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: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Mirvish)

Cinderella

Cinderella takes the stage in time for the holidays, at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto

Just in time for the holiday seasons, Mirvish Productions, in true Mirvish fashion, have pulled out all the stops for their family-friendly musical production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. This version of the classic rags-to-riches story comes with a few unique twists and a rather interesting socio-political commentary that tends to get overlooked when you’re mostly familiar with the Disney version.

Cinderella is sparkly, whimsical, and at times almost cloyingly saccharine; it’s everything you can expect and want from a big-stage production of this caliber. If there’s a little princess in your life, she’s sure to be enchanted by this.

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Review: Bombay Black (Factory Theatre)

Photo of Kawa Ada, Howard J Davis, and Anusree Roy by Joseph Michael

On stage at the Factory Theatre, Bombay Black makes its return to Toronto

I’m feeling divided when it comes to Bombay Black, on stage at the Factory Theatre. On one hand, there is so much going on with the entire performance that is visually stunning — the dialogue, the movement, the lighting and music. It’s the most creative use of a bare stage that I’ve seen in a while. On the other hand, I feel disconnected from it. It’s not gelling with me in a way that I want to shout it to the rafters which is what great theatre does for me. So I’m torn.

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Review: Wormwood (Tarragon Theatre)

Ken James Stewart, Luke Humphrey in Wormwood (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Wormwood, on stage in Toronto, is a story both “magnificent” and “heartbreaking”

Wormwood, playing at the Tarragon Theatre, is a carefully constructed story that interweaves aspects of nationalistic pride, folklore, love story, history, and Ukrainian diaspora, the result of which is a wonderful and delicate piece of crafted theatre that is provoking and powerful — one you won’t want to miss.

Built against the backdrop of the Orange Revolution — a time of mass political upheaval in Ukraine — this story takes a closer look at a nation divided and the misplaced intentions of North American ideals.

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Review: Julie (Canadian Stage)

Photo of Lucia Cervoni and Clarence Frazer by Cylla von Tiedermann

Canadian Stage’s Julie is an opera that fails to be the sum of its parts, playing in Toronto

Canadian Stage presents Julie, an opera by Philippe Boesmans based on the play Miss Julie written by Swedish playwright August Strindberg. This version has been shaved down to an hour-long production — a bare bones opera with three performers and a small chamber orchestra.

On the surface, there are plenty of aspects to Julie that are the prime ingredients for a fantastic hour of theatre. Unfortunately, though the individual components were amazing, the final product left much to be desired.

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Review: HERETIC (Soup Can Theatre)

Photo of Sarah Thorpe by Laura Dittman

Soup Can Theatre brings the story of Joan of Arc to life in HERETIC for Toronto audiences

Joan of Arc is one of my favourite women in history and her story is a fascinating one. Without any proper education, let alone military education, she lead the French army to victory during the Hundred Years’ War against the English — and to the crowning of Charles VII — as based on divine visions she received as a young teen. Soup Can Theatre‘s production of HERETIC is a mesmerizing one-woman show about the life of a young Jeanne D’Arc.

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