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: Così fan tutte (Canadian Opera Company)

Photo of Johannes Kammler, Emily D’Angelo, Kirsten MacKinnon, and Ben Bliss by Michael CooperThe Canadian Opera Company revives its Atom Egoyan-directed Così fan tutte in Toronto

The Canadian Opera Company has revived its 2014 production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte directed by Atom Egoyan. For this production, the director takes the opera’s secondary title, “The School for Lovers,” literally and sets it in what looks like an Edwardian-era boarding school which he packs full of naturalist symbols like giant butterflies. The end result is decidedly mixed. There are some aspects of the production I loved and other aspects that I found absolutely frustrating. Continue reading Review: Così fan tutte (Canadian Opera Company)

Review: Cirque Éloize Hotel (TO Live)

Photo of the cast of Cirque Éloize Hotel provided by the company The Montreal-based theatrical circus company brings its new show to Toronto

Cirque Éloize has been touring its shows in proscenium theatres around the world for the past 25 years. TO Live (the recently re-branded Civic Theatres of Toronto) is presenting their newest show at the St. Lawrence Centre. Hotel follows hot on the heels of shows by other theatrical circus companies from Quebec–Cirque du Soleil and Les 7 doigts de la main–which also played runs in Toronto within the past two months. Unfortunately, I don’t think Cirque Éloize’s offering measures up.  Continue reading Review: Cirque Éloize Hotel (TO Live)

Review: We Are Not Alone (Crow’s Theatre/Segal Centre/2b theatre company)

Photo of Damien Atkins by Paul AihoshiDamien Atkins performs his new solo play at Toronto’s Streetcar Crowsnest

“The truth is out there …” ‘90s kids will recognize that tag line from The X-Files; the cult hit sci-fi TV show about a massive government conspiracy to cover up the existence of extraterrestrials was a cultural phenomenon. For the generation who grew up watching that show, it’s not hard to see the appeal of re-visiting the subject matter if only for the sake of nostalgia. That cohort includes Toronto-based playwright Damien Atkins whose new play, We Are Not Alone, delves into the topic of UFOs and alien abductions.  Continue reading Review: We Are Not Alone (Crow’s Theatre/Segal Centre/2b theatre company)

2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Lucky (barlizo productions)

Photo of Katharine King, Christian Jadah by Tanja TizianaLucky by Montreal-based playwright Marie Barlizo, now playing in Toronto as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival, was inspired by the sensational and grizzly story of Jennifer Pan, a Vietnamese-Canadian woman in Markham who was convicted of hiring killers to murder her parents as a response to their abusive “tiger parenting.” Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Lucky (barlizo productions)

2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Ga Ting 家庭 (Ga Ting Toronto Collective)

Photo of Loretta Yu, Richard Tse, and Stephen Tracey by Randy Bui In Vancouver-based playwright Minh Ly’s Ga Ting, now playing in Toronto as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival, an immigrant Chinese-Canadian couple meets their deceased son Kevin’s caucasian boyfriend for the first time and, over the course of a dinner full of clashes and fiery accusations, they each try to come to terms with Kevin’s death by suicide. Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Ga Ting 家庭 (Ga Ting Toronto Collective)

Review: The Play That Goes Wrong (Mirvish)

Photo of Clifton Duncan, Harrison Unger, Mark Evans and Alex Mandell by Jeremy DanielAfter runs in London and on Broadway the hit comedic play opens in Toronto

The Play That Goes Wrong recently played successful runs in London’s West End and on Broadway and I admit, I’m a bit baffled by its success. Rarely do you see a non-musical play on Broadway that doesn’t cast a celebrity in a lead role. It’s also the kind of screwball, slapstick comedy that would typically play in smaller, Off-Broadway size theatres, but last night the show opened in Toronto’s large Ed Mirvish Theatre in front of a packed house, so there’s obviously an audience for it. Continue reading Review: The Play That Goes Wrong (Mirvish)

Review: Champions of Magic (Starvox Entertainment)

Photo of Fernando Velasco by Pamela Raith The magic show from the UK featuring five world-class magicians is now playing in Toronto

Who doesn’t love a magic show? Oh, they’re the empty-calorie guilty pleasures of the performing arts, to be sure, but their unabashed spectacle and their ability to dazzle and delight makes them accessible, crowd-pleasing entertainment. Champions of Magic, is just that. Performing a three-week stint in Toronto over the holidays, the show is guaranteed to increase your dopamine levels. Continue reading Review: Champions of Magic (Starvox Entertainment)

Review: Reversible by The 7 Fingers (Mirvish)

Photo of Hugo Ragetly, Natasha Patterson, Vincent Jutras, Émilie Silliau, Julien Silliau, Maria Del Mar Reyes, Emi Vauthey and Jérémi Lévesque by Jerome Guibord
Mirvish presents the theatrical circus troupe 7 Fingers’ show Reversible in Toronto

Les 7 doigts de la main (the 7 Fingers), the scrappy Montreal-based contemporary circus arts collective has been steadily building its reputation in Toronto for its brilliant, wildly creative, artist-driven performances. Following recent runs of their shows Traces and Cuisine and Confessions, Mirvish has brought the company back to present Reversible.  Continue reading Review: Reversible by The 7 Fingers (Mirvish)

Review: Corteo (Cirque du Soleil)

Photo: Lucas Saporiti Costumes: Dominique Lemieux © 2015 Cirque du SoleilCirque du Soleil brings its show Corteo to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena for the Holidays

The Canadian entertainment juggernaut Cirque du Soleil is back in town with their classic show Corteo—playing a short run this week at the Scotiabank Arena (formerly the Air Canada Centre)—just in time for the holidays!

Corteo originally played a longer run in Toronto back in 2005. Cirque du Soleil has taken to adapting their older shows—ones which have already toured the world in their signature tent—to enable them to play in arenas allowing them to profitably run in smaller markets and in cities like Toronto during the cold winter months. Continue reading Review: Corteo (Cirque du Soleil)

Review: If on a Christmas Night (DopoLavoro Teatrale/Villa Charities/The Columbus Centre)

Photo of Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, Rory de Brouwer, Raylene Turner, Danya Buonastella, and Franco Berti provided by the companyExperience an immersive theatre celebration of Christmas through the lens of Italian culture in Toronto

For the second year in a row DopoLavoro Teatrale (DLT), one of Toronto’s leading immersive theatre companies, has created a Christmas-themed show. Following last year’s An Italian Christmas Carol, a reimagining of the Dickens story performed for a solo audience member, the company is presenting If on a Christmas Night, an immersive theatre experience designed for a larger audience, written and directed by DLT’s Artistic Director, Daniele Bartolini. Continue reading Review: If on a Christmas Night (DopoLavoro Teatrale/Villa Charities/The Columbus Centre)