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: 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)

Review: The Wedding Party (Crow’s Theatre and Talk is Free Theatre)

The Wedding Party is “big, sprawling, funny,” now playing on stage at Crowsnest Streetcar.

Thursday evening saw two theatre firsts in Toronto: the world premiere of Kirsten Thomson’s The Wedding Party, a Crow’s Theatre and Talk is Free Theatre production, and the official opening of Crowsnest Streetcar, the new permanent home of Crow’s Theatre. Both are lovely. Continue reading Review: The Wedding Party (Crow’s Theatre and Talk is Free Theatre)

Review: Empire of the Son (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre)

Tetsuro Shigematsu’s tale is “entertaining” and “well performed”, at the Factory Theatre in Toronto

Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son opened to a full house on Wednesday at Factory Theatre. It’s the last stop on the current tour of Eastern Canada for the Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre production. Shigematsu’s autobiographical show is an engaging tribute to his father, Akira Shigematsu. Continue reading Review: Empire of the Son (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre)

Review: The Angry Brigade (Elevated State)

Cast of The Angry Brigade, Toronto


Elevated State’s production of James Graham’s play The Angry Brigade is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. The play is based on the search for, and arrest of, members of The Angry Brigade, a left-wing revolutionary group, in London in 1971. It’s a long play – two and a half hours with a 15 minute intermission. I left feeling as if I had seen two plays with the same cast. Continue reading Review: The Angry Brigade (Elevated State)

Review: Cavalcade (George Brown Theatre)

Jake Runeckles, Lucas Penner and Michael Boyce in CavalcadeGeorge Brown Theatre presents a cast of up and coming talent in Cavalcade playing in Toronto

George Brown Theatre’s production of Noel Coward’s Cavalcade, playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, is a big play. It covers the big events in English life from New Year’s Eve 1899 to New Year’s Eve 1929 including the Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic, and World War l. This production has a cast of 23. That’s a really nice thing about a School of Performing Arts – you have a big talent pool to draw from and you can produce plays with large casts. Continue reading Review: Cavalcade (George Brown Theatre)

Review: Constellations (Canadian Stage and Centaur Theatre)


Constellations brings quantum physics, and hints at a multiverse, on stage at Toronto’s Bluma Appel Theatre

Playwright Nick Payne provides a glimpse into quantum possibilities in Constellations, which opened Thursday at the Bluma Appel Theatre. At the end of the play my friend Elaine said “I wish that had lasted longer, it just zipped past.”

Not really something you’d expect to hear about a play that includes string theory and quantum physics. It wasn’t that she felt it was too short or unfinished; she liked it so much that she didn’t want it to end. Continue reading Review: Constellations (Canadian Stage and Centaur Theatre)