All posts by Allison Gerson

Lantern Tales from the Ottawa Valley (Tales from the Four Winds) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Norman PerrinLantern Tales from the Ottawa Valley produced by Tales from the Four Winds and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival is an hour of storytelling and fiddling. The show opens on a blank stage holding a table, two chairs, and two mugs. A fiddle starts to play a folk tune and then Norman Perrin and the fiddler, Dr. Tom Hamilton, enter. Perrin invites the audience to join him for a cup of tea while he spins yarns inspired by the lives of his ancestors in rural Ontario.

Continue reading Lantern Tales from the Ottawa Valley (Tales from the Four Winds) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Life’s a Betch (Sketch Betch) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Nora Saliken, Miguel Gauthier, Eitan Shalmon, and Katherine O'Brien

Life’s a Betch is a sketch comedy show performed by Sketch Betch at the Toronto Fringe Festival. The troupe is made up of four performers who met while studying at the Second City – Miguel Gauthier, Katharine O’Brien, Nora Saliken, and Eitan Shalmon. They were joined on stage by musical director and keyboardist Carmen Braund, who provided the perfect background music for each scene.

Continue reading Life’s a Betch (Sketch Betch) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation (Tim Motley) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Tim MotleyI wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation, a show byTim Motley playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Was it a pornographic? Was it a police procedural? And how are you supposed to say that name without getting tongue-tied? Turns out, it’s a magic show mixed with a 1940’s film-noir detective story with a dose of comedy thrown in. Continue reading 6 Quick Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation (Tim Motley) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Life Records 2: Side B (Beefman Jones Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Rhiannon ArcherLife Records 2: Side B, currently playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, is a one-woman show featuring Rhiannon Archer and produced by Beefman Jones Productions. Archer is an award-winning comedian, writer, and storyteller. Life Records 2: Side B is a personal glimpse at key moments in her life with each memory triggered by a song.

Continue reading Life Records 2: Side B (Beefman Jones Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: Vertical Influences (Le Patin Libre and Luminato)

Unique, exciting ice skating show takes to the Toronto ‘stage’

I know summer in Toronto is short, and we want to take advantage of the limited warmth and sunshine. But I can’t think of a better way to spend a couple hours this June weekend than inside an ice rink watching Vertical Influences, a contemporary dance performance on ice being presented as part of Luminato.

Vertical Influences is performed by Le Patin Libre, a collective of mostly former high-level figure skaters based in Montreal. But this is no Ice Capades full of sequins and sparkle. These dancers wear baggy jeans and street clothes and sport beards, ponytails and dreadlocks. Continue reading Review: Vertical Influences (Le Patin Libre and Luminato)

Review: Brigadoon (The Civic Light-Opera Company)

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.

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Review: Dom Juan (Théâtre Français de Toronto)

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)

Review: Freud’s Last Session (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company)

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)