H.P.O. & Basia Bulat; a ‘Pops’ opener Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannon

Saturday marked the reunion of the Hamilton Philharmonic with Basia Bulat, for the first of this season’s Pops Series. There is something about mixing together more than one type of music which can be very exciting, in the same way that combining various flavours of foods can be. We’ve become used to certain combinations, and know what to expect. A jazz vocalist with an orchestra, for example, is a “flavour” we all enjoy. We operate within a certain comfort level within that tradition, exploring the unique qualities that each vocalist or stylist brings. Sometimes, as in the food analogy, a whole different flavour is created. Put apples & cheese together, and you have an idea of what Bulat and the HPO achieved. It was a fresh, interesting sound that very much appealed to this reviewer, earning a standing ovation from the audience.

Basia Bulat & company, onstage with the HPO


M.S.O. —’3′; O.A.R. —’0′… so, no concert review Reply

Oct. 14th, ‘12

For the second year, the Miss’a Symphony is holding auditioning concerts for a new conductor and again we were invited to attend all three. Last evening, on our arrival at the Living Arts Centre box office, there were no tickets arranged…Strike one!  Then, due to delays including the comp’s arriving one-at-a time we missed the guest’s opening comments; anthem and Eugene Onegin’s Waltz #24…Strike two. Then, contrary to our newspaper’s editorial policy, the orchestra’s G.M. would not permit any post-performance photograph opportunity…Strike three! The Arts Review team was retired. Sorry, Ms. Yan & Mr. Pronin; as well as to Paul Weston and the MSO musicians. More…

K/W.S. presents a touching ‘Penelope’ Reply

Review by Amy McBride
                   The song cycle PENELOPE” was mesmerizing from beginning to end! Even after watching, and hearing it performed I am still unsure if I was really there when it happened. The voice of Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) was captivating; somehow subtly voracious, and at the same time incredibly poetic and wondrous. Sarah Kirkland Snider, the composer of this magical story, came up with this idea of loosely basing Penelope on the story of Homer’s Odyssey; modernized into a story of a soldier returning to his wife after 20 years at war. The soldier has suffered brain damage and it seems that the sea that took him to war has finally brought him home to his wife. More…

Denzal Sinclaire, an almost Nat ‘King’ Cole evening Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Busy night at HECFI: – comedian John Pinette on stage at the Great Hall; the Rascal Flatts @ Copps; and in the studio Theatre Denzal Sinclaire. We enthusiastically picked the latter having been impressed with his guest track on Karin Plato’s first album and his superb M.C. ing of the National Jazz Awards a few years back.
Since then, we’ve heard him perform on CBC as well as a personal interview which demonstrated his ability to speak without ‘ums’, “you knows”, or ‘like’s’… sports celebs – take note! Loved his singing, arranging and selections, but the show itself was a bit of a letdown.

Sinclaire, on-stage with Henderson & West


“OLD LOVE”, been there, still doing it Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Prolific is certainly the right adjective to describe the literary output of Canadian author Norm Foster. For the second or maybe third time, this paper has had critiques of two different plays appear on our front page. This time, it’s ‘Looking’, and “OLD LOVE”. Authors are supposed to write about things they know or have experienced. Foster ain’t old; he’s barely sixty. That’s just upper middle age!

Varley and Carlin in OLD LOVE


DIVORCE PARTY the MUSICAL; a great excuse for an evening out 1

Review by Danny Gaisin
                A sure way for a playwright to attract attention is to make his or her subject matter relevant. DIVORCE PARTY, The musical does so – in spades. Our family has experienced divorces, males leaving the marriage for a male partnership, and especially, realize the importance of true camaraderie and support.
Mark Schwartz is a Broadway luminary with multiple Tony’s™ to his credit. Amy Botwinick is renowned for her series of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul” books. Jay Falzone is a multi-faceted writer; lyricist & choreographer. This triumvirate have created a triumphant (sorry, couldn’t help myself) ode to indomitability and regeneration after a demoralizing and unexpected social upheaval.

the cast members being “BEST FRIENDS”