EDITORIAL UPDATE (7/12): A serious situation occurred very late Monday night that caused us to completely curtail attending, and even miss entry closings at some of our chosen Fringe offerings. To GEEK; Kabarrett; Andy Warhol; ‘2018 -a Sex Odyssey; & “Tee Shirt”. Our sincerest apologies. Perhaps some of the above are planning on re-staging their efforts at the Hamilton Fringe. If so, let us know!
The FESTIVAL is over; so this is our recap! The Hamilton/Toronto train rides are onerous; schlepping around downtown Toronto -tiring; taking our notes and then publishing same means 14-16-hour days. However, the efforts & thespian results make it all more than worthwhile…its a privilege! HINT: – Watch for a major change in our ARTS REVIEW’s Top Ten in December.
High School Symphony -cast
Review by Marion Davis
Leave your inhibitions at home! You will not be disappointed. This is an excellent performance accomplished by the Stratford Festival. I did not see an empty seat in the house and all ages from 12 & up seemed to be there. It was surprising how little audience participation there was as compared to productions from the late 70’s and from the movie theatres; however, what participation there was, added to the overall show without drowning it out, and made this presentation what has become so popular in Stratford, namely “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. *
An iconic promo ad from 2016’s major R.H.P.S. tour
Review by Danny Gaisin
Canada is recognized internationally for inventing basketball; the ‘Canadarm’; snowmobiles; beating the U.S. In the War of 1812; and then punishing them further by exporting Shatner & Celine! We Canucks can also take pride in the World famous Cirque du Soleil – a worldwide phenomenon. Last night, a special media presentation of this iconic ensemble’s latest show highlighted something dear to us Leaf & Hab fans – ice & hockey, but with a plot & super effects.
Disclaimer: – like many of my press counterparts, an overabundance of visual events can jade one’s taste, and I admit to studiously avoiding figure skating competitions – live or on TV.
‘Crystal’ at school
Review by Danny Gaisin
A year or so ago, while critiquing a Stratford presentation directed & choreographed by Donna Feore; we created our own descriptive adjective. The term we came up with was “Dancical “and it is the perfect qualifier to exposit our opinion of Theatre Sheridan’s take on the Cole Porter blockbuster – “KISS ME KATE“. Direction is faultless; costumes are impeccably detailed; the entire cast meet every professional standard. Lastly, choreography is superlative, creatively and performance.
This concept of a musical version of a Shakespeare play is not unique; ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona”; The Boys From Syracuse and of course ‘West Side Story’ are all familiar.
Cast, crew, musicians & production team of “KISS ME KATE”
Review by Tina Gaisin
With the weather hitting “highs” of -22 degrees Celsius there was not much to do in Toronto for New Years Eve outdoors. We decided to warm it up and go to Jim Steinman( Associate producer ‘Meatloaf’)’s “Bat Out of Hell”. Growing up with Meatloaf, it was not surprising all the songs had people singing, tapping their feet, dancing and even had a neighbour in the row crying! (What a wuss!) The story line sounds familiar the haves and have nots, with Romeo Juliet and Peter Pan thrown in! The dancing was very modern; well worth the show with singing and a moral to be learned throughout the show.
The iconic image of both the play & “Meatloaf”
Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin
The first time we saw Gilbert & Sullivan’s 1881 operetta ‘HMS PINAFORE’, it was presented by a community theatre group that considered the lyrics remedial for folks with some speech challenges, and certainly singing was more fun than reciting tongue-twisters! The play has a strong but subtle message and denigrates ingrained British snobbism and oligarchic political attainment (think today’s White House). Stratford’s Lezlie Wade meticulously underscores the play’s comedic bent with impacting visual images; a creative and functional set, plus acute physical activity. Her choreographic utilization of the set’s two curved staircases will remind older individuals of the Busby Berkeley routines from the late fifties.
Admiral Laurie Murdoch chastising Captain Steve Ross before the crew & all those sisters/cousins/aunts!