“Come From Away”; Mirvish musical has come to stay 1

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
Come From Away
, currently playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, is a musical pulsing with resilience and hope. First produced at Oakville’s Sheridan College in 2013, the musical went on to sell-out crowds in Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C. In February, it will move to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. (Ed. note: -First critiqued here as a workshop, then studio performance, see our O.A.R. archive-‘2/15/13)
This Canadian success story chronicles the hosting of nearly 7,000 stranded airline passengers in Gander, Newfoundland during the 9/11 crisis.

The 'Come From Away' original workshop cast

The ‘Come From Away’ original workshop cast

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“Murdered to Death”; you’ll die laughing Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
“I am serious; and don’t call me Shirley”. Everyone remembers Leslie Nielson’s (Inspector Drebin) most famous tagline. If you can imagine 2½ hours of the same side-splitters, Peter Gordon’s Murdered to Death staged by Waterdown’s Village Theatre is a must-see. Under the direction of Graham Clements, the ten-person cast seem to having even more fun in doing their portrayals than the viewing audience’s enjoyment. Each character is a stereotype and the actors actually embellish their depictions. The whole thing start-to-finish is a hoot and totally entertaining.

The hosts, staff guests & cops involved with MURDERED to DEATH

The hosts, staff, guests & cops involved with MURDERED to DEATH

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“GIBSON & SONS”, decidedly Oakville connection Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Oakville playwright Kristen Da Silva has written a new play that has already attracted attention. A nominee for 2016’s Pechect Family (Stage West) Comedy Award; it is the aptly named Oakville Players who have the honor of being the first team to put it on the boards. Under the meticulous direction of Angie Fyke; her impeccably selected cast of seven make this a continual giggle with quotable lines too numerous to list. There’s also some very touching and identifiable bits that make GIBSON & SONS hit a personal chord.

The folks of GIBSON & SONS

The folks of GIBSON & SONS

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“The CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE”; challenging! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Whenever a critic has a bias; prejudice or affiliation with a play or performers, it behooves said critic to admit such beforehand. One supposes that an intrusive medical situation affecting one’s objectivity should also merit disclosure.  I have recently developed a gastrointestinal malaise that forced me to watch about 15 minutes of Act I on the lobby monitor. Providentially, 1st year student & FOH Max Ackerman helped me discern the individual characters. My familiarity with Brecht & his play minimized being away from the actual audience.  Photo by Jim Smagata UTM

Minions helping Victoria Dennis prepare to flee the uprising

Minions helping Victoria Dennis prepare to flee the uprising

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“ANYTHING GOES”; still tuneful and entertaining Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
“♫   In olden days a glimpse of stocking… ♪ ”. The period Cole Porter referred to was probably the time leading up to the First World War. Things changed with the Flapper era and the market crash.  By 1934 things hadn’t improved financially, but mores had evolved. Thus ‘anything goes’ became a philosophy. Etobicoke Musical Productions has brought back this tuneful hit that embodies the creative style of pre-Webber Broadway productions – i.e. full measure of memorable songs that were sing-along-able even out of context. EMP has another hit presentation with “ANYTHING GOES”. And if one can’t grasp some of the similes quoted in ‘You’re the Top, write us!

the cast departing the U.S. on their musical ocean voyage

the cast departing the U.S. on their musical ocean voyage

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“FUNNY MONEY” no guilt feelings over finding the ‘gelt’ Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
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"

a cops/robbers/good guys moment in “FUNNY MONEY”

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