Barack to the Future – Second City

Review by Megan Mooney


Eventually this will be posted on blogTO as well, but probably not until after Summerworks.  So, I’m going to get it up here. 

At the end I’m going to add some musings that didn’t fit in the blogTO article,because it didn’t fit in the format.

I figure, this is my site, I can write in whatever format I want.  *grin* 

So, I’ll put the original piece up front, then the random musings at the bottom .

Original article:


Second City’s Barack to the Future delivers exactly what you expect from a Second City revue – lots of laughs, and not too much deep thinking.  Which, frankly, is sometimes exactly what the doctor ordered.

Also as expected, some stuff fell a bit flat, but the joy of this kind of thing is that even if I don’t like a bit there’s bound to be others there who do like it, and for the stuff that made me snort with laughter (I really wish that was a turn of phrase, but I actually caught myself snorting in a couple places, definitely the professional image I want to portray) made other people roll their eyes and not really react.

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Theatre Smash

By Megan Mooney


hulk There’s a theatre company in Toronto that I haven’t heard of before called Theatre Smash (I’m sure there are a bazillion more out there that I haven’t heard of…).  Well, I’ve heard of them now because I stumbled onto their website. 

Here’s the thing, I’m sure there is some deep serious reason for the name, but I’m a goof, so I just keep thinking “you won’t like me when I’m angry, THEATRE SMASH!!!”  Um.  Yeah.  Apparently I’m 12.  So, to help make up for my using their name for my juvenile fun I’ll tell you a bit about them…

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Pastor Phelps didn't come to Pastor Phelps

by Megan Mooney

Well, the good news is that Ecce Homo got all sorts of extra buzz about their show because of the crazy church, AND they didn’t have to deal with protesters.

blogTO has a big long story about the protest that didn’t happen, complete with pictures of all the counter-protesters, who showed up in droves.

With all the extra publicity, methinks that if you’re planning to go see The Pastor Phelps Project (and I really think you should, I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m really looking forward to doing so) then get your tickets in advance.  My bet is this sucker’s gonna sell out lots during the run of the festival.  Yay!

Can we opt out of the 'god hates fags' protest please?

By Megan Mooney

The Pastor Phelps Project, which is part of the Summerworks festival, will apparently be picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church of ‘godhatesfags’ fame.  (and yes, the not linking to them is on purpose).

The Pastor Phelps Project is a musical described as:

Warning! Bible preaching ahead! Pastor Fred Phelps and the good people of the Westboro Baptist Church are here to explain why God hates fags and America is doomed. It’s homophobia versus burlesque in a musical cabaret showdown. Stare into the abyss of fundamentalism; sexy political satire with razor wire barbs.

So, the show that’s mocking Westboro Baptist, is being protested by Westboro Baptist…

I mean, I guess it makes sense that they’d be upset, and they do seem like the protesting type.  But I really hate that these people are going to be in Toronto.

I wonder how the company putting on the show (Ecce Homo) feel about all this.  I mean, it’s a show that’s bound to be provocative.  And, honestly, I’m betting that this is going to get them more audience, and certainly get them more noticed.  So, ‘any publicity is good publicity’?

For those who are interested in just what the Westboro Baptist Church has to say on the subject, the flyer that is posted on their website reads as follows:

WBC will picket The Pastor Phelps Project – at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Thursday, August 7 – at the Cameron House, 408 Queen St. W., Toronto, Canada.

In religious protest and warning: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked” Gal. 6:7.

God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers. Ergo, God hates The Pastor Phelps Project, and all those having anything to do with it.

The Pastor Phelps Project is a tacky bit of filthy sodomite propaganda, with no literary merit and zero redeeming social value, masquerading as legitimate theater. It is of the fags, by the fags, and for the fags – designed only to mock
the word of God and the servants of God. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.” Psa.2:4.

God Hates Canada, Land of the Sodomites.

Well.  I guess we’ve been told.

BTW: The show runs Aug 7-17 Thurs, Fri, Sat nights at 8pm and Sunday afternoons at 3pm – at the Cameron House (408 Queen Street West) for more information visit  You can check them out on Facebook here.

As You Like It – Canopy Theatre Company

Review by Adam Collier

as you like it I went to see the Canopy Theatre Company’s production of As You Like It, which is being staged outdoors, on the Philosopher’s walk. I had never been to a show outdoors before. The experience is pretty cool.

This play, especially because a big chunk of it is set in a forest, seemed to benefit enormously from being outside. There was spontaneity in the air. The sounds of the city –were all around, and for me, in the context of all this extra sound, the language of the play really hit.

It wasn’t the sounds – emergency sirens, raccoons cooing – that added significance to what was being said. It was because when the actors were really fighting to be heard, the words they choose to emphasize, and the way they spoke, carried very clear intentions for me.  I was easily able to follow what was going on.

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Under Milk Wood – Soulpepper

Review by Adam Collier

kenneth welsh

Before attending the Soulpepper production of Under Milk Wood, I was a bit concerned.  The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood, so I was worried its language would be over my head.

I took it as a good sign when I learned that the title means what it says. Under Milk Wood is a reference to geography. The play is about a town, and if you were looking at a map it would appear … well, below a larger town named Milk Wood.

But doesn’t Under Milk Wood – that coupling of words – sound so nice? That’s the rub for me. When I hear words that seem to be so perfectly chosen to be next to one another, I always feel like I should look for more meaning.

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Toronto Theatre – Is it just a bunch of friends playing together?

By Megan Mooney

So, it’s no secret that I wish theatre could reach a wider audience.  In fact, that’s some of what prompted me to start this blog.  Of course, it has no doubt become just another place where people already involved in theatre come, I’m not that delusional…  In fact, if I were being honest with myself, I’d have to note that really, this whole post assumes people know about the Toronto Theatre scene.  But we can just ignore that for now…

I know people who are not involved in theatre who feel like they can’t go to shows other than mega shows.  They aren’t comfortable going to a place like Theatre Passe Muraille, or Factory Theatre, or Buddies and so on and so on.  They can make their way to a Mirvish production, but at $70 a ticket, it’s a once a year at most endeavour.  Stratford and Shaw, sure they’ll go there, but usually that’s not even once a year, given that for most people it’s a day trip.  Well, unless you live in Stratford or Niagara-on-the-Lake I guess.

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Theatre folks – We're nothing if not passionate

Okay, so, it’s possible that you already knew this, but theatre people?  They have a tendency to be passionate about things.

Not all things.  But some things.  And there’s not a specific list of what those things are, it in fact (as you would expect) differs from person to person.  But here’s the thing, when I theatre person cares about something, they seem to do with it with gusto.

Take for example the comments raging at the Summerworks blog over a promotional video called Expression.

People REALLY care about this.  They are raging, some at the video, some at the other commenters, some likely at the world.  Is it bad that this makes me laugh a little bit, or does it just mean that as a member of the theatre community I can appreciate our quirks?

The second promotional video release was Interpretation, it will be interesting to see what kind of a reaction it gets.  Someone named Naomi has already left a comment that made me giggle, but I’m concerned that people won’t realise it’s a tongue in cheek answer.

Time will tell…

One Woman Show

review by Megan Mooney, cross-posted from blogTO


20080723_onewomanshow If you were following the Fringe coverage, you already know that I surprised myself by liking One Woman Show a lot.  So did a lot of other people. I figured since it was the patron’s pick, and managed to get one of the much coveted ‘Best of the Fringe’ spots and opens tonight at Diesel Playhouse , that it was worth re-visiting.

So, why did people like it?

It’s a good question. One Woman Show is a parody of one-woman shows, written by three men with a man playing the Eileen , the ‘woman’ who’s show it is. Sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it? When I first read about this show I rolled my eyes and figured it was going to be painful. Happily, the show proved me wrong.

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