A belated apology to Stratford thespians Ross & Talwar Reply

By Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

Precisely one year ago today, this scribe was in Stratford to attend the 2015 production of HAMLET. An amazing presentation, it was one of last year’s Arts Review’s TOP TEN LIST! Today, through the generosity of Sun Life Financial; the CBC aired a taping of that performance sans commercial breaks (eat your heart out trivago & Leons!). In addition to getting out my dog-eared Shakespeare compendium, I re-printed my originally published critique. Alas, three (3) little letters had been omitted…sort of like “for want of a nail etc.”
In describing the portrayals of support roles –  courtiers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz read by Steve Ross & Sanjay Talwar respectively. More…

“BUNNY”; caught in the headlights Reply

Review by E. Lisa Moses

The world première of Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s one-act play, Bunny, at the Stratford Festival, crams a lifetime onto the Studio Theatre’s tiny stage – all in 90 minutes. Under director Sarah Garton Stanley’s firm hand, Maev Beaty’s memorable performance as Sorrel takes us on a roller-coaster ride along two decades of her quirky life through both narration and acting.
Nicknamed “Bunny” by her best friend for the frightened looks she gets in social situations, Sorrel begins frolicking and fornicating through life at age 17. In this watershed year, she morphs from an “ugly dork” into a “hot dork” with the cheekbones and body of a supermodel.
Photo by David Hou

Campbell; Pellerin & Beaty in "BUNNY"

Campbell; Pellerin & Beaty in “BUNNY”

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“John Gabriel Borkman”: The big chill Reply

Review by E. Lisa MosesReviewer E. Lisa
The Stratford Festival’s production of Henrik Ibsen’sJohn Gabriel Borkman” reminds us that winter in Norway gets pretty frosty. In Ibsen’s penultimate play, translated into English by Paul Walsh and directed by Carey Perloff, we can easily believe that it’s colder inside the family manor than outdoors.  In the winter of his life, former bank manager Borkman, played by Scott Wentworth, obsesses about the trial that sentenced him to an eight-year prison term for embezzling his clients’ life savings to invest in a failed mining scheme. Since his release eight years ago, Borkman has been living in a self-imposed prison — the upstairs floor of his home.
Photo by David Hou

Borkman in a penitential moment

Borkman (Scott Wentworth) in an on-stage penitential moment

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Shaw’s “MASTER HAROLD”- magical! Reply

Review by Judith Robinson
     The Shaw Festival’s production of Master Harold and the Boy kept the viewers on the edges of their seats for a full ninety minutes. Based on an incident in playwright Athol Fugard’s youth, the 1982 drama created an atmosphere of simmering tension, until the pot boiled over, and the audience leapt to its feet in an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Master Harold’s plot centers around the friendship between a white South African teenager, Hally, (Fugard’s childhood nickname), played by James Daly, and his black friend, Sam, played by André Sills—a clerk in his mother’s café and a servant in Hally’s home.   Photo by David Cooper

Andre Sims; James Daly & Allan Lewis in a dramatic on-stage moment

Andre Sims; James Daly & Allan Lewis in a dramatic on-stage moment

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The H.P.O.’s BRASS QUINTET in the park Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
The Hamilton wind was blowing at about 25 knots with gusts to 40; the Hamilton (HPO) Brass Quintet was blowing up a gale…of classical music! A free concert at the George Robinson band shell in Gage Park entertained a large group of fans including jammied kids, pets; picnickers; plus collapsibleas & blanket sitters. It was a ‘Tanglewood’ lite occasion and even the threat of rain fortunately held off. An early (7-ish) start offered sixteenth century compositions and the evening ran the gamut to as contemporary as today. Trombonist David Pell doubled as M.C. and offered a non-patronizing introduction for each piece being performed.

The H.P.O.'s Brass Quintet performing Hauser's 'scherzo'

The H.P.O.’s Brass Quintet performing Hauser’s ‘scherzo’

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Underhay triumphs in “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
All eyes were on Nicole Underhay as she demonstrated the muscle, power and competitive spirit of Olympic sprinter- Usain Bolt. She outran the pack in the Shaw Festival’s production of Mrs. Warren’s Profession with the style and grace of the gold medal runner. While Underhay was clearly capitalizing on playwright George Bernard Shaw’s brilliant speeches, she was taking their impact to a whole new level.
The role of Kitty Warren has its complexities – testing the emotional strength of the most seasoned actor. The brother Madame must be a genius entrepreneur, a cool-headed manipulator, seductive, warm-hearted, maternal and generous.   Photo by David Cooper

cast members of "Mrs. Warren's Profession

      Cast members of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession

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