Review by Danny Gaisin
A couple of decades ago, British playwright Ray Cooney wrote a farcical comedy about a windfall acquisition of a mobster’s buy-in for a cache of drugs. The finder is a mild-mannered wimp named Henry Perkins who decides that this is a life-changer and that he’ll take resisting wife Jean, and run away to Barcelona. Two family friends; a crooked cop; impatient cabbie and a homicide detective enter into the equation necessitating the familiar ‘What a tangled web we weave’ scenario with all the requisite verbal gymnastics the genre entails.
a cops/robbers/good guys moment in “FUNNY MONEY”
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
During heavy rush-hour city traffic, suffering through radio’s continual commercials, it is so easy to become overwhelmed. Luckily, I found the one place sure to comfort the souls of those who struggle to interpret this mass of voices. Tafelmusik’s Thanksgiving weekend program The Eloquent Cello included challenging pieces executed with the finesse required to ensure that all voices are not simply heard, but are made meaningful by the support they lend and receive.
Like many of Tafelmusik’s faithful patrons, I hustled down the newly-named Bloor Street Cultural Corridor to Trinity St Paul’s Jeanne Lamon Hall seeking a means to restore a sense of wonder through music.
Tafelmusik’s guest soloist Christophe Coin
Review by Terry Gaisin
After 56 years, writing about classical music, the genre intrinsically belongs as the domain of O.A.R.’s Danny Gaisin. However, a definitive & very positive bias towards the Hamilton Philharmonic’s program of Spanish music would certainly affect objectivity. Thus, yours truly gets the by-line!
From the opening collage of “Carmen” excerpts; Bizet’s most famous opera and one of D.G.’s favorites, maestra New presented the prelude with its adverse theme; truly demonstrating that the orchestra is now hers…and vice-versa. The familiar ‘Habanera’ with its advice about daring to love a vamp, and the passionate ‘Seguidilla’, the amazing mezzo voice of Lauren Segal even extended her range to the contralto realm.
Newman & McFadden performing the Marquez ‘Danzon#3’ with the HPO
Reviews by Ellen S. Jaffe
Oct. 13th, ‘16
The biannual RUTAS Panamericanas Festival, now in its third season, is an international performing arts festival featuring work from various countries in the Americas, often with indigenous and experimental themes. This year’s festival, sponsored by Aluna Theatre in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts, also features a Maori production from New Zealand. Toronto is fortunate to host this event, which features dance and film as well as theatre. RUTAS Panamericanas Festival, including plays, dance, and film, runs to October 16 at the Daniels Spectrum, 565 Dundas St. East, Toronto. Following are reviews of two of the productions. More…
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
CONCORD FLORAL, the title of Jordan Tannahill’s play currently at Canadian Stage, is the name of a vast, abandoned greenhouse in the suburbs of Toronto. Once the source of roses for births, weddings, and funerals, because “life without beauty is unbearable,” it is now derelict, a night-time hang-out for local teenagers – and for a resident fox; bobolink, an old couch. Soon it will be sold to become a shopping mall. The play, conceived by Tannahill and developed with multi-media artists Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner, was created as part of Can Stage’s 2012 Festival of Ideas.
the CONCORD FLORAL cast dramatically photographed by Erin Brubacher
Review by Judith Caldwell
Oct. 10th, ‘16
The ACTA Recorder Quartet consists of Alison Melville, Anne Massicotte, Colin Savage and Tatsuki Shimoda are each formidable musicians with varied and interesting resumes. They began their program with some lovely and lively French dances from the time of Catherine de Medici where the soprano recorder carried the tune and the others provided accompaniment. Then, still in the same time period, the audience heard a much more structured and solemn instrumental in four parts by James Harding where the recorders sounded like a pipe organ. This was followed by an interesting piece by Boismortier.
Massicote;Melville; Savage & Shimoda: – the ACTA Quartet