“The Odd Couple”, a hard-hitting comedy Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Neil Simon’s 1965 play about diametrically opposing psyches having to live together not only delves into the two stars; it also examines their relationships to the half-dozen support actors (and two off-stage characters) who are intrinsic to the play’s success and longevity. ‘Oscar’ & ‘Felix’ may be the ‘odd couple’; but their friends proffer insights into the quirks or idiosyncrasies that are also familiar to audiences.
West End Studio Theatre has a history of successes. Their record is a result of a professional attitude toward every aspect of dramaturgy: – from penetrating & detailed production, meticulous direction; technical focus and naturally- talented performers. It’s not surprising that the ODD COUPLE is another positive link in the chain.

Felix & the ladies; Oscar and the poker gang!

Felix & the ladies; Oscar and the poker gang!

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T.F.A.H.E.T.G.D.S.’s production of “MacBETH” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

reviewer_DannyYes, that’s the actual title…except fully spelt out! “The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society” undertakes to present The Scottish Play and every notorious thespian screw-up actually occurs. The O.A.R.’s primo critic refuses (for historical reasons*) to pass any judgment on this Theatre Erindale production, so the job befalls – ME!       Photo by Jim Smagata – UTM

l-r Messina,Heyward,Mcgibbon & Pereira in a Big Finish

l-r Messina,Heyward,Mcgibbon & Pereira in a Big Finish

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“GREY Gardens”; the story reflects the title Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

In 1975, Al & David Maysies created a documentary film about the two Edith Beales (Sr. & Jr.) after reading an National Enquirer© article. The Beales were of voyeuristic interest because they were aunt & cousin respectively of Lee Radziwill & Jacqueline Kennedy. The deterioration of the family estate was so severe that the local Sanitation Department attempted to close the place down. Jackie’s 2nd husband Aristotle, & Lee’s Prince Stanislaus, pooled some dough to bring the dilapidated wreak back to a minimum standard; plus a maintenance allowance for the two physically & mentally diminishing older women. An updated musical version was composed and it was this version that HAMMER ENTERTAINMENT has decided to stage. Cojones- you betcha!

The denizens of 'GREY GARDENS'

The denizens of ‘GREY GARDENS’

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“FOLLIES”, revealing life’s marital folly’s Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Sondheim’s 1971 adaptation of Goldman’s reflective book about the theatre era between the World Wars is a musical mixed bag … some memorable songs and a couple of turkeys. The plot deals with the imminent demolition of an old N.Y. playhouse and the impresario’s notion that holding a pre-wreaker’s ball reunion ball might be fun. The Ziegfeld-ish character, herein called Weisman (pun probably intended) invites his past stars and chorus liners to the semi-destroyed building and having each guest presented with a commemorative sash demarking their individual year at the top. (My favorite – 1936!)

Cast photo- new & improved!

Cast photo- new & improved!

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“MEDEA” a killer lady & a killer plot Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

We start with a non-PC Danforth Ave.-area joke. A man walks into a Greek tailor with his torn suit. The tailor asks EURIPIDES? To which the customer replies “yes, please – EUMENIDES?

 Approximately 2300 years ago, Euripides wrote a tragic tale about Argonaut Jason’s (not the Toronto team) wife Medea who butchered in order to help her fiancé recover the Golden Fleece; then later committed double infanticide to punish her husband for betraying her. Her name became eponymous for the homicidal female – think Homulka.

the MTC cast of "MEDEA"

the MTC cast of “MEDEA”

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O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2012 Reply

Annually, we acknowledge those events of 2012 that stood out among the over 200 that our writers attended. As is our usual analytical technique, our selection process is based on impact- whether amusing, educational or thought-provoking… but definitely memorable. Our coverage of the Toronto shows gave us some efforts that we decided deserved special inclusion. We’d also like to pass on some statistics that our new website format made available to us.
               We average over 4,000 readers a month and have been sought out from 96 different countries. The Toronto Fringe was the most read; followed by the Brott NAO; Opera Kitchener’s ‘Don Giovanni’, RENT staged in Ottawa and the Stage West “DIVORCE PARTY”. The HPO performance titled ‘Wicked’ attracted the most comments!
Herewith our editorial team’s selections in calendar order

Blair, Rider-Shaw & chorus of SHAW's 42nd Street

Blair, Rider-Shaw & chorus of STRATFORD’s “42nd Street”

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