Tag Archives: mooneyontheatre

audience & critics comment on “The Killdeer”

“This show really had me. I was reeled in. Strange and quite absorbing. Very nicely acted, beautifully lit and perfect off-kilter music and sound design. Elements of archetypal fairy tale stuff, Shakespearean devices all make this quite a wonderful outing. Best to [director] Barbara Larose and her team.  Definitely worth checking out this Canadian play.” – AUDIENCE MEMBER


 “The play revolves around a murder mystery but it’s much more than that. It’s about small towns and gossip, about parents and children and coming of age, about enduring relationships, about love and jealousy, all timeless themes.  …During the scene between Harry Gardner (Paul Hardy) and his about-to-be ex-wife Vernelle (Joanne Sarazen) you could almost see the electricity, the energy between the audience and the stage.”  – MOONEYonTHEATRE
 Mooney also singles out a couple of other cast members for special mention:  “..the two that stayed in my mind are Naomi Vondell as Mrs. Soper, the jailer’s wife. Her performance was lyrical, she seemed to be floating, almost ethereal. The other is Michael Vitorovich as Mr Manatee, the terrifying hangman.”
“Alumnae Theatre has done students and friends of Canadian drama an invaluable service by reviving James Reaney’s first play The Killdeer (1960). …The play is important not just for launching Reaney’s career as a playwright but for providing the first example of what would later be called Southwestern Ontario Gothic that finds strange and lurid doings beneath the seemingly placid façade of small town life.  …Marysia Bucholc’s set does much to remind us we are not quite in the realm of realism.  …While the story is complex and the characters seem to speak in riddles, once you reach the surprising conclusion, you realize clearly that a search for the one’s family, one’s self, one’s identity is what the play has been about since the very beginning.  …The Killdeer should be better known and we can only be thankful that a company like the Alumnae Theatre has chosen to bring its richness and importance back to our attention.”  – STAGE-DOOR (Christopher Hoile)
 Hoile  praises Blythe Haynes [as Rebecca] for  “effortlessly maintaining the balance between poetry and realism throughout the play”, and notes that  “Tricia Brioux [as Madam Fay] gives an absolutely fiery performance as a human being whose inner torment causes her to become an embodiment of evil. ”


 Intrigued yet?  Catch the show up to April 27.  There’s a Talkback session with director, designers and cast following the Sunday matinee on April 21.  http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/1213killdeer.html

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, The Killdeer

Win tickets to “February” stage premiere & copy of the novel

Are you excited too?  The world premiere of Lisa Moore’s February is only one week away.  The opening night gala on September 21 will be attended by the writer herself, as well as glitterati from the literary and theatre worlds, and representatives from the City of Toronto.  Because not only is Alumnae Theatre celebrating the launch of the season with this beautiful new play, but we’re also marking 40 years in this building here at 70 Berkeley Street – a historic former firehall.

Take a look at the wall mural in the upper lobby next time you visit.  It’s a blowup of a photograph taken in the early 20th century, showing some well-dressed firemen posing with their spanking-new mechanized fire engine.  Down in the lower lobby, framed over the bar, is an even earlier photograph (1905), depicting firemen with the horse-drawn fire engine of the time!

But I digress!  Online theatre review site Mooney On Theatre is running a contest to win tickets to the second performance of February, on Saturday Sept. 22, as well as a copy of the novel, courtesy of Lisa Moore’s book publisher, House of Anansi Press.  The contest closes at 3pm on Sept 20.  Details at http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2012/09/14/ticket-and-novel-giveaway-contest-lisa-moores-february-alumnae-theatre/

And if you don’t win those tickets (there are 3 pairs available), make a reservation at reservations@alumnaetheatre.com and see the show anyway!  Running to October 6.


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Filed under 2012/13 Season, February

MooneyOnTheatre review of “The Trojan Women”

Favourable comparison to Nightwood’s  just-closed The Penelopiad :

“They are both tales from the canon of the ancient Greeks and have been written for the modern day by fantastic female Canadian writers – The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood and The Trojan Women by Gwendolyn MacEwen.”

“Further similarities include an excellent use of fabric in costumes/props/set dressings to convey a myriad of things, and the inclusion of some humour into the tragic tales.”

Several of the actors are praised, including:

Molly Thom as Hecuba was every inch a bitter, ruined queen…”

Nicole St. Martin is heart-wrenching as Andromache… ”

“Menelaus, played by Scott Moore, is very amusing …”

Read the full review at http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2012/01/28/review-the-trojan-women-alumnae-theatre/#more-9390

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Filed under 2011/12 season, The Trojan Women

“Sylvia” opening night recap, and Leslie’s amazing costume

Apologies for this belated post – fighting a nasty cold & cough this week.  Yes, opening night (November 11) was sold out.  So VERY sold out.  Read MooneyOnTheatre’s review at  http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2011/11/13/review-sylvia-alumnae-theatre-company/ and you can hear all about it!

The audience was engaged from start to finish, laughing almost continuously.  And more than a few of us got a little verklempt at the end – I won’t spoil it except to reassure you that it is a happy ending.  Alumnae Theatre’s former bloggergal, Cathy McKim, who now writes her own blog, posted her impressions at http://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/alumnaes-dog-gone-hilarity-tips-city-shines/#respond

Random things I enjoyed:  Sylvia’s adorable butt wiggle when she’s happy.  Sylvia in the park, telling Greg, “I have to check my messages”, and going to sniff at a post!  Greg’s astonished face when Sylvia goes berserk (complete with blue language) upon spotting a cat.  Kate and Sylvia squaring off.  Phyllis and Sylvia’s strained meeting.  Tom and Greg man-bonding over their women troubles.

And after goggling at the get-up that actor Mary Joseph wears as Leslie the marriage therapist, I just had to ask, HOW do you get into that costume?  Mary tells me:

 “The cast arrives and starts putting on their initial costumes one hour before show time. Even though I am only in the second act, I have to start dressing at the same time as my colleagues because it takes me the full first act to pour into that unitard. Each time I enter on stage it takes me a full 5 steps just to get my legs moving and when I sit it is like bending cardboard in half. But I do look good, don’t I ?” 🙂

Marriage therapist Leslie (Mary Joseph) with clients Kate (Dinah Watts) and Greg (Andrew Batten). Photo: Bruce Peters

Yes, Mary, you sure do!  See it for yourself – “Sylvia” runs until next week Saturday, November 26. Performances are at 8pm Wed – Sat; 2pm Sun.  There will be a Talkback after this Sunday’s matinée – reservations not required for matinée.

Purchase tickets online at www.totix.ca  for Thursday – Saturday shows, or reserve and pay cash at the theatre anytime.  reservations@alumnaetheatre.com 416-364-4170 Box 1.  Thursday – Saturday tickets are $20, Wed is 2-for-1, Sundays PWYC.

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Filed under 2011/12 season, Sylvia

Win tickets to “Sylvia”!

Sylvia opens November 11, but if you don’t get out to see it on opening night, check out www.torontoist.com and www.mooneyontheatre.com for a chance to win tickets to the performance on Thursday November 17.

And if you don’t win tickets that way, you’ve got until November 26 to catch the show!

Regular price for tickets is $20 (Thu/Fri/Sat), with 2-for-1 Wednesdays, and PWYC Sunday matinees.

Purchase the regular tickets online at www.totix.ca, or reserve and pay cash at Box Office for Wednesday (416-364.4170, Box 1 or reservations@alumnaetheatre.com ).  No reservations required for Sunday.

Come on out.  Sylvia wants to meet you.


Filed under 2011/12 season, Sylvia