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: I Send You This Cadmium Red (Canadian Stage and Art of Time Ensemble)

It’s not a play; it’s not a standard story that you can easily follow along. It has elements of dance, movement and spoken word against bright colourful projections all set to live orchestrated music. Different is an understatement, you have to see it to really understand it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first walked into the Berkeley Street Theatre to witness I Send You This Cadmium Red so I simply allowed myself to be taken where the performance was going to take me. It turned out to be a rather unexpected ride. Continue reading Review: I Send You This Cadmium Red (Canadian Stage and Art of Time Ensemble)

Review: A Fool’s Life (Ahuri Theatre in Association with Why Not Theatre)

I’m beginning to see a theme in the recent plays I’ve seen on behalf of MoT. I’m drawn to stories driven by intense emotion – passion, rage and obsession – yet still maintaining a sense of whimsy, of humor and also the macabre. Something that is in essence beautifully grotesque. The show I was asked to review last night covers all of that. Just in time to draw in a month of horror comes A Fool’s Life presented by Ahuri Theatre and Why Not Theatre based on the works of Akutagawa Ryunosuke.

The play is comprised of three short stories The Nose, Horse Legs and Hell Screen commonly narrated by Julian DeZotti portraying Akutagawa himself. In a series of flashbacks and memories, the production reflects the writer’s chaotic life and his battles with mental illness that ultimately lead to his suicide. Continue reading Review: A Fool’s Life (Ahuri Theatre in Association with Why Not Theatre)

Review: Pains of Youth (WORKhouse Theatre)

“Bourgeois existence or suicide.” I can’t find a better way of describing Pains of Youth, an adaptation by Martin Crimp based on the play Krankheit der Jugend (The Sickness of Youth) by Austrian playwright Theodor Tagger writing under the pseudonym Ferdinand Bruckner and directed by Richie Wilcox. “Warning: Contains scenes of sexual and emotional violence” also serves as a great description. This production is not for the faint of heart. Continue reading Review: Pains of Youth (WORKhouse Theatre)

Review: Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) (The Second City)


I love The Second City. It’s a wonderful place where some of the greatest comedic names that ever graced the stage, the tube (in the form of SCTV and Saturday Night Live), and the big screen (Wayne’s World anyone?) got their start. This is where legends like Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Eugene Levy, Mike Myers, and John Candy learned how to perfect their funny. With that in mind, attending Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) (directed Kerry Griffin), a comedic sketch performance, at this golden staple of a venue holds high ground. Continue reading Review: Dreams Really Do Come True! (And Other Lies) (The Second City)

Operation Impervious (Skinny Jo Productions/Port Moresby Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review


The Fringe Festival is coming into its last day and as I head out to my final show for the season (a late show to boot) I’m hoping it’s a performance I’m going to enjoy. What I mean is, I’m tired and I really need to have fun so I can keep going! Bil Antoniou’s Operation Impervious was just that. Continue reading Operation Impervious (Skinny Jo Productions/Port Moresby Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

The Last Rock N’ Roll Show (Charcoal Sketch Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

I’m going to start by saying I can’t be unbiased in this review. There’s not much for me not to like in Jeff Jones’ The Last Rock N’ Roll Show, especially as a writer who counts one of her favorite moments in life as the day she won tickets to see Rammstein four hours before the show. Am I typing with my right hand while my left hand curls into metal horns at the memory? Yes. Continue reading The Last Rock N’ Roll Show (Charcoal Sketch Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

The 5th Element (Catalyst) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

I love So You Think You Can Dance. There’s my confession for the day. I love the combination of movement and expression with passion, commitment, heart (and I’m starting to sound like Mary Murphy, but there will be no hot tamales in this review) that creates dance. I love expression through dance, so when I read about The 5th Element dance performance; I had to experience it for myself. Continue reading The 5th Element (Catalyst) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Cinderella Afterparty (Poetry in Motion) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

Once upon a time, that girl Cinderella married the Prince, shacked up with him in his big castle while owning a series of other houses out in the country, employed a massive staff that included dress-makers, hairstylists, makeup artists, masseuses, plastic surgeons, cooks, and drivers – and left her two stepsisters and stepmother in the dust. And then what happened?

Ivana Matuzovic explores what lies in Happily Ever After for both Cinderella and her stepfamily in Cinderella Afterparty, an innovative spoken word and movement performance directed by Andreja Kovac.

Continue reading Cinderella Afterparty (Poetry in Motion) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review