Kim’s convenience—from Fringe to mainstream Reply

Review by Mark Andrew Lawrence

Soulpepper Theatre launches its 2012 season with Kim’s Convenience by local author Ins Choi who describes the play as “a love letter to his family and to all 1st generation immigrants who call Canada their home.” It is a play filled with passion, honest sentiment and a good deal of humour. Thanks to remarkably understated direction by Weyni Mengesha, it succeeds because in a very short time the audience starts to care about these people and wants to know what will happen to them.

Kim’s Convenience was first seen last summer at the Fringe Festival where thanks to word-of-mouth it very quickly sold out its entire run, sparking a bidding war amongst Toronto’s commercial theatre producers.  Appropriately, since Choi is an alumnus of the Soulpepper Academy, that company won the rights to produce the play. More…

String Extravaganza – Couples Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
On Sunday afternoon at 1st Unitarian Church in Hamilton we were treated to six very accomplished string players introducing us to some  new music and a lovely older work by Brahms.The concert began with Caitlin Boyle, viola and Rachel Desoer, cello, playing a Duo by Walter Piston, a twentieth century American composer who taught at Harvard.  This work is in three movements ending with a lively playful Molto vivace. Our next Duo were Yehonatan Berick, violin and Rachel Mercer, cello who playedTwo Choros bis (1928) by Heitor Villa-Lobos. These represented a new form of musical composition, synthesizing different types of Brazilian, Indian and popular music’ according to the composer when he first showcased the pieces.


Goodnight Desdemona; good morning Juliet @ UTM Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Jan. 21st, ‘12


“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!” Marty McFly – ‘Back to the Future’.

In the 1988 comedy GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA, GOOD MORNING JULIET, author Ann-Marie MacDonald has her pathetic heroine fall down a rabbit-hole à la ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to confront Othello’s wife and Romeo’s love in hopes of proving that their stories should have been comedies if only…!

THEATRE ERINDALE’S innovative rendering of the story is directed by Daniel Levinson in what is a most creative and re-focused progression. The result is sexy, vulgar, very contemporary and overall –funny. Knowledge of the original Shakespearean tragedies is certainly an asset, but Levinson and his extremely competent cast imbue the presentation with a stand-alone quality that is both entertaining and even has a somewhat Coles Notes™ acquiescence to Eng. Lit. 101. More…

Local luminary receives International accolade Reply

Exclusive to the “Ontario Arts Review”

Hamilton is the host city of the Canada’s acclaimed NATIONAL ACADEMY ORCHESTRA whose artistic director is Boris Brott  O.C., O.Ont. Maestro Brott has generated great respect for our city as a cultural center and Mecca for young music degree graduates.

Brott has recently been the guest conductor for operas staged at Verona, Trieste and Bari on Italy’s southeast coast.  Last season’s “MADAMMA BUTTERFLY  and “LA TRAVIATA” garnered such critical compliments that he was appointed Principal Guest conductor for Bari’s Petruzzelli Theatre where Lorin Mazel is Musical Consultant. His success in Trieste last season with “Samson and Delilah” and Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony was such that he was asked to direct Donizetti’s ANNA BOLENA and Verdi’s BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO. Below, in translation, is the review published by the renowned ‘IL MESSAGERO’ of Venice, and critiqued by our Italian counterpart – Danilio Soli

The importance of being earnest; @ Mac! Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

Over a century ago, British playwright Oscar Wilde created what he categorized as a ‘trivial comedy – for serious people’. This ironic play satirized the communal mores of the time and also offered a ‘bunburized’* insight into Wilde himself! The play’s plot deals with two idle middle-class bachelors and their fictitious alter-egos that permit them to escape their social responsibilities. Into the mix is their individual matrimonial intentions, and an almost sibling rivalry between Algernon & Jack… the two buddies.

‘Being Earnest’ has had myriad reincarnations in many different formats, so the only novelty for theatregoers is to observe the directorial focus of a production. McMaster’s Thespian Company has selected Andrea Pohlmann, assisted by Thomas Chiolfi; to supervise the objective and their emphasis is obviously on the two male protagonists. More…

AVENUE Q; “fun-est street in Manhattan” Reply

Review by Mark Andrew Lawrence


reviewer_Mark_AndrewPhilosophical question…”what is the sound of two puppets f**king? NOISY!”

“Avenue Q” is an off-beat musical, created by Jeff Whitty, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx who all won Tony awards for this clever, tuneful show. The musical is geared for young adults raised on Sesame Street to help them deal with the frustrations of adult responsibilities. The story begins with ‘Princeton’ played with touching sincerity by Adam Proulx. He is a recent graduate with a B.A. in English that he finds isn’t opening many doors for him. Arriving on Avenue Q, he rents an apartment from landlord Gary Coleman (a hilarious Jazz Testolini sending up the former TV star), and meets up with other disillusioned denizen. More…