“A Chorus Line”; it’s done with mirrors! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Talk about magic, or ask about how a trick is accomplished, the response is always “it’s done with smoke and mirrors”. Donna Feore’s directorial take on A CHORUS LINE is creative and immaculate. Originally staged by Michael Bennett with music of Hamlisch & lyrics by Ed Kleban first opened on Broadway just over forty years ago and immediately became a standard. Utilizing the vehicle of a ‘cattle call’ –or audition, seventeen young dancers are trying out for eight spots. The choreographer wants to know the ‘why’s’ as well as the “can’s” of their individual talents.

The Casting Call dancers waiting their turns

The Casting Call dancers waiting their turns  (by David Hou)


“As You (WILL) Like it” @ Stratford Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
                        Joke:- Do you know how Les Canadiens™ came about?   Seems a ‘Newfie’ was playing hockey on the St. Lawrence … and got a breakaway!!! Rationale for the above: –Jillian Keiley’s locale setting for “AS YOU LIKE IT” circa 1980, and its only one of numerous surprises that Madame Director has in store for her Stratford audience. A dress code; seeing the cast-members performing on stage before curtain; a goody bag of items needed during the performance; requisite audience participation under strict direction and the play is a semi-musical! ***All Stratford photos by David Hou

Robin Hutton & her NFLD Reelers, amusing the audience

Robin Hutton & her NFLD Reelers, amusing the audience and the cast


Hare’s play ‘SKYLIGHT’ sparks a fire Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
British playwright, David Hare’s powerful, evocative, award-winning drama, Skylight, at Can Stage’s Berkeley Theatre, is about bridging gaps – between the sexes, generations and economic groups. This is Hidden Cove Productions first theatrical production.
In the context of Margaret Thatcher’s rabidly individualistic London, two former lovers – wealthy businessman, Tom Sergeant, played by Lindsay G. Merrithew, and teacher to the underprivileged, Kyra Hollis, played by Sara Topham – try to connect with one another. They are lost in ideologies; strongly-held beliefs; and patterns of behavior. They refuse to change, own their mistakes or adapt to the other’s viewpoint. Honest self-revelation becomes impossible.                             Photo of Merrithew & Topham in a dramatic SKYLIGHT moment … by Matthew Plexman

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T.S.O.’s ‘Eroica’ celebrates liberty, equality, fraternity Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo ReviewerSylvie2

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55, the “Eroica,” heralded Romantic composition: It was written at the beginning of the French revolution, and underwent some changes in dedication between its writing, publication, and performance for reasons of politics, but more so, of integrity. Surely these sentiments are relevant to a contemporary audience.  Solid from beginning to end, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s performance was championed by the funeral march. The woodwinds shone during the return; the clarity in their execution of the theme gave a glimpse of the celebration of life inherent in the march.   Photo courtesy of JOSH CLAVIR

Bronfman performing with the Toronto Symphony

      Yefim Bronfman performing the concerto No. 3 with the Toronto Symphony


“LOVE LETTERS”, not a ‘You’ve got mail’ happy-ender Reply

Review by Terry GaisinreviewerETG
            Six months ago, my muse critiqued West End Studio Theatre’s staging of the 1988 A.R. Gurney drama LOVE LETTERS. This time the much-requested reprise will receive my own evaluation…also a positive assessment, but seen and observed from a different view point or mindset.  The play deals with two upper-class New England youngsters circa 1938 who iterate their relationship via handwritten correspondence, and continue to do so over the next half-century. Through their epistles, the audience follows their intersecting lives.

Reid & Brokenshire in "LOVE LETTERS"

      Reid & Brokenshire in “LOVE LETTERS”


“Mohawk”, an ancient Iroquois tribe, a modern College Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
            The Mohicans of James Fennimore Cooper and today’s Six Nations tribe have a long and respected history vis-à-vis Canada. Joe Brant; the War of 1812, and the ‘guardians’ of early New York, are part of our combined history. In 1966, MOHAWK COLLEGE was formed and today stands as one of the most successful colleges in the country. For very personal association and respect, we decided to cover its graduation ceremony rather than a McMaster or U of T convocation.

The actual graduation ceremony procession

The actual graduation ceremony procession