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: Wicked (Mirvish)

Photo of Ginna Claire Mason & Mary Kate Morrissey in WickedThe hit Broadway musical Wicked returns to Toronto

Since it opened on Broadway in 2003, the musical Wicked has become an international phenomenon. It has played over 100 cities in 15 countries, raking in over $4.5 billion in global ticket sales and winning over millions of fans in the process. A touring production of the show has just touched down at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre for a fifth engagement and—as with any long-running show—the question is; does Wicked retain its magic or does it show its age? Continue reading Review: Wicked (Mirvish)

Announcement: 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominees (With Links to MOT Reviews)

Canadian Stage, The Musical Stage Company & Soulpepper lead noms for the 39th Dora Awards

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) revealed the nominations for the 39th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards at a press conference early this morning. The Dora Awards seek to recognize excellence in the Toronto performing arts community. This year’s ceremony will take place on Monday, June 25 at At the Winter Garden Theatre of the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, and will be hosted by Astrid Van Wieren, currently starring in the Broadway run of the juggernaut Canadian musical, Come From Away.

Continue reading Announcement: 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominees (With Links to MOT Reviews)

Write for us! Coverage of the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival


Cover Toronto Fringe for Mooney on Theatre

Mooney on Theatre is looking for folks to review shows at the Toronto Fringe Festival, which runs from July 4 – 15, 2018.

In many ways, Fringe Festivals embody what Mooney on Theatre holds dear: making theatre more accessible. The Fringe features inexpensive shows attended by a wide range of people, many of whom are not theatregoers the rest of the year.

With this in mind, we put an intense amount of effort into providing as much coverage of the Toronto Fringe Festival as we can. To get an idea of what that coverage looks like, check out the Fringe Festival category on this site.

Among other things, this coverage includes reviewing each show in a relatively substantive way by the end of the first weekend. This task takes a lot of writers. Each year, to make it happen, we bring on additional contributors. Maybe this year that will be you.

Continue reading Write for us! Coverage of the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival

Review: 食盡天下 (A Taste of Empire) (Cahoots Theatre/rice & beans theatre)

Toronto’s Cahoots Theatre presents Jovanni Sy’s cross between a play and a cooking demo

Something delicious is cooking on stage at the Factory Theatre where Cahoots Theatre is presenting a new Cantonese-language version of its 2010 show 食盡天下 (A Taste of Empire). The show is essentially a satirical, comedic play mixed with a live cooking demonstration mixed with a TED talk and somehow manages to pull off all three of those aspects well; the end result is funny, delicious and eye-opening. Continue reading Review: 食盡天下 (A Taste of Empire) (Cahoots Theatre/rice & beans theatre)

Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Photo of the cast of Come From Away in Toronto by Matthew MurphyMirvish opens a new Canadian production of the hit musical Come From Away in Toronto

It’s been about a year since the original production of Come From Away—a new musical by Canadian husband-and-wife writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein—finished its limited, sold-out run in Toronto and transferred to Broadway.

In the intervening year, this little Canadian musical-that-could has taken the Great White Way by storm. It opened to a warm critical reception and earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical. To this day, it still regularly plays to sold out houses in New York and is one of only a handful of Broadway shows that consistently grosses over one million dollars in ticket sales each week. Continue reading Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Review: Bang Bang (Factory Theatre)

Photo of Sébastien Heins, Karen Robinson, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah, Jeff Lillico, Richard Zeppieri by Joseph Michael PhotographyToronto’s Factory Theatre stages Kat Sandler’s explosive and scintillating new play Bang Bang

Bang Bang, a new play written and directed by Kat Sandler, commissioned and presented by Toronto’s Factory Theatre, is every bit as explosive and scintillating as its provocative title suggests. It’s also a wildly entertaining night of theatre that alternately had me cringing, gripping my armrest in suspense, and howling with laughter. Continue reading Review: Bang Bang (Factory Theatre)

Review: The Eve of St. George (Transcendance Project)

Photo of The Eve of St. George by Alvin CollantesTranscendance Project revives its immersive dance-theatre take on Dracula in Toronto

You may have heard of Sleep No More, the genre-defining immersive theatre adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by UK company Punchdrunk. While the show is wildly successful in New York (playing since 2011) and Shanghai (opened in 2016), it’s unlikely a production will ever open in Toronto due to the show’s complexity and cost. But luckily for us, local contemporary dance company Transcendance Project may have created the next best thing.

The Eve of St. George, an immersive dance-theatre adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is taking over four floors of The Great Hall for five performances over three nights, inviting guests to don masks and become anonymous voyeurs; giving them free reign to explore their way through the show’s dark, mysterious, and sexy world. Continue reading Review: The Eve of St. George (Transcendance Project)

2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Good Morning, Viet Mom (Soaring Skies Collective in association with Cahoots Theatre)

Photo of Franco Nguyen

Franco Nguyen is thirty years old and lives with his mother. The Toronto-based comedian’s complex relationship with his Vietnamese immigrant mom is the basis of his touching comedic memoir Good Morning, Viet Mom, now playing as part of the 2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival.

Continue reading 2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Good Morning, Viet Mom (Soaring Skies Collective in association with Cahoots Theatre)

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)