“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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“39 Steps”, to laughter! Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
Soulpepper’s production of 39 StepsPatrick Barlow’s 2005 adaptation of John Buchan’s 1915 novel – is fun, frolicking and witty. While the tension, passion and intrigue of Hitchcock’s 1935 film version lurks beneath the surface – this play is closer to Monty Python than a suspense movie. Fresh from his refreshing role in Incident at Vichy, the multi-talented Kawa Ada took the lead role of Richard Hannay – an innocent man plunged into the London underworld – after a mysterious woman was murdered in his flat. Like Alice in Wonderland, or Dorothy in Oz, he was forced into an unfamiliar terrain where he encountered weirdos wherever he went.

Andrew Shaver; Raquel Duffy & Kawa Ada in a scene from "The 39 Steps"

 Shaver; Duffy & Kawa Ada in “39 Steps”,  Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

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Stratford gives Shakespeare a makeover Reply

Review by Judith Robinson  Reviewer Judith Robinson
The Stratford Festival’s production of Shakespeare in Love presents a William Shakespeare who is rollicking, funny and playful. For those who find the playwright boring, stuffy and out of date, this is the play for you. This Shakespeare is not the stuffy genius taught in schools, who spoke in perfect rhyming couplets, adored by queen and country.
Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare, as seen in the 1998 movie, and Lee Hall’s adaptation of Stoppard’s screenplay seen here, is funny, down to earth and human. He’s often lost for words and writes bad material. He betrays his friends. He cheats on his wife.  He’s lazy and doesn’t seem very bright. Photo by David Hou

Cast members of "SHAKESPEARE in LOVE"

Cast members of “SHAKESPEARE in LOVE”

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“PERFECT WEDDING” ver. 3.0 Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
            Our first exposure to Robin Hawdon’s ‘Perfect Wedding’ was back in September of 2006. The next iteration was October of last year, with three of the original cast. Now, Galahad Theatre has recalled the same trio to reprise their roles and this iteration has a different take. Director Yo Mustafa has done some tweaking that puts focus on the best man, a hilarious Danny Deakin rather than the groom. The plot, about a night before the wedding stag party with the groom getting drunk and then ‘lucky’ with a stranger who is stunning and has an adorable personality.

The cast of PERFECT WEDDING 2016

The cast of PERFECT WEDDING 2016

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