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: The Best is Yet to Come Undone (Second City)

Second City brings their latest main stage sketch comedy revue to Toronto audiences

Second City launched their latest revue for the spring and summer and their team of talented and immensely funny improv comedians are excited to keep Toronto laughing. The Best is Yet to Come Undone is a hilarious night of culturally relevant, timely, and, well, woke sketch comedy that will leave you cackling in your seats and eager to tell your friends. A healthy dose of audience participation means no two shows will ever be exactly the same.

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Review: An American in Paris (Mirvish)

Mirvish Productions presents a new musical adaptation of the movie to the Toronto stage

As a fan of musical theatre classics, this upcoming season for Mirvish is going to be an exciting one as they’re bringing back classics like Phantom of the Opera and Chicago to the Toronto stage. Currently, Tony Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, along with playwright Craig Lucas, have brought An American in Paris to the Princess of Wales Theatre, dazzling audiences with timeless songs by George and Ira Gershwin along with and dance numbers that will surely leave you in awe.

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Review: The Monument (Factory Theatre)

The Monument is “haunting, “painful”, “beautiful”, and “vitally important” on stage in Toronto

When Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director of Factory Theatre, presented her opening night speech for The Monument she said that Factory Theatre is becoming known for bringing new life to Canadian plays. With the work they’ve done with staging The Monument by Colleen Wagner, a play that originally was shunned and despised by critics, it’s abundantly clear that Factory Theatre is giving life to Canadian plays that need to be seen, especially now when the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women is at an all time high.

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Review: Idomeneus (Soulpepper)

The Soulpepper team brings Idomeneus to the Toronto stage with visually stunning staging

Idomeneus, written by Roland Schimmelpfennig and translated by David Tushingham, now the latest Soulpepper production on stage at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, is an intensely mesmerizing hybrid of spoken word and movement set to a stunning cinematic backdrop. It’s a captivating tale brought to life by a chorus that fully embodies the script at hand. But, for me, the visuals are what had me sold.

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Review: King Charles III (Studio 180/Mirvish)

Photo of Jeff Meadows, Shannon Taylor, David Schurmann, and Rosemary Dunsmore from King Charles III provided by the companyStudio 180 and Mirvish presents King Charles III, on stage in Toronto until March 4 2018

Mirvish presents the Studio 180 production of King Charles III to the newly rebranded CAA Theatre (formerly the Panasonic Theatre). This production saw sold out crowds on Broadway and London’s West End, and will likely cause waves in Toronto. The story takes a look at what could be for our beloved British royals in this future history play written by Mike Bartlett and directed by Joel Greenberg.

The Queen is dead and Charles, the “King in Waiting”, ascends the throne. While attempting to assert the power of the crown, he defies an age-old tradition, sending the country into turmoil.

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Review: Declarations (Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage presents the latest production by Jordan Tannahill at the Berkeley in Toronto

Jordan Tannahill, the mastermind behind Botticelli in the Fire & Sunday in Sodom, returns to Canadian Stage with Declarations — a unique and certainly unusual multidisciplinary exploration of memories, the here and now, and what will transpire. It’s an introspective look at mortality, that of Tannahill’s own, his mother’s and of mankind.

This performance combines a non-linear script presented in an almost spoken word manner with improvised movements that are made up on the spot, meaning no two performances will be alike. What transpires on stage is surreal, metaphoric, and entirely up for interpretation.

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Review: Calpurnia (Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre Company)

Calpurnia is “provocative”, “uncomfortable”, and “deeply nuanced”, on stage in Toronto

Calpurnia–written and directed by Audrey Dwyer and produced by Nightwood Theatre Company and Sulong Theatre Company–is a highly relevant and provocative look at racism, classism, and sexism in a story that is at times humorous and at most times painful and uncomfortable in the best possible way. The performances are dynamic, as is the writing, making this a show that is well worth the watch.

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Review: A Delicate Balance (Soulpepper)

Photo of Laura Condlln, Oliver Dennis, Derek Boyes, Nancy Palk, and Kyra Harper in A Delicate Balance by Cylla von TiedemannSoulpepper Theatre’s opening of A Delicate Balance a success, on stage in Toronto

Soulpepper Theatre Company has never shied away from embracing intriguing and engaging theatre, and their latest production of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance is no difference. This sardonic, sarcastic and highly entertaining piece of theatre features fantastic performances, a stunning set, sharp and witty dialogue, and a plot that will have you experiencing a wide range of emotions from irritation and shock to laugh-out-loud amusement. It all makes the show’s three-hour run time fly right by.

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2018 Next Stage Festival Review: Moonlight After Midnight (Concrete Drops Theatre)

Photo of Vanessa Quesnelle and Martin Dockery in Moonlight After Midnight by Will Ohare

Moonlight After Midnight, a hit from last year’s Fringe Festival, makes their Next Stage Theatre Festival return this year. This enigmatic tale involving a close encounter in a dark hotel room blends and blurs the barriers of time, reality and linear story telling for one captivating tale.

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2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Birthday Balloon (Mauzy May Productions)

Photo of Renée Hackett and Craig Pike in Birthday Balloon by Tanja-TizianaIn Birthday Balloon, playing as part of this year’s Next Stage Theatre Festival, David and Millie are at war. Their marriage is at stake and though Millie is desperate to salvage whatever it is they have left, David fears it may be too late. They’ve both already suffered the greatest tragedy that neither of them have been able to recover from.

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