Seager-Scott, with the Hammer Baroque Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque’s first concert of 2018 featured harper (not harpist, she said) Julia Seager-Scott playing both the Italian baroque triple harp and clarsach (Gaelic harp). It was a very damp day and Seagar-Scott spent an hour before the concert tuning both harps and had to re tune the clarsach during the concert. This, plus the fact that the concert was held in Melrose United’s church hall, gave the whole concert a casual and intimate feel as though the audience were in someone’s living room even though the room was packed to capacity. This mood suited the music, much of which came from the Irish bardic tradition and was written by Turlough Carolan (1670-1738).

Seager-Scott and her harp; post-Hammer concert



“A Long Time Ago…”, ridiculous & funny B.L.T. effort Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Theatrical or musical replications can be covers; tributes; paraphrases; or parodies. BINBROOK LITTLE THEATRE’s newest effort is the Barron/Dyson caricature/spoof A Long Time Ago which is a hilariously funny take-off of Star Wars; “Star Trek”; Harry Potter; Elvis & ‘Big Bang Theory’. From the pre-curtain themes by Alex Courage (Star Trek) and the classic John Williams Star Wars melody, the audience knows we’re about to travel (fortunately) where ‘No man has gone before’! The intersecting plots deal are plagiarized from all those Royalty/Commoner tales (Princess Diaries; A Prince for Christmas; The Prince & Me, ‘Cinderella’ etc.) but with a galactic venue.

The Inter-Stellar cast members of “A LONG TIME AGO…”


“Cirque de la Philharmonique ét la O.P.H.”, Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Editor’s note: -”O.P.H.” or bilingually ‘orchestre philharmonique d’Hamilton’
The Hamilton Philharmonic offered two guests in what was an amazing evening and a stupendously entertaining one. On the podium was Kitchener’s Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser , with the renowned Cirque de la Symphonie performing on stage. The HPO was in top form; the conductor was in perfect synch with the musicians; (& vice versa). The ½ dozen Cirque members astounded; diverted & astonished the audience. Guilty admission: – this scribe uttered way too many ‘Oy vey‘s’ at what appeared to be certain-death ministrations.
The program was dedicated to the compositions created for, or used, by Hollywood.

Cirque de la Symphonie & maestro Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser -post concert


“Joe Ben-Jacob & his designer outerwear”, Reply

Review by Terry & Danny Gaisin
The first collaboration of Rice & Webber – “JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT” started out as a 20-minute exercise in 1968. It also established their new formula & protocols for a Broadway-type musical. i.e. Compose 1 or 2 big hit numbers; mostly pedestrian melodies; & reprises of the former –ad infinitum (think ‘Phantom’ & ‘Evita’ etc.)
J&TATD‘ is an almost completely-sung comic-ish operetta with only the narrator/teacher utilizing dialogue. The play opens with a Sunday School teacher & her students studying the 1st book of the old Testament. Abraham begat Isaac; who begat Esau & Jacob…

Curtis, Cautillo, and the Canaanites/Egyptians of “JOSEPH & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”


AYR trio + Five @ the 1st. Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The first in the current season of Five @ the First concerts was held on January 13th, 2018 featuring the AYR Trio – Angela Park, piano; violinist Yehonatan Berick,and Rachel Mercer, cello; and featuring a young artist, Albert Li. Albert’s brother- Tate, played cello here in 2016 when he was 12. This time it was 10 year old Albert who plays violin & piano and is fluent in four languages. He is tutored by Park and chose to play Alberto Ginastera’s Danzes Argentinas on the piano for this concert. It was a lovely piece which he played very well, took a bow and then bolted from the stage.

the 5@1st musicians


“The DINING ROOM”; a histrionic exercise Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Back in 1981 New York; Albert Gurney created a short multi-character play for that year’s N.Y. Fringe. It missed the selection cut; was expanded, and was then re-staged off-Broadway. The 6-actor play is comprised of eighteen vignette sketches centered around an upscale fin-de-siecle dining table in a fancy home. The thespian sextet portray – in just over an hour and a half; myriad scenarios that run the gamut of a potential real estate transfer to a final formal dinner party. In between, the audience witnesses a very posh white Protestant evolution of social mores. There’s a kid’s birthday party; an authoritative father figure;

the closing banquet in THE DINING ROOM…cheers!