Soulpepper’s John Eh? Larger than life Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

Michael Hollingworth’s, play, Confederation & Riel, paints a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald never before seen on a Canadian stage. While the founding father’s foibles are infamously familiar, actor Richard Clarkin leaves the stereotyped caricature far behind, and guides the Prime Minister into the territory of a brilliant, scheming statesman.
In this VideoCabaret/Soulpepper production, Macdonald’s every gesture, comment, and excess mannerism, becomes infinitely believable. It is not difficult to accept that in Macdonald’s winks and jokes, a confederacy was initiated. Equally skillful is Linda Prystawska’s portrayal of nine characters, male and female, young and old, from Macdonald’s wife, to a revolutionary Fenian, to Sir Alexander Galt.


“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


“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; been there – lost! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The William Finn 2005 short musical comedy about a Middle School competition is always a pleasure to witness as the play usually recruits 3 or 4 additional competitors chosen from the audience; and the improvisational ‘please use in a sentence’ bits are always contemporary and hilarious. This scribe participated in just such an event back in 1948. Youngest & smallest contestant; I was the only 6th grader in a Grade Seven Bee. The word ‘Apricot’ screwed me up and I’ve never eaten one since!
Drury Lane’s production under the direction of Gregory Flis is smooth, fast-paced and delightful.

The contestants and moderators of PUTNAM COUNTY


“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


“SUPERMARKET”; play deserves in-depth analysis Reply

co-review by Sylvie Di Leonardo and Michael Piscitelli
Artscape Youngsplace, frequently a haven for multi-media mavens, is transformed into SUPERMARKET for the final-year studio artists from the University of Scarborough.
“If you think about the nature of a supermarket, it’s a place with an eclectic variety of items placed together, especially now that its all one-stop shopping,” says fourth-year contributor Kristina Zaja. “Then if you think about conceptual art and doing conceptual art at the senior level in a university, we’re all working on our own concepts…and since we’re all creating within the same social/cultural time; but are quite different because of where our inspirations take us, in a sense this is like a supermarket of an art exhibition.”
Creative student playbill for “SUPERMARKET” More…

“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”