The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, @ S.LT Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

‘APRICOT’, noun; a fruit. Seventy-odd years ago by spelling it APRACOT, this scribe lost out on making history as the only Grade 6 entry on Iona Ave. Public School’s Spelling Bee team. Haven’t eaten one since! So, why bring back old memories by attending a performance of Simcoe Little Theatre’s iteration of the Finn/Sheinkin play The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, here-to-for abbreviated “T25APCSB”. Because it’s a cute bit of fluff and especially because the major members of the cast are kids. Talented kids, adorable kids, funny kids- what’s NOT to like?
The directing team of Tony & Michelle Proracki both have teaching and musical backgrounds.   Photo by RoseLe Studio

Jim Donovan & Jada Dawson competing, observed by a dour Rylea O’Toole

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“THIS IS WAR”; as gritty & intense as the real thing Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Hannah Moscovitch is an acclaimed young Canadian writer with a plethora of awards that are not only impressive but especially so given her (almost) tender years. For Theatre Erindale and its director Anita La Selva to decide on staging THIS IS WAR is more than just a challenge, it is a gamble! The play may run only ninety minutes long but for the quartet on stage; and especially for the audience; this is an exceptional demand. The plot-line concerns four Canadian Armed Forces grunts deployed to Afghanistan who have just completed a joint operation with the local militia and it appears that a slaughter may have occurred.

l-r, Ackerman; Boston; Sidlofsky & Cadwell     (Photo by Michael Slater

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“MAMMA MIA”; Theatre Ancaster takes a chance… Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
First saw the Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) silliness ages ago when everybody trooped to Mirvish’s King Street theatre to hear, sing & dance to the mega hit. Thought the movie version (Streep/Brosnan etc.) was a disaster. Last night I again felt the excitement experienced in Toronto during the last century!. It’s toe-tapping; titillating; hummable and certainly encourages muted singing along. Well staged; superbly sung & acted and meticulously directed. Ancaster may be a community theatre, but its efforts are highly professional productions. Their 2018 “CHICAGO” made our O.A.R. Top Ten List and MAMMA MIA is a definite contender for 2019.

Cast & crew of Ancaster’s MAMMA MIA 2019   Photo by John Gillett

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“THEFT”; Peninsula Players having fun Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Jimmy Buffett wrote about ‘Changes in attitude; changes in Latitude’; but he was referring to a geographical coordinate rather than a social position. In Eric Chappell’s play – THEFT; two couples who consider each other as best friends, have differing financial positions. Been there, experienced that! The plot describes a weekend at John & Barbara Miles’ country estate. Upon returning to the mansion the quartet realized the place has been burgled and ransacked. All four are unaware that the thief is still concealed inside. When they discover the miscreant, he becomes the catalyst that exposes each of the foursome’s innermost secrets and attitudes within the group.

l-r: Baker; Ingram; Hunt; Nyman & Munroe in “THEFT”

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The Glove Thief, history- as drama Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

 As any history buff will know, the mid-sixteenth century in Britain was a time of strife. A queen without an heir; Protestant and Catholic animosities, and politics – with all the intrinsic intrigues; diplomacies; maneuvering; and especially ambition. Theatre Erindale’s presentation of Beth Flintoff’s play THE GLOVE THIEF depicts three of the most powerful women of the period…Queen Elizabeth I; Mary Stuart of Scotland and the extremely wealthy Beth Hardwick , Countess of Shrewsbury. The regal pair and the status seeking ‘Bess’ all interact with ‘Rose’, the title character; and thus through her eyes and thoughts, this play is Brit History 101.
Jenette Meehan & Sarah AbdelRahman in a dramatic moment       photo by Michael Slater
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‘The Cult of DALKHILU’ j.i.t. For Halloween Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Less than week before the kiddies (& some adults) are out ‘Trick or Treating’; Missed Metaphor Productions has an ingenious and creative play onstage at Passe Muraille’s backstage that perfectly fits the rationale behind next Thursday’s celebration. No Zombies, but a tale about the pen leading to the sword. “The Cult of Dalkhilu” also captures contemporary idiosyncrasies, psychosomatic phobias and alpha/omega personality traits. It also challenges the audience and especially theatre critics because there are so many plot twists that even a hint of the story line would be a spoiler. So, this scribe can only talk about the playwright/director and the individual cast members.

the cast of DALKHILU

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