Additions to our O.A.R. contributors Reply

Editorial by Terry Gaisin
     Lately; the major media has been inconsistent in coverage of things cultural, thus demand for our efforts has increased exponentially. In order to fulfill additional reportage requests, we’ve asked Judith Robinson to assist as associate editor; and recruited the following additions to our contributor list. All possess knowledge and an affection for the arts. We’re fortunate to have them join our family.

David and Jan Richards are consummate music lovers who met at the opera 25 years ago. They both have undergraduate degrees in music—David trained as a pianist and choral director, and Jan as a double-bassist.Reviewers Dave & Jan More…

“CHEATERS”; “sometimes DO prosper” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Michael Jacobs play ‘CHEATERS’ comes in two versions; seems critics; audiences and the playwright himself decided the original needed tweaking. Can’t say if W.E.S.T.’s presentation is ‘101’ or 2.0, but while the play may be dated, the rendering now at the Oakville Centre until Feb. 7th is a critic’s nightmare…so perfectly produced; directed; staged and acted as to leave no little kvetch for this scribe to prove I was paying attention throughout the performance. It’s that immaculate a piece of theatre and a thespian gem. 

The cast (& crew) of West’s “CHEATERS”

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“Uncommon Women & others”; adult fare at Erindale Reply

Review by Terry GaisinreviewerETG

One of the more positive perks of doing what we do is the factual assurance that we’’ll attend an impeccably professional presentation by WEST; a Sheridan offering that’s of Broadway caliber; pure entertainment by the Meadowvale Communities’ trio; and a Top Tenner by Erindale.  Wendy Wassersteins’s 1977 “UNCOMMON WOMERN & OTHERS” is just another example of the veracity stated above. It’s polished; immaculately directed; well-cast and presented; shocking; and hilarious but with very human moments of pathos. Photo courtesy of Jim Smagata

A very "7 Sisters" snobby Tea Party

                                                 A very “7 Sisters” snobby Tea Party

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“SPAMALOT”, fun & games during the Black Plague Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
            Admission; – this unhip old-timer has never seen any of the Monty Python movies and had to Google® Eric Idle before starting this column! I did see John Cleese in ‘Wanda’ and viewed a TV bit about his ‘Silly Walks’ thing…end of my previous knowledge. Theatre Unlimited’s SPAMALOT, THE MUSICAL thus came without preconception or bias. It’s ridiculous; absurd; disjointed; mis-informational; anachronistic and politically incorrect. In other words – an awesome giggle from start to finish and we loved it! 

The medieval residents of Spamalot

                                                                                                                  The medieval residents of Spamalot

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“Next Stage Festival”; a Toronto winter treat! Reply

Review by Michael PiscitellireviewerMichael P2
As O.A.R.  practices with the Hamilton & Toronto Fringes, we present slightly abbreviated (but not thumbnail) critiques sequentially and within a single heading. The following is Michael’s take on four of the offerings presently being staged at the three venues that make up the Factory Theatre and runs until January 17th.

An Urban Myth of Epic Proportions
Dance shows cam be another world unto themselves. I’ve really only ever seen ballet pieces, or modern dances where the audience was silent the entire show save for the end when they would applaud for the performers.

NOT a shot of Lizzie Borden, but a character from Agamemnon

NOT a shot of Lizzie Borden, but a character from Agamemnon

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“LOVE LETTERS”, an epistolary gem Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Albert ‘Pete” Gurney’s terse and concise 1988 creation is an easy play to stage…simplistic set; no directorial blocking necessities, and the two-person cast has no need of dialogue memorization. Sounds stress-free and comfortable, but to move an audience, as we were last night; the recitation, phrasing and emphasis needs to be faultless. Diane Brokenshire & Chris Reid are consummate thespians and director Yo Mustafa precise enough to make every moment important and rife with meaning. With the exception of a forgivable Act II ‘Oh Oh’ the audience sat spellbound, attentive and silent.

Reid & Brokenshire on-stage in "LOVE LETTERS"

Reid & Brokenshire on-stage in “LOVE LETTERS”

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