“A funny Thing happened on the way to the Forum” by EMP 2

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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“HARLEM DUET” explores racism, past & present Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Djanet Sears’ powerful “rhapsodic blues tragedy, “ Harlem Duet, is onstage at the Tarragon again, 21 years after its world premiere there. The play received Dora, Chalmers and Governor-General’s Awards, and was the first script by a black Canadian produced at Stratford Festival (2006); it has also been produced in New York.
I did not see earlier productions, but seeing it now, I find the play relevant for today and (like Shakespeare and Greek tragedy) for all times. The playwright asks the question, “Who would Shakespeare’s character Othello be if he were alive today…in my world?” As in the blues, the play has a musical, linear and non-linear quality.   Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Stephens-Thompson & Borden in HARLEM DUET

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“The Magician’s Nephew” or having to learn stuff Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin, assisted by Henry & Jaron – also Wikipedia®
Nobody told me that reading the Narnia Chronicles, especially The Lion, Witch & Wardrobe is a necessity if one is to follow and understand C.S. Lewis’ THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW. Fortunately, I was able to enlist two American visitors; Henry, aged 12 & Jaron who is 17 to decode and explain what SHAW Festival’s head honcho Tim Carrroll seems able to decipher. Seems that the seven Narnia Chronicles are NOT about an AMAZONtm warehouse shipping operation, even though boxes and the cuttings thereof are the major on-stage operations. Michael O’Brien’s adaptation of ‘Nephew’ is being premiered by the Festival.  Photo by Emily Cooper

Matt Nethersole transporting Sears & Seetoo. Wonder if he also cleans out eavesdrops!

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“Hound of the Baskervilles”; drollery, my dear Watson! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Conan Doyle’s eponymous turn-of-the 20th century CSI-type detective Sherlock Holmes leaps off the book pages as a cheerless didactic with highly pedantic mannerisms. In other words, an arrogant and irritating Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon. Perhaps we, and the dictionary should have a new adjective – “Sheldonistic”.
In this year’s SHAW interpretation under the direction of
Craig Hall, liberties are taken but given that Doyle died before Hall (or even I) was born; impropriety surely can’t be litigated. Thus, Hall and his dynamite cast have envisioned an opportunity to substantially lighten an almost science-fiction drama into a comedic possibility. It’s a hoot…also a howl!

Reid & Atkins aka Watson & Holmes —“the game’s afoot”

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‘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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