Toronto Theatre Reviews

Review: KIRA, The Path | La Voie (Lua Shayenne Dance Company / Luminato)

Percussionist Fara Tolno and a company of dancers opens Toronto’s Luminato Festival

KIRA, The Path | La Voie brings a lively and rhythmic energy to the Luminato Festival, with a mix of dancers and percussionist who perform Fara Tolno, choreography and composition. Tolno is a guest artist with the Lua Shayenne Dance Company, specializing in Guinean dance and music. Lua Shayenne, artistic director of the company, took to the Fleck Dance Theatre stage as a performer in the work.

Continue reading Review: KIRA, The Path | La Voie (Lua Shayenne Dance Company / Luminato)

Review: Porch View Dances (Kaeja d’Dance)

photo of Porch View Dances 2019PhPorch View Dances celebrates the love of dance in one of Toronto’s vibrant communities

I had heard about Porch View Dances for a number of years, so when the opportunity to review it came up, I jumped at it. This is the eighth summer that Kaeja d’Dance has presented Porch View Dances in Seaton Village. The event has clearly become a beloved local tradition. It’s a fun relaxed and very accessible celebration of art and community and a great way to spend an evening. Continue reading Review: Porch View Dances (Kaeja d’Dance)

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.

Continue reading Review: Fool for Love (Soulpepper)

Review: Much Ado About Nothing (Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage re-imagines Shakespearean comedy with quirky staging at Toronto’s High Park

Normally, Shakespeare doesn’t compel you to do the macarena, but Canadian Stage‘s production of Much Ado About Nothing, one of its two Shakespeare in High Park summer performances, takes us on a colourful ride that injects some fun and originality into the tale of a “merry war”.

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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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July 12 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe

image saying daily raves

There’s still a few days left to check out the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival! If you want to make the most out of your theatre-going this week, here’s a look at a few rave reviews.

These are shows that blew our writers’ minds, got them talking, kept them enthralled, stuck with them, and made their editor write a list of exciting descriptive actions.

While we always encourage audiences to take risks at Fringe, here are some sharp picks that especially paid off for our team:

Continue reading July 12 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe

Review: The Tape Escape (Outside the March)

Photo of Zoe Danahy, Tony Cushman, Nicholas Porteous, Raylene Turner, Rais Clarke-Mendes, Francis Melling, Danté Prince, and Kavone Manning by Neil SilcoxLeading Toronto immersive theatre company produces its first escape room-style experiences

When the iconic video rental store Queen Video closed its final location on Bloor Street this past March it felt like a sad inevitability. In the age of YouTube and Netflix, the video rental store is a relic from another era. Now, Outside the March, one of Toronto’s leading immersive theatre companies, has taken over the space and re-christened it The Tape Escape, to house three immersive, escape room-style puzzle experiences that harken back to that bygone era. Continue reading Review: The Tape Escape (Outside the March)

July 11 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

image saying daily raves

Week two of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival is upon us, and we’re counting up our rave reviews from our hard-won list of 149 reviews of the entire (review-eligible) festival! Plenty of those shows have been marked as RAVES by our reviewers, and we’re here today to highlight a few more of them!

What’s a rave, you might ask? Simply put: our reviewer loved it. Sometimes a rave is ‘I’d see that a second, third, fourth time’; sometimes a rave is ‘I’m STILL thinking about this show days later’; sometimes it’s as simple as ‘I had a really fabulous time at this show.’

Really, it’s all subjective, because theatre is subjective. These raves caught our reviewers’ attention, though–perhaps they’ll snag yours as well?

Continue reading July 11 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

Review: Waitress (Mirvish)

Photo of Ephie Aardema, Christine Dwyer and Melody A Betts by Daniel LippittMirvish brings the hit Broadway musical with songs by Sara Bareilles to Toronto

The North-American tour of Waitress is currently making a stop in Toronto at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. The hit Broadway musical with book by Jessie Nelson and songs by American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles is based on the 2007 film starring Keri Russell and centres on the story of a small-town diner waitress and skilled baker named Jenna (Christine Dwyer) who aspires to enter a pie-making competition to win the prize money she needs to escape her unhappy life. Continue reading Review: Waitress (Mirvish)

July 8 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival

image saying daily raves

Week two of the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. *phew*

We’ve finished reviewing all the shows (except the two that requested no reviews). And now you have a list of 148 reviews you can read through. You may have noticed some have a little thing next to them that says ‘Rave Review!’ So what’s that about?

We very purposefully don’t use a star rating system here at Mooney on Theatre (but if we did, surely they’d be moons, yes?). We believe that a review only captures one person’s opinion, and my 5-star review might be someone else’s 3-star review, and with so many writers covering Fringe, there would be no way to provide consistency in those ratings.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with star ratings, I just made a decision a long time ago that they don’t fit in with Mooney on Theatre’s approach to things. During Fringe though, when there are so many reviews to read through, we needed something to let readers see at a glance which shows writers are raving about.

This week we’ll be taking some time to highlight those shows; starting right now.

Continue reading July 8 Rave Roundup for the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival