“Unconscious Curriculum”; U/Waterloo students stage a trailblazer Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo                  


The University of Waterloo is home to many of the world’s brightest young engineers. It is also the home of important theatre. Of course, I would realize this post my post-graduate, on Thursday evening, when I entered campus as a visiting member of the press rather than a pub-hopping grad student abusing inter-library loan. Speaking of which… I recognized myself in many of the characters on stage that evening, and I’m not sure how I feel about it quite yet. But I do know what I think about it, so there’s something.

a dramatic moment in Waterloo’s “UNCONSCIOUS CURRICULUM”


Stylus Fantasticus interpreted by two groups Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
            Hammer Baroque presented the Rezonance Ensemble in an afternoon of Stylus Fantasticus from the seventeenth century. Stylus Fantasticus is the 1650’s version of jazz. Previously, instruments were used to accompany voices or keep time for dances, but the new style was described as ‘the most free and unrestrained method of composing, bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject’, and it was instituted to display genius’ and showcase just what instruments could do. After all this was the time of the great violin makers – Amati & Stradivarius – and they were not built to play second fiddle to a singer or dancer.

                   Benjamin Stein & his ‘theorbo’


“The Importance of Being Earnest” by Theatre Erindale 1

Review by Terry Gaisin
How fitting that Oscar Wilde’s final satirical farce would be selected by Patrick Young as his final directorial effort with UTM’s Theatre Erindale. Our Arts Review has critiqued about 70 continual Erindale presentations since 2003 and have had the opportunity to witness a dozen productions under Young’s thespian management. All of them were noteworthy and thought provoking. No doubt, this is because the man has the innate capacity to discover the essence and motivation behind each playwright’s rationale. He is a consummate examiner; researcher, and thus his results always succeed.   Photo by Jim Smagata; UTM

Himes; Bennet; Pottinger; Nguyen; Thorne; Wamsley & McDonald


OKLAHOMA; it’s “O.K.” to have fun at the theatre Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Some interesting facts about the ‘Sooner’ State. Oklahoma was the first territory to hold a land Rush in 1889. It received Statehood in 1907 and was the first State to utilize parking meters (1935) and the first one to erect a ‘Yield’ sign in 1950. The motivation for mentioning Oklahoma’s myriad originals is because “OKLAHOMA” was the first collaboration of Rogers and Hammerstein in1943; heralding the golden age of Broadway musicals. Take Riggs’ book ‘Green Grow the Lilacs’; add in superb music and amazing lyrics and no wonder the result is still a sellout 74 years later!

          The farmers & cowboys of pre-statehood “OKLAHOMA”


“BLOOD WEDDINGS”; Hatfield/McCoys or Romeo/Juliet Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
            It is great to have the presentation of a modern classic in a bold new version.  Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, had an “abiding insistence on the interdependence of love and death,” according to one critic.  This is clear in the current production of Blood Weddings/Bodas de Sangre , at Buddies in Bad Times. The show is a remounting of the 2015 collaboration between Modern Times Stage Company, led by Iranian-Canadian director Soheil Parsa (director choreographer of this play) and Aluna Theatre, a Latin-Canadian theatre company whose Artistic Director is Beatriz Pizano.

Kwan; Pizano; Lauzon; Yaraghi & Bush in BLOOD WEDDINGS


“SIBELIUS” a ‘New’ H.P.O. scrutiny Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Finnish composer Jan Sibelius lived from the mid-19th to mid twentieth century. A passionate anti-Nazi, legend has it that he composed his ‘Finlandia’ after ludicrously firing his pistol at an overhead Luftwaffe fighter plane. His final work, Symphony No. 7, is uncharacteristic in that the work is played as a single movement, although the tempi coincidently varies through seven diverse rhythmic ranges. To underscore the evocative themes, The Hamilton Philharmonic utilized the vehicle of PowerPoint™ projections featuring photographs of the flora & fauna of Bruce Trail.

The HPO; Lau’s composition; & Lake Moraine – projected on-screen