All posts by Samantha Wu

Samantha is a writer and a fan of the arts and has been able to find numerous ways to pair the two. Aside from being an editor here at Mooney on Theatre, she’s a photojournalist for Lithium Magazine which gets her writing and shooting about everything from Dave Matthews Band to Fan Expo, and a copy editor/writer for Art Katalyst. She’s passionate about music, theatre, photography, writing, and celebrating sexuality — not necessarily in that order. She drinks tea more than coffee, prefer ciders over beers, and sings karaoke way too loudly. You can follow her on various social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Review: Flooded (North America)

Mind-boggling physical theatre, Flooded sets sail on the Pirate Life in Toronto

My adventure into exploring Flooded, directed by Ara Glenn Johanson, started with my desire to explore the unknown. Reading the press release for the show, I knew it would take place on board The Pirate Life ship, it involved highly physical theatre presented in a non-narrative style, and there was something about the pelvis which I perceived as this show would be raunchy. I learned just enough to find this production wacky which was all I need to want to explore further, but I still had no idea what I was walking into. I also figured that at the very least I got to hang out on a boat for an hour.

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Review: Vimy (Soulpepper)

Wesley French, Tim Dowler-Coltman, Sebastien Bertrand and TJ Riley, photo: Cylla von TiedemannSoulpepper Theatre presents Vimy, playing as part of Canada 150 in Toronto

Continuing with the celebration of Canada 150, Soulpepper presents a play written by Governor General’s Award winning playwright Vern Thiessen. Vimy explores the battle of Vimy Ridge, one of the great battles that shaped the outcome of World War I. In a gut-wrenching and emotionally tumultuous performance, Vimy is a story that will leave you stunned and speechless.

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Review: Shakespeare in High Park – King Lear (Canadian Stage)

Jason Cadieux and Diane D'Aquila in King Lear - photo by Cylla von TiedemannCelebrating 35 years, Canadian Stage presents Shakespeare in High Park, King Lear, in Toronto

If you’re a theatre lover, then you clearly know that summers in Toronto are not complete without spending an evening under the stars watching one of the Bard’s classics play out in High Park. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Canadian Stage‘s Shakespeare in High Park, the longest-running outdoor theatre event in Canada. For this momentous year, Canadian Stage presents the Bard’s tragic tale of the downfall of pride that leads to madness, King Lear.

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FRINGE FOR FREE! TORONTO FRINGE TICKET GIVEAWAYS FOR SHOWS ON THURSDAY, JULY 13TH

Fringe For Free GraphicWe’re coming up to the last stretch for the Toronto Fringe Festival this year. And while we are sad to think of the festival being nearly done, there’s no time to lament. There’s still plenty of theatre to be seen and some of it even for free with out Fringe for Free contest!

By now you should know the drill: four shows, a pair of tickets to each up for grabs. Today we’re drawing for shows playing on Thursday July 13. Want to enter? Of course you do! Check under the cut to find out how and which shows are up for grabs. Happy Fringe-ing!

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Fringe for Free! Toronto Fringe Ticket Giveaways for Shows on Monday, July 10th

We’ve at the first weekend of the Toronto Fringe Festival and at this point we’ve just about finished reviewing every show at the Fringe! We encourage you to take a look through our index of reviews and share your thoughts on the shows you’ve seen or the shows you plan on seeing. Maybe we’ve managed to inspire you to check out something you hadn’t considered, and that’s just plain awesome!

We’re rolling right along with our Fringe for Free contest, so if you’ve considered seeing any of the shows listed below, now’s your chance! Once again, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to five more Fringe shows for their performances on Monday, July 10. Check below the cut for details on how to enter.

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Odd One Out (Human Wick Effect) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from Odd One OutI love a good murder mystery. It’s for that reason that I was excited to see Odd One Out by Human Wick Effect, on stage at the Tarragon Extraspace as part of this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. I mean, just reading the descriptor had me sold: 1950’s, love triangle, secret attraction, a college student wanders into the woods and disappears. Is she dead? Is she alive? What happened to Clementine Yates?

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Picaza (Inamorata Dance Collective) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from Picaza

Picaza is a contemporary dance performance by The Inamorata Dance Collective as part of this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. I’ll be honest, when I first selected this production to be part of my Fringe experience this year, I did not know it was a dance show. I was drawn to the description on the Fringe site — the story of a young woman’s journey to self awareness, through the metaphor of a magpie (‘picaza‘ in Spanish) the one bird who can recognize their own reflection.

But the dance element makes me nervous. I don’t have a dance background, often I’ve left a dance experience feeling like I just didn’t get what I just saw. Most of the language of dance is lost on me so I approached Picaza with distinct apprehension. And though I still may not have fully “got it”, I can happily say that I enjoyed it.

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Shadowlands (Pretentious Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from Shadowlands

This is a hard one. Shadowlands, playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, ended quite a few hours ago and I’m still staring into space deciphering what I just saw. On the surface, it’s one of those non-linear pieces of storytelling where each bit and piece at first glance makes absolutely no sense until you follow the rabbit hole to the end.

Only thing is, this story is also told in darkness with shards of concentrated light meant to direct your attention for a bizarre and intriguing effect.

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Office Hours (Confirmation Bias Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from Office Hours

When approaching the ticket desk for Office Hours, playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, the welcoming volunteer cautions you with a trigger warning — frank and candid discussions of PTSD ahead. The kind of PTSD that often haunts those who have witnessed war first hand.

I was expecting a show like this to be explosive. What I found was that it came just short. And, well, perhaps that’s a good thing.

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Singing to My Left Kidney (Ada Girl Productions) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from Singing to my Left kidneyWhat could be a heart-wrenching and agonizing story is anything but. Singing to My Left Kidney, on stage during this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, is Ada Balon’s story, a tale about her kidney cancer diagnosis and how she learned to live on. Instead of being full of remorse and anguish, Balon approaches her story with often times raunchy comedy and song.
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