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.

Preview: acts of faith (Factory Theatre)

Natasha Mumba staing with arms outspread in front of a window

acts of faith – a Factory Theatre production – is playing online on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 2, 3 and 4, 2021 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are free of charge! You do have to register.

Playwright David Yee wrote acts of faith during the pandemic with the intent that the audience would watch it remotely. I saw it last year and it was the first play I saw that had been written and staged for a virtual audience. It was an exciting introduction to the possibilities of digital theatre and made me hope that theatre companies would keep developing digital pieces, even after the pandemic. Continue reading Preview: acts of faith (Factory Theatre)

Review: No Change in the Weather (Mirvish and Terra Bruce Productions)

Cast of No Change in the Weather

No Change in the Weather, a musical set in Newfoundland, is currently playing a limited run at the Mirvish CAA Theatre. The pandemic provided Terra Bruce Productions with the opportunity to revise and hone the production which toured Canada from Newfoundland in 2019.

The plot is built around the wake for matriarch Peggy O’Brien (Kelly-Ann Evans). Her son Bill (Steve Ross) and friends take her coffin from the funeral parlour cum tanning salon. They transport it across the water in a less than sturdy boat to her house on the small island of God’s Back Pocket. Peggy was the only person left living there. On the way across they sing a rollicking version of I’s the B’y, complete with umpteen verses. Continue reading Review: No Change in the Weather (Mirvish and Terra Bruce Productions)

Review: Project-a-Sketch (Mind of a Snail Puppet Co. – Primetime Theatre Festival)

Jessica Gabriel and Chloe Ziner's heads surrounded by bright colours

Project-a-Sketch is part of the Primetime Festival. In an earlier review I mentioned that one of the things I like about digital Theatre festivals is the opportunity to see performances from other parts of the country. Mind of a Snail Puppet Co. – Jessica Gabriel and Chloe Ziner – is based in East Vancouver and that’s where the show was performed.

Another thing I like – sort of – is learning about new social platforms. Other than With Love and a Major Organ (The Audio Play) all of the shows in the festival start in Gather. Some shows stay there; for the ones that don’t you’re taken to the appropriate platform from Gather. Project-a-Sketch is on Twitch. Continue reading Review: Project-a-Sketch (Mind of a Snail Puppet Co. – Primetime Theatre Festival)

Review: Once Upon a Time (Jacqui Du Toit & Origin Arts and Community Centre – Primetime Festival)

Jacqui Du Toit standing in front of Trees

Once Upon a Time is an African theatrical storytelling production performed and developed by Jacqui Du Toit. It’s part of the Primetime Festival. Something I like about a digital festival is I can see performances from places other than Toronto. We have the pandemic to thank for the growth of digital theatre.

Du Toit is from South Africa and now lives in Ottawa. Velvet Wells also performed from Ottawa. When Du Toit arrived in Canada 2011 she expected it to be multicultural but Ottawa was very white. There were no opportunities for actors of colour. One of the ways she made her own opportunities was as a storyteller. Continue reading Review: Once Upon a Time (Jacqui Du Toit & Origin Arts and Community Centre – Primetime Festival)

Review: Lessons in Temperament (An Outside the March Film)

James Smith sitting at a piani

Lessons in Temperament has been adapted into a feature film by Writer James Smith and Director Mitchell Cushman. It started life as a play that Smith first performed as part of the 2016 Summerworks festival. Outside the March produced it in 2017. Also in 2017 Smith was invited to present it in New York as part of Soulpepper’s New York residency.

Smith is a piano tuner as well as a performer and a playwright. Unemployed during the pandemic he decides to visit the dozen pianos he normally takes care of and “give them some love”. Pianos go out of tune whether they’re played or not. Continue reading Review: Lessons in Temperament (An Outside the March Film)