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.

Swim Team (Nowadays Theatre) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Photo from Swim Team at SummerworksSwim Team, a play by Jaber Ramezani, had it’s premier on Sunday at SummerWorks. In the program it says the play is “Inspired by real stories from the world of women’s sports in post-revolutionary Iran…”

The story follows a swimming coach who moves to a place with no water after her students drown in a swimming pool, and the three young women who want her to teach them to swim. Continue reading Swim Team (Nowadays Theatre) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Adrenaline (Theatre Mada) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Ahmad Meree in Adrenaline at 2018 Summerworks

On Saturday afternoon I saw 35 minutes of amazing, heartrending, theatre performed in Arabic with English subtitles. Adrenaline is produced by Theatre Mada in Kitchener, a collective of Arab theatre artists living in the Waterloo Region, and is part of SummerWorks.

I watch movies and TV with subtitles often, probably about 20% of the time. For some reason, it never occurs to me to see theatre in languages other than English or French. I guess I assume there wouldn’t be subtitles. I don’t know why I’d assume that. Continue reading Adrenaline (Theatre Mada) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Lion Womxn (The Amy Project) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Photo of cast of Lion Womxn Summerworks 2018Arriving about four minutes late for Lion Womxn, The Amy Project’s production for SummerWorks because of a streetcar backup, I had to discretely text my editor to let her know that I had indeed made it in after all, and then dig in my bag for a pen and my notebook.

About 10 minutes into the show I realized that there were going to be tears involved – mine – but I really didn’t want to dig in my bag again, looking for tissues, unless it was really necessary. It wasn’t. I did cry through a lot of the piece but they were the kind of tears I could manage without kleenex. They were tears of sadness, recognition, regret, and admiration. It wasn’t all tears, I laughed too. Continue reading Lion Womxn (The Amy Project) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Review: Gripless (Deborah Ann Frankel/Red Sandcastle Theatre)

Photo of David Huband, Margaret Lamarre, and Amber Mackereth in Gripless July 2018Gothic play takes to the Toronto stage

On Thursday Night I saw Deborah Ann Frankel’s play, Gripless, at the Red Sandcastle Theatre.

Have you ever been to the Red Sandcastle Theatre? It used to be a store and it’s quite long and narrow. It’s a small space that seats about 50 people in three rows along the long wall. The stage isn’t raised at all–it’s what’s left over after the seating. It makes for very intimate theatre, and was perfect for this gothic piece set in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading Review: Gripless (Deborah Ann Frankel/Red Sandcastle Theatre)

The Merkin sisters (SNAFU) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Ingrid Hansen & Stephanie Morin-Robert in The Merkin Sisters at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

The Merkin Sisters (a SNAFU production, playing at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival) has a back story. I know because it says so in the Fringe program. If I hadn’t read that, I wouldn’t have a clue — and it wouldn’t really matter. It’s billed as “A no-holds-barred physical comedy” but I don’t think that comes close to describing it.

I’d add wildly imaginative, absurd, bizarre, and sometimes baffling. And funny. Very funny.

Continue reading The Merkin sisters (SNAFU) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

The ABCs of Love with Adult Baby Cupid (Still Your Friend Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Adam Bailey in The ABCs of Love with Adult Baby Cupid at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

The ABCs of Love with Adult Baby Cupid (Still Your Friend Productions) isn’t in the 2018 Toronto Fringe printed program because they were asked to fill in for a show that dropped out at the last minute. It’s a shame because this is a very funny show and more people should know about it and see it. Continue reading The ABCs of Love with Adult Baby Cupid (Still Your Friend Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit (Rob Gee) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Rob Gee in Forget Me Not - The Alzheimer's Whodunnit at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

Rob Gee wrote his solo show – Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit playing at the 2018 Toronto Fringe – based on his experiences as a registered nurse in the mid-90s. The show is used by the National Health Service in the UK as part of their training of healthcare providers in the areas of compassion and reporting concerns.

Sounds dry, doesn’t it? Not at all! Rob has combined comedy and social commentary in a show that’s sometimes hysterical, sometimes heartbreaking, always kind. Continue reading Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit (Rob Gee) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

The Ding Dong Girls (MoGo Co.) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

The cast of The Ding Dong Girls: Oscar Moreno, Miss Fiercalicious, Joel Schaefer, Graham Conway, and Nic Mencia Toronto Fringe 2018The Ding Dong Girls (MoGo Co) is my favourite show so far at the 2018 Toronto Fringe. It’s got everything I love; talented cast, great songs, fabulous costumes, excellent book, and a tap dance number. It’s funny and very raunchy and manages to touch on some serious topics as well. It was sold out tonight, Factory Mainspace even opened the balcony. I expect that it will keep selling out. You should order your tickets right now. Ordering information is at the end of the review but do it now. Finish reading afterwards. Continue reading The Ding Dong Girls (MoGo Co.) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review