We’re crazy about MMT’s “Crazy For You” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

A little personal trivia; almost 6 decades ago, I was in N.Y. to see “Gypsy” and had the opportunity to have tea with its star Ethel Merman. On being introduced; her comment on hearing my name was “Danny; last name wouldn’t be Churchill, would it?” Seems her first Broadway role (1930) was in the Gershwin’s musical –GIRL CRAZY’s Molly opposite the ‘Danny’ role! Skip ahead to 1992 and an updated version “CRAZY FOR YOU”.
Same songs and parallel plot; but just as popular as the original. Meadowvale Music Theatre’s presentation opened last week but fear of Friday’s inclement weather caused this chicken-ish driver to miss seeing the 1st night performance. Sorry, cast & crew… My (our) loss!
The plot is simplistic… big city scion who wants only to dance is sent out West to foreclose on a decrepit theatre.

The musical inhabitants of Deadrock NV!

The musical inhabitants of Deadrock NV!

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Mac’s Musical Theatre tackles ‘Spring Awakening’ 2

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

At some social event, our table chatter fell to what our occupations were. A surgeon; two engineers, and a lawyer were our companions. When asked about my career, the muse said “He’s a theatre & concert critic”. The others immediately jumped on what they figured must be the apex of professions. Unlike their repetitive jobs, mine must be eternally new – only partially right. This brings me to McMaster Music Theatre’s production of SPRING AWAKENING. Seems like only yesterday (actually 11 weeks ago) we critiqued the same play!

cast & crew of Mac's SPRING AWAKENING

cast & crew of Mac’s SPRING AWAKENING

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A FIDDLER on the ROOF*, Stage West scores again 2

Review by Danny Gaisin
Plus an Exclusive to Ontario Arts Review

Did you hear about the dyslexic Rabbi? No, you didn’t – “YO Vey!”
A ‘bissele’* history: – Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe coincided with either expulsions or escapees from pogroms that started in the 1860’s and only ended with Lenin’s declarations after the 1917 revolution.  My own family was driven from Gaisin (Ukraine) in the 1890’s, about 20 years before the Rabinovich clan left Pereyaslav (Kiev) about 150 miles further north. Sol Rabinovich, writing under the nom de plume Sholem Aleichem, captured the daily customs, hardships, struggles and Chassidic traditions of the shtetl in numerous stories – many of which were autobiographical.   Photo courtesy of Fred Loek,  “Miss’a News”

The lantsmen of ANATEVKA

The Lantsmen of ANATEVKA

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“Underpants”; will that be panties or a thong? Reply

Review by Terry GaisinreviewerETG

Saturday afternoon we made a worthwhile  drive to Waterdown to see a delightful 90 minute play (no intermission)  called “Underpants”. Steve Martin adapted the story from a book called “Die Hose” – a 1910 German farce written by Carl Sternheim.  Martin’s play was first produced Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company in 2002. I always think of Martin as a comedian, however his resume tells us much more: actor, musician (pianist & banjo player) author, playwright & producer. A recent father, he obviously keeps himself busy!

The stage had beautiful props and so are the costumes. The cast were very well-rehearsed and for the most part there were very few slip-ups.

TheDusseldorfians of UNDERPANTS

TheDusseldorfians of UNDERPANTS

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5 at the First, Strauss to Sondheim …and then some Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
               The concert’s subtitle was ‘Contrasts’ and that was accurate.  I had no idea what type of music would be presented on Sunday at The First Unitarian Church, our musicians were Alex Samaras, a vocalist; pianist Gregory Oh; and Bram Gielen, bass; each have such a wide range of studies and interests that the concert could contain anything.  What we did receive was an eclectic group of art songs and cabaret songs with several good old story-songs thrown in.

Gielen; Samaras & Oh ...the guest soloists

Gielen; Samaras & Oh …the guest soloists

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“Midsummer Night’s Dream”…fun in the woods Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

e·pon·y·my  (-pn-m)noun: Derivation of a name of a city, country, era, institution, or other place or thing from that of a person. [American Heritage Dictionary]

‘Puck’- a character from Shakespeare’s MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’, is one of those roles a talented thespian would die for. Call someone ‘puckish’ and the image of comedic, chaotic and mischievous immediately come to mind. THEATRE ERINDALE’s director Sue Miner has fortuitously allowed her charges to ‘go on stage & have 3 hours of fun’. Wes Payne has taken her at her word and the result is one of the funniest and most enjoyable romps this writer has ever spent in a magical forest. His constant façade of insouciant disrespect, glee at the misfortunes and havoc he creates, as well as that delightfully patronizing attitude (Lord, what fools these mortals be!) he has for others, make him just about possess the play. He’s a close tie with Ali Richardson whose Helena will steal your heart. She has a mobile face that underlines every bit of dialogue she recites.   {Photo courtesy of Jim Smagata  UTM}

Puck overseeing the wedding ceremonies

Puck overseeing the wedding ceremonies

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