“Anything Goes”, (and keeps on going) Review by Danny Gaisin Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
During the recent Olympics, there was a kerfuffle over judging. Seems a skater received less points than a competitor that actually fell on the ice. The refs explained that marking was done on the basis of undertaken difficulty; same thing happens with theatrical critiquing.
McMaster’s Musical Theatre decided to stage the Cole Porter durable creation
ANYTHING GOES deserves an unsharpened pencil; because putting on a demanding big cast; big crew, Broadway musical is daunting enough without having to face a tough reviewer.  The 1934 play is based on a Wodehouse & Bolton story with Porter writing both the music and the lyrics.

The passengers & crew of USS America, for whom “Anything Goes”

More…

Advertisements

“A theatrical ‘Double, Double’” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Baseball has it’s ‘double header’; opera ‘s “Pagliacci” & “Cavalleria Rusticana” are always performed as a duo; and theatre has the two one-act efforts – Shaffer’s BLACK COMEDY and Stoppard’s THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND performed sequentially. Oakville’s Drama Series has both entries directed by Jeff Morrison; so he must work under two distinct mindsets and two different cast teams. A challenge, but one that is well met.
Black Comedy is unusual in that it is a ‘reversed lighting’ process, i.e. the stage is lit for the major period of a blackout, but is in almost total darkness when the power comes on.

Activity in the (supposed to be) Dark!

More…

Drury Lane’s “Music Hall”; ver. 38.1 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Wikipedia defines the term ‘Music Hall’ as a British format circa 1850 that paralleled the American Vaudeville genus. The UK.’s vaudeville sector was lower class and thus more in keeping with the burlesque shows on this side of the pond. The style(s) remained popular for a century. Why the history lesson? Just to introduce the oddity that is Drury Lane Theatre Productions who can continually fill a house for just short of four decades!
Directed & choreographed by Caroline Clarke & Shelley Rennick, audiences are the recipients of the requisite telegraphed one-liners; skits; chorus numbers and are essential participants in commentary and sing-alongs.

                                                                    A difficult photo-op situation, on stage

More…

“Clybourne Park”; You could HEAR the ‘cringe’! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
As a collegiate freshman in 1960; I drove to NYC to see ‘A Raisin in the Sun’. It starred unknowns Ruby Dee; Lou Gossett; and Ossie Davis – who had just taken over from another novice Sydney Poitier! The story dealt with a black family in Chicago and dealt with desired upward mobility. Playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s family had actually been involved with the legalities of Blacks wanting to live in an all-white neighbourhood, fought under the U.S. Constitution’s famous 14th Amendment.
Eight years ago, playwright Bruce Norris wrote a follow-up to ‘
Raisin‘ titled CLYBOURNE PARK and this two-Act comedy/drama is a powerhouse tour-de-force. *   Photo (& stage  design) by Jim Smagata

L-R    Ruhs; Watt-Bowers; Martin; Grant; Clarke & Francis – in a tense moment

More…

“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…”

More…

“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!

More…