‘The Toronto Fringe’ – a most worthwhile festival Reply

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

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“THE TEMPEST” Brings many Sea-changes, woven by Martha Henry Reply

by Ellen S. Jaffe

The Tempest, probably Shakespeare’s final sole-authored play, is about magic – its power and its limitations – and about finding forgiveness, healing, and freedom through the breaking of spells and illusions. It is also about the magic and the power of theatre. Stratford’s current production of the play, beautifully directed by Antoni Cimolino (the Festival’s Artistic Director) and starring Martha Henry as Prospero, is one of the most magical and moving theatrical experiences I have had. Certainly a Tempest with a soul.  Martha Henry as Prospero, you say? Isn’t Prospero a “male” role? Well, yes – and no.

Martha Henry (Prospero) & Michael Blake (Calaban)   Photo by David Hou

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It’s a sin “To Kill a Mocking Bird” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
One of my last dates before moving to Toronto in 1962 was to see Gregory Peck (& a young Mary Badham) in Universal’s ‘Hat Trick’ Oscar® winner – To kill a Mocking Bird. The movie had a narrator, but director Nigel Williams has opted to have a grown up Jean Louise Finch (aka ‘Scout’) on stage and even recite some of the more poignant dialogue with her younger self. The synchronizing between Irene Poole and Clara Poppy Kushnir dovetails with perfection and total effectiveness. Kushnir IS ‘Scout’ and with her brother ‘Jem’ ( Jacob Skiba) and Hunter Smalley as their friend ‘Dill’, are a powerhouse triumvirate.

Jonathan Goad & his adoring ‘Scout’

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“AN (almost) IDEAL HUSBAND” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

The definition of ‘Ideal’ is [a] a conception of something in its perfection; [b] a standard of excellence; or [c] a person conceived as embodying such a conception. Oscar Wilde’s Lady Gertrude considers her husband Sir Robert just such an icon and his intense love for her pushes him to maintain such a lofty demeanour. Evidence of a youthful indiscretion leads to bribery and blackmail, which may blow away the very foundation of his studied character. Sophia Walker & Tim Campbell are the Chilterns and the interaction between them reflects such a penultimate emotional connection.

 Brad Hodder as AN IDEAL HUSBAND’s ideal friend

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“CORIOLANUS” a visionary new take on a political tragedy Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The protagonist of Shakespeare’s last tragedy – Caius Martius, receives the honorarium of Coriolanus in recognition of his conquering Coreoles, the capital city of Rome’s enemy. He’s a war hero whose mother pushes him into seeking political power. Think of a Dwight Eisenhower; with a Rose Kennedy materfamilias! Then add in a Pierre Trudeau distaining attitude toward the common electorate and one could then have a modern parallel of the original. Coriolanus is neither a hero nor a villain, he’s both and thus his enemies become more numerous than his supporters. He’s banished; joins Rome’s enemies; is seduced by family instinct; and gets assassinated for this second betrayal.

Andre Sills as a dynamic but faulted CORIOLANUS

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“Crystal” – a Cirque du Soleil tour du force Reply

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

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