Toronto has a classical radio station that still referring to itself as “new”; that we caustically condemn as Classic-Lite due to the format of book-ending a symphonic movement [never a full symphony]with a dozen commercials at each end. Obviously, newer ain’t always better. However, SHAW’s director Morris Panych has improved on JBS’s ARMS & THE MAN by honing some of the playwright’s political polemics and concentrating on the nuances of war approval in spite of its intrinsic horrors; plus the human aspect of hating a military adversary, but not a specific individual therein. Photo by David Cooper
Review by Danny Gaisin: (at The Prince of Wales, N.O.T.L.)
J.B. Priestley had an insightful sense of humor. He appreciated the perversities of life as well as its ironies. Both of these anomalies are amply displayed in his “WHEN WE ARE MARRIED”, [still in Previews] which comedically analyzes three couples who are celebrating their same-date 25th anniversary…except the minister may have been unauthorized. A second chance, or a need to re-confirm –aye, there’s the rub! SHAW’s talented director Joseph Ziegler manages to capture all the comedy as well as the social nuances of the era and society. Photo courtesy of David Cooper
Review by Judith Robinson
The Charity That Began At Home at the Shaw Festival is a rollicking satire on upper-class philanthropy. It makes fun of the reasons why the rich are kind to the poor and emphasizes the profound differences between the social classes in a manner only the British can do. But this is not John Clease. Although Fawlty Towers makes me roll in the aisles, St John Hankin’s play from 1906, doesn’t. Photo courtesy of David Cooper More…
Guest conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay succinctly described the musicians of our Hamilton Philharmonic as perfect. Easy to work with; dedicated; and sufficiently resolute that four rehearsals sufficed. Given the challenges and tonal descriptions of the concert’s subject matter – The Sea, he was not being facetious.
The opening Mendelssohn ‘Calm Sea and prosperous voyages’ piece was technically faultless; even tempered and non-innovative. Then, Britton’s directorially challenging ‘Interludes from Peter Grimes’. Tremblay selected four of the half-dozen descriptives and transitionalized the themes; codas and solo slides with fluidity.
Review by Danny Gaisin
The muse and I moved into a one bedroom apartment in July ‘63. Neil Simon’s comedy about young marrieds – “Barefoot in the Park” opened on Broadway three months later. Did his play touch home??? You betcha. Our personal embellishments; wifey’s broken toe trying to kick me; a fist stuck in a pressed-wood lattice door resulting from an attempted punch… all manifestations of new-husband abuse. Fifty years later, we’re still battling it out for the title of ‘boss’!
The Shaw Festival’s production of Cabaret is visually stunning, musically satisfying and thought-provoking.
The two female leads—Deborah Hay and Corrine Koslo steal the show. Koslo, sings her heart out, as Fraulein Schneider, an aging landlady forced to give up her Jewish fiancé during the rise of Nazism, in Berlin. Her earthy wisdom is an anchor in a script filled with frivolous conversations and bar-drinking hijinks.
Photo courtesy of Emily Cooper