Editorial & Administrative opinions
There have been previous years where due to tie-votes, our ARTS REVIEW’s TOP TEN list has, in actuality contained 12 or even 14 items. This year has seen such a plethora of worthy efforts of entertainment that the final selection process was daunting. So, for the first time, O.A.R. will also specify an ‘Honourable Mention’ (sort of Silver or Bronze medal) category.
THEATRE UNLIMITED, This successful Miss ‘a community group undertook staging the musical version of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. The droll puns and one-liners still abound but with the addition of musical numbers, it’s even enhanced. As we wrote in our review “– an awesome giggle from start to finish and we loved it!”
the candidates for work as part of Stratford’s “A CHORUS LINE”
Review by Michael Piscitelli
Pantomime! The art of doing a fairy tale with numerous modern twist and a multitude of pop culture references. No matter your age, actively booing the bad guy is always fun and the chance that you might get to go on stage is always an honour (if you look like you’re under the age of 10 that is). I’ve personally loved panto ever since I was introduced to it in my elementary school days and reintroduced in university as a viable source of theatre and art in its own respect.
Aladdin’s assorted friends & foes
Review by Danny Gaisin
This past weekend, WEST END STUDIO THEATRE co-opted Christine & Lisa Brkich’s TWO SISTERS DANCE PROJECT to present a seasonally oriented short recital geared towards the three to 10-year old category. Both WEST and our ARTS REVIEW fervently believe that instilling an appreciation for live performances can never begin too early. We brought our own ‘kiddlies’ (ages 6 & 5) for their first exposure to the genre. To say they were fascinated and enthralled would be understatement. They sat mesmerized!
The “LEGWARMERS” percussion team!
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
While many musicians may find themselves rehearsing The Nutcracker this season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra found themselves performing other works by Tchaikovsky earlier this week at Roy Thompson Hall. While only one of the pieces performed was intended to debut in the theatre, this evening’s program was as drama-filled as the Russian composer’s life.
There exists no formal record of the chronology of the piece, the Overture for Hamlet conjures images of love and loss. One cannot help but recall the sweet melancholy of Ophelia when listening to oboist Keith Atkinson.
The T.S.O. members in a formal photograph
by Judith Caldwell
The Bach Elgar Choir gave a performance of Handel’s Messiah to a sold out and appreciative audience at Melrose United Church on Saturday evening. Handel had written many operas to varied responses and was considering retirement when he was asked to write a sacred oratorio to be performed in Dublin. He collaborated with his friend Charles Jennens, an aristocratic man of letters who drew on both the Old and the New Testaments for the text. The debut in Dublin in 1742 was a resounding success and its staying power has been established by continued performances over the last 274 years .
The choir performing “MESSIAH”
Review by Danny Gaisin
On October 31st, 1961, a novice concert writer had his first byline article published in Montreal’s ‘Georgian” newspaper. The subject was the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; the conductor was Zubin Mehta; the opening work was a Verdi overture and the rookie scribe was one Daniel Jesse Gaisin. The kid dared to chastise maestro Mehta for reproving the audience for inopportune applause. Fifty-five years and millions of published words later, I am now the one upset by such ill-conceived behavior. Last night, I once again had the opportunity to hear & critique the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.Fellner performing LVB’s 4th with the OSM & conductor Nagano