Dickens wrote about ‘The worst of times; the best of times” but he was referring to the French Revolution – not one’s teenaged years. Obviously he could have been signifying both, for most of us the 15 to 17 year-old era, was an emotional apogee and perigee. For playwrights it was a mother lode: – think “Rebel Without a cause; “American Graffiti”; ‘Saturday Night Fever’, and of course –“GREASE”.
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.
Review by Danny Gaisin
The Brott Festival ended the season with Stravinsky’s Весна священная» (Vesna svyashchennaya) or – “RITE OF SPRING”. Four years ago, the same organization scored a top of the year’s “TOP TEN” list with a creative & innovative rendering of the composer’s “Firebird”. Legend has it that while composing same, Stravinsky’s mind evoked images of an ancient Russian fable about the season; dancing maidens & sacrifice…the rite of spring. This year’s entry differed, it was a composite evening.
Review by Danny Gaisin
♪ I like to be in America; O.K. by me in America; Everything free in America… for a small fee in America! ♪.
Sondheim’s unsubtle dichotomy about reality facing the ‘Sharks’; Puerto Ricans in 1960’s NYC; packs a punch that equals even the best Hammerstein lyrics. Attending a Brott Festival concert homage-ing musical adaptations of Romeo & Juliet had this scribbler salivating at another opportunity to sub-rosa singing along with Bernstein’s West Side Story. Lamentably, Boris & the NAO played the suite…not the overture. So; no “America”.
NINE’s lead character -Guido states that he is “40 physically, but mentally – age 10”; this writer has the same problem …but Doubled! The locale is 1960’s Venice and the plot deals with a roué film producer who brings his wife and his mistresses to a spa while planning a new movie that will rejuvenate his lagging career. Bring stowed luggage and some unbreakable overhead bin stuff; but leave the excess baggage (read –chicks & problems) behind!
Review by Terry Gaisin
“Knee How” or, translated from the Mandarin – hello; and to all our readers, a ‘Happy & healthy year of the horse!’
It’s been six years since we first had the opportunity to witness the incredible talents of China’s minority spiritual discipline. The Falun Dafa’s revival of a 5,000-year old artistic archetype though it’s amazing performance group – SHEN YUN. Impacting back in 2008, Shen Yun 2014 is even more impressive and flawless in execution and audience amazement