Review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque presented a short delightful concert to wrap up their current season called The Paradise of Travelers. The 17th century title obviously refers to a time period well before the modern cramped economy class seats which take the paradise out of travelling.
The program consisted of madrigals, motets and canzonettas and included readings of the recollections of English travelers through Italy. Apparently the English were the most obnoxious travelers of their time – thoroughly convinced of the superiority of all things English and the quaintness of all other cultures.
Dietrich; Modolo; Roach & Roth
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Second City’s resident improv ensemble reunited at Roy Thompson Hall for the second performance of ‘The Second City Guide to the Symphony’, hosted by Second City alumnus/ improviser Colin Mochrie. This show features original music by the Second City’s own Matthew Reid, who joins the TSO on-stage for a “glorious ninety minutes when life doesn’t suck,” among similarly themed full-chorus and solo numbers. These ninety minutes provide high-quality accessible music and comedy, enjoyable by/for both TSO and SC devotees, as well as any “Symphony Virgins” who may be “Fiddling Around,” as the scenes suggest.
Brownen Sharp’s photo of ‘Chief Inspector’ Mochrie with the 2nd City & T.S.O.
Review by Judith Robinson
The Stratford Festival’s production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a dazzling presentation of magic and illusion. The story is based on C.S. Lewis’ 1950 novel – presented here in Adrian Mitchell’s 1998 stage adaptation – of the tale of four British children who wander through a wardrobe and enter the magical kingdom of Narnia, which has long enchanted children everywhere.
This show’s real star is projection designer, Brad Peterson, whose fast moving backdrops create a sense of wonder and magic. Peterson’s skies, forests and mountains provide the audience members with a visceral encounter and expedite seamless transitions between scenes. Photo by David Hou
Cast members of “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe”
Review by E. Lisa Moses
Drayton Entertainment’s production of Norm Foster’s quirky comedy, Hilda’s Yard, conjures up the spirit of 1950s – focusing on a middle-class family – the Flucks. The play opened on Thursday at the King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene with an impressive company of six that kept up a snappy pace within an exceptional retro set design by Ivan Brozic.
This lovely setting is where empty nesters Hilda and Sam Fluck, played by Patti Allan and Brian Linds, find renewed intimacy after their two grown children have finally left home. But their spooning and dreams of buying a pricey first television set to watch Gunsmoke are cut short. Photo by John Sharp
Some of the denizens of HILDA’s YARD
Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin
For obvious reasons, Shakespeare’s MacBETH (aka The Scottish Play – to the superstitious) is one of the most required Eng. Lit. studies. Our seatmates at the Festival Theatre actually discussed in what grade it was first encountered; and then on how many occasions it was subsequently seen. We were near the foremost in that latter category given our present career! Viewed it myriad times but Antoni Cimolino’s directorial take has to be considered the new benchmark and the new ten as in “ – out of ten”. It’s awesome.
Pellerin welcoming a triumphant Lake back from battle (Act I scene III)
Review by Danny Gaisin
It is a theatre tradition that harks back to vaudeville and travelling circus tents, that when ‘S*#t’ happens on stage or in the center ring; the director orders – “Send in the clowns”. Stephen Sondheim’s period piece about love; liaisons; familial relationships and convoluted interaction is a perfect vehicle for Stratford’s extensive reservoir of turn-of-the century costumes. Wardrobe honcho Bradley Dalcourt holds nothing back. Same can’t be said for director Gary Griffin; one gets the feeling that he strictly adhered to the Broadway & Hollywood predecessor versions.
The various coupling duos dancing ( by David Hou)