“A Ghost of a Chance”; #33 advising #39 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

Disclaimer: there IS bias here because playwright Judith Robinson is also a respected contributor to our ARTS REVIEW. So; as objectively as I can be – a critique of her political comedy in which a deceased Harry Truman (the haberdasher) advises President Jimmy Carter (the peanut farmer) on how to get reelected in the 1980 presidential campaign.
The format is concert-style with the characters seated while reading their dialogue from scripts. Incidental giggle; #39 is missing some pages until a ‘lines request’ is countered by an audience member running up with her version! The incumbent is recited by John Hewson while Walter Young is his ethereal campaign manager.

Dekar; Woodside; Sheehy; Young & Hewson interpreting U.S. politics

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“Serenades & Sonatas”, a class ”A” CD addition Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
There has only been a very few occasions where this blog has critiqued a record or disc, and – admission – those were performed by the writer’s personal bias. “Serenades & Sonatas for Flute & Harp” with Suzanne Shulman & Erica Goodman is something special. Both musicians are the “A” team of their respective instruments. Shulman is the flautist, and for Jeopardy® aficionados, the flute is also called an ‘aerophone! Goodman is the harpist with the Hamilton Philharmonic and thus has previously received positive commentary by us.
The program opens with Vaughan Williams ‘Greensleeves’ fantasia performed by Shulman.

Ms. Goodman and her harp

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Jennifer Teege, a convoluted but fascinating history Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
January 27th is designated Holocaust Memorial Day by the United Nations. The rationale for such an agreement is that the day is also mentioned as a warning that hatred STILL rears its head throughout world!
Jennifer Teege was born in Germany of mixed race, her father was Tunisian. Given up for adoption as an infant, she was only occasionally visited by her biological mother. Much later, through an unintended visit to a library where she came across a biography and noticed an unusual number of personal coincidences, realized that she was the grandchild of Amon Goeth, the vicious commandant of the Nazi concentration camp near Krakow.

Jennifer addressing her audience

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A ‘heads up’ for our Arts Review readers Reply

Editorial Commentary by Terry & Danny Gaisin


A definite perk of being on the edges of theatre (
i.e. a critic) is the opportunity to actually meet some celebs and occasionally become more than just acquaintances. About 10 years ago we met Denise Ferguson performing in playwright Vince Grittani’s ‘Quiet, I’m talking‘. A few years later, we spent some quality time with Loretta Swit (aka Major Hotlips Hoolihan). When Vince wanted to re-stage ‘Quiet’ & Denise was involved elsewhere; we did some typical Yiddish matchmaking and introduced Grittani & Swit! – ‘It’s not always what you know; it’s WHO you know!
Fast forward to 2018.

Terry ‘G’ & Loretta (Major Hot Lips Houlihan)

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Harry – Hope of the British Monarchy Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

Perhaps it is time that Prince Charles gets his shot at becoming king. And he almost gets his chance in Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III. But David Shurmann’s pompous and pedantic, mock Shakespearian speeches, in the Mirvish/Theatre 180 production in Toronto, are enough to drive the commoners to riot. Schurmann’s Charles makes the monarchy seem moldy and moth-eaten, and ripe for overthrowing.
Although many of the lines are funny and witty, most of Bartlett’s characters seem one dimensional. Even with the breadth of experience and fine acting ability of the twelve actors in the cast, it’s hard to bring something out of a script that isn’t there.
Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann                                                                 l-r Galligan; Schumann & Powell in CHARLES III
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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…