Considering the gamut & levels of theatre that critics have the opportunity to witness, most of us 5th Estate types categorize or pigeon-hole the various genera; naturally, leeway is afforded to amateur and community ensembles. Clarkson Music Theatre’s YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN requires no such latitude…it’s as professional as any mainstream company; Shaw, CanStage & Stratford included! This musical (& very much alive) version of Mel Brooks’ 1974 movie hit is even more fun than its film original.
The shooting of Charles ‘Bert’ Massey in February of 1915 was an epitomic ‘cause celebre’, He was a MASSEY, albeit not well-liked by the pater familias; and Carrie Davies was his virginal eighteen-year old housekeeper… the same age as young Bert was when he impregnated his wife and had the son whose pistol was the instrument of Bert’s death.
The family was away and Bert decided it was time to “do” Carrie. She resisted and the next day; in fear for her chastity – ‘blew him away’. Photo by James Smagata
Review by Shibley Ahmed
On entering the foggy Factory Theatre Main Stage there seemed to be a sense of anticipation amongst the crowd. Opening nights will undoubtedly do that for any production but even more so for one that has been chosen worthy enough to take its act to the National Arts Centre in March. Producer/Actor duo, Michele Smith & Dean Gilmour’s TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON takes William Faulkner’s much-revered 1930 character-driven novel, “As I Lay Dying” and provides a realistically immersive journey back in time to the old south.
Photo courtesy of Katherine Fleitas
Prior to Musikay‘s Mona Lisa concert the audience were entertained by a group called the Society for Creative Anachronism.- a family-friendly history club devoted to studying and re-creating the most enjoyable aspects of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They managed to teach a surprising number of audience members several dances from the Middle Ages and the music and dances were fun, easy, and accessible after all these years.
Then the eight singers of tonight’s a-capella choir came on and sang the Renaissance version of Nat King Cole’s Oscar-winning “Mona Lisa” (Captain Carey, USA ‘Paramount’1950).
Review by Danny Gaisin
Attending about 200 cultural events a year, a critic can become jaded; but not last evening. The Hamilton Philharmonic’s “In Remembrance” concert was something unique and singular. Given the recent incidences involving our military and local terrorists, especially here in Hamilton; a tribute was not only meaningful but subjective as we lost one of our own.
The occasion was also round three of auditions for a new conductor. Gregory Vajda has an impressive resumé reflecting analytical acclaim and background. This critic was not impressed.
During the 1st World War, a guy named Tom Thomson invented GPS and named it after his own nomenclature – “TOM TOM”! FALSE, Untrue, Bogus…he was a painter that was associated with, but not part of Canada’s “Group of Seven” (actually 11!). The circumstances of his death in Algonquin is still a mystery and Jim Betts’ musical offers up two resolutions for the audience’s selection. Neither is prioritized but rather strictly submitted. The Oakville Players and its talented director Mary Rose make the event seem contemporary.