A question to Toronto theatre folks – does the TIFF do anything for you?

by Megan Mooney

I often find that when people find out that I’m a theatre chick they assume I must also be a film fanatic.  So, when the Toronto International Film Festival rolls around people are often asking me what I think of movies, or what movies I’m going to and on and on.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a flick as much as the next person, but I’m more in line with your average Sam on the movie front.  Recently I’ve seen Dark Knight and The Mummy 3.  Not what you’d call highly intellectual fodder or cinematic genius.  But fun, undeniably fun.

So, now my question…

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RENT – it's a play, it's a movie, it's play, it's a movie, it's a play, it's… oh, my head just exploded…

by Megan Mooney

When I was in university RENT was hot shit.  I mean, some people loved it, some people hated it, but it was actually talked about.

Then it was mostly forgotten (at least by me) until 2004 when it was parodied in Team America: World Police with the musical number “Everybody has AIDS”.  Then, perhaps riding the wave of new recognition through Team America (although, really likely not) it was made into a movie, in 2005, which seems all the rage this decade (Chicago, Hairspray, Mamma Mia pop to mind.  Evita was a bit ahead of the curve, doing the mega-musical as a movie thing in 1996).

During this whole time, RENT continued to run on Broadway, in fact, it’s been running on Broadway for more than 12 years.  So, you know, it’s pretty popular.  But now, the play, cum movie is a play again, but in a movie theatre.

Continue reading RENT – it's a play, it's a movie, it's play, it's a movie, it's a play, it's… oh, my head just exploded…

The Arts in Canada

There is a great article in today’s Globe and Mail by Russel Smith called “Extra! Extra!  The arts don’t matter!”

He talks about the recent arts cuts, how they likely won’t become an election issue, although they should, and generally laments Canada’s lack of support of the arts.

An excerpt:

Most people are simply unaware of the importance of culture in diplomacy and for international reputation – unaware that it might perhaps be a problem if Canada is simply not on the radar of powerful people in Berlin and Tokyo and Dubai, and that culture is a powerful symbol of a nation’s identity.

These things are difficult to explain and even harder to measure.

I recommend checking it out.

Toronto's CanStage – what's up with that?!?

by Megan Mooney

Okay, so, J. Kelly called me out.  He’s noted that I haven’t gone on the record with what I think of the whole CanStage thing.  So, this post is LONG overdue (I’ve been on vacation, yay summer!) I’m gonna do general thoughts first, then I’m going to answer the specific questions J. Kelly asks in his first CanStage post in this series of posts.

Before I say anything though, let me tell you that with all my heart, I hope CanStage succeeds.  I’m not sure what the definition of success is in a general sense, but for the short-term I’m going with ‘not collapsing under their own weight, and still being able to put on shows’, because, I’ll be honest, I am really afraid the writing is on the wall for CanStage (or Canadian Stage Company, whichever they’re calling themselves these days) but I’m praying to random deities that it is not the case.  Watching a theatre die is always heartbreaking.

Continue reading Toronto's CanStage – what's up with that?!?