During the 1st World War, a guy named Tom Thomson invented GPS and named it after his own nomenclature – “TOM TOM”! FALSE, Untrue, Bogus…he was a painter that was associated with, but not part of Canada’s “Group of Seven” (actually 11!). The circumstances of his death in Algonquin is still a mystery and Jim Betts’ musical offers up two resolutions for the audience’s selection. Neither is prioritized but rather strictly submitted. The Oakville Players and its talented director Mary Rose make the event seem contemporary.
Humour can be found in places one least expects it which, I guess, makes it all the funnier. Sometimes it’s there – plain as day; and one doesn’t really need to do much to get it out. And when it IS there, if you try too hard to make it funny, well, you won’t… simple as that. Thankfully, Shakespeare’s The Tempest at U of T’s Hart House has more than enough other elements to make up for this performance’s lack of humour.
Review by Danny Gaisin
Back in 1949, this almost teen-aged writer & my contemporaries eagerly anticipated reading “The Browning Version” by Terrence Rattigan. We thought it would be a scientific study about the ‘BAR -1918’ machine gun. Nope, it’s a play about pedagogy and a translation of Agamemnon. It also dealt with illicit love and adulteries so our subject-matter disappointment was mitigated. Dundas Little Theatre has gone repertory and presents this play as part of a ‘double-header’ offering two dynamic lady-thespians with the opportunity to shine. Photos courtesy of Russell Rowse
Review by Terry Gaisin
Stories of Ill-fated paramours are ageless. From Ovid, to Sweden’s “Hagbard & Signy” in the 14 hundreds, to Shakespeare circa 1595; and De Vega’s The Capulets and the Montagues 1½ decades later; such tales go on and on. Bernstein took one such and made zillions by putting it to music. The Russians do it by following the basic ‘he loves her; she loves another; and no one gets anyone…but they take 800 pages before reaching ‘The End’.
Photo courtesy of Jim Smagata UTM
Review by Judith Caldwell
A benefit concert was held to support ‘Blooms for Africa’ and ‘An Instrument for Every Child’ where a lot; and I mean a lot, of local cello enthusiasts got together to celebrate the instrument and raise money for the causes. This year over 100 cellists performed.
It started small & classical with a Sonata for two cellos by Handel which was lovely and let us know that the auditorium at Compass Point Bible Church has excellent acoustics. Then we heard two very young talented brothers, Maximilian & Theodor Aoki, play a much newer piece.
Review by Danny Gaisin
To paraphrase a real estate credo, ‘selection, selection, selection’ can be a paramount vitality for a concert’s success. Artistic director Charles Demuynck chose two famous Serenades for the opening of the OCO’s 31st season. To perform Dvořák’s opus 44 for wind, the maestro augmented ‘Winds’ with bass; cello and French horn. We’re aware that the saxophone is considered a “wind” instrument; but 2 strings & a brass??? Luckily he’s at the podium so he’s in charge!