Reviews + Quotes


OASIS LOVE (Sisyphean Productions)

✘ [Oasis Love is] a piece which reflected on one person’s true story of love’s labor won and lost, all while blending the musical stylings and engaging dialogue that come with true showmanship. Watching Oasis Love was a spectacle for the heart and soul. If you ever have a chance to see this play in the future, drop everything and go. With it’s dizzying peaks and lonesome valleys, it’s an honest odyssey about love, which you embark on with the performer, the audience, and everyone you’ve ever lost. – Daniel Niznik

✘ This is such a sweet show and you do a terrific job! It takes a lot of vulnerability to go on stage to begin with… open your heart up so much to strangers is even more brave. I applaud your story and bravery to tell it with such emotion. Thank you! – Anne-Marie Bergman

✘ Real moving & insightful! – Karina Milech

✘ It was lovely and vulnerable and honest and there’s lit music – Lauren Welchner

✘ It was wonderfully put together and acted and written – Greg Houston

✘ Johnny’s voice was smooth and clear inviting me to be open to his beautiful lyrics. The story he told was personal and heartfelt but not cloying. I loved the simplicity of the set which allowed me to imagine his apartment for instance, or just to focus on the story. – Viv Moore

✘ This show is phenomenal! – Vikki Velenosi

✘ It was incredible – Kasey Dunn

✘ Great writing and performance. And the music was wonderful – David Bateman

✘ Johnny combines music and drama to tell the story of a past relationship. It’s vulnerable, endearing, and funny. The scenes flowed naturally from one to the next, and ended on a hopeful note. Johnny’s own original songs are used as well, and I also loved his use of pop music. – Kristin Archer, I Heart Hamilton

✘ The honesty, courage and raw depth of the performance! Two words …SEE IT!! – Craig McLean

✘ Oasis Love was like sitting & talking shit about your ex with your best friend for an hour, while also jamming to your fave songs Except Johnny Salib has a way better voice than any of my other friends… Basically, I never wanted it to end. – Natalie Hickey

✘ Oasis Love created and performed by Johnny Salib and directed and dramaturged by Franny McCabe-Bennett is a must see. Through monologue and music Salib exposes the break-up of a relationship by sharing with the audience his very personal experience. We are engaged from the beginning with his fabulous voice and keyboarding. Salib makes confident eye contact with the audience as if we are close friends sharing the ups and downs of trying to find our forever love. Candid quips about dating sites, disaster first dates and parental non-acceptance of gay children, leave one urging him on to find true love. As a performer Salib’s professionalism is exceptional and sensitive, we feel and know his heartbreak. This show is a tour de force! – Sara Cymbalisty, View Hamilton

✘ Johnny Salib has a wonderful voice and uses it well to transition from song to song or from song into scene…Our audience was carried along by the humour and hope. – Susan J. Creer, Raise the Hammer

✘ Beautiful singing, humour and raw emotion – Darren Stewart-Jones

✘ Oasis Love is a must see – Izad Etemadi

✘ The one man performance is a journey infused with music… Salib is charming and has an energetic and engaging personality which holds on to the audience’s attention with every word… He perfectly describes every detail in the memories he recounts, so while you may be sitting in the audience watching his performance, it feels like you were there in that moment as it happened. You can visualize the places, smell the smells, and feel the tensions he felt as they happened. Be it coming out multiple times to a mother that doesn’t really believe you, or living with a boyfriend who won’t admit to his parents who you are, you can see the pain and feel the emotion that Salib must have felt in each of those moments. – Jason Nason, Hamilton Today

✘ What an incredible show – we knew it would be good but this was exceptional. The story is as warm and whimsical as it is heart-breaking and at times, fucking hilarious. The thoughtful place from which the stories were told was refreshing, it’s so easy to put down a concept like ‘love’ because it’s an abstract concept which is why break-ups, dating and being single are so difficult to navigate because so many of us feel like we’re always failing. Oasis Love was so relatable it reminded me how vulnerable relationships leave us raw and exposed, despite our best efforts. The staging and lights were a perfect pairing for an intimate experience inside Damien’s head and Johnny Salib is a master at his game. – Raymond Helkio, The Reading Salon

✘ That fucker stole that from my journal! – Maurice (Hamilton Audience Member)

✘ What’s most notable about this one-man production is the strength of its writing. Whether it was vividly describing the first date to chronicling the couple’s last fight, Salib demonstrated a real talent for writing vivid slice-of-life prose that beautifully put the audience at the very heart of the action, and all this is brought to life with his very likable and relatable performance…Salib is a great showman, demonstrating precise comedic timing and engaging effortlessly with the audience. He’s also quite the musician…it’s the character development in particular that makes the material so strong. Salib has done a fantastic job telling a realistic tale of lovers, including the ups and downs that all couples experience. – Gian Verano, Mooney On Theatre

✘ Oasis Love was truly a strange experience for me tonight. Johnny Salib you are very talented & inspiring! (Toronto Audience Member)

✘ If fate was a screaming woman, I am covered in her saliva. It was very therapeutic. – Jimere, Starfall

✘ A great play and superb solo performance…looking forward to its future success… – Ohid Izjian


INVISIBLE (Gay Play Day)

✘ Full of sharpness, sass and hurt. – life with more cowbell


I DON’T WANT TO BE BI (Too Queer: A Bi-Visibility Cabaret)

✘ This is so important.

✘ This really spoke to me.

✘ It takes a lot of courage to share such a personal experience, especially something that you were trying so hard to repress (and actually succeeded in given that you couldn’t remember writing that).

✘ Beautiful and very brave of you to share!

✘ That was beautiful Johnny, drew tears from me

✘ Wow that was powerful.

✘ It brought me to tears.

Awards + Recognition

  • 2000 // Kiwanis Music Festival Toronto // Voice // 1st Place
  • 2003 // Kiwanis Music Festival Toronto // Voice // 1st Place
  • 2006 // PCA // Flute & Percussion // Junior Instrumentalist of the Year
  • 2006 // PCA // Visual Arts // Visual Artist of the Year
  • 2007 // PCA // Flute // Senior Instrumentalist of the Year
  • 2007 // PCA // Visual Arts // Visual Artist of the Year
  • 2008 // PCA // Flute // Senior Instrumentalist of the Year
  • 2008 // PCA // Visual Arts // Visual Artist of the Year
  • 2009 // PCA // Voice // Vocalist of the Year
  • 2013 // Hamilton Fringe Festival // Jamie’s Gone // Best of Venue, The Citadel Theatre
  • 2013 // Hamilton Fringe Festival // Jamie’s Gone // Best of Hamilton Fringe
  • 2015 // Hamilton Fringe Festival // Oasis Love // 2nd Runner Up in the New Play Contest
  • 2015 // Ontario Arts Council // Oasis Love // Theatre Creators Reserve // The Cabaret Company

Other Media Coverage