Legacy of Healey Willan, a special Bach Elgar concert Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The Bach Elgar Choir presented a program entitled ‘The Legacy of Healey Willan’. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of his death so Healey Willan concerts will abound, but Bach Elgar got in first. Although he was born and grew up in England, Willan has been claimed as a great Canadian composer because he moved to Toronto in 1913 to take up a position as Head of Theory at the Conservatory of Music. He then became organist at St. Paul’s on Bloor Street where he composed, taught and performed leaving a very large legacy of musical achievement.

 stamps honoring Emma Albani & Healey Willan


BROKEN GLASS: Miller’s play shows lives shattered by hatred Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Production of a late, little-known play by Arthur Miller (1915-2005), is a cause for curiosity and celebration. The U.S. playwright is best known for plays like Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and All My Sons, which combine personal and political issues. Broken Glass, written in 1994 and now produced by Teatron, Toronto’s Jewish Theatre, also has this dual perspective. Directed and designed by Ari Weisberg, who founded Teatron in 2002 remained Artistic Director until he moved to Israel in 2015, is presented as part of Holocaust Education Week, 2017. The theatre has done excellent productions of contemporary and older Jewish theatre.                                                                                             Berlin –  11/09/’38

“HPO Remembers”, consulare tenebris, solennes adque arcebant * Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin
The serendipitous alignment of Nov. 11th ’17 falling on a Saturday meant having the Hamilton Philharmonic present it’s traditional Remembrance Day event after the emotional catharsis of the city’s & (Country’s conventional) recognizance of the day’s significance. With the ritual and pomp of the Regimental Band of the ‘RHLI’s’ accompanied by a pipe band opening the evening, the two novel and contemporary compositions, the mood and mind-set of the audience was posited and ready for Mozart’s Requiem Mass, performed by the orchestra; 4 soloists and the Bach-Elgar Choir.

l-r: – Mercer; Nesrallah; New; Wiliford & Fanning performing the ‘Tuba Mirum’


“Skin Flick”, or perhaps ‘Porn Yesterday!’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Forty years ago, there was a highly popular movie titled ‘Fun With Dick & Jane’ that starred George Segal and Jane Fonda. The story was about a successful couple, (the Harpers); who when affected by a recession both lost their jobs. To create income, they decided to become bank robbers. Unlike the infamous Willie Sutton, they didn’t have the talent nor much success. Three decades later, Canadian playwright Norm Foster paraphrased the concept in ‘SKIN FLICK’. This incarnation was non-felonious but definitely as funny. No ‘stick-em-ups’, instead along with their single (and also unemployed) neighbour decide to create a porno DVD.

l-r   Wouthuis; Cook; Edwards; Redfearn & Fortman in SKIN FLICK


“INTO THE WOODS”, or be careful what you wish for Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Three decades ago, Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics to an imagined Fairy tale that incorporated Grimm’s “Little Red Riding Hood”; ‘Rapunzel’; Jack & his Beanstalk plus Cinderella (The Disney version, not the opera). Readers may recall that Sondheim is not one of this scribe’s favourite composers. I find his works repetitious and boring, sort of like Gordon Lightfoot. Think Sweeney Todd where not one but two songs are composed of repeating “Johanna” over & over. Then, there’s his West Side Lyrics to ‘Maria, Maria, ad infinitum. His music & prose default carries throughout ‘Into The Woods’… and for a long three & 1/4 hours!

The cast of “INTO THE WOODS”