“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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“FLOYD COLLINS”; a tragic musical based on reality Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
‘There was a spelunker named Floyd; who was told caving he should avoid.
But he didn’t listen – in the cave he went missin’; his naysayers had the last ‘woid’.
Even the most unflappable columnists sometimes go off the rails, so please forgive the above doggerel as just yours truly being immature. In any case, it does reflect the plot of Guettel & Landau’s musical “FLOYD COLLINS”. Every snowbird driving south on U.S. 75 passes the turnoff sign for Mammoth Cave just north of the Kentucky Tennessee border.

Ben Chiasson as "FLOYD COLLINS", alone in his underground grotto

Ben Chiasson as “FLOYD COLLINS”, alone in his underground grotto

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“FOOTLOOSE”, Sheridan’s showcase vehicle Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

“Where the Hell is Bomont?” is the opening bit of dialogue, and truth be known; it’s actually @ 34°- 57’ N & 97°-23’W. The place is really Elmore City, OK where in 1898 a local bylaw was passed outlawing dancing and only rescinded in 1986. Multi-talented Dean Pitchford took the story and turned it into both a movie and stage play, gleaning both an Oscar™ and Golden Globe™. Sheridan’s David Connolly has taken this ‘period piece’ (re: Joel Cumber -asst. director) and utilized it as a showcase vehicle for the faculty’s undergrads’ abilities. Acting, singing and dance are all role requisites. The entire cast has all three…in spades.

Students Willard & Ren addressing the Bomont Town Council

Students Willard & Ren addressing the Bomont Town Council

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“BLOOD BROTHERS”, revisited & redirected Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Our first exposure to Willy Russell’s musical tragedy,” BLOOD BROTHERS” was coincidently, ten years ago- almost to the day. It was then staged by Clarkson Music Theatre and starred Jo Kemp (also coincidently was in the audience for last night’s iteration).  Second version: – Sheridan’s 2012 marvelous Studio Theatre adaptation. WEST END STUDIO THEATRE under the direction of Yo Mustafa has taken the play’s starkness to a new level and its impact is thus intensified. A totally bare stage; minute & momentary props plus concentrated harsh spotlighting are the only ancillaries to the dialogue or vocal solos & duets.

The cast (& swing/crew) of "BLOOD BROTHERS"

The cast (& swing/crew) of “BLOOD BROTHERS”

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“The Little Mermaid”; ‘positoovilly’ a gem! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

“♫ Darling, it’s better, down where its wetter; take it from me -Under the Sea “. Words to live by, if you happen to possess gills and fins. Or, if you are a cast member of THEATRE UNLIMITED’s amazingly particularized and perfectly executed adaptation of Disney’s interpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. This is one BIG effort that is so professionally implemented as to belie the axiom that community theatres are intrinsically second rate. This undertaking is (as ‘Scuttle’ claims) ‘positoovilly’ a gem of musical entertainment.

The (mostly) undersea world of THE LITTLE MERMAID

The (mostly) undersea world of THE LITTLE MERMAID

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O.A.R.’s “THE TOP TEN” (plus plus), 2016 Reply

Editorial & Administrative opinions
There have been previous years where due to tie-votes, our ARTS REVIEW’s TOP TEN list has, in actuality contained 12 or even 14 items. This year has seen such a plethora of worthy efforts of entertainment that the final selection process was daunting. So, for the first time, O.A.R.  will also specify an ‘Honourable Mention’ (sort of Silver or Bronze medal) category.

THEATRE UNLIMITED, This successful Miss ‘a community group undertook staging the musical version of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. The droll puns and one-liners still abound but with the addition of musical numbers, it’s even enhanced. As we wrote in our review “– an awesome giggle from start to finish and we loved it!”

the candidates for work as part of A CHORUS LINE

the candidates for work as part of Stratford’s “A CHORUS LINE”

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