“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


H.P.O. aces an evening of Spanish compositions Reply

Review by Terry Gaisinrevieweretg

After 56 years, writing about classical music, the genre intrinsically belongs as the domain of O.A.R.’s Danny Gaisin. However, a definitive & very positive bias towards the Hamilton Philharmonic’s program of Spanish music would certainly affect objectivity. Thus, yours truly gets the by-line!
From the opening collage of “Carmen” excerpts; Bizet’s most famous opera and one of D.G.’s favorites, maestra New presented the prelude with its adverse theme; truly demonstrating that the orchestra is now hers…and vice-versa. The familiar ‘Habanera’ with its advice about daring to love a vamp, and the passionate ‘Seguidilla’, the amazing mezzo voice of Lauren Segal even extended her range to the contralto realm.

Segal & McFadden performing the Marquez 'Danzon#3' with the HPO

Newman & McFadden performing the Marquez ‘Danzon#3’ with the HPO


“The TORONTO FRINGE, 2016” Reply

As in previous years our Ontario Arts Review will endeavor to cover as many of the entries as our time and writer-availability will permit. Having received venue and backing support from Honest Ed’s, the Fringe Administration has decided to caricature the store’s famous logo in the late Ed Mirvish’s honour. We’ll be adding and updating our critiques on a daily basis, so be sure and check out the column regularly.  Remember, many Fringe-style offerings (including Toronto’s) have gone on to mainstream performances. ‘The Fantasticks’; ‘Urinetown’; and ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ are just the most renowned.  If you see us and notice our Press accreditation badges – say hello! We’re Terry, Danny, Jordan, Ellen & Michael.

Finge 2016 Bannerhead


“Two-fer” at W.E.S.T. Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

The GTA’s ‘Fringe Festival’ season looms just over the horizon; what better time to stage a couple of Fringe-type 1-hour plays than now! Izad Etemadi’s “LAUGH WITH LEILA” and “XOXO: the RELATIONSHIP SHOW” created & starring Meghan Chalmers & Franny McCabe-Bennett, both inform and educate as well as entertain.
The former one-man effort introduces us to a young and single Iranian girl growing up in post-Shah Pahlevi Persia and under the sharia rule of Khomeini. ‘Hijab’; Chador; ‘Niqab’ and Burkas are all humorously defined and visually delineated.

Izad Etemadi's "LEILA"

Izad Etemadi’s “LEILA”

Chalmers & McCabe-Bennett's "XOXO RELATIONSHIPS"

Chalmers & McCabe-Bennett’s “XOXO RELATIONSHIPS”


“GRAND HOTEL, the musical”; another Sheridan hit! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
            “I vant to be alone”: – like ‘play it again, Sam’; ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’; “Go ahead -make my day” and ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’; another one of those movie quotes that have become iconic. ‘Alone’ was Greta Garbo’s most famous line from the 1932 GRAND HOTEL flick she made with Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery & two Barrymores.
The Robert Wright & George Forrest musical version is the latest blockbuster by Theatre Sheridan.  From the almost overwhelming opening number until final curtain, the musical version is a spell-binder.

Staff & residents of Berlin's GRAND HOTEL, circa 1932

Staff & residents of Berlin’s GRAND HOTEL; circa 1932


“SWEET CHARITY”; Sheridan returns us to the Fandango dancehall Reply

Review by Terry GaisinreviewerETG
            SHERIDAN’s Theatre Arts Faculty staged the musical version of Neil Simon’s take on Fellini back in 2004. The production was so professionally presented as to tie with the Royal Opera’s ‘Aida’ as best of O.A.R.’s TOP TEN.  This year’s effort directed and choreographed by Sheila McCarthy is very enjoyable and certainly does justice to Pollyanna-ish ‘Charity Hope Valentine’; a taxi dancer who seems constantly able to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory! One of those days is her norm.  In the title role, Amanda Trapp manages to capture the audience’s sympathy and understanding.

The 'ladies' of the Fandango & their patrons

The ‘ladies’ of the Fandango & their patrons