“ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW” visits the Wild Side Reply

Review by Marion Davis

Leave your inhibitions at home! You will not be disappointed. This is an excellent performance accomplished by the Stratford Festival. I did not see an empty seat in the house and all ages from 12 & up seemed to be there. It was surprising how little audience participation there was as compared to productions from the late 70’s and from the movie theatres; however, what participation there was, added to the overall show without drowning it out, and made this presentation what has become so popular in Stratford, namely “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. *

An iconic promo ad from 2016’s major R.H.P.S. tour

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It’s a sin “To Kill a Mocking Bird” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
One of my last dates before moving to Toronto in 1962 was to see Gregory Peck (& a young Mary Badham) in Universal’s ‘Hat Trick’ Oscar® winner – To kill a Mocking Bird. The movie had a narrator, but director Nigel Williams has opted to have a grown up Jean Louise Finch (aka ‘Scout’) on stage and even recite some of the more poignant dialogue with her younger self. The synchronizing between Irene Poole and Clara Poppy Kushnir dovetails with perfection and total effectiveness. Kushnir IS ‘Scout’ and with her brother ‘Jem’ ( Jacob Skiba) and Hunter Smalley as their friend ‘Dill’, are a powerhouse triumvirate.

Jonathan Goad & his adoring ‘Scout’

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“AN (almost) IDEAL HUSBAND” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

The definition of ‘Ideal’ is [a] a conception of something in its perfection; [b] a standard of excellence; or [c] a person conceived as embodying such a conception. Oscar Wilde’s Lady Gertrude considers her husband Sir Robert just such an icon and his intense love for her pushes him to maintain such a lofty demeanour. Evidence of a youthful indiscretion leads to bribery and blackmail, which may blow away the very foundation of his studied character. Sophia Walker & Tim Campbell are the Chilterns and the interaction between them reflects such a penultimate emotional connection.

 Brad Hodder as AN IDEAL HUSBAND’s ideal friend

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“CORIOLANUS” a visionary new take on a political tragedy Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The protagonist of Shakespeare’s last tragedy – Caius Martius, receives the honorarium of Coriolanus in recognition of his conquering Coreoles, the capital city of Rome’s enemy. He’s a war hero whose mother pushes him into seeking political power. Think of a Dwight Eisenhower; with a Rose Kennedy materfamilias! Then add in a Pierre Trudeau distaining attitude toward the common electorate and one could then have a modern parallel of the original. Coriolanus is neither a hero nor a villain, he’s both and thus his enemies become more numerous than his supporters. He’s banished; joins Rome’s enemies; is seduced by family instinct; and gets assassinated for this second betrayal.

Andre Sills as a dynamic but faulted CORIOLANUS

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“THE MUSIC MAN”; Stratford & Feore ace Meredith Wilson Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Classical musician, arranger and composer Meredith Wilson’s iconic Broadway musical THE MUSIC MAN may take place in 1902 small-town Iowa; but conning, stings; greed & ‘Peter Principle’ politics are just as current and eternal as love. The play has all of these ingredients and director/choreographer Donna Feore makes this iteration her own. The choreography, immaculate direction and even the subtle little touches are not only effective, but seem contemporary.
Director Feore; ‘Prof. Harold Hill’; and a certain youngster named
Alexander Elliot are a powerhouse trio that own the production, but it is Feore’s input and focus that are a major contribution.

Daren A. Herbert & his River City adorables

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Truscott play a wake-up call Reply

Review by Judith Robinson

The characters in Soulpepper’s production of “
Innocence Lost; a play about Steven Truscott”, are collectively evil, ignorant and frightening. Director Jackie Maxwell creates a stunning ensemble masterpiece and a community chorus of condemnation reminiscent of the Greek tragedies in her depiction of Beverly Cooper’s docudrama.
While most Canadians might find it hard to believe, that an innocent 14-year-old boy would be wrongly convicted of rape and murder in their neighbourhood, this play reveals that it’s a likely possibility.
Nancy Polk’s compelling portrayal of Isabel LeBourdais, the writer who spent many years attempting to acquit Steven Truscott after his 1959 conviction, demonstrates that justice seekers are an unpopular lot.

The Police ‘mugshot’ of a young Steven Truscott

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