Our O.A.R. team was able to cover 35 entries (with 3 still to come) of Toronto Fringe 2014. There were a few duds, but overall, the quality; effort, and most-of-all professionalism of the offerings were the equal of the TorFringe administration itself. Many of these submissions deserve an opportunity to extend their runs, and some showed enough promise as to progress mainstream.
For the 2015 Fringe, our reviewing protocol will be to cover only those productions that extend a request and offer ‘courtesy’ (read ‘comps) beforehand.
Terry Metter, editor
Review by Danny Gaisin
Brott Festival’s Jacqui Muir, in welcoming the BPAC audience asked that ‘conducting’ between movements be curtailed…she corrected this to applause which can be distracting. However, I hope she didn’t really want to restrict those of us familiar enough with the scheduled works from slightly tapping out the tempi or even an occasional theme hum. Tonight it was Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony and his fifth piano concerto; two genuine favorites of this scribe.
Arthur Ozolins performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” with the NAO
Review by Judith Robinson
On the opening night of the inaugural Niagara Film Festival, I saw a haunting Masterpiece by the Director of Cinema Paradiso at the Empire Theatres in St. Catharine’s. The festival is turning out to be quite the event and well worth attending. Along with a daily reception at the festival headquarters—The White Oaks Resort & Spa—the film people are quite accessible & friendly.
In the opening film, The Best Offer, two art collectors cook up a deal to buy art treasures for a fraction of the price. More…
Review by Danny Gaisin
In business and especially the computer world, innovation usually means some unforeseen problems that require ‘tweaking’; think Microsoft’s VISTA™. With an annually recreated ensemble such as the National Academy Orchestra, one would expect that the early concerts would lack cohesion or any semblance of professionalism. Not so, for the past few years, the Brott Festival sound was proficient right out of the starting gate. 2014’s 27th incarnation is no exception…great from the get-go.
The N.A.O. & ARCADY conducted by Brott
Review by Murray Charters (*Murray’s Music*)
In J.S. Bach’s time it was commonplace to attend a concert of brand-new music, everything written by the same composer. In fact, most of the notes would still be a bit damp on the page, so recently had it been set down, and everyone would be excited to hear the latest compositions. And no one questioned the interpretation, for there was the composer himself conducting. Perhaps many of the performers had even been taught all they knew about music from this same man.
ARCADY ENSEMBLE singers More…
Review by Judith Robinson @ SHAW
Playwright Philip Barry makes a mockery of the upper classes in the Philadelphia Story. First produced in 1939, and made into an award-winning movie starring Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, it’s a wonderfully written spoof on life at the top—a well-crafted sermon on the amorality of affluence and a celebration of life without limits. It’s entertaining, thought-provoking and funny.
In order for the play to work really well, the timing has to be just right and the actors need to play off each other with a passion on the edge of madness. Photo courtesy of David Cooper
Major Cast members of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, interacting More…