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: The Ends of the Earth (Don’t Look Down Theatre Company)

Man in jeans and blue shirt standing in front of ocean from Don’t Look Down Theatre Co’s. excellent The Ends of The Earth at Alumnae Theatre

Acting takes centre stage in this many-charactered play

The Ends of the Earth – playing at Alumnae Theatre – is a bold choice for Don’t Look Down Theatre Company’s first on-stage production of 2019. Written by Morris Panych and first produced in 1992, it’s a Canadian play that isn’t particularly Canadian. The setting isn’t specified; it could be anywhere with a coastline. This production is set in the present, but it could as easily be set in the early 1990s when it was first produced, or in the 1950s or even the 1920s.

There are a couple of things that date the play. It’s two hours long, 2 hours and 15 minutes with an intermission. In this day of 60 to 90 minutes plays and short attention spans (mine included), that’s a long play. There are 20 characters with lines in the play; 20! That’s a lot of characters.

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Footnote Number 12 (Theatre Replacement / Spreafico Eckly) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Man wearing pale make-up, a green ball cap, and a blue striped polo shirt stares at the camera, Footnote Number 12, SummerWorks

Sometimes I see shows where, even after reading the SummerWorks 2019 program, I have no real idea what to expect– and they turn out to be among the ones that I love the most. Footnote Number 12 from Theatre Replacement / Spreafico Eckly certainly falls into this category. In the program it says “This monologue for two people asks you to observe a creature — a creature whose voice is being repeatedly modulated through digital means.” A creature? A monologue for two people? A digitally modulated voice? Could it possibly come together into something coherent, something wonderful? Yes!

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Crossing into Lullaby – SummerWorks 2019 Review

Dian Marie Bridge sitting in a chair and reading a script

Crossing into Lullaby is a work in development, and part of the SummerWorks 2019 Lab programming. The best way I can describe the way it’s presented is that it’s like a staged reading, but with actors moving around the stage rather than sitting in place.

I love stage readings. They set my imagination free. Often, when I think back to them, I’m not sure if it’s a reading I saw or a play with a set and costumes that I’m remembering.

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The Breath Between (The AMY Project) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Photo of young adult sitting in front of pile of trash, promo photo for The Breath Between

The Breath Between, part of Summerworks 2019, is the result of this year’s AMY Project (Artists Mentoring Youth) Summer Performance Program, the Spring Theatre Creation Program and the Design Mentorship Program. The Theatre Creation program is offered to young women and non-binary youth between 14 and 22 years of age. The Summer Performance Program is offered to youth who have completed the spring program.

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Encumbrance (Johannes Zits) SummerWorks 2019 Review

Photo of Johannes Zits lying bent backbackwards on a pile of clothes

Encumbrance, created and produced by Johannes Zits with the assistance of Holly Timpener, is listed on the SummerWorks 2019 website as a live art performance. I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The listing goes on to say “…contemplating the relationship between the body, identity and clothing.” which, in retrospect, is quite funny because the four performers just wore hand-made thongs most of the time.

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Review: La Traviata (SOLT)

Photo of Anna Wojcik as Annina, Cristine Pisani as Violetta and Joshua Clemenger as Alfredo in La Traviata

Beginners Go To the Opera

Every summer the finale of the eight-week SOLT Opera Workshop is the presentation of the operas. On Friday my friend Patricia and I saw La Traviata which, along with Ernest, The Importance of Being, and Riders to the Sea & Gianni Schicchi, is one of this year’s offerings.

I’ve always found the idea of opera intimidating. I don’t know enough about music to provide a critique of it. I really am ‘I know what I like’ when it comes to voices. Patricia knows more about music, but not opera, so we went with open minds and no experience. We both really enjoyed it.

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Review: A Little Black Lie (Crossfield House Productions)

Image of the cast of A Little Black Lie

Marriage, Mayhem and Music Take Centre Stage With A Little Black Lie

A Little Black Lie opened Wednesday for an encore Toronto presentation at Tarragon Theatre. My friend Marg and I saw it last year, and we were both curious to see what had changed.

The story’s the same: Michael (Troy Crossfield) and Stacey (Sheronna Osbourne) are about to get married, and Michael has past and current issues he needs to deal with if the wedding is going to go ahead. He wants the wedding to go ahead.

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July 10 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

image saying daily raves

If you’re new to Fringing our rave reviews can help you decide which shows to see. They’re the ones with the little green Rave Review in brackets next to them on the Fringe Reviews list.

These are the shows that made our reviewers want to run out of the theatre, grab people, and tell them that they absolutely ‘have to go see this show, it’s amazing’. Well, they make me want to do that.

It’s not the only way to pick a show but it’s one way to get started. Here are a few that our writers have raved about.

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