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.

No Place (Pressgang Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of a keyboard with the words No Place written on the white keysNo Place, produced by Pressgang Theatre, is performing at St. George the Martyr Church as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. For many who come across an autobiographical, one-person Fringe show about someone who grew up in a small town and had a difficult relationship with their mother, the description may as well read, “Run as fast as you can, in the opposite direction.” I get it. These types of one-handers are really hard to pull off well, and when they’re done poorly the result can be excruciating.
Continue reading No Place (Pressgang Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Confidential Musical Theatre Project (The Confidential Project) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

The Confidential Musical Theatre ProjectConfidential Musical Theatre Project produced by The Confidential Project performing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival is one of those gimmicky concept shows you’ll often see at Fringe. Individual cast members are given scripts and scores then sworn to secrecy about the show and their part in it. They show up and perform with no prior knowledge of who they’ll be performing with and with no rehearsal. The audience comes not having a clue as to which musical they’ll see.

Continue reading Confidential Musical Theatre Project (The Confidential Project) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Magic to the Future (The Great & Powerful Tim) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Show poster for Magic to the FutureMagic to the Future, produced by The Great & Powerful Tim and performing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, is a magic show with a plot: a hapless magician’s assistant from the future is sent back in time and tasked with saving the world by … putting on a magic show.

Yes, it’s goofy as all Hell but the premise works and the show is actually a lot of fun. Continue reading Magic to the Future (The Great & Powerful Tim) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Falling Angel (RealSpace Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Stevie Jay, Erica Wood,and Jamillah Ross by Jon BlackerFalling Angel produced by RealSpace Theatre is a site-specific show performing at Shaw Park, next to the CAMH campus on Queen West, as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Written by Erica Wood and Bruce Hunter, the show is described in the Fringe program as “part contemporary vaudevillian comedy with a little existentialist dilemma and a few musical numbers of sorts thrown in.” If that description sounds vague and a bit unfocused, the show matches.

Continue reading Falling Angel (RealSpace Theatre) 2017 Toronto Fringe Review

Announcement: 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Award Winners (With Links to MoT Reviews)

Photo of Raoul Bhaneja hosting the 2017 Dora Mavor Moore AwardsSoulpepper, Tapestry Opera and The Theatre Centre, the big winners at the 38th Dora Awards

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) presented the 38th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards at a ceremony hosted by prolific Toronto actor and musician Raoul Bhaneja at the Elgin Theatre last night.

Continue reading Announcement: 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Award Winners (With Links to MoT Reviews)

Announcement: 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominees (With Links to MOT Reviews)

Soulpepper, Mirvish and Canadian Opera Company lead noms for the 38th Dora Awards

The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) revealed the nominations for the 38th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards at a press conference early this morning. The Dora Awards seek to recognize excellence in the Toronto performing arts community. This year’s ceremony will take place on Monday, June 26 at the Elgin Theatre and will be hosted by prolific Toronto actor and musician Raoul Bhaneja.

Continue reading Announcement: 2017 Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominees (With Links to MOT Reviews)

Review: Strictly Ballroom (Mirvish)

Mirvish presents Baz Luhrmann’s musical stage adaptation of his film Strictly Ballroom in Toronto

Australian director Baz Luhrmann has adapted his 1992 cult hit film Strictly Ballroom into a stage musical and yes, it features all the razzle-dazzle dance numbers and brightly sequinned costumes you’d expect. The result is a show that provides some frivolous, superficial fun but that also gets a bit lost in the transition from screen to stage. Continue reading Review: Strictly Ballroom (Mirvish)

Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre/Soulpepper)

A Toronto adaptation of Hamlet features American Sign Language and a female lead

For its tenth anniversary, Why Not Theatre and director Ravi Jain re-visit their first-ever production: Prince Hamlet, Jain’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For this new production the director set about—as described in the press materials—to “illuminate the contemporary relevance of the 400-year-old play and ask the question ‘who gets to tell this story?’”

It’s an ambitious challenge and while the result is by-and-large a solid production of Hamlet, I don’t think it quite hit the mark it set for itself. Continue reading Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre/Soulpepper)

Review: BUTCHER (Mirvish/Why Not Theatre)

Mirvish presents Nicolas Billon’s theatrical thriller play BUTCHER in Toronto

It’s now hours after I’ve left the theatre and I think I’ve finally caught my breath after seeing BUTCHER, a stunning thriller of a play by Canadian playwright Nicolas Billon, presented by Mirvish as part of their Off-Mirvish series. As I collect my thoughts and sit down to write about the show, I get a text from the co-worker I brought with me tonight: “I’m still thinking about the play … it delivers such a striking note that lingers.” Continue reading Review: BUTCHER (Mirvish/Why Not Theatre)