“ONCE”; Mirvish retains the integrity of the original Reply

Review by Shibley AhmedreviewerAhmed
               Eight years ago I stumbled upon a low-budget indie film that received enthusiastic reviews but very little public fanfare. It was a film that was about songwriting as much as it was about emotional survival. It was probably the pacing, unknown cast, or rudimentary way in which it was shot that could have driven people away from the box-office. However a year later it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and before you knew it, this little film from Ireland had the audience it deserved.

the Pub performers of "ONCE"

the Pub performers of “ONCE”

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Erindale Theatre; a rave and a rant Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

It’s usually a treat attending UTM’s Theatre Erindale productions. Last night, seeing ‘Occupy Verona’ and ‘Alms for O’; a repertory double-header by the 3rd year students gleaned a rave. The pre-performance circumstances surrounding Parking had us ready to throw in the towel – hence the rant from one pissed-off writer & some other attendees. Miss’a, methinks thou shouldst get thy By-law house in order… “a plague on the city and its particular department”   photo by Jim Smagata

the occupiers of a Wall Street-ish Verona

the occupiers of a Wall Street-ish Verona

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“The Value of names”; family, politics & ‘HUAC’ Reply

Review by Ailine Hessreviewer Ailine Hess

Jeffery Sweet’s 30-year-old play “Value of Names”  is presently staged, produced and directed by Ari Weisberg, the Artistic Director of TEATRON . Before the play began Weisberg told the audience that the original Benny withdrew from the production less than two weeks prior to opening night. Eric Fink stepped in on short notice and is still not completely off-book. He plays the role with intelligence, wit, and conviction.
As the play begins, Norma Silverman, the daughter played by Justine Lewis, comes to visit her father Benny, played by Eric Fink.

the protagonists of "VALUE OF NAMES"

Leo; Norma & Benny; the  “VALUE OF NAMES” protagonists

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“GREASE”; is the word; is the music; and is the title Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

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”.

The student body of Rydell High School...the GREASE cast

The student body of Rydell High School…the GREASE cast

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“In The Heights”, another Sheridan success Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Manhattan may be an ethnic melting pot but is in reality a collage of neighborhoods. Harlem runs from 96th to 155th, and Washington Heights comprise 156th to about 190th. Ellington’s famous “Take the A Train” was, and still is, the major North/South connector including a jog over (under) to Brooklyn. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “IN THE HEIGHTS” captures the spirit of immigrant Latinos settling into a ghetto of familiar and shared socio-economic environment. All iterated as a rap musical.
Director/Choreographer Marc Kimelman’s take is classy and certainly tasteful. *

The residents of "THE HEIGHTS"

The residents of “THE HEIGHTS”

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“The Heart of Robin Hood”; an innovative Mirvish success Reply

Review by Shibley AhmedreviewerAhmed
               It’s not often we celebrate the exploits of bandits, swindlers and overall criminals but that’s the case when describing a certain archetypal English hero and his band of “Merry Men”. Laced with a live bluegrass soundtrack and a multifaceted acrobatic theme we witness as folk music meets folklore in David Farr’s latest classic adaptation, “The Heart of Robin Hood”.
As the title suggests, this particular remake explores the softer side of our protagonist.  Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

Gabriel Ebert & Izzie Steele in Sherwood Forest

Gabriel Ebert & Izzie Steele in Sherwood Forest

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