“FOLLIES”, revealing life’s marital folly’s Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Sondheim’s 1971 adaptation of Goldman’s reflective book about the theatre era between the World Wars is a musical mixed bag … some memorable songs and a couple of turkeys. The plot deals with the imminent demolition of an old N.Y. playhouse and the impresario’s notion that holding a pre-wreaker’s ball reunion ball might be fun. The Ziegfeld-ish character, herein called Weisman (pun probably intended) invites his past stars and chorus liners to the semi-destroyed building and having each guest presented with a commemorative sash demarking their individual year at the top. (My favorite – 1936!)

Cast photo- new & improved!

Cast photo- new & improved!

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“MEDEA” a killer lady & a killer plot Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

We start with a non-PC Danforth Ave.-area joke. A man walks into a Greek tailor with his torn suit. The tailor asks EURIPIDES? To which the customer replies “yes, please – EUMENIDES?

 Approximately 2300 years ago, Euripides wrote a tragic tale about Argonaut Jason’s (not the Toronto team) wife Medea who butchered in order to help her fiancé recover the Golden Fleece; then later committed double infanticide to punish her husband for betraying her. Her name became eponymous for the homicidal female – think Homulka.

the MTC cast of "MEDEA"

the MTC cast of “MEDEA”

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O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2012 Reply

Annually, we acknowledge those events of 2012 that stood out among the over 200 that our writers attended. As is our usual analytical technique, our selection process is based on impact- whether amusing, educational or thought-provoking… but definitely memorable. Our coverage of the Toronto shows gave us some efforts that we decided deserved special inclusion. We’d also like to pass on some statistics that our new website format made available to us.
               We average over 4,000 readers a month and have been sought out from 96 different countries. The Toronto Fringe was the most read; followed by the Brott NAO; Opera Kitchener’s ‘Don Giovanni’, RENT staged in Ottawa and the Stage West “DIVORCE PARTY”. The HPO performance titled ‘Wicked’ attracted the most comments!
Herewith our editorial team’s selections in calendar order

Blair, Rider-Shaw & chorus of SHAW's 42nd Street

Blair, Rider-Shaw & chorus of STRATFORD’s “42nd Street”

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POPERA + …definitely PLUS Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Opera Hamilton’s traditional ‘Popera’; a mélange of arias performed in concert; has an uneven history. Some were a delight, others less so. The programmes varied from the strictly familiar to interesting but lesser-known sources. Last evening’s programme was a quadruple-threat… entertainingly diverse; faultless orchestral technique; exceedingly talented vocalists and the introductory performances of two rising but still somewhat novice young operatic soloists.

conductors & soloists, "POPERA+" 2013

conductors & soloists, “POPERA+” 2013

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“RABBI SAM” a credible, recognizable situation Reply

Review by Mark Andrew LawrencereviewerMarkAndrew
Jan. 9th, ‘13

It happens often in both churches and synagogues: The board is searching for a new minister or rabbi, someone young with fresh ideas who will appeal to the younger people in the community. Once the perfect candidate is selected and tries to implement changes needed to increase membership, the board becomes polarized and seems to do everything it can to block the new leader from carrying out any kind of plan.

Edmonds & Hirshberg...Kosher cooking !

Edmonds & Hirshberg…Kosher cooking !

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5 at The First – “Romantic Expressions” Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

Word has gotten out about how good these concerts are and a capacity crowd came out on a cold January night to hear a very accomplished sextet play Brahms and Tchaikovsky. The evening began with a group of teenaged players called the Bel Canto Strings Academy Chamber Orchestra directed by Jennifer Spleit-Landry.  They played the theme from Schindler’s List by the brilliant John Williams, and Brahms Academic Festival Overture. More…