To the TORONTO FRINGE; it’s staff and especially all the entries who put so much effort into bringing their creations to the stage. Due to what I thought was the ‘flu; and turned out to be a serious liver infection that required over two weeks hospitalization; I was unable to attend and critique any of the no-doubt talented efforts offered. Fortunately, our columnist George Crotty stepped up to the plate and his reviews have all been published.
Please forgive me and invite us back for 2014!
Danny Gaisin, Ontario Arts Review
Review by Judith Caldwell
Where, in Ontario, can you get Break Dancing and Classical Ballet on the same bill? At the Brott Music Festival of course. They try to keep us entertained with unusual opening acts and last evening the opening act was a Break Dancing duo Conkrete Stylez Crew made up of B-boy Stuntz and B-boy Tricky Troublez (they do like z’s) dancing to the music of Alexander Pozdnyakov, a Russian composer currently living in Montreal. The music was raw, passionate and rhythmic and perfect for the break dancing.
Stanczyk & Pereira, post-concert
by Judith Caldwell
On Wednesday, July 10th the National Academy Orchestra of the Brott Music Festival gave us a varied program of music and art culminating in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
The evening began with a new and very Canadian composition by John Gray. The composer told us this music was inspired by the movements of a standard bred poodle both on and off the leash and it ends with a dissonance where he imagines the dog meets a Rottweiler. It was a very evocative and musically appropriate image.
As editor of O.A.R. it’s my job to occasionally relegate an assignment that may not be the most popular. BUT… when it comes to the Toronto Fringe, the entire team are gung Ho. So, we decided to attempt to even increase our coverages. Then, disaster struck. Two columnists had some surprise business problems arise; Danny has the ‘flu [102.3°F]; and then T.O. has a flood! Still, we’ll do the best we can. I promise.
St. Francis Talks to the Birds
Helen Gardiner Phelan
For those of you who don’t know, it was believed that St. Francis of Assisi could communicate with animals. This play, St. Francis Talks to the Animals, presents an encounter between Francis and two hungry vultures.
Review by Judith Caldwell
The Brott Music Festival and the National Academy Orchestra presented an evening of the late Michael Jackson’s music. They were aided by the Jeans ‘n Classics Band and Gavin Hope as lead singer. Brendan Hagan, this year’s apprentice conductor, led the orchestra. Shakespeare wrote “The evil that men do live after them; the good is oft interred with their bones” [Julius Caesar, III, sc. 2] With Jackson; it seems the opposite is proving true!
The music was presented chronologically beginning with some of the Jackson Five hits like ‘I Want You Back’, ‘ABC’ and the very nostalgic ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’.
conductor Gavin Hope & the NAO’s concertmistress