Review by Danny Gaisin
One of the challenges facing any professional critic is having to review the same presentation without repeating adjectives or worse – repeating an article. I was introduced to SHREK by a Mississauga community theatre ten months ago and adored the ludicrous story line about the recluse whose swamp is invaded by expelled fairytale characters and so must embark on a quest to obtain permanent property rights. Theatre Sheridan’s take is about as entertaining and professional as anything ‘Downtown’ could stage. The singing/acting is non-pareil; the costuming delightful; and the directing -immaculate. Even the off-color bits aren’t disturbing given our era of overly sensitive political correctness.
SHREK & his stage-mates revolving around his ‘swamp’
Review by Judith Robinson
Come From Away, currently playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, is a musical pulsing with resilience and hope. First produced at Oakville’s Sheridan College in 2013, the musical went on to sell-out crowds in Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C. In February, it will move to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. (Ed. note: -First critiqued here as a workshop, then studio performance, see our O.A.R. archive-‘2/15/13)
This Canadian success story chronicles the hosting of nearly 7,000 stranded airline passengers in Gander, Newfoundland during the 9/11 crisis.
The ‘Come From Away’ original workshop cast
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
As I buttoned my coat and struggled to get into my boots, my little brother asked me why I was headed to hear Cinema Serenade with Itzhak Perlman and the TSO this evening at Roy Thompson Hall. “Are they playing along with the movies?” No. “Is it a shadow cast?” No. “Why would you want to go hear the songs, then?” He had a point. Why spend my day off on the highway at rush hour? “It’s like watching reruns,” he says. I consider this, and again—he had a point. But, I like watching reruns. Photo by Jag Gundu – T.S.O.
Perlman, Oundjian & the T.S.O.
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
What starts out as a typical – though especially fraught and edgy – high school garage party on a suburban Friday night ends in a starkly unexpected way, in Geoffrey Simon Brown’s play The Circle, at the Tarragon Extraspace. The 26-year-old playwright, close in age to his characters, says the play is about growing up, about family, about friends, about violence and the points where people are stretched so far that they break, and “ultimately, beyond anything else, this is a play about love, about understanding, and hopefully, about forgiveness.” He has produced a script that is both daring and beautifully-crafted. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
Duval; Ehman; Endicott-Douglas & Ellis…part of “The Circle”
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Imagine if all the decisions you ever – and never – made, actually happened somewhere in a quantum multiverse – a place where many universes exist simultaneously. This is the premise of Nick Payne’s drama Constellations, presented by Canadian Stage & Montreal’s Centaur Theatre Company at the Bluma Appel Theatre. The play has previous delighted audiences in London’s West End and on Broadway. Payne, a leading voice in UK theatre, began writing the play after his father’s death, when he happened to see physicist Brian Greene’s documentary The Elegant Universe (based on Greene’s own book by that name). Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
Ricketts & Cuthbertson performing. Cellist Jane Chan -stage left
Review by Judith Caldwell
Last evening, Hamilton’s Bach Elgar Choir deviated from their usual fare to offer a concert of Canadian folksongs. The Choir was led by Alexander Cann and accompanied by Krista Rhodes, piano and flautist Susan Edmonds. The first half was of older, more traditional songs – most over 200 years old – and began with a Huron Dance Song which sounded very familiar to us in Southern Ontario with its traditional drum beat and words with no meaning sung to reinforce the beat. Then on to a 1919 shipwreck song from Newfoundland which honoured the Captain for grounding the ship and thus avoiding loss of life.
the Bach-Elgar ensemble in performance