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…
Review by Danny Gaisin
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
Happer, Somerville, Besworth and Browning; arguing
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
The hats come off, and the s*+t is about to hit the proverbial fan
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…