The ARTS REVIEW, our philosophy Reply

Editorial comment
December, 2017

Plagiarizing an idea from one of our advertisers, we think that a re-cap of how O.A.R. came into being; our history; and our philosophy can (modestly) be reiterated.
In August of 2005, we started our ARTS REVIEW on-line newspaper. From single-digit daily article readership to the occasional 1,200+ responses; we now have over 163,000 readers and 54,000 subscribers. We’ve been able to offer writing opportunities to thirty-seven different people from Ottawa to London. During our halcyon days we were able to critique 250 events a year with a high of about 5,000 hits every month . . . More…

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How to keep warm in the North, or life in ‘T-Bay’ Reply

Comment by Sylvie Di Leonardo

Editor’s note: We’ve heard of folks moving from Toronto to the suburbs, but 1400kms seems a bit of overkill. Just lost one of our contributors to Thunder Bay, ON. Here’s Sylvie’s take on her new community’s culture and lifestyle.


Naive, innocent, or inexperienced; abstinent. These are all words that the general population has come to associate with one’s relationship with enjoyment, in one regard or another. This is not the place to discuss the merit of humans’ obsession with quantifying and assigning value to the experience of pleasure. This is the place to, instead, focus on alleviating the absence of the experience.

1396 kms, (or 865 miles) …definitely not an urban/rural commute!

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A ‘Tony’ for a Canadian musical recap of a laudable moment Reply

Opinion by Terry & Danny Gaisin

Having enjoyed & recommended the Toronto Fringe offering by David Hein & Irene Sankoff about ‘My Jewish Lesbian Wiggan mother’s Wedding’, we couldn’t miss the duo’s Sheridan College Workshop about the post- 9/11 Gander NFLD’ers response to detoured flights to their local airport. The musical interpretation in April of 2012 was a little shaky but the overall message and visual interpretation had an impact…especially given our own identification with the events of that morning and subsequent involvement. Ten months later, the team had tweaked and polished the original including the omission of a scene that specifically seemed touching.

      Original workshop cast of “COME FROM AWAY”

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“Critiquing (unbiasly); one’s own ‘kiddlies’ in performance” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
            Every experienced critical columnist will admit that writing about kids is anathematic. Even being objective is rife with danger. An unbiased review in keeping with the writer’s credibility reports on flaws; the editor can expect poisoned-pen letters saying “The kid was amazing… even the obvious flaws were cute…and besides, his or her parents were divorcing or separating or the child wasn’t feeling well! So, like all my counterparts, when a request for a child-oriented column is offered, the closet; bathroom; under the desk or a storage area is immediately sought out. Unless it includes one’s own grandkids or great-grandkids.

One of the younger classes interpreting ” “He’s So Fine”

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Hamilton theatre salutes Black History Month Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
Two theatre events in Hamilton during Black History Month deserve mention, although we have not done full reviews because each had only one or two performances. Both shows made excellent theatre from the words of history itself.  Leslie McCurdy presented her one-woman show, “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman”, on February 4 at the Lincoln Alexander Centre.  Leslie hails from Windsor, Ontario, and has been touring this show for 14 years in Canada and the U.S.  Using simple, on-stage costume changes, occasional singing, and superb acting, she presents Harriet Tubman’s life-story.

The Greensboro N.C. sit-ins;  circa 1960

The Greensboro N.C. sit-ins; circa 1960

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A belated apology to Stratford thespians Ross & Talwar Reply

By Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

Precisely one year ago today, this scribe was in Stratford to attend the 2015 production of HAMLET. An amazing presentation, it was one of last year’s Arts Review’s TOP TEN LIST! Today, through the generosity of Sun Life Financial; the CBC aired a taping of that performance sans commercial breaks (eat your heart out trivago & Leons!). In addition to getting out my dog-eared Shakespeare compendium, I re-printed my originally published critique. Alas, three (3) little letters had been omitted…sort of like “for want of a nail etc.”
In describing the portrayals of support roles –  courtiers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz read by Steve Ross & Sanjay Talwar respectively. More…