“MAMMA MIA”; Theatre Ancaster takes a chance… Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
First saw the Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) silliness ages ago when everybody trooped to Mirvish’s King Street theatre to hear, sing & dance to the mega hit. Thought the movie version (Streep/Brosnan etc.) was a disaster. Last night I again felt the excitement experienced in Toronto during the last century!. It’s toe-tapping; titillating; hummable and certainly encourages muted singing along. Well staged; superbly sung & acted and meticulously directed. Ancaster may be a community theatre, but its efforts are highly professional productions. Their 2018 “CHICAGO” made our O.A.R. Top Ten List and MAMMA MIA is a definite contender for 2019.

Cast & crew of Ancaster’s MAMMA MIA 2019   Photo by John Gillett

More…

“THEFT”; Peninsula Players having fun Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Jimmy Buffett wrote about ‘Changes in attitude; changes in Latitude’; but he was referring to a geographical coordinate rather than a social position. In Eric Chappell’s play – THEFT; two couples who consider each other as best friends, have differing financial positions. Been there, experienced that! The plot describes a weekend at John & Barbara Miles’ country estate. Upon returning to the mansion the quartet realized the place has been burgled and ransacked. All four are unaware that the thief is still concealed inside. When they discover the miscreant, he becomes the catalyst that exposes each of the foursome’s innermost secrets and attitudes within the group.

l-r: Baker; Ingram; Hunt; Nyman & Munroe in “THEFT”

More…

The Glove Thief, history- as drama Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

 As any history buff will know, the mid-sixteenth century in Britain was a time of strife. A queen without an heir; Protestant and Catholic animosities, and politics – with all the intrinsic intrigues; diplomacies; maneuvering; and especially ambition. Theatre Erindale’s presentation of Beth Flintoff’s play THE GLOVE THIEF depicts three of the most powerful women of the period…Queen Elizabeth I; Mary Stuart of Scotland and the extremely wealthy Beth Hardwick , Countess of Shrewsbury. The regal pair and the status seeking ‘Bess’ all interact with ‘Rose’, the title character; and thus through her eyes and thoughts, this play is Brit History 101.
Jenette Meehan & Sarah AbdelRahman in a dramatic moment       photo by Michael Slater
More…

‘The Cult of DALKHILU’ j.i.t. For Halloween Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Less than week before the kiddies (& some adults) are out ‘Trick or Treating’; Missed Metaphor Productions has an ingenious and creative play onstage at Passe Muraille’s backstage that perfectly fits the rationale behind next Thursday’s celebration. No Zombies, but a tale about the pen leading to the sword. “The Cult of Dalkhilu” also captures contemporary idiosyncrasies, psychosomatic phobias and alpha/omega personality traits. It also challenges the audience and especially theatre critics because there are so many plot twists that even a hint of the story line would be a spoiler. So, this scribe can only talk about the playwright/director and the individual cast members.

the cast of DALKHILU

More…

In “YAGA,” Slavic Legend meets 21st century Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Yaga, written and directed by Canadian playwright Kat Sandler, brings the old Slavic story of Baba Yaga to new, modern life in a combination of fairy-tale, comedy, mystery, and a commentary on gender and aging. The play opens the Tarragon’s 2019-220 season. With impeccable, often brilliant acting by the well-known Seana McKenna and by Claire Armstrong and Will Greenblatt, the play is fast-paced and funny as well as thought-provoking.  For those who do not know the legend, Baba Yaga is a Slavic version of the mythic witch — seen as old, ugly, cruel (rumoured to eat children).                                                                                                                         Seanna McKenna In YAGA
More…

“MOONGLOW” a gut-wrenching portrayal of Alzheimer’s Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

       ISimcoe Little Theatre’s staging of Kim Carney’s “MOONGLOW” is a dramatic interpretation of two older people committed to a care facility due to the onslaught of dementia.
It is a basic tenet of writer’s )& supposedly politicians) to declare any biases or partiality before putting pen to paper. Hence, the following: – Both my muse and I, on advice from our doctors, underwent cognitive analysis and learned that there has been some
rational deterioration. The prognosis is pessimistic. So, a play about the symptoms and manifestations of the disease will obviously prejudice any critique by yours truly.
One of the symptoms of dementia is regression.

Williams & Carvalho in a dramatic & unsettling moment

More…