One of the reasons I have always loved SummerWorks is for its willingness to schedule work that breaks boundaries, mixes forms, or ignores certain conventions in favour of possibility. Brothers, a melded dance and theatre piece with a side-order of cooking show, is precisely this kind of work. After leaving Factory Theatre, I remarked that it had been 40 utterly gorgeous minutes of dance and movement. Fortunately or unfortunately, however, Brothers is a 75-minute theatre piece.
Continue reading Brothers (James McKee) 2011 SummerWorks review
In fact, I saw Boyfriends on Wednesday evening, midway though its successful run at the Fringe. It appears that the ghosts in the machine stole my review, and I’m now rewriting it on Monday, with the show having mellowed a few days in my head. As with scotch and men, I think time has improved my enjoyment of Boyfriends as well.
Continue reading Boyfriends (Le Carsonage) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
As a theatre-loving parent of a toddler, I am so pleased – just on principle – with the existence of FringeKIDS. Even though children’s theatre can be hit-or-miss, just the experience of going has a lot to offer children. The Adventures of Mazel and Schlimazel, though, provided a good deal more.
Continue reading The Adventures of Mazel and Schlimazel (Ldub Productions, co-presented by The Ashkenaz Foundation) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Perched on a barstool in the last row of The Central, sweating freely with the other 60-odd souls packed into the small space, I remember thinking to myself “Man, I really hope this production of La Duchesse de Langeais is worth it.” And oh, it was.
Continue reading La Duchesse de Langeais (Apuka Theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Lest avid readers of Mooney on Theatre begin to feel a concern that I don’t like anything, let me be clear: I unreservedly adored Virginia Aldrige, BSc, produced by quoi quoi quoi – a name you may remember from last year’s Fringe smash Raven For A Lark. It’s charming, well-told story of a young woman who follows her dream – sort of – and takes off for Africa.
Continue reading Virginia Aldrige, BSc (quoi quoi quoi) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
Greeted by the most exceptional set I have ever seen at a Fringe show, I settled into a seat in a scant house at George Ignatieff Theatre for the performance of In The Trenches and marvelled. The trench runs across the stage cutting it into “our side,” “their side” – also known as the audience – and No-Man’s Land.
As you enter the theatre, the trench telegraphs that this is serious theatre; that time, effort and money has been put into its development. In the eponymous trench are nine soldiers, including Peter Sawyer, who also wrote and directed the play. It’s fitting he directed it – he plays Captain, and throughout the play tells the others what to do. To be precise, he plays the first, second and third Captain, since this character continually meets his problematic end.
Continue reading In The Trenches (Sawshack Productions ) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
The thing about shows like Holy Tranity! – shows so new they don’t even have a website – is that they’re a bit of a crapshoot, even more than a usual Fringe production, and especially when the production is a staged reading. I arrived for a mid-afternoon show to see a large table set with the world’s sparkliest tablecloth, three red binders, and three bottles of water. Even by Fringe standards, this show was low on set.
Continue reading Holy Tranity! (Raging Bull) 2011 Fringe Review
Every Woman I Slept With Before I Met You promises to be a darkly comedic performance about a guy who takes a wrong turn trying to romance his current girlfriend, and ends up spilling his whole sexual history instead. Created by filmmakers David Amito and AJ Bond for the Fringe Festival, it drew a solid house for 10pm on a Wednesday night.
With this in mind, I turned up expecting a salacious – or at least mildly naughty – sex comedy. You know, the kind in which the performer would bite his lip like a bad boy and say something along the lines of “…which turned out to be more fun than I was expecting, even if I did eventually have to throw out all the bedsheets and wash my cat in dish soap.”
Continue reading Every Woman I Slept With Before I Met You (Borderline Motion Pictures) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
If there is such a thing as avant-garde opera – and I suppose there must be, since there are Google results for it – then Svadba – Wedding currently showing at Canadian Stage’s Berkeley Street Theater is it. Since I am admittedly not an avant-garde opera enthusiast, it took me a while to warm up to this Queen of Puddings Music Theatre production, but in the end I came away bewildered but delighted with what I’d seen.
Continue reading Review: Svadba – Wedding (Queen of Pudding Music Theatre)