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: Class (Progress Festival / Scottee and Friends Ltd.)

Scottee in ClassA “stunning piece of theatre” both brutally funny and honest

There are two more performances of Class, Scottee’s one-person show. Go see it. It’s amazing. I can’t remember the last time I laughed as hard as I did last night. My stomach muscles are still tender this morning. I also can’t remember the last time I worked as hard to not sob during a performance. Or was as angry.

Class is part of the Progress Festival at The Theatre Centre. Earlier this week I saw Scottee’s show, Working Class Dinner Party and really enjoyed it. We spent 90 minutes trying to decide how to define working class. We didn’t arrive at a definition. Continue reading Review: Class (Progress Festival / Scottee and Friends Ltd.)

Review: Working Class Dinner Party (Progress Festival / Scottee and Friends)

photo of Scottee before Working Class Dinner PartygWorking Class Dinner Party is “a joy to have dinner with”

There are times when it doesn’t matter what the description of a show says; I have no idea what to expect. I think of it as ‘theatre roulette.’ Sometimes they’re the best experiences. Working Class Dinner Party, part of the Progress Festival, is one of those shows.

Continue reading Review: Working Class Dinner Party (Progress Festival / Scottee and Friends)

Review: Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Tarragon)

Image - Alice Snaden and Matthew Edison sitting on a rug talking in Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes

Normally I see plays on opening night, but for a variety of reasons, I saw Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes at a Saturday matinee at Tarragon. It’s a different feeling, a different audience; a lot more people my age (middle-aged plus). The standing ovation felt genuine rather than obligatory. It was certainly well deserved.

The plot is familiar, even clichéd. It’s 2014. Jon (Matthew Edison), a 42 year old professor and best-selling author, has an affair with Annie (Alice Snaden), a 19 year old student. We can predict the story. Right?

Continue reading Review: Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Tarragon)

Review: Cash Me If You Can (Horse and Hound Productions)

Picture of Patrick Combs at ATM in Cash Me If You Can in Toronto

Cash Me If You Can is a ‘fun evening’ of a one-man performance full of self-deprecating humour

Patrick Combs took on a bank and won. Cash Me If You Can is his story and he’s telling it at the Marilyn and Charles Baillie Theatre. It’s a great story and he tells it well. Which is to be expected; he’s been telling it to a lot of people for a while now.

When Combs was 29 he got one of those junk mail cheques in his mail. The kind we’ve all received, part of a ‘you can get rich too’ pitch. It was payable to him in the amount of $95,095.33, drawn on a real bank, signed, and had “NOT NEGOTIABLE FOR CASH” printed in the top right corner. He decided to deposit it as a joke. The show is the story of what happened after that.

Continue reading Review: Cash Me If You Can (Horse and Hound Productions)

Review: The Election (Theatre Passe Muraille presents a Common Boots Theatre Production in Association with Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Direct)

Photo of the cast of The Election, timely play about election campaign volunteersYou can’t vote at The Election at Theatre Passe Muraille, but you’ll laugh

The Election opened at Theatre Passe Muraille on Friday. “Huh?” I can hear you thinking, “I’m pretty sure the election is on October 21st.” Yes, the Federal Election is on Monday, October 21st. That’s not the election I’m talking about. This is a play is about volunteering for federal candidates in the 2015 election.

My friend Patricia has a lot of experience working on federal political campaigns, both as a staffer and a volunteer. It made sense for me to ask her to come with me, I don’t know anything about volunteering for a campaign. She said that the campaign office parts of the play were true to life. It reinforced why I don’t volunteer to work election campaigns.

Continue reading Review: The Election (Theatre Passe Muraille presents a Common Boots Theatre Production in Association with Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Direct)