Cacophony in the Dollhouse Reply

Review by Michael PiscitellireviewerMichael P2
Doing your research for a play is crucial when performing.  Doing your research for seeing a piece of theatre; not so much. But I’ve been known to be wrong before.  Going in to a show blind can be either a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, you could end up experiencing a fantastic plot, with dynamic visual designs and action. Or you could end up witnessing something that may leave you confused and unsure of why you came in the first place. Or worse, wanting your money back.

An interpretive moment in "Dollhouse"

An interpretive moment in “Dollhouse”



STEPPING OUT; “5 – 6 – 7 – 8” (& the 3 “T” s) Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Someone searching for a recipe delineating the ingredients needed for a play about learning to dance, the Google® listings would probably list ‘Billy Elliot’; “A Chorus Line” and perhaps ‘The Full Monty” for icing. Richard Harris’ 1984 creation tells, or hints at the rationales behind a diverse group of lower class ladies & one male enrolling in a church basement tap-dance class. The motivations seem more social than terpsichorean.
Under the direction of Alex Bodnar, the ten cast members construe the stimulus or incentives behind their characters as well as portray in interactions that develop between the attendees.

The cast finally & successfully STEPPING OUT

The cast finally (& successfully) STEPPING OUT


“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”