 12:15pm, July 8th 10:30pm, July 10th 4:30pm, July 11th 6:00pm, July 13th 9:30pm, July 15th 7:45pm

at Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, 30 Bridgeman Ave, Toronto

for tickets, please visit fringetoronto.com

for more details, please visit purecarbon.ca

Photo of Liz Der and Breanna Maloney by John Brodie

Mrs. Mama’s House – Toronto Fringe Festival 2018 Press Release

photo of the Bata Shoe Museum

From Press Release

NURSERY RHYME MADNESS TAKES THE BATA SHOE MUSEUM
MRS. MAMA’S HOUSE LANDS AT THE TORONTO FRINGE

Toronto, ON: Put on your fancy shoes, because Mrs. Mama is coming to Toronto this July. Staged amongst the relics of soles throughout time, playwright Nathaniel Kinghan and director Autumn Smith reimagine the classic “Old Woman Who Lived in A Shoe” nursery rhyme inside the Bata Shoe Museum.

Shoes are priceless possessions in Mrs. Mama’s House, and are treated as invaluable prizes. By teaming up with the Bata Shoe Museum, we are staging a site-informed show in an exhibit where shoes are placed behind glass on literal pedestals. There will be a layered approach to this experience, where the work informs the space and the space likewise informs the work.

This absurd retelling looks at what happens when an institution has “too many children” and “doesn’t know what to do”. Mrs. Mama’s House is a twisted take on a beloved classic: a bedtime story that will keep you up at night.

As the exhibit is an intimate venue, tickets are in short supply and early booking is recommended. We can’t wait to have you over to Mrs. Mama’s House!

A COMPANY OF SOME
in association with THE TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL presents
MRS. MAMA’S HOUSE
Written by: Nathaniel Kinghan
Directed by:
Autumn Smith
Stage Managed by: Emma Miziolek
Featuring:
Blake Murray, Ken Northfield, Natalie Semotiuk, and Zenia Sethna
Venue: BATA SHOE MUSEUM (327 Bloor Street West)
Performances: (7:00pm) July 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15
Box Office:  fringetoronto.com / 416 966 1062 / 707 Dundas Street West
Donation request: Leave your footprint with us and donate a pair of shoes to charity.

Tickets ($13 with service fee) go on sale June 8, 2017.
Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating.
Please contact companyofsome@gmail.com regarding comp tickets and donations.

Photo of Bata Shoe Museum by Philip Castleton