“TAKING SIDES”, a professional–level production. Reply

Review by Mark Andrew Lawrence
“Is this a professional theatre company?”  The question was asked by an audience member as we headed out for intermission at a recent performance of the play “Taking Sides” being presented by Stage Centre productions at York Woods Library Theatre.  Her companion explained that no, it was company of amateurs.  I suppose technically he was correct since these community theatre casts do not get paid for their efforts, but believe me, every moment of this production has such a professional sheen that I could understand why the patron asked the question. Photo courtesy of Fabio Saposnik

Washbrook interrogated by Rein; observed by a humiliated Frau Straube


“The PEARL FISHERS”, promises, promises – broken! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Bizet’s PEARL FISHERS’ plot is as negative as anything in life. Oaths of brotherhood; vows of chastity; pledges of commitment and covenants of loyalty all go by-the-boards when a love triangle happens. The head stops working and the crotch takes over!
The narrative concerns early Taprobanese (Sri Lanka) devout Buddhists who dive for pearls rather than harvesting the much safer tea, cinnamon, or sapphires! Two friends [Zurga & Nadir] reunite just after the former is named leader and the latter returns from a life of hunting. We learn that both previously fell in love with the same dame – Leila, but decided that their relationship is more important so they swear off amore forever.

Ramirez, Hatfield, Polegato & Hegedus - all praying for different things!

Ramirez, Hatfield, Polegato, Hegedus & chorus – all praying for different things!


“JACOB and JACK”… you don’t have to be Jewish Reply

Review by Mark Andrew LawrencereviewerMark Andrew
               James Sherman’s comedy Jacob and Jack keeps the audience on its toes as it jumps back and forth between two generations. Backstage scenes depicting Jacob Sherminsky, a star of the Yiddish theatre in the 1930s are folded in with scenes of his grandson, Jack Shore, some 75 years later. Jack is preparing a special one-night-only performance that pays tribute to his grandfather, and we witness a number of parallels between the lives and the behaviors of both sets of performers. More…

O.C.O.’s paean to ‘romanticism’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
To musicologists; the term ‘romanticism’ refers to the evolved compositional style of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The label derives from the noun meaning optimistic, idealized or subjective.  The music reflects on nature, chivalry and even mysticism in formats that are usually dissonant and chromatic with a definitive virtuoso requirement. The OAKVILLE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA’s decision to stage a concert totally within the aegis meant enlisting an artist of such a skill level as to meet the prerequisite. Cellist Rachel Mercer is just such a performer.

Mercer performing with the O.C.O.

Mercer performing with the O.C.O.