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.

That Face – Nightwood Theatre – Berkeley Street Theatre

By Sam Mooney

Sonja Smits and Kristopher Turner - That Face

Nightwood Theatre’s mission is to produce “essential theatre by women” , and to celebrate Nightwood Theatre’s 30th Anniversary Season they’re having a 4×4 Festival, – 4 plays directed by women. Tonight my friend Pat and I went to see That Face, playing at The Berkeley Street Theatre, the first play in the series. 

Based on the publicity I was expecting a play about the fun in dysfunctional. The blurb that I read said that: – That Face is a powerful and darkly comic exploration of children who become parents to their parents.” 

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International Festival of Authors – Linwood Barclay, John Brady, Jennica Harper, Ian Rankin

By Sam Mooney

Andrew Pyper at IFOA Tonight I spent another evening being read to at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA). I realized that if authors are going to stand on a stage and read, they need to have a stage presence. That isn’t to say that any of them didn’t, rather some authors had presence in spades.

Linwood Barclay could stand on stage reading from the phone book and manage to stop at a place that would make me rush out to buy the phone book, just so that I could finish reading it.

He read from Fear the Worst. One sentence. A brilliant opening sentence.

And then read from his new novel that will be published in the spring.

Continue reading International Festival of Authors – Linwood Barclay, John Brady, Jennica Harper, Ian Rankin

International Festival of Authors – Michael Connelly, Dani Couture, Denise Mina, William Deverell.

By Sam Mooney

This is the 30th Anniversary of the International Festival Of Authors – IFOA.

For the record theatre doesn’t have to be a play, any performance in front of an audience can be theatre. In June I reviewed the Griffin Poetry Prize short-list readings, it was poetry as theatre, and it was great.

Tonight I went to see (or hear) Michael Connelly, Dani Couture, Denise Mina, and William Deverell read from their newest works. Ian Rankin was the host, introducing the writers. Each author reads for 20 minutes – except poets who read for 10, (kind of a strange rule).

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Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy – Tarragon Theatre

by Sam Mooney

Mimi, or A Poisoner's Comedy

The world premiere of Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy, now playing at Tarragon is very funny. Clever music and lyrics, strong performances from all the cast, and an outrageous subject all combined to deliver an entertaining evening. As I’m writing a snippet of the song “Pigeon Pie” is running through my head. I’m pretty sure it’ll be there for days.

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Twelfth Night – Urban Bard Productions

by Sam Mooney

twelfth-night

Someone must have told director Scott Moyle to go play in the park.  He did.  And took a bunch of friends with him.  The result is Urban Bard’s production of Twelfth Night now playing in the courtyard behind College Park.

You’re probably thinking that this is just another Shakespeare in the park kind of performance.  It isn’t.  The courtyard is a big space and the action – with audience tagging along – moves around and makes use of it.  It was wonderful

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The Guardsman – Soulpepper Theatre Company

by Sam Mooney

The Guardsman Soulpepper

The Guardsman – presented by Soulpepper Theatre Company – is a romantic comedy. I’m saying this up front because if you only saw the poster on the Soulpepper site you might be expecting something dark and difficult. 

My show partner got stuck in Brampton so I was on my own last night and had to resort to eavesdropping during intermission.  I overheard a few people saying that they were surprised (pleasantly) that the show was a comedy. 

Continue reading The Guardsman – Soulpepper Theatre Company

Fringe Review – The Good Thief – Flaming Locomotive

By Sam Mooney

The Good Thief by Irish playright Conor McPherson presented by Flaming Locomotive from Australia and staring Allan Girod is billed as a drama which concerned me a bit because I don’t normally go to see dramas.  I think because they make me cry and I figure, why pay to cry? I didn’t cry. 

I did love the play and the performance.  The Good Thief is a one character play and the character tells the audience a story.  Allan Girod is terrific as a small-time hoodlum from Dublin.  The story is engaging, violent, touching, sad, and has some very funny lines.

Continue reading Fringe Review – The Good Thief – Flaming Locomotive