“JITTERS”; Hitting the mark! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

 “Jitters; n. an irregular random movement”. Colloquially – to be nervous or act nervously. David French’s 1979 comedy is about a theatre group prepping for the premiere of a new play and how the cast’s psyches complicated by crew or set perversity screws up even the best of intentions. SIMCOE LITTLE THEATRE and director Melissa Collver have perhaps chosen this piece in order to educate their audiences about what really happens before a curtain finally goes up. As a definitive edict for thespians, the effort, like directorial instructions, requires a player to ‘Hit The Mark’. They and the play certainly do so.       Photo by RoseLe Studio

Lee; Haskett; Dickson; & McDonnell in the dressing room

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“THE HOBBIT”, terrific staging, lots of fun 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

 Disclaimer! As mentioned in our last published critique, this scribe has never, in my octogenarian life, been exposed to J.R.R. Tolkien’s HOBBIT tales. Factually, the only ‘Lord’ books I’ve read have been about “Flies”; not “RINGS”! So, last night’s Theatre Erindale staging of the play was a rare theatrical original experience for yours truly.  We and the audience were seated about twenty feet overlooking the stage Thus the actors appear to be numerous vertically challenged dwarves (dwarfs?); goblins; trolls & a dragon. The plot opens with young Bilbo Baggins being recruited to be a burglar by an eight-foot tall wizard named Gondolf.

Diana Smendra explaining stuff  in HOBBIT-land


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“ALADDIN”; B.L.T.’s take is ♫ Awesome! ♪ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Writing about one of the world’s most popular ‘panto’ pieces “ALADDIN” requires a little introductory trivia. First, the term ‘panto’ is short for pantomime and is a favorite format for British Theatre. The genre must include songs, dances, audience participation and character identities. Cheers for the heroes and heroines; boos & hisses for the baddies! Caveat:- prepare to be inclusive and entertained!
Item 2. Pundits equate the name of the eponymous character with ‘Allah’- Moslem name for God; and ‘Din’ – the 12th century Sultanic title; as in Salad-a-Din, who fought off the Crusaders. Now one can compete on ‘Jeopardy’ !

BINBROOK LITTLE THEATRE wisely started their staging of the Caroline Smith script early

The 12th century folk of ancient Persia; on stage @ Binbrook

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The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, @ S.LT Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

‘APRICOT’, noun; a fruit. Seventy-odd years ago by spelling it APRACOT, this scribe lost out on making history as the only Grade 6 entry on Iona Ave. Public School’s Spelling Bee team. Haven’t eaten one since! So, why bring back old memories by attending a performance of Simcoe Little Theatre’s iteration of the Finn/Sheinkin play The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, here-to-for abbreviated “T25APCSB”. Because it’s a cute bit of fluff and especially because the major members of the cast are kids. Talented kids, adorable kids, funny kids- what’s NOT to like?
The directing team of Tony & Michelle Proracki both have teaching and musical backgrounds.   Photo by RoseLe Studio

Jim Donovan & Jada Dawson competing, observed by a dour Rylea O’Toole

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“MAMMA MIA”; Theatre Ancaster takes a chance… Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
First saw the Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) silliness ages ago when everybody trooped to Mirvish’s King Street theatre to hear, sing & dance to the mega hit. Thought the movie version (Streep/Brosnan etc.) was a disaster. Last night I again felt the excitement experienced in Toronto during the last century!. It’s toe-tapping; titillating; hummable and certainly encourages muted singing along. Well staged; superbly sung & acted and meticulously directed. Ancaster may be a community theatre, but its efforts are highly professional productions. Their 2018 “CHICAGO” made our O.A.R. Top Ten List and MAMMA MIA is a definite contender for 2019.

Cast & crew of Ancaster’s MAMMA MIA 2019   Photo by John Gillett

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“THEFT”; Peninsula Players having fun Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Jimmy Buffett wrote about ‘Changes in attitude; changes in Latitude’; but he was referring to a geographical coordinate rather than a social position. In Eric Chappell’s play – THEFT; two couples who consider each other as best friends, have differing financial positions. Been there, experienced that! The plot describes a weekend at John & Barbara Miles’ country estate. Upon returning to the mansion the quartet realized the place has been burgled and ransacked. All four are unaware that the thief is still concealed inside. When they discover the miscreant, he becomes the catalyst that exposes each of the foursome’s innermost secrets and attitudes within the group.

l-r: Baker; Ingram; Hunt; Nyman & Munroe in “THEFT”

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