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.

Toronto Fringe Review: Fucking Stephen Harper

by Sam Mooney

Rob Salerno in Fucking Stephen Harper The full title of this show written and performed by Rob Salerno is Fucking Stephen Harper: How I Sexually Assaulted the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Where It Got Me.

Rob’s production company is Ten Foot Pole Productions – Ten Foot Pole Productions is a theatre company dedicated to telling stories about subjects that polite people wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. I wish I’d thought of that.

So, first a warning – if you’re homophobic and/or a big C conservative you’ll be offended by the show.

It was an inauspicious start. We were waiting for the house to open when they announced that there was a slight delay due to technical difficulties. A few minutes later the doors opened and we were asked to fill the seats from the front to the back because the projector wasn’t working and Rob was going to have to use the laptop. The poor man. Can you imagine having to do your amazing power point projection using a laptop – just the laptop, no projector?

Candy Simmons of Afterlife to the rescue! She fixed the projector and the show went on as planned.

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Toronto Fringe Review: My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding

By Sam Mooney

Go see My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding playing at Bread and Circuses. It’s fabulous. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what people were saying as they left the show today –

“That was fabulous”
“Best thing I’ve seen in years”
“This is going to be sold out”
“Great show! It’s going places”

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LuminaTO 2009 – Nevermore, The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

by Sam Mooney

nevermore-cast

The house lights were still up when Catalyst Theatre’s Nevermore, The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, started at the Winter Garden Theatre last night. It took the audience a couple of seconds to realize and to settle down but once they settled they were hooked. Nevermore was co-commissioned by LuminaTO as part of their celebration of Edgar Allan Poe and last night was the Toronto Premiere.

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LuminaTO 2009 – 5 O'Clock Bells

By Sam Mooney

5-o'clock-bells

Go see 5 O’Clock Bells!

Tonight I saw the Toronto Premiere of 5 O’Clock Bells, a one-man, eight (or 9, maybe even 10 – I lost count) character play written and performed by Pierre Brault about the life of jazz guitarist Lenny Breau.

I loved it. I was literally buzzing when I left the theatre – still am. Best 75 minutes I’ve spent in a while.

Before tonight I knew nothing about Lenny Breau. His name was familiar but I couldn’t remember where I knew it from. My son-in-law reminded me that Randy Bachman refers to him often – “the great Lenny Breau” – on Vinyl Tap. It didn’t matter than I knew nothing about Breau’s life or music, 5 O’Clock Bells stands on it’s own.

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Griffin Poetry Prize Readings – poetry as theatre

by Sam Mooney

It’s been years since I went to a poetry reading.  Tonight I went to the Griffin Poetry Prize Readings. Elaine, who came with me, had never been to one.  

I can’t even remember where I read about the Griffin Prize or about the readings by the poets shortlisted for the awards but I remember thinking that it really wouldn’t be that different than a playwright reading a play. A performance.

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Them & Us – Theatre Passe Muraille

Them-&-Us

by Sam Mooney

Them & Us, playing at Theatre Passe Muraille, isn’t really a play; it’s a series of vignettes. All these portraits and sketches focus on male-female relationships and the trouble we have connecting with each other.

You’re going to want to see this one with a friend, because you’re going to want to talk about it afterwards. It would be ideal to go with a friend of the opposite sex. That way you can ask if women say “I don’t believe in romantic love” or if men say “I want to stab you with a fork…in the shoulder”, or if those seem to just be ‘guy things’ or ‘girl things’.

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American Squatter by Barry Smith (Toronto Fringe 2008 Review)

by Sam Mooney

american-squatter I think I’d go see Barry Smith read the phone book as long as he had a Powerpoint presentation with it.  He’s a Powerpoint genius.  He also had the foresight to save the home movies and tape recordings he made when he was a child. Thank you Barry.

American Squatter is an autobiographical monologue that follows Barry the child from his home in Mississippi to his new home in Southern California to his life as a squatter in London in the late 80s.  Sort of a coming of age with the help of skateboarding, drugs, and music monologue interspersed with home movies and videos.

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