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.

Daphne’s Inferno (Bad Seed Productions) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Daphne’s Inferno by Bad Seed Productions, playing virtually at the 2021 Digital Fringe Festival, is a take on the classic tale of Dante’s Inferno. Daphne (Barb Scheffler) wanders into a strange little coffee shop, the Inferno Café, while looking for her husband. There she is greeted by the barista Virginia (Jillian Rees-Brown). When Daphne tries to leave, she sees that the door is blocked. Virginia informs her that she cannot leave the way she entered; the only way out is through.

As Daphne gathers her thoughts and prepares for her journey, she is greeted by the mysterious Lucy (Erin Eldershaw) who informs Daphne that she is indeed at the gates of Hell and in order to find her way out she must traverse through the circles of Hell.

In doing so, Daphne is forced to confront the darkest chapters in her life, from her abusive father, her horrendous high school relationship, to her sexual abuse at the hands of a neighbor. But when she hears the tragic truth from from her daughter, she finds herself at the edge of no return.

Continue reading Daphne’s Inferno (Bad Seed Productions) 2021 Toronto Fringe Review

Review: The Mad Ones (Russo Richardson Productions)

The Mad Ones is a virtual musical about the internal struggle before a Big Life Decision

The Mad Ones, a virtual musical by Russo Richardson Productions, is an emotional story about embracing a big life decision and the internal struggle leading up to that. Filmed remotely and presented as a Zoom call inside Samantha Brown’s mind, this performance managed to successfully utilize the limitations of producing a show during a pandemic to their advantage.

Continue reading Review: The Mad Ones (Russo Richardson Productions)

Review: AF (Red Sky Performance with Canadian Stage)

AF celebrates Anishinaabe prophecies through dance, by Red Sky Performance with Canadian Stage

Red Sky Performance in residence at Canadian Stage presents AF, a mind-blowing journey through dance and movement, projections and sound. Directed by Sandra Laronde, and choreographed by Thomas Fonua, AF explores the seven fire prophecies of the Anishinaabe that have shaped the lives of people on Turtle Island. Each prophecy is shown through a series of movements utilizing contemporary dance and physical storytelling. Paired with an intensely visceral soundtrack, this performance will leave you spellbound.

Continue reading Review: AF (Red Sky Performance with Canadian Stage)

Review: Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Soulpepper)

Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is a graphic and disturbing deep dive into prison life and faith

Soulpepper Theatre presents Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, a graphic and distressing story of two prison inmates serving time for murder. One has been serving his sentence for years, but his discovery of God helps him find joy in his days. The other is a younger man recently charged and now overwhelmed with desperation and grief as he sees the rest of his sentence lain before him. This is a blistering story of life behind bars on Rikers Island, of racism and police brutality, of a harrowing life of constant struggle.

Continue reading Review: Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Soulpepper)

Every Silver Lining (Silver Lining Productions) 2020 Next Stage Review

Photo of Allison Wither and Laura Piccinin in the promo photo for Every Silver Lining

Returning to the Next Stage Festival after a hugely successful run at the 2019 Toronto Fringe is Every Silver Lining, a refreshing new musical that is both light and youthful and a downright tearjerker. The story and music hit at just the right level; these characters sound like teenagers living through teenage lives, and as we’ve all lived through these years, you are bound to laugh, cry, and relate.

Continue reading Every Silver Lining (Silver Lining Productions) 2020 Next Stage Review