Briagadoon is a “feel-good” comedy that leaves you “warm and fuzzy” on stage in Toronto
One of the things I love about writing for Mooney on Theatre is that I often get to learn about new venues, new companies, or new parts of the city. The Civic Light–Opera Company is a community theatre group based in the northeast end of the city. Their production of Brigadoon at the Zion Cultural Centre allowed me to do all three. Overall, I thought the company delivered a fine performance. It was fun to revisit an old favourite in a new (to me) setting.
Continue reading Review: Brigadoon (The Civic Light-Opera Company)
Théâtre Français de Toronto’s Dom Juan is a funny, accessible take on Moliere’s classic play
I find that classical theatre can sometimes be difficult to understand. There are often unfamiliar situations depicted with flowery, archaic language. Théâtre Français de Toronto’s production of Molière‘s Dom Juan (on stage at Berkeley Street Theatre), however, is an accessible take on a classic of the French repertoire. Director Joël Beddow makes this old-fashioned tale of transgression engaging and relevant. Continue reading Review: Dom Juan (Théâtre Français de Toronto)
Freud’s Last Session is well performed but “only scratches the surface” on stage in Toronto
Freud’s Last Session, currently being performed by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, is an evening of intellectual discussion. The play imagines a meeting between Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and C.S. Lewis, author and Christian apologist. It touches on important questions of joy, suffering, death, and the existence of God. But to my mind, it remains fairly superficial. Continue reading Review: Freud’s Last Session (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company)
Orphans is a compelling but mixed offering on the Toronto stage
Orphans, currently being presented by Coal Mine Theatre, is an intense evening of family drama. Dennis Kelly’s gripping play explores violence, morality, honesty, and especially family loyalty. It is often difficult to watch, but I found I couldn’t turn away.
Continue reading Review: Orphans (Coal Mine Theatre)
Though a bit gimmicky, Tough Jews delivers a stark, gritty look at Toronto’s history
Tough Jews—a play by Michael Ross Albert presented by The Storefront Theatre—is an intriguing twist on both the typical story of early 20th century Jewish immigrants and the classic Prohibition-era gangster tale.
It’s a funny and tragic adventure which explores hard questions of morality, intergenerational trauma, and the lengths to which people will go to protect their family. Continue reading Review: Tough Jews (The Storefront Theatre)
His Girl Friday, currently being presented by Bygone Theatre at Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, is a screwball comedy set in the 1930’s.
On its website, Bygone Theatre says its mandate is to “produce theatre written or set in the early 20th century, focusing on historical aspects in design and incorporating a classic cinema aesthetic.” His Girl Friday definitely fits this mandate. It’s a trip back in time, and had some moments that were surprisingly resonant today. Continue reading Review: His Girl Friday (Bygone Theatre)
Lost and Found showcases solo plays on the Toronto stage
Lost and Found is an evening of four solo performances by Gambler Productions at the Red Sandcastle Theatre. The four plays featured were not explicitly connected to each other. Instead, each was a meditation on losing or finding a piece of oneself. Continue reading Review: Lost and Found (Gambler Productions)
A “mix of chaos and stillness”, John hits Toronto’s Berkeley Street Theatre
The buzz in the audience as I waited for The Company Theatre’s production of John to begin at the Berkeley Street Theatre was, “Did you know it’s over three hours?” and “Did you see how long it is?” Indeed, John is a long play. But don’t let yourself get hung up on the length. It’s worth the time. Continue reading Review: John (The Company Theatre)
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale lands on the Toronto stage
William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, currently being performed by Groundling Theatre Company at the Winter Garden Theatre is sometimes referred to as a “problem play.” It’s neither tragedy nor comedy but rather switches between moments of intense psychological drama and moments of comedy and romance. As such, it is a perfect showcase for demonstrating the tremendous range and talent of this group of actors. Continue reading Review: The Winter’s Tale (Groundling Theatre Company)
Second City revamps a holiday classic with hilarity for Toronto audiences
Holidays are all about traditions. But sometimes, you need to mix it up a little and try something new. The Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, currently playing at the Greenwin Theatre at the Toronto Centre for the Arts takes Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale in new—and sometimes hilarious—directions. Continue reading Review: Twist Your Dickens (The Second City)