Tafelmusik remembers 17th & 18th century Canada Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
            Tafelmusik presented an aural and visual history of Canada from 1663 to 1763 in a program conceived, programmed and scripted by Alison MacKay and narrated by Ryan Cunningham, -Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. The concert was at Melrose United Church on Wednesday, and performed in an afternoon concert before 500 lucky high school children. Tafelmusik is very generous to Hamilton and the local near- capacity audience showed their obvious appreciation. This is the third year they have performed in Hamilton and hopefully they will come again next year. This baroque ensemble is renowned for playing on period instruments.

The TAFELMUSIK musicians and a Canadian icon -;the Beaver’


“A CITY” Explores friendship, memory, life and death Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

  A City,” produced by Necessary Angel Theatre Company and now playing at the Artscape Sandbox in Toronto, is one of the most refreshing and interesting new plays I have seen for a long time. Written by Greg MacArthur, the play is based on remembered, real-life experiences transformed into theatre. In fact, this is what our memories do all the time: transform raw experience into meaningful story. And often, as in this play, people who have lived through the same experience remember it differently, both contradicting and enhancing each other’s stories.

Cast members of “A CITY”


“No Tell Motel”; comedy with a soupçon of compassion Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Michael Wilmot’s Hamilton Fringe entry ‘Love Shack’ made its way up to mainstream as “No Tell Motel”. This hilarious story is about a middle-aged couple deciding that an afternoon assignation at a 3rd rate motel might spice up their lives. The seediness of their room; her reticence & his horniness plus the complication of an inquisitive manager and a disruptive spouse make the effort for a little hanky panky seem hardly worth it; but totally hilarious to observe. Wilmot was a monologue writer for Jay Leno and his acerbic’ Tonight Show’ wit is also displayed in the ‘No Tell‘ dialogues.

Jonasson; Mitchell; Fortman & Munroe in the “Bird of Paradise” motel room


“Unconscious Curriculum”; U/Waterloo students stage a trailblazer Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo                  


The University of Waterloo is home to many of the world’s brightest young engineers. It is also the home of important theatre. Of course, I would realize this post my post-graduate, on Thursday evening, when I entered campus as a visiting member of the press rather than a pub-hopping grad student abusing inter-library loan. Speaking of which… I recognized myself in many of the characters on stage that evening, and I’m not sure how I feel about it quite yet. But I do know what I think about it, so there’s something.

a dramatic moment in Waterloo’s “UNCONSCIOUS CURRICULUM”


Stylus Fantasticus interpreted by two groups Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
            Hammer Baroque presented the Rezonance Ensemble in an afternoon of Stylus Fantasticus from the seventeenth century. Stylus Fantasticus is the 1650’s version of jazz. Previously, instruments were used to accompany voices or keep time for dances, but the new style was described as ‘the most free and unrestrained method of composing, bound to nothing, neither to any words nor to a melodic subject’, and it was instituted to display genius’ and showcase just what instruments could do. After all this was the time of the great violin makers – Amati & Stradivarius – and they were not built to play second fiddle to a singer or dancer.

                   Benjamin Stein & his ‘theorbo’


“The Importance of Being Earnest” by Theatre Erindale 1

Review by Terry Gaisin
How fitting that Oscar Wilde’s final satirical farce would be selected by Patrick Young as his final directorial effort with UTM’s Theatre Erindale. Our Arts Review has critiqued about 70 continual Erindale presentations since 2003 and have had the opportunity to witness a dozen productions under Young’s thespian management. All of them were noteworthy and thought provoking. No doubt, this is because the man has the innate capacity to discover the essence and motivation behind each playwright’s rationale. He is a consummate examiner; researcher, and thus his results always succeed.   Photo by Jim Smagata; UTM

Himes; Bennet; Pottinger; Nguyen; Thorne; Wamsley & McDonald