“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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“The Day They Kidnapped the Pope” – hilarious BLT effort Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

What is the wish that every ‘Miss America’ contestant personally claims? Think the hilarious scene in ‘Miss Congeniality’ where the afterthought is – World Peace! Remember this factoid when you see BINBROOK LITTLE THEATRE’s comedy – The Day They Kidnapped the Pope. Playwright Joao Bethencourt’s plot premise is that the pontiff on a Vatican visit to NYC evades his limo and takes a cab driven by a Jewish cabbie from Brooklyn. ‘Sam Leibowitz’ aka Brad Fortman brings him across the Brooklyn Bridge and decides to keep him in the Leibowitz pantry and hold him for ransom. And the value of said ransom demand – see this article’s opening sentences. More…

“MOONGLOW” a gut-wrenching portrayal of Alzheimer’s Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

       ISimcoe Little Theatre’s staging of Kim Carney’s “MOONGLOW” is a dramatic interpretation of two older people committed to a care facility due to the onslaught of dementia.
It is a basic tenet of writer’s )& supposedly politicians) to declare any biases or partiality before putting pen to paper. Hence, the following: – Both my muse and I, on advice from our doctors, underwent cognitive analysis and learned that there has been some
rational deterioration. The prognosis is pessimistic. So, a play about the symptoms and manifestations of the disease will obviously prejudice any critique by yours truly.
One of the symptoms of dementia is regression.

Williams & Carvalho in a dramatic & unsettling moment

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Little Shop of Horrors, fun in a flower shop Reply

Review by Marion Davis

NYC’ers know that there’s a hidden part of Manhattan known only to localites that’s acknowledged as ‘Off – Off Broadway’. It’s either basements or lofts or parking garages. Such was the origins of Alan Menken & Howard Ashman’s 1982 rock musical ‘LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS’. The story is about a ‘Venus Flytrap’ plant that develops a taste for humans.
Audrey 2 (the plant), who was raised at Mushnik’s Flower Shop, has unexpectedly, in a twisted and funny way, planned to take over the Earth. This light musical horror comedy from the 1960’s, is filled with catchy songs throughout the developing horror story while nurturing a love story.

Steve Ross (Mr. Mushnik) and his store clerk played by Andre Morin    Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

 

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“The Merry Wives of Windsor”; NOT Camilla; Sarah; Catherine or Meghan! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Old William Shakespeare had a thing about women getting the best of their men. Think of Beatrice; Rosalind; Titania and Portia. Having a controlling or out- maneuvering wife is something this scribe can certainly identify with (forgive the prepositional ending). Seems things haven’t changed much over the past four centuries. Some other ‘plus de change. Plus de meme-chose’ idioms; wanting to marry for money rather than love; and especially- social manipulations. All these delicious things appear in Merry Wives and artistic director Antoni Cimolino is able to bring out all humor, intricacies, convolutions  that make this comedy such an eternal favorite.  Say ‘Falstaffian’ and everyone knows what is meant.

Hughson, Davies & Ghajar plotting    Photo by David Hou

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