“SISTER ACT”; could be ‘habit forming! Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Sister Act
, the current presentation of Hamilton Theatre Inc., is among the increasing number of Broadway musical comedies based on an earlier movie.  The original 1992 movie starred Whoopi Goldberg. The musical play, with music by Alan Menkin, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and book by Cheri and Bill Steinkeller, premiered in Pasadena in 2006, opened in London’s West End in 2009, and on Broadway in 2011. HTI’s production, celebrating its 60th season of producing music comedy in Hamilton, performs the minor miracle of successfully mounting this large-scale musical on the small stage of HTI’s theatrical home on McNab St. North.

A shot from the original ‘Sister Act’; WITHOUT the hammy Whoopi

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“SENZA LUCE”; allegorical musical by Sheridan undergrads. 1

Review by Danny Gaisin
An allegory is a representation of ideas; morals; religion or politics integrated into a poem, story or play. Theatre Sheridan’s “SENZA LUCE”, is a musical adaptation of a newspaper article seen by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill. Directed by the latter, the story reminds one of Gerstäcker’s 1840’s ‘GERMELSHAUSEN’. ‘Senza Luce’ is Italian for ‘without light’ and the plot deals with a town so deep in a valley as to be in total darkness. When a young inhabitant dares climb the mountain, he sees sunlight. Endeavoring to reflect the sun into the town, he disturbs the status quo and thus faces antagonism as well as intense animosity.

the cast of SENZA LUCE

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“How to Succeed in Business without really trying” …WORKS! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Editorial disclaimer: – see end of article!
It is almost a definition of musical or dramatic theatre that there is always a character whose role is pivotal and thus interpretation is paramount to its realization. Nowhere is this tautology more evidential than that of J. Pierrepont (or Pierpont) Finch in the 1961 Burrows/Weinstock/Gilbert book ‘HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING’. This allegorical story about a young man’s corporate rise is a Machiavellian ‘Horatio Alger’. The addition of Frank Loesser’s lyrics and compositions made it a multiple Tony Award™ winner; N.Y. Drama Critics Circle prize; and a Pulitzer.

The WWW staff being advised ” A secretary is NOT a toy”

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OKLAHOMA; it’s “O.K.” to have fun at the theatre Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Some interesting facts about the ‘Sooner’ State. Oklahoma was the first territory to hold a land Rush in 1889. It received Statehood in 1907 and was the first State to utilize parking meters (1935) and the first one to erect a ‘Yield’ sign in 1950. The motivation for mentioning Oklahoma’s myriad originals is because “OKLAHOMA” was the first collaboration of Rogers and Hammerstein in1943; heralding the golden age of Broadway musicals. Take Riggs’ book ‘Green Grow the Lilacs’; add in superb music and amazing lyrics and no wonder the result is still a sellout 74 years later!

          The farmers & cowboys of pre-statehood “OKLAHOMA”

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“The Book of Mormon” a hoot from start to curtain. Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Admission of guilt; this scribe is a longtime fan of Eric, Kyle, Stan & Kenny (the ‘South Park’ kids), so naturally I’m an admirer of their creators -Trey Parker & Matt Stone. Along with Robert Lopez, this talented duo created the musical BOOK OF MORMON, and just like in that fictional Colorado locale, nothing is sacred and everything is grist for their destructive pens. Fortunately, the same humour that afflicted the denizens of South Park is subjected to an atheistic assault on the followers of Joseph Smith & Brigham Young. For what I know of Mormonism, read this column to its end.

Connor Peirson (Elder Cunningham) coverting the Ugandans

Connor Peirson (Elder Cunningham) converting the Ugandans

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“Catch Me If You Can”; a musical about larceny & youth Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Ages ago, while flying back from Italy, the airline was showing the Spielberg movie with Di Caprio & Hanks about the actual larcenous antics of Frank Abagnale Jr. Unfortunately, a tailwind brought us to YYZ about 15 minutes early and so I never found out how the story ended…until now. Meadowvale Music Theatre is presenting the musical version of ‘CATCH ME IF YOU CAN’ and the plot remains (almost) true to the actual saga. By age 19, the young man had conned the system for about 2 million dollars. Talk about youthful enterprise!

the cast of "CATCH ME IF YOU CAN"

                    The cast of “CATCH ME IF YOU CAN”

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