“Don Giovanni”; an unorthodox COC rendering Reply

Review by Mike MandelreviewerMike
Yesterday, was the premier of the Canadian Opera Company’s Don Giovanni, and to say that director Tcherniakov delivered an unorthodox performance to the sold-out audience, is akin to saying the Titanic brushed against some ice. But despite the protestations of the traditionalists, it’s actually difficult to ruin Mozart. The music is as good as it gets, and Don Giovanni, with Da Ponte’s libretto is about as perfectly designed as an opera can be. So how much can one alter the opera’s intent, without lessening its impact? Can this “opera of operas” survive intentional time distortion and reworked familial relationships, and still be Don Giovanni?

Fragonard's famous Don Juan & the threatening monument [circa 1832]

Fragonard’s famous Don Juan & the threatening monument [circa 1832]

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“Picnic”, Inge’s emotional cathartic Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

reviewerETG1952 was a memorable year, Anderson’s ‘Blue Tango’ was the top Hit Parade record; Eisenhower became the U.S. president and this scribe’s husband finally was able to drive – legally! This resulted in an ability to canvass Montreal East where the girls [supposedly] did it. Comparable to Millie in ‘Picnic’, he too was sixteen in ‘52 and like his contemporaries had five things paramount on their mind- Dating; Graduating Division ‘A’ from High School; getting into an acceptable University; borrowing the family wheels and did I mention…sex!
Photo by Jim Smagata

Zulauf; McCallum; Ehman & Esteves emoting before going to a PICNIC

Zulauf; McCallum; Ehman & Esteves emoting before going to a PICNIC

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The Sound of Music; “a really Big Shew” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
In 1959, after tryouts in Montreal, Rogers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway and became an immediate hit. Staging it today is a big undertaking…big production; big cast and big challenge. Theatre Unlimited has delineated its registered name by successfully accomplishing reprising one of ‘my favorite things’ at Mississauga’s Meadowvale Theatre and it is an amazingly professional product. The T.U. team deserves an “A+” for both effort and result.

The [large] cast of SOUND OF MUSIC

The [large] cast of SOUND OF MUSIC

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H.P.O.’s candidate no. 5 – Theodore Kuchar Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The Hamilton Philharmonic has a new addition. Percussionist Ernest Portman introduced a glockenspiel to his other rhythm family. It’s a musical instrument, not a semi-automatic sidearm, with a tone and reverberation that is a symphonic enhancement.
There is a subtle HPO difference noticeable under different batons; both sound and individual postures. Guest conductor Theodore Kuchar seems to have established a certain rapport with the musicians that manifests itself in a conspicuously more relaxed and comfortable demeanor.

Cerovsek & Kuchar performing the Glazunov concerto

Cerovsek & Kuchar performing the Glazunov concerto

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“Oleanna”: A Thought Provoking Play Reply

Review by Ailine Hessreviewer Ailine Hess
               The Collegiate Players and their director, Michael Smith, chose “Oleanna” by David Mamet for their debut production at the Staircase Café Theatre, 27 Dundurn Street North in Hamilton. Performances took place on January 15th- 17th. The first act opens with a professor sitting at a slightly cluttered desk speaking animatedly with his wife on the phone while a student is sitting waiting for him to finish. Even though it’s a one-sided conversation, John, played by Mark Christopherson in his stage debut performance, draws the audience in immediately.

the protagonists of "OLEANNA"

the protagonists of “OLEANNA”

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Another successful combo from D.L.T. 1

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
The arrangement of presenting two short plays with a common theme seems to be a successful concept for Dundas Little Theatre. The October ‘Infidelity’ duo was a success and the current stage effort “The Play’s The Thing” certainly merits accolades. Directed by Peter Lloyd, Rattigan’s 67-year-old comedy – ‘Harlequinade’ bootlegs the genus of the 17th century pantomime. Under Lloyd’s construal, we can deride and lampoon the egocentricity of committed theatre folk who can only view the world as it relates to the stage.

Brown, Simmons; Gross & Blackmore in 'IMPROMPTU'

Brown, Simmons; Gross & Blackmore in ‘IMPROMPTU’

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