“Shall We Dance?” Yup; & with Brott’s NAO Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

Where, in Ontario, can you get Break Dancing and Classical Ballet on the same bill?  At the Brott Music Festival of course.  They try to keep us entertained with unusual opening acts and last evening the opening act was a Break Dancing duo Conkrete Stylez Crew made up of B-boy Stuntz and B-boy Tricky Troublez (they do like z’s) dancing to the music of Alexander Pozdnyakov, a Russian composer currently living in Montreal.  The music was raw, passionate and rhythmic and perfect for the break dancing.

Stanczyk & Pereira, post-concert

Stanczyk & Pereira, post-concert


Music of a thousand and one nights Reply

by Judith Caldwell

reviewerJudithOn Wednesday, July 10th the National Academy Orchestra of the Brott Music Festival gave us a varied program of music and art culminating in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

The evening began with a new and very Canadian composition by John Gray. The composer told us this music was inspired by the movements of a standard bred poodle both on and off the leash and it ends with a dissonance where he imagines the dog meets a Rottweiler. It was a very evocative and musically appropriate image.1001 nights


TORONTO Fringe, 2013 Reply

As editor of O.A.R. it’s my job to occasionally relegate an assignment that may not be the most popular. BUT… when it comes to the Toronto Fringe, the entire team are gung Ho. So, we decided to attempt to even increase our coverages. Then, disaster struck. Two columnists had some surprise business problems arise; Danny has the ‘flu [102.3°F]; and then T.O. has a flood! Still, we’ll do the best we can. I promise.
Terry Metter-Gaisin

blue moon girls

St. Francis Talks to the Birds
Helen Gardiner Phelan
For those of you who don’t know, it was believed that St. Francis of Assisi could communicate with animals. This play, St. Francis Talks to the Animals, presents an encounter between Francis and two hungry vultures.


Another poke at the “King of Pop’s” corpse Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

The Brott Music Festival and the National Academy Orchestra presented an evening of the late Michael Jackson’s music.  They were aided by the Jeans ‘n Classics Band and Gavin Hope as lead singer.  Brendan Hagan, this year’s apprentice conductor, led the orchestra. Shakespeare wrote “The evil that men do live after them; the good is oft interred with their bones” [Julius Caesar, III, sc. 2] With Jackson; it seems the opposite is proving true!
The music was presented chronologically beginning with some of the Jackson Five hits like ‘I Want You Back’, ‘ABC’ and the very nostalgic ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’.

conductor Gavin Hope & the NAO's concertmistress

conductor Gavin Hope & the NAO’s concertmistress


Stage West: – a “SHOUT” & a whimper Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

The term ‘Bittersweet’ is just about as oxymoronic as it gets, but attending our foreseeably final evening at Stage West’s cabaret theatre, it was sweet…and it was bitter. Walking through the halls between box office and theatre entrance, the visiting celebs’ photographs that we had met, socialized with, critiqued and enjoyed seem to look especially sombre for a P.R. shot!

The Phil George/ David Lowenstein creation – “SHOUT”, has virtually no plot.

the girls of 'SHOUT'

the girls of ‘SHOUT’


“Hotel Solstice” An inaugural fundraiser Reply

Review, by Tina Gaisin

reviewer_Tina_G“Hotel Solstice”, Shadowpath Theatre Productions first annual charity fundraiser was a tremendous success! Charitable receipts were given and money was raised for Shadowpath and Markham Youth Theatre.  Not only did they fill the room, but they used every space on the first floor of Aloft Hotel Vaughan, who donated its space, to its advantage.   The evening started with the Deputy Mayor of Vaughan – Gino Rosati giving a brief speech and presenting a plaque to Alex Karolyi of Shadowpath; then a ribbon cutting along with Rosati, Alex Karolyi and Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco.

Bander Welle; Karolyi &  Ballard - the creative team

Bander Welle; Karolyi & Ballard – the creative team