All posts by Sam Mooney

Always a theatre lover Sam realized in middle age that there's more to Toronto theatre than just mainstream and is now in love with one person shows, adores festivals, and quirky venues make her day.

Review: Djinn Joint (Velvet Duke Productions – Primetime Festival)

Velvet Wells as dJerald the Djinn standing in front of bushes

Velvet Wells is dJerald the Djinn, a wish granting genie, in Djinn Joint, part of the Primetime Festival, an online performance festival. They’re also a lovely person… or the world’s greatest actor.

Djinn Joint is essentially an improv show. The audience submits wishes, some in advance, some during the show, and dJerald either grants them or doesn’t. Sometimes the audience votes on whether to grant the wish. Voting isn’t always as straightforward as giving a thumbs-up or raising a hand, it can be very creative. Continue reading Review: Djinn Joint (Velvet Duke Productions – Primetime Festival)

Review: With Love and a Major Organ (The Audio Play) (QuestionMark-Exclamation Theatre Primetime Festival)

cast - With Love and a Major Organ

With Love and a Major Organ (The Audio Play ) is part of the Primetime Festival, an online performance festival. It was live on November 3 and is now available on demand. That’s a really cool thing about digital performances, they create archives and can be presented again.

With Love and a Major Organ is a love story about love,  an adult fairy tale about giving your heart to someone. Literally, your actual heart. It’s about waking up and realizing that you have a heart and waking up and realizing that you don’t have a heart.  It’s about opening your heart to feeling. It’s about GoogleShrink and online speed dating. Continue reading Review: With Love and a Major Organ (The Audio Play) (QuestionMark-Exclamation Theatre Primetime Festival)

Review: My Own Private Shakespeare (Modernclassic Theatre Company)

Justin Hay on a darkened stage next to a throne

Modernclassic Theatre Company’s production of Justin Hay’s My Own Private Shakespeare is playing at the Assembly Theatre. The small space, with seats removed to allow social distancing, adds a layer of intimacy to the evening.

My Own Private Shakespeare is a one-person play performed and written by Hay, who is a Shakespearean actor. Although it’s not stated anywhere, the play feels autobiographical. It’s about a Shakespearean actor whose life is imploding. He sees parallels between the things happening in his life and some of Shakespeare’s texts and weaves them into his story. It’s wonderfully effective.  Continue reading Review: My Own Private Shakespeare (Modernclassic Theatre Company)

Review: As You Like It (Crow’s Theatre)

Cliff Cardinal kneeling in front of footlights

Oh the joy of seeing live theatre again after so long. It was a truly a gift to be at the opening of the Crow’s Theatre production of As You Like It, a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal. I have seen a few remarkable online performances during the pandemic but nothing virtual can compare with being part of a live audience, of feeling the energy of the performers and the rest of the audience. Absolute bliss!

Admittedly I was fairly anxious before I went, to the point of considering not going. I gave myself permission to leave if I felt panicked during the evening and that eased my anxiety. Crow’s Theatre’s policy that all patrons have to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times on the premises also helped to calm me down. It was worth it to experience Cliff Cardinal’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s As you Like It. Continue reading Review: As You Like It (Crow’s Theatre)

Review: Is My Microphone On? (Canadian Stage)

High Park Amphitheatre

Before you vote on September 20th – you are planning to vote, right? – you need to see the Canadian Stage production of Is My Microphone On? It is part of their Dream in High Park summer programming at the High Park Amphitheatre.

In his newest play, Jordan Tannahill holds us to account for climate change. For the choices we’ve made and the future we’re leaving our children.

In case you’re thinking, “I don’t know, that sounds kind of heavy for a late summer evening entertainment,” trust me, it’s terrific theatre. Invigorating, challenging, entertaining – an evening well spent. Continue reading Review: Is My Microphone On? (Canadian Stage)