All posts by Wayne Leung

Wayne is a writer, editor and corporate communications professional who is thrilled to be a part of the Mooney on Theatre team. Wayne has loved theatre ever since his aunt brought him to a production of Les Misérables at the tender age of ten . . . despite the fact that, at that age, the show’s plot was practically indiscernible and the battle scenes scared the bejeezus out of him. Wayne’s current list of likes runs the gamut from opera, ballet and Shakespeare to Broadway musicals, circus and Fringe theatre. Outside of the theatre Wayne’s interests include travel, technology and food.

Review: An Italian Christmas Carol (DopoLavoroTeatrale/Istituto Italaino di Cultura)

Photo of Marissa Zinni and Daniele Bartolini by Raylene Turner DLT presents an immersive theatrical experience for a solo audience member in Toronto

I’ll let you in on a secret … I loathe holiday-themed shows. Their cloying, artificial sentimentality is enough to make my cold, cynical heart mutter “bah humbug.” But when DLT (DopoLavoroTeatrale), the theatre company that brought us amazing, audience-specific experiences like The Stranger and The Invisible City, announced its new show, An Italian Christmas Carol—an immersive take on the Dickens story with an Italian twist—I was intrigued and overcame my antipathy toward Christmas shows to check it out. I’m so glad I did. Continue reading Review: An Italian Christmas Carol (DopoLavoroTeatrale/Istituto Italaino di Cultura)

Preview: In the Heights: In Concert (We Are Here Productions)

Poster for In the Heights: In ConcertToronto artists perform Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical as a benefit for Puerto Rico

Before there was Hamilton, the phenomenally successful hip hop musical that conquered Broadway and much of the English-speaking theatre world, there was In the Heights, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about a Dominican-American community in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood. Now, a group of Toronto theatre artists is coming together to perform an in-concert version of Miranda’s seminal, semi-autobiographical show to raise funds for Puerto Rican hurricane relief via The Hispanic Federation.

We asked director Matt Lacas (Corpus Dance) a few questions about the project.

Continue reading Preview: In the Heights: In Concert (We Are Here Productions)

Review: North by Northwest (Mirvish)

Theatre Royal Bath July 2017Dress Rehearsal North by North West Film by Alfred Hitchcock Adapted by Carolyn Burns Directed by Simon Phillips Director/Simon Phillips Associate Director/Jessica Burns Designers - Simon Phillips & Nick Schlieper Lighting Designer/Nick Schlieper Composer/Ian McDonald Costume Designer - Esther Marie Hayes Audio Visual Specialist/Richard Dinnen Audio Visual Designer/Josh Burns Roger O Thornhill - Jonathan Watton Vandamm - Gerald Kyd Eve - Olivia Fines Mrs Thornhill / Abigail McKern Gruzinsky / Kieran Gough Budnikov /Angus Brown Leonard / Fanning Nelson/Tom Davey The Professor / Larry Wade - Nick Sampson Ensemble - Christopher Chilton, Nick Harris, Roddy Peters, Joanna Van Kampen ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105 nobby@nobbyclark.co.ukMirvish presents a stage version of the classic Hitchcock film North by Northwest in Toronto

I’m a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s repertoire, so I jumped at the chance to see North by Northwest, a stage adaptation of the director’s classic 1959 film, a mistaken identity spy thriller centred on Manhattan advertising executive Roger Thornhill. The film is brought to life on stage using a dazzling array of clever staging and effects. However, mounting a new a production that so closely adheres to the film also shines a spotlight on some of the original’s problems. Continue reading Review: North by Northwest (Mirvish)

Review: VOLTA (Cirque du Soleil)

Extreme sports inspire Cirque du Soleil’s new show VOLTA now playing in Toronto’s Port Lands

Cirque du Soleil has brought its signature big top back to Toronto. Following hot on the heels of last year’s Mexico-inspired LUZIA, the company is presenting its newest show VOLTA and if you’re wondering whether it’s worth springing for tickets to another Cirque show so soon; VOLTA holds some unexpected surprises. Continue reading Review: VOLTA (Cirque du Soleil)

Mooney on Theatre’s Most-Read Reviews for the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

Hot Tickets header

Before the start of the Toronto Fringe Festival we told you about some of the shows that were most popular amongst our staff. Then, after reviewing all 160 shows in this year’s festival we shared our list of the shows we recommend.

Now it’s your turn; we reveal the list of our readers’ most buzzed about shows based on the popularity of their Mooney on Theatre reviews. So here’s the list of the top ten (ish) most-read Fringe reviews on Mooney on Theatre this year**: Continue reading Mooney on Theatre’s Most-Read Reviews for the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

Mooney on Theatre Recommends – 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

Photo of the 2017 Toronto Fringe Club at Scadding Court Community Centre

This past weekend Mooney on Theatre sent its dedicated team of 30 writers and editors to cover all 160 shows in this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival! With the sheer number of shows available at the festival, picking the ones you want to see can be a daunting task.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of shows and you’re looking for a place to start, we’ve asked our staff to tell us about their favourite shows they’ve seen at this year’s festival. We hope our staff picks can help you navigate the Fringe.

If you’ve seen something you think is amazing that you think others should go see please let us know by leaving a comment.

And don’t forget to check out our complete list of Fringe reviews, Fringe Buzz features and our daily free ticket giveaways.

Happy Fringing!

Mooney on Theatre Staff Picks – 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival Continue reading Mooney on Theatre Recommends – 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

The Teeny Tiny Music Show (Sneaky Sneaky Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Hayley Pace, Daniel Walsh, Jeremy Deveaux, Nick Marshall, Nicholas Scott, Ravish Kamath, Adam Borohov, Luc Gaylie, Guillermo de la Rosa, Joseph CallenderThe Teeny Tiny Music Show produced by Sneaky Sneaky Productions is performing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. I’ll level with you: this was the last review assignment I picked up for this year’s Fringe coverage, and I really didn’t know what to expect.

The description—something about a singer/piano duo’s final show—sounded vague and not entirely convincing. But the fact that it was a site-specific show staged in the nondescript piano bar on the second floor of Pauper’s Pub, and that the bar would be serving during the show, was enough for me to take a chance on it.

Continue reading The Teeny Tiny Music Show (Sneaky Sneaky Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Seeking Refuge (Thick and Thin Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Trisha Talreja, Jennifer Walls, and Liana Bdewi of Seeking RefugeSeeking Refuge, produced by Thick and Thin Theatre, is performing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. According to the UNHCR more than 65 million people were displaced worldwide in 2015. That’s the highest number since World War II.

Here in Canada, we’ve seen fear mongering in the conservative media leading to growing racist sentiment against refugees. A show about the plight of refugees couldn’t be more timely or important. Continue reading Seeking Refuge (Thick and Thin Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

True North Mixtape (Edge of Sky Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of the Wexford GleeksTrue North Mixtape, produced by Edge of Sky Theatre, is performing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. This is the newest show from the production company behind monster Fringe hits like Summerland and The Fence. At this point we pretty much know what to expect from them; fantastic musical performances, polished group dance numbers and an impossibly large cast of fresh-faced young performers. Once again, the team delivers, big time.

Continue reading True North Mixtape (Edge of Sky Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

No Place (Pressgang Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of a keyboard with the words No Place written on the white keysNo Place, produced by Pressgang Theatre, is performing at St. George the Martyr Church as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. For many who come across an autobiographical, one-person Fringe show about someone who grew up in a small town and had a difficult relationship with their mother, the description may as well read, “Run as fast as you can, in the opposite direction.” I get it. These types of one-handers are really hard to pull off well, and when they’re done poorly the result can be excruciating.
Continue reading No Place (Pressgang Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review