Tracy Letts’ murky probe into family, especially inter-generational, discord is a burden for the portraying cast members and certainly for its audiences. AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is a 3¼ hour durational ordeal for an unpadded butt and a histrionic challenge for its protagonists. The extended soliloquys are repetitious and oftimes redundant; rather like the lyrics & chording of a Gordon Lightfoot composition. Unfortunately, the Dundas Little Theatre production hasn’t the option of condensing – à la ‘Readers’ Digest’ reprint. Photo by Alexandra Pope
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!
Experia Music presented Donald McCullough’s Holocaust Cantata at First Unitarian Church in Hamilton. The audience was asked to allow the performance to happen without interruption for applause and that really helped us focus.
The evening opened with a rather mournful Prayer for the World sung by the eight primary singers; followed by the traditional Ose Shalom sung by the First Unitarian Choir; then it was on to’ Ani ma’anim’ sung responsively between the female and male singers. Each of these pieces seemed to build in confidence and power, but at this stage the whole thing still felt rather tentative.
Review by Danny Gaisin
Progress isn’t inevitably a better thing. Retrogression to something stylishly passé can still be operative and definitely satisfying. A salon-format concert harkens to the 17th century but the concept and natural intimacy is gratifying and especially desirable for aficionados and mild enthusiasts alike. A Saturday early evening recital at the Lakeshore Road home of Les & Nadine McLean featured two Metropolitan Opera musicians; violinist Elmira Darvarova and the viola talents of Ronald Carbone in an eclectic programme of works from the late 1600’s to almost contemporary composers. Photo courtesy of Tom Beese
Review by Judith Caldwell
Sandra Bohn, Rachel Desoer, Nadia Klein, Elspeth Poole, Rachel Mercer and Rebecca Morton are the Cello Bellas, or maybe they should be called the Sisterhood of the Travelling Cellos. They are a group of young musicians who are technically extremely good and who display an obvious love of their instrument and a great sense of fun.
On Saturday evening they played a Benefit concert to a sold out audience who obviously share their love of the cello.
Review by Stéphane Potvin
Recently, the George R. Allan school students and staff presented a production of Porridge, a humorous musical play counting in its midst, characters like the Three Bears, Goldie Lox (Goldilocks), Mother Hubbard, Jack Spratt, Simple Simon, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Peter Piper, and many more.
The play is described as follows: When a crime wave hits Happy Valley, there’s a caseload of mysteries to be solved! Who’s stolen Ma Hubbard’s recipe book? Who’s kidnapped Marigold the cow? And what dirty secret is Papa Bear hiding behind his Porridge empire?