All posts by Samantha Wu

Samantha is a writer and a fan of the arts and has been able to find numerous ways to pair the two. Aside from being an editor here at Mooney on Theatre, she’s a photojournalist for Lithium Magazine which gets her writing and shooting about everything from Dave Matthews Band to Fan Expo, and a copy editor/writer for Art Katalyst. She’s passionate about music, theatre, photography, writing, and celebrating sexuality — not necessarily in that order. She drinks tea more than coffee, prefer ciders over beers, and sings karaoke way too loudly. You can follow her on various social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

How Hard Could THAT Be? – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release

At age twenty, Trent Arterberry decided that he would drop out of college, get married, buy a house, raise a family and pay for it all as a mime artist! After all, he reasoned, “how hard could that be?” In his third appearance at the Toronto Fringe Festival, audiences will discover the answer for themselves as the show provides hilarious and poignant anecdotes from the life and times of one of Canada’s most well-traveled mime artists.

This new show, written and performed by Arterberry and directed by Gregg Goldston, debuted at the 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival. The show employs Arterberry’s signature blend of scenes of mime and music, woven together with amusing and revealing stories.

In How Hard Could That Be? we get to re-experience with him the halcyon days of mime in the ‘70s and ‘80s, as Arterberry rockets to the top of his profession, getting tapped by Capitol Records and opening for major music acts like BB King, Aerosmith, Julio Iglesias and The Kinks at Radio City Music Hall and the Maple Leaf Gardens.

But with the cultural backlash against mime in the late ‘80s, Arterberry’s career comes crashing back to earth. During this difficult period, he is forced to re-think and re-shape both his art and his life. “This show traces the arc of my career from early confusion to a meteoric rise, a shattering fall, then rebirth and redemption,” says Arterberry.

How Hard Could That Be? is a funny, touching and ultimately uplifting performance. Running from July 6-14 at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, 30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto.

Details

  • How Hard Could THAT Be? plays at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • This venue is barrier-free. Patrons who use wheelchairs or who cannot climb stairs are seated in the front row.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 6:45 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 12:45 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 4:45 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 2:00 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 9:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 7:45 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 12:15 pm

Photo of Trent Arterberry by Derek Ford

Settle This Thing – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release

A few years ago BICK/ANTZIS created a YouTube video called Settle This Thing in order to have the Internet provide a solution to an ongoing argument they couldn’t resolve on their own. Tamara Bick and Drew Antzis each laid out their argument and told viewers, “Vote for who you agree with and we’ll live with the results.” After a week the married couple tallied the votes and had a winner. Argument solved! “It’s crowd sourcing to solve our fights,” says Antzis, “and it worked!” The web series Settle This Thing was born.

The couple used this method to settle many unresolvable arguments like what’s appropriate in sexual fantasies, front seat driving and should we share dreams; then in 2017 decided to take their fights to the stage. Bick and Antzis both started out in theatre and realized it’s an immediate and exciting place to work on comedic material exploring their marriage, sex life, in-laws, and parenting, and began crafting live shows. The results were 5 completely different one hour ‘relationship seminars’ where the couple shares their scientific-ish conclusions on how to be an expert in all these many facets of life.

Bick explains, “We’d get hired to work for other people, and while we loved that experience, it’s not quite the same as creating your own work. We wrote many videos together when Drew first started directing at Funny Or Die. We wrote and directed a short black comedy, COMA, and then started getting hired as writer/directors shooting commercials and promos and a lot of projects for the web, and it just continued from there… but now, we get to do our own thing and that’s just really fun for us.” Antzis adds, “Plus our shows are usually at 8pm so it gets us out of bedtime with the kids, which is also a nice bonus.”

Now BICK/ANTZIS is coming to the Toronto Fringe Festival to put some fresh disputes in the ring for a vote. They’ve been workshopping the show for many months and when asked if audiences are enjoying it Bick thinks they really are, “Because we are unpacking and analyzing falling in love and sex and kids and all that stuff in a really scientific-ish way, they find it is very valuable info.” Antzis adds, “People love it. And want it. They eat it up.”

Details

  • Settle This Thing plays at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Audience participation; Unsuitable for minors.
  • This venue is barrier-free. Patrons who use wheelchairs or who cannot climb stairs are seated in the front row.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Friday July 6th, 8:30 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 4:45 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 1:00 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 9:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 2:30 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 3:45 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 11:30 pm

Photo provided by the company

Cheri – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release

Sky Gilbert (3-time Dora Award Winner, and recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award and Silver Ticket Winner) teams up with Theresa Tova (RagtimeTough Jews, president of ACTRA Toronto) for a musical collaboration of Cheri.

An aging courtesan named Lea (Theresa Tova) is performing a musical about her checkered past — passion, love and the ever important issue: what are the best fashion choices for a woman who is no longer young? During her performance Lea is triggered by the beauty of her young male accompanist (Dustin Peters) who reminds her of a lover from many years ago — Cheri.

Cheri deals with topics of women’s sexuality and aging while asking; what is the true nature of love? Why does a person fall in love with someone who could potentially hurt them or use them? Is there ever a time when one should intervene? Can you ever really stop yourself from falling for the wrong person, and if so, how?

Don’t miss this feverish femme-fatale spectacular!

Details

  • Cheri plays at the Al Green Theatre. (750 Spadina Ave.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warning: Mature language.
  • This venue is barrier-free. Note that only certain building entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in front of the front row.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 4th, 10:30 pm
  • Saturday July 7th, 12:00 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 5:00 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 8:30 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 9:00 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 1:45 pm

Photo provided by the company

Compulsion – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release

The latest musical by Dora and Canadian Comedy Award nominee Scott White (Top Gun! The MusicalThe Giant’s Garden, Bemused) will premiere on the main stage of Factory Theatre on July 4th, the opening night of the Toronto Fringe. Compulsion  is a dark, fast-paced musical roller-coaster ride that asks “What happens when life’s decisions take you to the edge?” The show combines the suspense of a Hitchcock thriller with the pace of a contemporary television hospital drama through a plot that explores the darker side of love. Compulsion was the runner-up for this year’s Paul O’Sullivan Musical Theatre Prize.

The cast features; Matthew Bradley (Rock Of Ages, The Wedding Singer, Boys In the Photograph), Kate Madden (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Of Human Bondage), Dale Miller (Falstaff, James And The Giant Peach, Les Miserables) Michelle Nash (Evil Dead The Musical, Disenchanted), Sara Stahmer (Les MiserablesI Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change, ) and Kristi Woods ( The Drowsy Chaperone, Legally Blonde). Text and Music Direction will be by Dora nominee Scott White. Movement Direction and Staging will be by Dora nominee Viv Moore with Stage Management by Debbie Read.

Details

  • Compulsion plays at the Factory Theatre Mainspace. (125 Bathurst St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Unsuitable for minors.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Wednesday July 4th, 8:15 pm
  • Friday July 6th, 10:15 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 8:45 pm
  • Tuesday July 10th, 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 11:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 12:00 pm
  • Sunday July 15th, 1:45 pm

Photo of Sara Stahmer by Scott White

High School Symphony – Toronto Fringe 2018 Press Release

From Press Release

Last year, the immerse marching band theatre company, The Teeny Tiny Music Show premiered in Toronto with their show of the same name in the 2017 The Toronto Fringe Festival and are returning this year with their brand-new play, HIGH SCHOOL SYMPHONY, a Big-Band “Mean Girls” tale of friendship, revenge, and if we ever REALLY
got over what happened in high school. This musical whirlwind is premiering July 5th, 2018, 7:00 pm at The Randolph Theatre, located at 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto.

A remarkable friendship between two young, Catholic grade school girls is tested when they get suspended for sexual harassment towards their teacher. The drama unfolds with a cast that consists of two BFF’s and a hidden eight-piece marching band, who crawl out of the woodwork during the duration of the show and double as hot teachers, best friends, the guy who only plays “Wonderwall”, and of course, the enemy popular group. Our marching band has decked the soundtrack with video game references, anime theme songs, and slicked-up sounds from the early 00’s that got every millennial through their pimply prepubescence!

Written by and starring Hayley Pace. The show was conceived after Pace revisited a Ziplock bag of over one hundred origami notes addressed to her from her high school girlfriends that were tucked away in her hometown bedroom for almost a decade. Within these notes were touching stories of first love’s lost, fleeing the friend-zone, provoking teachers, infamous dick jokes, and asking what matters most – boys or besties?

Details

  • High School Symphony plays at the Randolph Theatre. (736 Bathurst St.)
  • Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Content Warnings: Mature language; Sexual content.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. We recommend checking in with the venue box office at least 15 minutes before showtime.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Performances

  • Thursday July 5th, 7:00 pm
  • Sunday July 8th, 1:15 pm
  • Monday July 9th, 2:30 pm
  • Wednesday July 11th, 3:30 pm
  • Thursday July 12th, 11:00 pm
  • Friday July 13th, 5:15 pm
  • Saturday July 14th, 3:30 pm

Photo of the cast by Ron Van Zutphen

Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Mirvish)

The dazzling musical spectacle makes its return to the Toronto stage at the Princess of Wales

For many, their first foray down the rabbit hole of musical theatre began with The Phantom of the Opera. It’s an easy choice considering it’s one of the longest running musicals of all time, having first been staged in London’s West End in 1986. Since then, the show has bewitched and dazzled many, spanning generations across the globe. Now, making its triumphant Toronto return to the Princess of Wales Theatre is Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic.

Continue reading Review: The Phantom of the Opera (Mirvish)

Review: RIOT (Luminato/THISISPOPBABY)

RIOT is a dazzling display of song, dance, circus arts and spoken word, at the Toronto Luminato Festival

Just in time to kick off a month of Toronto Pride celebrations and to launch the city into summer arts festivals season, The 2018 Toronto Luminato Festival welcomes THISISPOPBABY — a dazzling troupe of circus artists, dancers, singers, spoken word performers, and a delightful drag MC hailing from Ireland. Their production of RIOT is exactly that: 100 minutes of a variety show that assaults the senses in a display of dance, song, aerial artistry, politically charged spoken word, and unabashed sexuality. What’s not to love?

Continue reading Review: RIOT (Luminato/THISISPOPBABY)

Review: Innocence Lost: A Play About Steven Truscott (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper Theatre brings the infamous case of Steven Truscott to the Toronto stage

A 14-year-old boy offers a 12-year-old girl a ride on his bicycle. Later on he is arrested, charged with murder, and sentenced to hang. Soulpepper presents Innocence Lost: A Play About Steven Truscott written by Beverley Cooper, playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, about a case that left Canadians shocked for decades to come.

Continue reading Review: Innocence Lost: A Play About Steven Truscott (Soulpepper)

Review: The Best is Yet to Come Undone (Second City)

Second City brings their latest main stage sketch comedy revue to Toronto audiences

Second City launched their latest revue for the spring and summer and their team of talented and immensely funny improv comedians are excited to keep Toronto laughing. The Best is Yet to Come Undone is a hilarious night of culturally relevant, timely, and, well, woke sketch comedy that will leave you cackling in your seats and eager to tell your friends. A healthy dose of audience participation means no two shows will ever be exactly the same.

Continue reading Review: The Best is Yet to Come Undone (Second City)

Review: An American in Paris (Mirvish)

Mirvish Productions presents a new musical adaptation of the movie to the Toronto stage

As a fan of musical theatre classics, this upcoming season for Mirvish is going to be an exciting one as they’re bringing back classics like Phantom of the Opera and Chicago to the Toronto stage. Currently, Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, along with playwright Craig Lucas, have brought An American in Paris to the Princess of Wales Theatre, dazzling audiences with timeless songs by George and Ira Gershwin along with and dance numbers that will surely leave you in awe.

Continue reading Review: An American in Paris (Mirvish)