All posts by Samantha Wu

Samantha is both 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 Been Here Done That, a travel, dining and tourism blog that focuses on Toronto and abroad and previously for  Lithium Magazine, which got her writing and shooting about everything from Dave Matthews Band to Fan Expo. 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 Tashme Project: The Living Archives (Factory Theatre)

The Tashme Project: The Living Archives explores life in Japanese internment camps, on stage in Toronto

The Tashme Project is a movement bringing to light a part of Canadian history that has been often been kept in the dark; a part of our heritage not often taught in schools. Tashme was one of 14 internment camps in British Columbia used to house Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. The camp spanned over 1200 acres of land and housed over 2600 people. The internment camps were part of Canada’s response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and their declaration of war against the United States, Canada, and Great Britain; the required registration and hard labor used as a means of locating potential spies.

The Living Archives, playing at the Factory Theatre, is a collection of stories and memories of the Nisei, second generation Japanese Canadians who would now be in their 70s and 80s but were children at Tashme. These are their stories and what they remember of their parents’ lives during those times and the resettlement post war.

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Review: Eve of St George (Transcen|Dance Project)

Eve of St George returns to entrance Toronto audiences with an immersive take on Dracula

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to witness Eve of St George, playing now at The Great Hall, ever since Wayne reviewed it back in 2015. The idea that they’ve taken Dracula, one of my all time favorite stories, and placed it into an immersive and interactive dance-fueled performance on multiple levels throughout the venue seemed so dazzling and sumptuous that I knew I had to see this for myself.

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2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival: Foreign Tongue (playinc.)

Foreign Tongue, playing at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, explores immigrant life through the eyes of a born-and-raised Canadian in an upbeat and frothy musical. A young urban professional experiences a stroke and slips into a coma only to awaken five weeks later speaking with an Eastern European accent leaving everyone to believe her an immigrant. Though the cast is highly talented, I felt that the story and songs fell unfortunately short.

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2019 Toronto Next Stage Festival Review: Strange and Unusual (Flat Earth Global)

Magician Nick Wallace certainly knows how to entertain and mystify a crowd and he does exactly that with his show Strange and Unusual, playing at the 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival at the Factory Theatre. Having previously stumped the legendary magic duo Penn and Teller, Wallace brings his show of mysticism, magic, hypnosis, and fortune telling to a Toronto audience bringing with it, laughs, gasps, applause and a good dose of cringe.

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Review: Harlem Duet (Tarragon)

Harlem Duet explores powerful themes of race and feminism, on stage in Toronto

Making its triumphant return to the stage at the Tarragon Theatre, Harlem Duet, written and directed by Djanet Sears, is a masterpiece of Canadian theatre.

Blending Shakespearean elements with the raw nuances of blues, this tragedy told in two acts explores powerful themes of racism, feminism, personal history and self worth in a story that is troubled, powerful, and deeply moving.

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Review: Sisters (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper Theatre presents Sisters, based on the Edith Wharton novel, on stage in Toronto

Soulpepper Theatre Company presents Sisters, a play written by Rosamund Small (based on the novel Bunner Sisters By Edith Wharton) and directed by Peter Pasyk, that is so intimate it is almost claustrophobic. This is a production that explores the bonds of women, of sisters, and how far we’ll go to save them.

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Review: She the People (Second City)

Feminist sketch comedy dominates The Second City stage in Toronto

The Second City presents an all female sketch comedy revue, She the People. This show is entirely written, created, designed and performed by some of the funniest women you’ll see on stage. Though men are more than welcome to attend this show, be forewarned — your brethren will be called out for mansplaining, the wage gap, toxic masculinity, and the patriarchy.

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The Private Life of the Master Race (Theatre ARTaud) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Theatre ARTaud presents a night of Das Kabarett in the form of a variety show, The Private Life of the Master Race directed by Esther Jun, on stage at the 2018 SummerWorks Festival. The show is based on the Bertold Brecht classic anti-Nazi play Fear and Misery of the Third Reich.

Like the Brechtian play, this production features a series of vignettes exploring life in 1930’s Socialist Germany from the lives of average workers to families close to the government trying to keep their heads above water. In between in vignette, magic, burlesque and musical interludes are there to entertain.

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A Girl Lives Alone (Theatre Mischief) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Theatre Mischief‘s A Girl Lives Alone, playing at the 2018 Toronto SummerWorks Festival, is somewhere between a horror movie and a comedy; somewhere between Law and Order and Friends. Using many of the tropes that made vintage horror radio shows so enticing, in particular, the use of live sound effects, this show will make you hoot with laughter and keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Cafe Sarajevo episode 1 (bluemouth inc.) 2018 SummerWorks Review

Image of cast from Cafe Sarajevo

bluemouth inc. has brought together a unique, engaging, and thought-provoking immersive performance to the 2018 SummerWorks Festival. Café Sarajevo is a performance inspired by the 1971 televised debate between French theorist Michel Foucault and American linguist Noam Chomsky.

It takes the form of a live podcast that explores the idea of borders that divide and unite humanity. Through the use of recorded elements, virtual reality, text, audience participation, dance, and music, this experience is lively, exciting and unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

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