“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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“GIRLS LIKE THAT” could be you, or your daughter Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

 

 

Evan Placey’s play Girls Like That, now at the Tarragon’s Mainspace, is a play of paradoxes – and a powerful, captivating theatrical experience. It is a feminist play written by a man, and rings true both psychologically and socially. It depicts adolescent girls who live by their cell-phones and social media, yet it appeals both to teenagers and to older women — and men. I attended a matinee where most of the audience were high school and university students who said that the play reflected their lives. There were, however, a number of audience members older than the “social media generation,” who said they, too, identified with the characters and action.      Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann                                                                   The ensemble of “GIRLS LIKE THAT” More…

“Little shop of (Hilarious) Horrors”; by Burloak. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The ridiculous concept behind the 1960 B-movie and subsequent off-Broadway presentations led to a big-budget film 25 years later directed by Frank Oz of Muppet & Sesame Street fame. A voracious Venus Flytrap; an amateur botanist; a failing flower retailer located in the slums; and a terrific trio of back-up singers provide all the ingredients for an evening of mirthfulness and entertainment…but only if done as professionally as possible. BurlOak Theatre group and director Mike Ranieri have staged something faultless. Attending a final dress rehearsal meant that this scribe was accorded the opportunity to observe the stage manager’s (Greg Stanton) last chance for his ‘technical tweaking’.

The cast of BurlOak’s “Little Shop of Horrors”

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“CHESS, The Musical”, a creation of 2/4ths of ‘ABBA Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Q B pawn to d4! Not a coded spy message but an opening gambit. The game of chess was created during the sixth century in India or maybe Persia or perhaps China. It still is popular and such tournaments as Levitsky v Marshall in 1912; Byrne v Fischer in ’56; the Kasparov/Topalov match in 1999 was only out-viewed by the former taking on IBM’s “Deep Blue” in 1996.
The winner of the 1974 Worldvision TV talent show was won by a Swedish group. Two males-Benny Andersson & Bj
örn Ulvaeus were joined by singer/dancers Agnetha and Anni-Frid and by incorporating their 1st initials became known as ABBA. Remember them?

the cast of CCMPs “CHESS, the Musical”

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“Anything Goes”, (and keeps on going) Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
During the recent Olympics, there was a kerfuffle over judging. Seems a skater received less points than a competitor that actually fell on the ice. The refs explained that marking was done on the basis of undertaken difficulty; same thing happens with theatrical critiquing.
McMaster’s Musical Theatre decided to stage the Cole Porter durable creation
ANYTHING GOES deserves an unsharpened pencil; because putting on a demanding big cast; big crew, Broadway musical is daunting enough without having to face a tough reviewer.  The 1934 play is based on a Wodehouse & Bolton story with Porter writing both the music and the lyrics.

The passengers & crew of USS America, for whom “Anything Goes”

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“Kiss Me Kate”; Sheridan aces this Cole Porter standard Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
A year or so ago, while critiquing a Stratford presentation directed & choreographed by Donna Feore; we created our own descriptive adjective. The term we came up with was “Dancical “and it is the perfect qualifier to exposit our opinion of Theatre Sheridan’s take on the Cole Porter blockbuster – “KISS ME KATE“. Direction is faultless; costumes are impeccably detailed; the entire cast meet every professional standard. Lastly, choreography is superlative, creatively and performance.
This concept of a musical version of a Shakespeare play is not unique; ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona”;
The Boys From Syracuse and of course ‘West Side Story’ are all familiar.

Cast, crew, musicians & production team of “KISS ME KATE”

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