‘THEORY”, documents interplay of ideas, etc. Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Norman Yeung’s play “Theory,now at the Tarragon’s Extra-Space, is relevant for our times, asking questions about the limits of both free speech and political correctness, and how these “theories” affect human lives and historical context. Skillfully and tautly directed by Esther Jun, the play centers around Isabelle, a young white professor of film theory, who encourages her diverse students to express themselves freely (as adults), including posting anonymously on a  elf-moderated discussion board that – all too soon – leads to comments that veer toward racism and sexism, leading some students to feeling unsafe.

Sascha Cole and her students learning “THEORY”

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“Metamorphoses”; or 90 mins. of Greek mythology 101 Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
“The Midas touch”; A Bacchanal ; In the arms of Morpheus’; Oedipus complex; Narcissistic; and all the variation of “Psycho… These, and many more are phrases derived from the names or acts of Ovid’s 15-AD poems describing the Greek mythologies popular two millennia ago. American director/ playwright Mary Zimmerman re-wrote episodal aspects of the original epic into visual, musical, and dramatic narratives that interpret some of the more familiar subjects. Theatre Erindale’s staging of Metamorphoses is predominantly her imagery, and director David Matheson’s creativity, and the result is magical as well as informative.    Photo courtesy of Michael Slater

The ‘laundresses’ performing in the pool

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“Journey’s End”; still meaningful 90 years later 1

Review by Danny Gaisin
Beside the famous Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, there is a War museum the has a replica trench and dugout. Even those with no claustrophobic tendencies feel somewhat anxious or uncomfortable experiencing that part of the exhibit. Binbrook Little Theatre’s presentation of R.C. Sherriff’s 1928 blockbuster about 3½ days in a trench dugout is so well staged and performed that one may identify with the closeness imposed on the cast members. Under the realism directed by Aubrey Boothman who also has a cameo role, all the portrayed characters display the virtues; strengths, weaknesses and psyches of men under the duress of war. This is a pure gem of theatre.

A dramatic on-stage interrogation moment in JOURNEY’S END

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“GARAGE SALE” hits home Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Good theatre should always evoke some kind of reaction from an audience. David King’s 1980 play GARAGE SALE has a premise that became personal a decade later. With the advent of NAFTA I was unceremoniously unemployed and considered moving aboard our sailing vessel and becoming seafaring Nomads. When Terry (the muse) heard the words “We’ll sell everything we don’t need…” she had a fit. End Of Plan. In Garage Sale, ‘Phil Grady’ has the same idea except for heading to the desert for his family’s nomaderie – same response. The Canadian Rep Theatre staged ‘Sale’ in a concert format.

The cast of GARAGE SALE performing on stage

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“A funny Thing happened on the way to the Forum” by EMP 6

Review by Danny Gaisin
Disclaimer:- I’m not a fan of Sondheim (boring & repetitious) but his 1962 fun musical ‘A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM’ is the exception. Roughly based on a 2nd C. BC play ; it tells the convoluted story of a Roman slave who hopes to win his freedom by helping his master’s son get the girl . The original play starred Zero Mostel as the conniving ‘Pseudolus’, who (sort of) reprised the character-type 5 years later abut updated 2200 years, his The Producer-ing ‘Bialystock’ is also a major scammer.
The introductory number is titled ‘Comedy Tonight’ and its certainly descriptive of the
Etobicoke Musical Prod’ effort.

the denizens of Rome, circa 250BC, aka – cast of FUNNY THING HAPPENED!

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“The FOURSOME” by W.E.S.T. Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
The late comedian W.C. Fields avowed that actors should never perform with kids or pets. Rationale – being upstaged. WEST’s quartet of males involved with Norm Foster’s “THE FOURSOME” had an opening night audience totally distracted by a spider weaving a large web -stage-right. This non-ACTRA performer, a large anthropoid arachnid happened to be weaving its web against a black backdrop and under a non-white Kleiglight – perfect illumination!
The play, once interest returned, is about a golf game as part of a fifteen year college reunion, and like an onion, the strips are peeled away revealing the duffer; the con artist; reticent member and the sensitive one.

l-r: Reid; Morrison; Rahmani & Wilson at the sixth Tee

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