Yao Guang Zhai, clarinet; guest of 5@1st Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
               Hamilton is very fortunate to have Rachel Mercer living here.  She is a cellist and also the Artistic Director for 5 @ the First, a concert series of chamber music which features many of her extremely talented friends.  On Saturday evening the featured guest was Yao Guang Zhai, a young Chinese clarinet player who is currently associate principal clarinet with the Toronto Symphony.  He performed duets and a trio with Mercer on cello & Angela Park on piano.

Park & Zhai

Park and Zhai…post performance

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“THE SECRET GARDEN”, enigma exposed! 3

Review by Danny Gaisinreviewer_Danny
                    Burnett’s 1911 children’s story is actually a subtle advocate for the principles of M.B. Eddy’s ‘Christian Science’ philosophy. Eddy respected the Bible but also believed that disease was strictly spiritual thus should be healed by prayer, not medicine. Plot-wise; Mary’s attitudinal change; Colin’s recovery; Dickon’s affinity for nature and Martha’s empathy are all manifestations of the C.S. dogma. Nevertheless, the storyline; especially presented musically; is still an optimistic charmer…for all ages. Meadowvale Music Theatre captures all the enchantment.

The inhabitants, real & spiritual of SECRET GARDEN's Yorkshire mansion

The inhabitants, real & spiritual of SECRET GARDEN’s Yorkshire mansion

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“The Witlings”; witty, erudite and well-executed Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
                    Frances Burney’s 1779 comedy-drama (or dramedy?) seems to have been buried until re-discovery in 1945. The title refers to those who aspire to, or consider themselves to be – intellectually clever. However, dull; boring, and pedestrian are more apt descriptive similes. The play is verbose and Theatre Erindale’s take is all Patrick Young. He adapted the play, impeccably directs it; artistically designed the set and edited the music. Talk about multi-tasking…‘Benny Hill’ lives again! Photo courtesy of James Smagata

"Codger,Cecilia,Beaufort, Jack;  & Smatters' back

“Codger,Cecilia,Beaufort, Jack”; & Smatters’ back

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“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, another Sheridan hit Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
                    History: – First, a comedic play titled ‘Bedtime Story”; thence a name change and a film with Niven & Brando. Next iteration was an updated flick with Caine & Martin. Subsequently a ’05 musical play starring Lithgow and Betz. DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, the quintessential ‘sting’ confidence operation by Launer; Shapiro, and Henning (Beverley Hillbillies & Petticoat Junction) can still amuse, fascinate and entertain in spite of its familiarity and Pygmalion plot-basis.

Trottier, MacCormac and Truong; in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

Trottier, MacCormac and Truong; in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

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WEST’s take on a Christie icon…”10 little Indians” 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

10% of a gigabyte! That’s how many printings Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” mystery has earned. Eight decades later, W.E.S.T. can still attract an audience to see this ultimate who-dunnit. Choosing Paul Groulx to cast and direct this iconic play was a stroke of brilliance based on his record of artistic flexibility and a loose rein on his talented thespians. We know, the play; are familiar with the characters; conversant with the various adaptations; and even know who done it!

The cast of "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"

The cast of “AND THEN THERE WERE NONE”

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‘Tailleur pour dames’- farce – simplified by UTM 2

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
                    Growing up in Quebec & being a theatre fan, the absurdist comedies of Georges Feydeau were de rigeuer. I had almost forgotten seeing one of his earliest creations – poorly translated as ‘The Ladies’ Dressmaker”, staged by my own University. Theatre Erindale’s take – titled “A STITCH IN TIME” is so superior that I now wish I had braved the vagaries of this ‘solstice horribulus’ and seen the opening night. I would have unqualifiedly recommended it!  Photo courtesy of James Smagata

Palinski,Postalian,Pokinko & Payne,; an "Oh S #*t' moment"

Palinski,Postalian,Pokinko & Payne; having an “Oh S #*t” moment”

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