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

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“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!

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“TRAP DOOR” a new opera; especially for today Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Doing what we do, i.e. critiquing over a hundred concerts and theatre events every year; becoming jaded is par for the course. Then something comes along that knocks us for a loop. Sheridan’s Theatre Arts Faculty is staging a new play by Morris Panych, with music & lyrics by Anika and Britta Johnson. This Michael Rubinoff production that takes place in 1919 is as real and contemporary as this week’s news. The plot deals with a burlesque operation; gangsters; women treated as chattels; a mystery and except for moments of comic relief- operatic tragedy. The twenty-one arias pack visceral messages and impact.
Editor’s Note: At the request of the producer; no cast photos were taken of this play

Our intrepid critic & TRAP DOOR’s creative team!

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“Into the Woods”; think about what you wish for! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Given my own biases, I’m ambivalent about critiquing any play by Sondheim. He may have an iconic status, but this scrivener finds him notoriously repetitious and thus – boring. However, one cannot deny that he undertakes subjective challenges and doesn’t balk at taboos. “INTO The WOODS” has, and is – both.
With the 5-week teachers strike from October 15th until mid-November;
Sheridan’s Theatre Arts Faculty started rehearsals under self-managed production & direction. The result is both professional and polished… four years of tutelage has certainly paid off.
The plots consolidate familiar fairy tales and is divided into two distinct acts. The first is the requisite story lines and interaction. 

the cast of thespians out of,  & “INTO THE WOODS”

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‘BAT OUT of HELL’; a fast start to 2018 Reply

Review by Tina Gaisin

With the weather hitting “highs” of -22 degrees Celsius there was not much to do in Toronto for New Years Eve outdoors. We decided to warm it up and go to Jim Steinman( Associate producer ‘Meatloaf’)’s “Bat Out of Hell”. Growing up with Meatloaf, it was not surprising all the songs had people singing, tapping their feet, dancing and even had a neighbour in the row crying! (What a wuss!) The story line sounds familiar the haves and have nots, with Romeo Juliet and Peter Pan thrown in! The dancing was very modern; well worth the show with singing and a moral to be learned throughout the show.

The iconic image of both the play & “Meatloaf”

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The ARTS REVIEW, our philosophy Reply

Editorial comment
December, 2017

Plagiarizing an idea from one of our advertisers, we think that a re-cap of how O.A.R. came into being; our history; and our philosophy can (modestly) be reiterated.
In August of 2005, we started our ARTS REVIEW on-line newspaper. From single-digit daily article readership to the occasional 1,200+ responses; we now have over 163,000 readers and 54,000 subscribers. We’ve been able to offer writing opportunities to thirty-seven different people from Ottawa to London. During our halcyon days we were able to critique 250 events a year with a high of about 5,000 hits every month . . . More…