“FIFTEEN YEARS AGO”; a look back at James St. N Reply

Review by Tony Kilgannonreviewer_Tony
Fifteen years ago, Mark McNeil was writing a piece for the Hamilton Spectator, about James Street North where things were not going well. “You know things are rough”, he wrote, “When a street can’t even support its beer store any longer”. Happily, things have turned around on our storied avenue. It now supports, if not a beer store, at least a plethora of restaurants, bars, venues, galleries &shops.
Many years after writing his words of concern, McNeil had the pleasure of writing a longer much more optimistic update, and was delighted with the improvements noticed.

The musical denizens of JAMES ST. North.

The musical denizens of JAMES ST. North.

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“Chant des Oiseaux” vocal MUSIKAY evening Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Musikay under the direction of maestro Stephane Potvin presented an evening of à cappella renaissance music at St. John’s United Church. The program opened with ‘Salva nos, Domine’ by Giovanni Palestrina a short, solemn piece of sacred music by a master of clear polyphonic style. Prior to Palestrina polyphony was becoming so complex that at times it was difficult to follow the text, but Palestrina showed that it was possible to have both complicated tones and clear text. As a result he is one of the best known 16th century composers.

MUSIKAY, Apr. '14

MUSIKAY performing ‘chants’

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HPO’s Pastorale; a melodic banquet Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Occasionally, (rarely) I imagine that the stars align themselves just to insure a bonus to the life of one Danny Gaisin. Last evening’s Hamilton Philharmonic concert was one such instance… my favourite symphony; a cherished violin concerto; and a class ‘A’ soloist to perform that opus. Add in a talented conductor; and the result – a melodic banquet. We had to check the calendar to see if perhaps it was my birthday! It wasn’t; just plain good fortune.

Beaver & New congratulating each other; post Saint Saens rendering

Beaver & New congratulating each other; post Saint Saens rendering

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“August: Osage County” a test for stage & audience Reply

Review by Terry GaisinreviewerETG

Tracy Letts’ murky probe into family, especially inter-generational, discord is a burden for the portraying cast members and certainly for its audiences. AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is a 3¼ hour durational ordeal for an unpadded butt and a histrionic challenge for its protagonists. The extended soliloquys are repetitious and oftimes redundant; rather like the lyrics & chording of a Gordon Lightfoot composition. Unfortunately, the Dundas Little Theatre production hasn’t the option of condensing – à la ‘Readers’ Digest’ reprint.     Photo by Alexandra Pope

Elkaim,Dagenais & Silverglen - The Weston siblings

Elkaim,Dagenais & Silverglen – The Weston siblings

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Hammer Ent’s “NINE” is a 9+ production 8

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

NINE’s lead character -Guido states that he is “40 physically, but mentally – age 10”; this writer has the same problem …but Doubled! The locale is 1960’s Venice and the plot deals with a roué film producer who brings his wife and his mistresses to a spa while planning a new movie that will rejuvenate his lagging career. Bring stowed luggage and some unbreakable overhead bin stuff; but leave the excess baggage (read –chicks & problems) behind!

Guido 'conducting' his menagerie

Guido ‘conducting’ his menagerie

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The Holocaust Cantata – an important event Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

Experia Music presented Donald McCullough’s Holocaust Cantata at First Unitarian Church in Hamilton. The audience was asked to allow the performance to happen without interruption for applause and that really helped us focus.
The evening opened with a rather mournful Prayer for the World sung by the eight primary singers; followed by the traditional Ose Shalom sung by the First Unitarian Choir; then it was on to’ Ani ma’anim’ sung responsively between the female and male singers.  Each of these pieces seemed to build in confidence and power, but at this stage the whole thing still felt rather tentative.

Holocaust cantata

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