“Joe Ben-Jacob & his designer outerwear”, Reply

Review by Terry & Danny Gaisin
The first collaboration of Rice & Webber – “JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT” started out as a 20-minute exercise in 1968. It also established their new formula & protocols for a Broadway-type musical. i.e. Compose 1 or 2 big hit numbers; mostly pedestrian melodies; & reprises of the former –ad infinitum (think ‘Phantom’ & ‘Evita’ etc.)
J&TATD‘ is an almost completely-sung comic-ish operetta with only the narrator/teacher utilizing dialogue. The play opens with a Sunday School teacher & her students studying the 1st book of the old Testament. Abraham begat Isaac; who begat Esau & Jacob…

Curtis, Cautillo, and the Canaanites/Egyptians of “JOSEPH & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

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“The DINING ROOM”; a histrionic exercise Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Back in 1981 New York; Albert Gurney created a short multi-character play for that year’s N.Y. Fringe. It missed the selection cut; was expanded, and was then re-staged off-Broadway. The 6-actor play is comprised of eighteen vignette sketches centered around an upscale fin-de-siecle dining table in a fancy home. The thespian sextet portray – in just over an hour and a half; myriad scenarios that run the gamut of a potential real estate transfer to a final formal dinner party. In between, the audience witnesses a very posh white Protestant evolution of social mores. There’s a kid’s birthday party; an authoritative father figure;

the closing banquet in THE DINING ROOM…cheers!

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“TRAP DOOR” a new opera; especially for today Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Doing what we do, i.e. critiquing over a hundred concerts and theatre events every year; becoming jaded is par for the course. Then something comes along that knocks us for a loop. Sheridan’s Theatre Arts Faculty is staging a new play by Morris Panych, with music & lyrics by Anika and Britta Johnson. This Michael Rubinoff production that takes place in 1919 is as real and contemporary as this week’s news. The plot deals with a burlesque operation; gangsters; women treated as chattels; a mystery and except for moments of comic relief- operatic tragedy. The twenty-one arias pack visceral messages and impact.
Editor’s Note: At the request of the producer; no cast photos were taken of this play

Our intrepid critic & TRAP DOOR’s creative team!

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“Into the Woods”; think about what you wish for! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Given my own biases, I’m ambivalent about critiquing any play by Sondheim. He may have an iconic status, but this scrivener finds him notoriously repetitious and thus – boring. However, one cannot deny that he undertakes subjective challenges and doesn’t balk at taboos. “INTO The WOODS” has, and is – both.
With the 5-week teachers strike from October 15th until mid-November;
Sheridan’s Theatre Arts Faculty started rehearsals under self-managed production & direction. The result is both professional and polished… four years of tutelage has certainly paid off.
The plots consolidate familiar fairy tales and is divided into two distinct acts. The first is the requisite story lines and interaction. 

the cast of thespians out of,  & “INTO THE WOODS”

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“MARINE LIFE” plumbs climate change & human relationships Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Marine Life, written and directed by Rosa Laborde in collaboration with Aluna Theatre and now playing at Tarragon Extraspace, is a fable for our times. Through witty and perceptive dialogue, excellent acting, and an amazing set featuring both factual projections and touches of magic realism, this one-act piece shows us the interplay between the planet’s damaged oceans and the characters’ damaged lives. Despite these themes, the play is (as the playwright notes) a comedy in the true sense of the word – it provides some hope for redemption (at least partial). Not traditional theatre, but exciting, provocative, and well worth seeing.   Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Matthew; Justin & Nicola in MARINE LIFE

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BROKEN GLASS: Miller’s play shows lives shattered by hatred Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Production of a late, little-known play by Arthur Miller (1915-2005), is a cause for curiosity and celebration. The U.S. playwright is best known for plays like Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and All My Sons, which combine personal and political issues. Broken Glass, written in 1994 and now produced by Teatron, Toronto’s Jewish Theatre, also has this dual perspective. Directed and designed by Ari Weisberg, who founded Teatron in 2002 remained Artistic Director until he moved to Israel in 2015, is presented as part of Holocaust Education Week, 2017. The theatre has done excellent productions of contemporary and older Jewish theatre.                                                                                             Berlin –  11/09/’38
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