When this scribe studied Eugene Ionesco’s ‘Rhinoceros’; my professor premised his lecture by stating that the story was allegorical, in spite of the writer’s insistence that such was not the intention. A tragicomedy in the theatre of the absurd style, it metaphorically equates the 1880’s far-right authoritarian political philosophies of Nietzsche & Dostoyevsky (Fascism) with any incremental philosophical or dogmatic change. The U-Waterloo Drama Faculty and director Martha Ross manage to present the play with subtlety yet impact. It’s a true gem.
P.T. Barnum is the subject of Mary Vingoe’s “LIVING CURIOSITIES, OR WHAT YOU WILL” and insightfully tells the saga of his New York Circus Museum, circa 1864 through the eyes of Anna Swan, the eight foot tall Nova Scotian who was one of his ‘Freak Show’ displays. The intrigues, attitudes; relationships and personalities of Barnum as well as those of his abnormal oddities make for a provocative theatrical subject. Theatre Erindale; its director and cast ace such a demanding challenge. Photo by James Smagata
Review by Judith Caldwell
The Bach Elgar Choir presented an afternoon of Popular Opera Choruses at the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday. It was a suitably joyful and hopeful program for the first day which finally felt like the end of winter. The first half began with the haunting Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco, a well-known and loved piece ideally suited to this choir. It was very interesting to hear this familiar ‘large’ music in such a small and intimate setting.
Review by Judith Caldwell
“Capella Intima” and the Gallery Players of Niagara presented an early music program culminating in Henry Purcell’s short opera Dido and Aeneas. This was the fourth concert in the 5 at The First season for 2014-15 and the first time attempt at opera-in-concert. Word of the standard of these concerts has obviously got out as the audience was close to capacity and many of them apparently were musicians themselves.
Gallery Players consist of Julie Baumgarten, & Rona Goldensher, violins; Brandon Chui, viola; Margaret Gay, cello; Borys Medicky, harpsichord. More…
Review by Shibley Ahmed
Eight years ago I stumbled upon a low-budget indie film that received enthusiastic reviews but very little public fanfare. It was a film that was about songwriting as much as it was about emotional survival. It was probably the pacing, unknown cast, or rudimentary way in which it was shot that could have driven people away from the box-office. However a year later it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and before you knew it, this little film from Ireland had the audience it deserved.