Artword Artbar celebrates Toller Cranston Reply

By Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.

 TOLLER  (Toller-on-the-run Productions), written and directed by Sky Gilbert, is about figure-skater Toller Cranston as he muses on his life and times. The piece was inspired by Cranston’s 1997 memoir Zero Tollerance: An Intimate Memoir by The Man That Revolutionized Figure Skating. Gilbert premiered the play at the Artword Artbar in November 2015 and remounted it for the Toronto Fringe.  David Benjamin Tomlinson re-creates his brilliant portrayal of Toller, talking about isolation, identity, sexuality, art and beauty, in language that conveys both sparkle and shadow.  More…


“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


“The Hero of Hunter Street” builds hope from ashes Reply

Review by E. Lisa MosesReviewer E. Lisa
    The world premiere of Maja Ardal’s play, The Hero of Hunter Street, tackles one of the biggest industrial catastrophes in Canadian history. Massive explosions, and a four-day fire in a Peterborough, Ont. Quaker Oats plant, killed 24 men 100 years ago, and left the community reeling. Directed by Kim Blackwell, the play at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook leverages the talents of 47 professional and volunteer actors – from an infant to an octogenarian. Their 75 characters treat the poignant story, intricate characterizations and profound emotions with sensitivity and grace.

a moment of comedic relief during "Hero of Hunter St."

A moment of comedic relief       Photo by Wayne Eardley (Brookside Studio)


“A Woman of No Importance”, but some significance! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
            Oscar Wilde was a Victorian author whose plays; ‘Windermere’s Fan’; ‘Ideal Husband’ & ‘…Ernest’ were all bigger hits than A Woman of no Importance, currently on stage at SHAW’s Festival Theatre. Directed by Eda Holmes, the play is (sort of) updated to 1951 although the costumes; dated plot and morality are still rooted in the last half of the nineteenth century. Wilde’s fascination with satirizing the upper class and confronting the double-standard of the period is reflected in all his plays.   Photo by David Cooper

The women of " A WOMAN of No IMPORTANCE

     Some of the women of ” A WOMAN of No IMPORTANCE


“Engaged”; a convoluted play about trigamy (sic) Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

The Victorian era was period of progress including within the arts. Although the moral dictates were strict, subtlety and ironic endings endowed theatre with the opportunity to poke fun at its world. W.S. Gilbert was a master of satirizing the hypocrisy of the times, and was probably one of the reasons his collaboration with Sullivan was so symbiotic and successful. His 1879 play “ENGAGED” is a convoluted farcical play about an almost middle-aged man who falls in love with every woman he meets. His family commissions another fellow to keep him from taking the fatal marital step.
Photo courtesy of David Cooper

the cast of "ENGAGED"

the cast of “ENGAGED”


“Hilda’s Yard” mends fences hilariously Reply

Review by E. Lisa MosesReviewer E. Lisa
      Drayton Entertainment’s production of Norm Foster’s quirky comedy, Hilda’s Yard, conjures up the spirit of 1950s – focusing on a middle-class family – the Flucks. The play opened on Thursday at the King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene with an impressive company of six that kept up a snappy pace within an exceptional retro set design by Ivan Brozic.
This lovely setting is where empty nesters Hilda and Sam Fluck, played by Patti Allan and Brian Linds, find renewed intimacy after their two grown children have finally left home. But their spooning and dreams of buying a pricey first television set to watch Gunsmoke are cut short.  Photo by John Sharp

Some od the denizens of HILDA's YARD

Some of the denizens of HILDA’s YARD