Review by Danny Gaisin
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”
Review by E. Lisa Moses
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 of the denizens of HILDA’s YARD
Review by Danny Gaisin
It is a theatre tradition that harks back to vaudeville and travelling circus tents, that when ‘S*#t’ happens on stage or in the center ring; the director orders – “Send in the clowns”. Stephen Sondheim’s period piece about love; liaisons; familial relationships and convoluted interaction is a perfect vehicle for Stratford’s extensive reservoir of turn-of-the century costumes. Wardrobe honcho Bradley Dalcourt holds nothing back. Same can’t be said for director Gary Griffin; one gets the feeling that he strictly adhered to the Broadway & Hollywood predecessor versions.
The various coupling duos dancing ( by David Hou)
Review by Judith Robinson
British playwright, David Hare’s powerful, evocative, award-winning drama, Skylight, at Can Stage’s Berkeley Theatre, is about bridging gaps – between the sexes, generations and economic groups. This is Hidden Cove Productions first theatrical production.
In the context of Margaret Thatcher’s rabidly individualistic London, two former lovers – wealthy businessman, Tom Sergeant, played by Lindsay G. Merrithew, and teacher to the underprivileged, Kyra Hollis, played by Sara Topham – try to connect with one another. They are lost in ideologies; strongly-held beliefs; and patterns of behavior. They refuse to change, own their mistakes or adapt to the other’s viewpoint. Honest self-revelation becomes impossible. Photo of Merrithew & Topham in a dramatic SKYLIGHT moment … by Matthew Plexman
Review by Terry Gaisin
Six months ago, my muse critiqued West End Studio Theatre’s staging of the 1988 A.R. Gurney drama LOVE LETTERS. This time the much-requested reprise will receive my own evaluation…also a positive assessment, but seen and observed from a different view point or mindset. The play deals with two upper-class New England youngsters circa 1938 who iterate their relationship via handwritten correspondence, and continue to do so over the next half-century. Through their epistles, the audience follows their intersecting lives.
Reid & Brokenshire in “LOVE LETTERS”
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Most of us remember Alice’s words, “curiouser and curiouser”, as she explored the absurdities of Wonderland, sometimes funny; sometimes scary. In this elaborate and truly extra-ordinary production of Alice in Wonderland at the Shaw Festival, Alice’s curiosity and courage help her overcome fear and confusion, as she journeys through a world of imagination, reflecting Victorian society & turning it upside-down.
Oxford mathematics professor, Charles Dodgson, originally created the story in 1862, while taking the three Liddell sisters – including Alice – on a summer afternoon boat ride. Dodgson published the classic novel under the pen-name, Lewis Carroll, in 1865, and staged in 1886.
The cast of ALICE in WONDERLAND – photo by David Cooper