All posts by Wayne Leung

Wayne is a writer, editor and corporate communications professional who is thrilled to be a part of the Mooney on Theatre team. Wayne has loved theatre ever since his aunt brought him to a production of Les Misérables at the tender age of ten . . . despite the fact that, at that age, the show’s plot was practically indiscernible and the battle scenes scared the bejeezus out of him. Wayne’s current list of likes runs the gamut from opera, ballet and Shakespeare to Broadway musicals, circus and Fringe theatre. Outside of the theatre Wayne’s interests include travel, technology and food.

Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Photo of the cast of Come From Away in Toronto by Matthew MurphyMirvish opens a new Canadian production of the hit musical Come From Away in Toronto

It’s been about a year since the original production of Come From Away—a new musical by Canadian husband-and-wife writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein—finished its limited, sold-out run in Toronto and transferred to Broadway.

In the intervening year, this little Canadian musical-that-could has taken the Great White Way by storm. It opened to a warm critical reception and earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical. To this day, it still regularly plays to sold out houses in New York and is one of only a handful of Broadway shows that consistently grosses over one million dollars in ticket sales each week. Continue reading Review: Come From Away (Mirvish)

Review: Bang Bang (Factory Theatre)

Photo of Sébastien Heins, Karen Robinson, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah, Jeff Lillico, Richard Zeppieri by Joseph Michael PhotographyToronto’s Factory Theatre stages Kat Sandler’s explosive and scintillating new play Bang Bang

Bang Bang, a new play written and directed by Kat Sandler, commissioned and presented by Toronto’s Factory Theatre, is every bit as explosive and scintillating as its provocative title suggests. It’s also a wildly entertaining night of theatre that alternately had me cringing, gripping my armrest in suspense, and howling with laughter. Continue reading Review: Bang Bang (Factory Theatre)

Review: The Eve of St. George (Transcendance Project)

Photo of The Eve of St. George by Alvin CollantesTranscendance Project revives its immersive dance-theatre take on Dracula in Toronto

You may have heard of Sleep No More, the genre-defining immersive theatre adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by UK company Punchdrunk. While the show is wildly successful in New York (playing since 2011) and Shanghai (opened in 2016), it’s unlikely a production will ever open in Toronto due to the show’s complexity and cost. But luckily for us, local contemporary dance company Transcendance Project may have created the next best thing.

The Eve of St. George, an immersive dance-theatre adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is taking over four floors of The Great Hall for five performances over three nights, inviting guests to don masks and become anonymous voyeurs; giving them free reign to explore their way through the show’s dark, mysterious, and sexy world. Continue reading Review: The Eve of St. George (Transcendance Project)

2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Good Morning, Viet Mom (Soaring Skies Collective in association with Cahoots Theatre)

Photo of Franco Nguyen

Franco Nguyen is thirty years old and lives with his mother. The Toronto-based comedian’s complex relationship with his Vietnamese immigrant mom is the basis of his touching comedic memoir Good Morning, Viet Mom, now playing as part of the 2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival.

Continue reading 2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Good Morning, Viet Mom (Soaring Skies Collective in association with Cahoots Theatre)

Review: An Italian Christmas Carol (DopoLavoroTeatrale/Istituto Italaino di Cultura)

Photo of Marissa Zinni and Daniele Bartolini by Raylene Turner DLT presents an immersive theatrical experience for a solo audience member in Toronto

I’ll let you in on a secret … I loathe holiday-themed shows. Their cloying, artificial sentimentality is enough to make my cold, cynical heart mutter “bah humbug.” But when DLT (DopoLavoroTeatrale), the theatre company that brought us amazing, audience-specific experiences like The Stranger and The Invisible City, announced its new show, An Italian Christmas Carol—an immersive take on the Dickens story with an Italian twist—I was intrigued and overcame my antipathy toward Christmas shows to check it out. I’m so glad I did. Continue reading Review: An Italian Christmas Carol (DopoLavoroTeatrale/Istituto Italaino di Cultura)

Preview: In the Heights: In Concert (We Are Here Productions)

Poster for In the Heights: In ConcertToronto artists perform Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical as a benefit for Puerto Rico

Before there was Hamilton, the phenomenally successful hip hop musical that conquered Broadway and much of the English-speaking theatre world, there was In the Heights, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about a Dominican-American community in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood. Now, a group of Toronto theatre artists is coming together to perform an in-concert version of Miranda’s seminal, semi-autobiographical show to raise funds for Puerto Rican hurricane relief via The Hispanic Federation.

We asked director Matt Lacas (Corpus Dance) a few questions about the project.

Continue reading Preview: In the Heights: In Concert (We Are Here Productions)

Review: North by Northwest (Mirvish)

Theatre Royal Bath July 2017Dress Rehearsal North by North West Film by Alfred Hitchcock Adapted by Carolyn Burns Directed by Simon Phillips Director/Simon Phillips Associate Director/Jessica Burns Designers - Simon Phillips & Nick Schlieper Lighting Designer/Nick Schlieper Composer/Ian McDonald Costume Designer - Esther Marie Hayes Audio Visual Specialist/Richard Dinnen Audio Visual Designer/Josh Burns Roger O Thornhill - Jonathan Watton Vandamm - Gerald Kyd Eve - Olivia Fines Mrs Thornhill / Abigail McKern Gruzinsky / Kieran Gough Budnikov /Angus Brown Leonard / Fanning Nelson/Tom Davey The Professor / Larry Wade - Nick Sampson Ensemble - Christopher Chilton, Nick Harris, Roddy Peters, Joanna Van Kampen ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7274-2105 presents a stage version of the classic Hitchcock film North by Northwest in Toronto

I’m a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s repertoire, so I jumped at the chance to see North by Northwest, a stage adaptation of the director’s classic 1959 film, a mistaken identity spy thriller centred on Manhattan advertising executive Roger Thornhill. The film is brought to life on stage using a dazzling array of clever staging and effects. However, mounting a new a production that so closely adheres to the film also shines a spotlight on some of the original’s problems. Continue reading Review: North by Northwest (Mirvish)

Review: VOLTA (Cirque du Soleil)

Extreme sports inspire Cirque du Soleil’s new show VOLTA now playing in Toronto’s Port Lands

Cirque du Soleil has brought its signature big top back to Toronto. Following hot on the heels of last year’s Mexico-inspired LUZIA, the company is presenting its newest show VOLTA and if you’re wondering whether it’s worth springing for tickets to another Cirque show so soon; VOLTA holds some unexpected surprises. Continue reading Review: VOLTA (Cirque du Soleil)

Mooney on Theatre’s Most-Read Reviews for the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

Hot Tickets header

Before the start of the Toronto Fringe Festival we told you about some of the shows that were most popular amongst our staff. Then, after reviewing all 160 shows in this year’s festival we shared our list of the shows we recommend.

Now it’s your turn; we reveal the list of our readers’ most buzzed about shows based on the popularity of their Mooney on Theatre reviews. So here’s the list of the top ten (ish) most-read Fringe reviews on Mooney on Theatre this year**: Continue reading Mooney on Theatre’s Most-Read Reviews for the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

Mooney on Theatre Recommends – 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival

Photo of the 2017 Toronto Fringe Club at Scadding Court Community Centre

This past weekend Mooney on Theatre sent its dedicated team of 30 writers and editors to cover all 160 shows in this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival! With the sheer number of shows available at the festival, picking the ones you want to see can be a daunting task.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the number of shows and you’re looking for a place to start, we’ve asked our staff to tell us about their favourite shows they’ve seen at this year’s festival. We hope our staff picks can help you navigate the Fringe.

If you’ve seen something you think is amazing that you think others should go see please let us know by leaving a comment.

And don’t forget to check out our complete list of Fringe reviews, Fringe Buzz features and our daily free ticket giveaways.

Happy Fringing!

Mooney on Theatre Staff Picks – 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival Continue reading Mooney on Theatre Recommends – 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival