Harry – Hope of the British Monarchy Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

Perhaps it is time that Prince Charles gets his shot at becoming king. And he almost gets his chance in Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III. But David Shurmann’s pompous and pedantic, mock Shakespearian speeches, in the Mirvish/Theatre 180 production in Toronto, are enough to drive the commoners to riot. Schurmann’s Charles makes the monarchy seem moldy and moth-eaten, and ripe for overthrowing.
Although many of the lines are funny and witty, most of Bartlett’s characters seem one dimensional. Even with the breadth of experience and fine acting ability of the twelve actors in the cast, it’s hard to bring something out of a script that isn’t there.
Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann                                                                 l-r Galligan; Schumann & Powell in CHARLES III
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“Haydn; an HPO week & a culminating concert, Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

It occasionally surprises me as to the way things connect. My original interest in Joseph Haydn wasn’t his compositional talent…it was his connection to the Esterhazy family and especially Ferdinand Esterhazy who was the actual traitor for whose crimes Alfred Dreyfus was sent to Devil’s Island. Zola’s “J’Accuse”was collegiate compulsory reading. That the man had written 14 masses; 5 operas; 22 arias; 125 symphonies; 30 concerti & 77 string quartets; 40 piano trios ; 66 wind & string pieces etc. obviously tweaked my curiosity. Quite an output for six decades! Socially, the man married the sister of his lover and lived unhappily ever after.

The bassoon soloist Eric Hall performing with the HPO

 

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Windermere String Quartet –part of the Hammer Series 1

Review by Judith Caldwell

As part of the Hammer Baroque series of concerts the Windermere String Quartet played three string quartets by teenaged composers. The concert was called ‘Young Blood’ and featured Mozart, Arriaga and Schubert. The players of the Windermere String Quartet, Elizabeth Loewen Andrews & Michelle Odorico, violins, Anthony Rapoport, viola and cellist Laura Jones, were seated in the centre of the room with the near capacity audience circled around them. This gave the concert an air of being in a large living room, which is how these works would have been originally heard.
Mozart was 17 when he wrote a String Quartet in B flat (K172).

The members of Windermere Quartet, performing

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“The Cradle Will Rock”, a thespian challenge Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 dramatic musical THE CRADLE WILL ROCK is a Brechtian attempt to shine a spotlight on the socio/political manipulations of the Great Depression by the industrial barons of the time. Their stooges were the bribable courts; churches and Governments. Obviously nothing like today! We’re all familiar with the term ‘Cradle’; but in the title’s context it refers to ‘support’ or a ‘framework’, and that’s what the playwright sought to weaken. The original performance was directed by Orson Welles and starred both the writer and Will Geer; a famous socialist of his time, best remembered as TV’s Grandpa Walton.

the cast of Sheridan’s THE CRADLE WILL ROCK

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“Kiss Me Kate”; Sheridan aces this Cole Porter standard Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
A year or so ago, while critiquing a Stratford presentation directed & choreographed by Donna Feore; we created our own descriptive adjective. The term we came up with was “Dancical “and it is the perfect qualifier to exposit our opinion of Theatre Sheridan’s take on the Cole Porter blockbuster – “KISS ME KATE“. Direction is faultless; costumes are impeccably detailed; the entire cast meet every professional standard. Lastly, choreography is superlative, creatively and performance.
This concept of a musical version of a Shakespeare play is not unique; ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona”;
The Boys From Syracuse and of course ‘West Side Story’ are all familiar.

Cast, crew, musicians & production team of “KISS ME KATE”

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The Romance of Josef Suk; an E.M.I.C. tribute Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Ensemble Made In Canada presented a program entitled The Romance of Josef Suk at their February 10th concert. An appropriate title so close to Valentine’s Day. The four musicians of EMIC are Angela Park, piano, violinist Eliza Lee, , Sharon Wei, viola and cellist Rachel Mercer. They are rapidly gaining recognition as Canada’s premier piano quartet providing master classes, chamber music coaching and lectures at Universities across Canada and the United States. Their musicianship is always outstanding and on Saturday they presented a varied program mostly from the Romantic Era with a more modern Canadian composition as well.

Pinto; West; Park; Roughley; Lee & Mercer

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