“Unity (1918)”; the influenza epidemic & Canada Reply

The First World War ended on November 11th, 1918. Hundreds of thousands of troops were demobilized and returned home carrying a virus that ultimately killed millions world-wide. Kevin Kerr’s play – Unity (1918) is about the reality of war, sickness (the Spanish flu), and other’s perceptions. The small town of Unity, Saskatchewan is set on not letting the sickness take over its small town. To Unity, the war is the Spanish Flu. Ironically with the loss of Mary’s (Jackie Mahoney) fiancé in the war, who died as a result of the flu, reality starts to set in within Unity.  Photo by William Innes

Abbi Longmire; Mollie Garrett & Jackie Mahoney suffering the 'flu in UNITY

Abbi Longmire; Mollie Garrett & Jackie Mahoney suffering the ‘flu in UNITY


“SHIKSA” a CD worth owning & enjoying Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin

Editorial disclaimer: – Traditionally, the ARTS REVIEW has avoided critiquing CD’s and especially those recorded by people we know…especially those we like! However, when Lara St. John told us her new album would be titled ‘SHIKSA’ we were determined to listen to what she might include and how she would have the inclusions arranged. Result — do read on…
Shiksa, n; Yiddish (a) the original name for the female version of a well-known electric razor.  (b) The slang term for a maid in an upscale Jewish household.

The SHIKSA album

The SHIKSA album cover/ label


“A Tomb with a View”: – comedy, tragedy, hilarity Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

They’re creepy and they’re cooky; mysterious & spooky… they’re altogether ‘ooky’ . The Addams Family theme kept running through my mind as we met the occupants of the Tomb clan’s residence. Six offspring of a recently-departed patriarch plus Dad’s longtime legal retainer awaiting one more beneficiary and the much-anticipated ‘reading of the Will’. A basement-caged werewolf; a poison-ess; a gourmand; a psychopathic Julius Caesar; a nympho sister; a ‘Frau Blücher’ maid and the requisite pretty nurse… generic cast of a comedic mystery.

The cast of TOMB WITH A VIEW

                                                                                      The weird cast of ‘TOMB WITH A VIEW’


“How to make love in a canoe”; a Canadian thing Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

Way back in my pre-Terry days (bachelorhood); I spent one summer teaching canoeing at a camp near Perth. Tried to accomplish the title of Jeff Pearce’s book but in attempting to get both of us in the center of the little vessel, we both ended up in Lake Otty; a happenstance which tends to cool one’s ardor! Ah, the joys & disappointments of teen-dom. Perhaps if Pearce’s book had been available, things might have turned out differently. The 3rd year class of UTM’s have chosen his book for their creative adaptation presentation.      Photo courtesy of  Jim Smagata

the whole UTM theatre 3rd year undergrads mispocha trying to "Make love in a Canoe!"

                           The whole e 3rd year undergrad ‘mishpocha’ trying to “Make love in a Canoe!”


INTERVIEW WITH A DEMON, – one Helluva show! Reply

Review by Matthew Wilson
         A minor line in Mark Terry’s new play Interview with a Demon; but one that most people will be saying when they leave Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre—Bradley: “Huh! I didn’t see that coming.”  This is a play unlike any other. It’s a comedy, a drama, a romance and at many times, a lecture. Terry breaks a lot of theatre conventions, but because it works so well, he’s actually creating new ones. For example, the light-hearted, sometimes slapstick funny, first act draws the audience into the premise that a body-jumping demon wants to do a TV interview…

Adam and Graham, having fun???

VicktoriaAdam  & Ryan Graham, having fun???


H.P.O.’s “in Remembrance” concert 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Akin with the majority of theatre and concert goers, there have been occasions where a performance is so below par that one has opted to leave during intermission. Last night’s Hamilton Philharmonic performance was the diametric opposite; we wished we could have omitted the opening segment completely and just returned for the post-interval! Vaughan-Williams ‘Lark Ascending’, performed by violin soloist Lance Ouellette, displayed why the piece consistently makes the Most Boring Top Ten listings.   Like most Lightfoot compositions, the piece is repetitious; tedious and interminable.

Ochestra; Choir & Ryl Hamilton Regimental band together in concert

Orchestra; Choir & Ryl Hamilton Regimental band together in concert