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: Fool for Love (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper Theatre presents Sam Shepard’s highly explosive Fool for Love in Toronto

There’s a war happening in a motel room in Fool for Love, written by Sam Shepard and presented by Soulpepper Theatre. This relentless tale is both tragic and comedic at the same time — you’ll crack a few laughs at the dark humor and then cringe at the physical violence that led up to or was a result of that funny moment. This performance is downright explosive in that way.

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Review: Measure for Measure (Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage returns with Measure for Measure in Shakespeare in High Park for Toronto audiences

Canadian Stage returns to the beautiful outdoor ampitheatre in High Park for another summer of Shakespeare in High Park. This year, the two selections from the Bard are Measure for Measure and Much Ado About Nothing. A bit of a departure this year as Canadian Stage has opted to do a comedy and a, well, dramedy in Measure for Measure, directed by Severn Thompson. With witty shenanigans in a rather grim situation, mixing both period and modern costumes, this show is a fun experience under the stars.

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Failed (Frank Trotz) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Failed cast at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

Frank Trotz was inspired to create Failed, playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, based on interactions he had while walking his dog in the local park. Saying hi to the regulars, he got to know a man named Stephen Briones who started telling him about his life, the life of a former junkie. At the time of their conversations, Briones was a year into his sobriety staying at CAMH. Taking the story of Briones and giving him the voice of five actors, this is his journey into redemption.

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Squeeze My Cans (Cathy Schenkelberg Inc.) 2019 Toronto Fringe Review

Cathy Schenkelberg in Squeeze My Cans at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

Scientology. It’s a very hot topic subject these days – science fiction in the form of a religion. Is it a cult? Do they take all your money and work their members to the bone? Do they worship aliens from outer space? Is there a special place for Hollywood A-Listers at the top of their food chain?

Leah Remini has recently become very vocal about this organization’s highly destructive practices and beliefs and now former Scientologist Cathy Schenkelberg is doing the same in her one-woman show. Playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, Squeeze My Cans, directed by Shirley Anderson, will make you laugh and reveal further truths that Scientologists don’t want you to know.

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Review: Rite of Spring (Luminato with Yang Liping and Peacock Contemporary Dance Company)

Luminato presents dance by Chinese choreographer Yang Yiping for Toronto audiences

Rite of Spring, playing this weekend at the MacMillan Theatre as part of the Luminato Festival, is a sumptuous dance experience that is a feast for the senses. For her first Canadian presentation, dancer and choreographer Yang Liping brings this stunning piece set to the score of the same title by Igor Stravinsky to Toronto audiences.

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Review: Disney Presents The Lion King (Mirvish)

Mirvish presents the return of Disney’s hit Broadway musical The Lion King to Toronto

Making its triumphant return to Toronto at the Princess of Wales stage is the Disney musical The Lion King. Just like the animated film, the stage production directed by Julie Taymor features the same iconic songs by Elton John and Tim Rice along with all the characters we’ve all grown up with. This production is a true spectacle; a feast for the senses. Whether you grew up with the film or you’re introducing the stage show to a new generation, you will fall in love again the moment Rafiki sings “Nants Ingonyama”.

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Review: The Brothers Size (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper Theatre presents a play by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney in Toronto

Soulpepper Theatre presents The Brothers Size, currently on stage at the Young Center for the Performing Arts, an intimate and hypnotic exploration into brotherhood paired with Yoruban orishas. Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Academy Award winner for his screenplay for Moonlight, and directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, this performance combines live music, ritual, and the characters’ highly nuanced relationships making for a magical experience. Continue reading Review: The Brothers Size (Soulpepper)

Review: Walking on Bombshells (The Second City)

Toronto’s Second City presents their spring main stage revue

The comedic masterminds at Second City are back with their latest spring main stage revue, Walking on Bombshells. Known for top notch and highly physical sketch comedy, this new collection of sketches is relevant, politically charged, and fuelled with all things Toronto that you can practically hear the TTC chimes in the distance.

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Review: Unsafe (Canadian Stage)

Sook-Yin Lee presents a visceral exploration on censorship in art, at the Berkeley Theatre in Toronto

Unsafe, on stage now at the Berkeley St Theatre, is a rather unique theatrical experience. Told in a documentary style format, this performance features multimedia artist, filmmaker, former MuchMusic VJ and host of CBC Radio One’s Definitely Not the Opera, Sook-Yin Lee in a candid and revealing exploration of censorship in art. To say that this show is edgy and provocative barely scratches the surface. And yet, beneath the surface, what remains is convoluted.

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Review: Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre presented by Canadian Stage)

Why Not Theatre and Canadian Stage presents an ASL integrated Prince Hamlet in Toronto

Why Not Theatre along with Canadian Stage presents a version of Shakespeare’s Prince Hamlet, playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre, unlike any you’ve likely seen before. Directed by Ravi Jain and integrating ASL seamlessly into the performance along with gender bent characters, this version of the Bard’s classic is jagged around the edges and very provocative. It’s simply stunning to watch.

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