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.

Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Photo of the cast of COME FROM AWAY - Canadian Company, Photo by Matthew MurphyMirvish transfers smash hit musical Come From Away to a new venue: Toronto’s Elgin Theatre

What I like most about Come From Away is that if you want layers, you can find them; if you just want a joyful feel-good show, you can find that too.

As my show-partner Ryan said, it is “infectious and warm, and as a Canadian, you can’t help but feel proud.” I felt it too as I watched the story of how the townspeople of Gander, Newfoundland stepped up to take care of the unexpected visitors, as though I had some ownership of their story by simply living in the same country as them.

Continue reading Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Review: Rose: A New Musical (Soulpepper)

Photo of Peter Fernandes, Hailey Gillis Sabryn Rock and Oliver Dennis. in Rose: A New Musical. Photo-Cylla-von-TiedemannToronto’s Soulpepper Theatre debuts an original Canadian musical

There are a lot of great things about Rose: A New Musical on stage at Soulpepper right now.

It’s an evening filled with fantastic performances of great music, delightful costumes, and evocative design. It sounds sure to please.

Unfortunately, despite all the great individual elements, they didn’t come together as a whole for my show partner or me.

Continue reading Review: Rose: A New Musical (Soulpepper)

Review: Iphigenia and The Furies (On Taurian Land) – Saga Collectif

Photo of Virgilia Griffith, Thomas Olajide, and Augusto Bitter in Iphigenia and The Furies

Funny, touching, thought-provoking. This Iphigenia adaptation has it all

Before I go to a show, I try to stick to the tidbits of information someone might get when glancing around to make a decision. I don’t go in-depth into press releases and research. The whole point of Mooney on Theatre is to try to see shows the way someone who is not completely steeped in the theatre world would. This is one of the ways I do it.

I’m not sure exactly what I expected from Iphigenia and The Furies (On Taurian Land) presented by Saga Collectif, but I do know it wasn’t this piece full of laughter and joy. It was a delightful surprise.

Continue reading Review: Iphigenia and The Furies (On Taurian Land) – Saga Collectif

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)

image saying daily raves

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