All posts by Sam Mooney

Always a theatre lover Sam realized in middle age that there's more to Toronto theatre than just mainstream and is now in love with one person shows, adores festivals, and quirky venues make her day.

Review: Miss (Unit 102 Actors Company and The Spadina Avenue Gang)

Toronto’s Unit 102 Actors Company presents Miss, a new play by Michael Ross Albert

On Saturday I stepped out of my comfort zone and saw Miss, a Unit 102 Actors Company production, at the new Assembly Theatre in Parkdale. Out of my comfort zone because the press release describes the play, by Michael Ross Albert, as an “explosive drama about loss, grief, guilt, and revenge” and I usually avoid anything with that kind of description. I am so glad went.

It was one of those rare evenings of perfect theatre that will stay with me for years. It’s why people make theatre. It’s why I love theatre. Continue reading Review: Miss (Unit 102 Actors Company and The Spadina Avenue Gang)

The Archivist (Shaista Latif) 2017 SummerWorks Review

The Archivist SummerWorks 2017Early in Shaista Latif’s solo show The Archivist, a disembodied, cartoonish voice starts asking her questions about whether she wants a lawyer, disregards her answers, and tells her she has to swear to tell the truth using a complicated oath that involved spinning around.

The show—which opened on Saturday at Pia Bouman – Scotiabank Studio Theatre as part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival—Latif says, will prove that she’s Afghan. Continue reading The Archivist (Shaista Latif) 2017 SummerWorks Review

The Only Good Indian (Pandemic Theatre) 2017 SummerWorks Review

The Only Good Indian SummerWorks 2017

Are there sentences or phrases you can hardly bear to think about, let alone say? For me, one of those is ‘the only good Indian’. I was fairly surprised after I found myself blithely asking someone “Is this the right line for the only good Indian?” while at Factory Theatre. I guess it’s all in the context because The Only Good Indian is the name of a show that opened on Friday as part of 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival.

It’s presented by Pandemic Theatre and is hard to describe because it doesn’t fit neatly into pre-defined theatre categories. It’s a solo show created and performed by Jivesh Parasram, Tom Arthur Davis, and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. The three performers alternate shows. Continue reading The Only Good Indian (Pandemic Theatre) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Let’s Try This Standing (Keep Good (Theatre) Company) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Gillian Clark Gillian Clark in Let's Try This Standing

Let’s Try This Standing brings new meaning to the expression “caught between a rock and a hard place.” When she was 19, Gillian Clark was hit by an out of control SUV and trapped between it and a brick wall.

Her solo show that tells the story of her accident, hospitalization, and recovery opened on Friday at Factory Theatre, part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival. It’s a lot more cheerful than it sounds. Continue reading Let’s Try This Standing (Keep Good (Theatre) Company) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Divine (Red One Theatre Collective/Storefront Arts Initiative) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Amanda Cordner in Divine photo by John GundyIf you had asked me yesterday how I felt about seeing a play set in the post-apocalyptic wild west of Ontario, I doubt that I would have been very excited.

Then I saw Divine, and it’s marvellous. I am definitely excited! Everything about it is wonderful, the cast, the performances, the script, the set, everything. It opened on Friday at Factory Theatre as part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival. Continue reading Divine (Red One Theatre Collective/Storefront Arts Initiative) 2017 SummerWorks Review

What Linda Said (Dr. Up Productions) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Tracey Hoyt and Kimwun Perehinec in What Linda Said

The world premiere of What Linda Said, part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival, opened on Thursday at Factory Theatre to a full house. The play, by writer Priscilla Uppal, is based on imagined conversations she had with her friend Linda Griffiths after Griffiths died and while Uppal was having chemotherapy. Sound like a downer? Not at all! Continue reading What Linda Said (Dr. Up Productions) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Review: The Drowsy Chaperone (No Strings Theatre)

The Drowsy Chaperone takes to the Toronto stage at the Tarragon Theatre!

Can a group of 12 to 21 year old students enrolled in a four week intensive musical theatre program learn their parts and put on The Drowsy Chaperone in three weeks? Yes! They can! No Strings Theatre’s production, which opened at the Tarragon Theatre on Friday evening, proves it.

I hadn’t seen The Drowsy Chaperone before. It’s a show-within-a-show parody of 1920s fluffy musical comedies; just enough plot to justify a lot of singing, dancing, and a couple of big production numbers. Continue reading Review: The Drowsy Chaperone (No Strings Theatre)

“Am I Pretty Now?”: A musical romp through plastic surgery (Stephanie Herrera) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Stephanie Herrera in"Am I Pretty Now?": A romp through plastic surgery, playing at the 2017 Toronto Fringe

If someone asked you to go with them to see a musical about plastic surgery, you’d be forgiven for thinking “Huh?! Sounds pretty weird but what the heck, it’s Fringe, I’ll go.” And that would be the right decision! “Am I Pretty Now?”: A musical romp through plastic surgery (Stephanie Herrera), playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, is wonderful. At the end of the show the man sitting next to me turned to the woman he was with and said “Wow! That was great.” which pretty much summed up what I was thinking. Continue reading “Am I Pretty Now?”: A musical romp through plastic surgery (Stephanie Herrera) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Butt Kapinski (Kapinski Enterprises) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Deanna Fleysher in Butt Kapinski

Don’t let the ‘Audience Participation’ warning keep you away from Butt Kapinski, (Kapinski Enterprises), playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival. I hate audience participation but I loved it here. It goes way beyond participation; the entire audience is part of the show. Tonight we were terrific. Of course we had Deanna Fleysher to direct us. She’s amazing. Continue reading Butt Kapinski (Kapinski Enterprises) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review