Review by Terry Gaisin
SHERIDAN’s Theatre Arts Faculty staged the musical version of Neil Simon’s take on Fellini back in 2004. The production was so professionally presented as to tie with the Royal Opera’s ‘Aida’ as best of O.A.R.’s TOP TEN. This year’s effort directed and choreographed by Sheila McCarthy is very enjoyable and certainly does justice to Pollyanna-ish ‘Charity Hope Valentine’; a taxi dancer who seems constantly able to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory! One of those days is her norm. In the title role, Amanda Trapp manages to capture the audience’s sympathy and understanding.
The ‘ladies’ of the Fandango & their patrons
Review by Danny Gaisin
Using words like ‘perfect’ may work for statistically-minded baseball fanatics, but surely something like live theatre should be more subjective – like poetry. Nevertheless, by listing each facet of the genre, and showing how SHERIDAN aced every one of these, methinks readers will agree that DAMN YANKEES epitomizes the parallel of baseball’s 27-strikeout game!
Perfect no. 1; Direction. Ray Hogg wore two hats for this production. Supervising the course that this adaptation of the 1955 Adler/Ross Broadway musical version of Doug Wallop’s “The Year the Yankees lost the pennant”; and as choreographer (see Perfect no. 4).
The Senators team; their groupies; & devilish “Mr. Applegate”, taking well-deserved bows
Review by Judy Caldwell
Hammer Baroque presented an afternoon Bach Violin Extravaganza—including all six of the solo Partitas and Sonatas—to an ever growing audience at The Rock on Locke. Julia Wedman, who introduced the six solo violin pieces, said that Bach had just found out that his wife had died in 1720, when he composed the music. The songs were his way of working out his sadness. Sonata No 1 in G minor, played by Elyssa Lefurgey–Smith, begins with a lonely, longing adagio, followed by a tortured fugue—twisting and turning as it tries to evade grief.
The musicians of the HAMMER BAROQUE ensemble
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Mustard, a modern fairy-tale, by Kat Sandler, currently at the Tarragon Extra Space, vibrates with energy and freshness. It provides a delicate balance of comedy and emotion, leaving the audience laughing and emotionally touched. It explores the need for play and magic—the kind of magic that sustains adolescents through the difficult passage from childhood to adulthood. Sandler, a prolific funny playwright, is co-founder, artistic director, as well as playwright of the indie company, ‘Brouhaha’. Mustard, written while she was working with the Tarragon’s Playwrights Unit in 2014, is her Tarragon debut. Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann
Rajaram & Dodd on stage in “MUSTARD”
Review by Dave Richards
Flying under the radar of Toronto’s concert scene is the Royal Conservatory Orchestra. Made up of students in the Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School, it is a musical gem that presents four concerts each academic year in the wonderful acoustics of Koerner Hall. The orchestra is led by a different guest conductor for each concert who spends a week in residence at the school prior to each performance rehearsing the orchestra. Without the time constraints of most professional ensembles, the orchestra’s preparation is done with meticulous care.
Guest soloist Zhou acknowledging applause
Review by Danny Gaisin
Shakespeare’s early ‘Comedy of Errors’ holds a special attraction for this scribe. As a teenager, I spent an inordinate amount of fun time with identical twins. They were so indistinguishable that I referred to them by their family name rather than their personal appellation. Their mirthful shenanigans included alternating driving lessons; utilizing a single license, and exchanging partners during a double-date. Theatre Erindale’s director David Matheson has opted to emphasize the comedy aspect of the play and the result is continual hilarity. Photo by Jim Smagata
Guzik & Wamsley ( the Syracuse duo) confronting Avery Logan