All posts by Sam Mooney

Always a theatre lover Sam realized in middle age that there's more to Toronto theatre than just mainstream and is now in love with one person shows, adores festivals, and quirky venues make her day.

Review: King Arthur’s Night (New World Theatre and Luminato)

A unique take on the Arthurian tale, on stage in Toronto as part of the Luminato Festival

New World Theatre’s production of King Arthur’s Night had its world premiere on Friday at the Berkeley Street Theatre as part of Luminato. The work was commissioned by Luminato and written by Niall McNeil and Marcus Youssef who play Arthur and Merlin respectively. McNeil is a 35-year-old playwright and actor living with Down syndrome. Youssef is the artistic director of New World Theatre. Together with director James Long and composer Veda Hille, they’ve created a wonderful and unique work. Continue reading Review: King Arthur’s Night (New World Theatre and Luminato)

Review: The Lady in Shoes From Hell (Shoe Fits Productions)

Everything works in The Lady in Shoes From Hell, now on the Toronto stage

Burke Campbell’s play, The Lady in Shoes From Hell, had its world premiere at Red Sandcastle Theatre on Tuesday evening. It’s a very funny mystery/thriller, complete with car chases and flaming fireballs, set in Texas in the 1950s. I wasn’t sure it could work in such a small space, but it does. It works really well. Continue reading Review: The Lady in Shoes From Hell (Shoe Fits Productions)

Review: MILF Life Crisis (Perfectly Norma Productions)

Big laughs at MILF Life Crisis, now playing on the Toronto stage

If I hadn’t committed to reviewing Anne Marie Scheffler’s one -person show MILF Life Crisis at the Red Sandcastle Theatre on Wednesday evening, I wouldn’t have gone out. It was a crummy day and I really didn’t want to do anything. That would have been a shame because I would have missed seeing a very talented woman in a very funny show. Continue reading Review: MILF Life Crisis (Perfectly Norma Productions)

Review: Dinner with Goebbels (The Estelle Craig ACT II STUDIO)

Powerplays over dinner play out on the Toronto stage

Better, I think, to watch Dinner with Goebbels than to actually have dinner with the Nazi Minister of Propaganda. What about dinner with Karl Rove, the creator of the War on Terror? Or Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud’s nephew, know as the father of public relations? You can see the three of them in an imagined dinner in The Estelle Craig ACT II STUDIO‘s production at Aki Studio. Continue reading Review: Dinner with Goebbels (The Estelle Craig ACT II STUDIO)

Review: I’m Doing This For You (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper presents a one-woman show that is “funny”, “moving”, and “sad” on stage in Toronto

Hasn’t everyone, at some time or another, wanted to make that grand gesture? Surprise someone they love with the perfect gift? The thing they think the other person wants most? The thing that will cement their love forever? Soulpepper‘s production of I’m Doing This For You, Haley McGee’s one-person show, which opened Thursday at The Young Centre For the Performing Arts looks at these questions. The basic premise of the show is that a woman wants to give the man she loves an amazing gift for his birthday. He wants to be a stand-up comedian and she’s giving him a theatre and an audience. It’s a surprise. Continue reading Review: I’m Doing This For You (Soulpepper)

Review: Stupidhead! (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Stupidhead! is “a show about all of us,” now playing on the Toronto stage

When I saw that Stupidhead!–a musical comedy about having dyslexia–was opening at Theatre Passe Muraille on March 22nd, I knew I had to see it. It’s essentially a one person autobiographical show, written and performed by Katherine Cullen; I’m a big fan of one person autobiographical shows. She co-wrote the lyrics with Britta Johnson, who wrote the music. I love musicals, and comedy, and I have dyslexia. It sounded like a perfect theatre match for me. And it was. Continue reading Review: Stupidhead! (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Review: Of Human Bondage (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper Theatre presents Of Human Bondage in Toronto that is “beautiful” and “evocative”

Soulpepper’s production of Of Human Bondage opened on Friday evening. It’s a beautiful production. Everything works together; the cast, the direction, the set, the lighting, the sound and music. Vern Thiessen’s adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s complex novel, brilliant direction by Albert Schultz, and exciting set and lighting by Lorenzo Savoini bring the story to life on the stage. Continue reading Review: Of Human Bondage (Soulpepper)

Review: My Night With Reg (Studio 180)

My Night with Reg is “fantastic” and “nuanced”, on stage at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto

My Night with Reg, a Studio 180 production, had it’s Canadian premier on Wednesday as part of the Off-Mirvish series. Based on the pull quotes on the poster at the theatre you could be forgiven for expecting a rollicking comedy. It’s witty and funny but it’s also honest and heartbreaking. It’s much more than a gay drawing room comedy. Continue reading Review: My Night With Reg (Studio 180)

Review: Alien Creature: a visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwen (Theatre Passe Muraille)

A “marvelous performance” by Beatriz Pizano, now on stage in Toronto

On Wednesday I saw Alien Creature: a visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwen at Theatre Passe Muraille. Linda Griffiths wrote the play in 1990, and it’s actually quite depressing how relevant and topical it is 27 years later. Not that the play is depressing; just how little the challenges of living as an artist in Toronto have changed. Continue reading Review: Alien Creature: a visitation from Gwendolyn MacEwen (Theatre Passe Muraille)