THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ----   April 12, 2015   ---  It was a packed house at Thunder Bay’s Magnus Theatre. The audience had turned up to see “Moose on the Loose” written by former Thunder Bay resident Dina Morrone.

Maintaining a family requires a lot of effort and sacrifice, since in the end it is about the survival of the family more than it is about the survival and even happiness of the individual. While that may be a downside to the family, it has existed since time in memorial because there are benefits to belonging to a family. There are things which can bring a family together as well as those which can break it apart, and in the play there is a little bit of all of these things. In the end the play celebrates the large immigrant family. A festa Italian, with a lot of Canadianisms thrown in for good measure.

Dina must have studied Shakespeare at some point, because this story line has all of the epic marks of that great playwright. When I was a student it seemed I would be the most unlikely student in the class to write anything! I did not even know what at soliloquy was? Even after mustering through the ancient English of a Shakespearian play I might have known what the soliloquy might be but due to the old English still had some difficulties with comprehension. In a stroke of genius Dina introduces the character of the “Moose”, if there was ever a native of this part of the country surely it must be one of these swamp donkeys. The sole purpose of this character is to perform a soliloquy. In short order the large four generation immigrant family is set apart from everyone else on the street by the “Moose” that has wandered into town only to find this Italian family on its pasture! The Moose is a metaphor for the displaced person, or in this case family. In the quest to have a better live the family moved to a place not too far from here, a place that they could not even imagine in their dreams. Moose in the neighbourhood and the severe weather in winter are only part of the challenges the family faces as it adapts to live in a new land.

This play has great potential, it starts with the script by Dina Morrone and it is polished and refined by a master Director Mario Crudo. Dina was taken aback by the quality of the actors on stage, the settings and facilities of our theatre she discovered are as good as they get anywhere. For Mario Crudo this play has personal connections, I think everyone in the audience last night knew of at least a few family stories with similar origins and they did not need to be Italian. I cannot remember a show at Magnus since I started reviewing years ago that featured 12 actors on stage. For Magnus this is truly an “Extravaganza” Mario has bet heavily that this show will be a resounding success, and so far the shows that have played have been stuffed to the rafters with patrons.

I had a great time watching this play. If you can’t get a seat right away, call the box office and reverse your ticket right now.

In the mean time, watch our for the Moose on the Loose in your part of town.

Bert Rowson

Arts Editor: