“Serenades & Sonatas”, a class ”A” CD addition Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
There has only been a very few occasions where this blog has critiqued a record or disc, and – admission – those were performed by the writer’s personal bias. “Serenades & Sonatas for Flute & Harp” with Suzanne Shulman & Erica Goodman is something special. Both musicians are the “A” team of their respective instruments. Shulman is the flautist, and for Jeopardy® aficionados, the flute is also called an ‘aerophone! Goodman is the harpist with the Hamilton Philharmonic and thus has previously received positive commentary by us.
The program opens with Vaughan Williams ‘Greensleeves’ fantasia performed by Shulman.

Ms. Goodman and her harp


“O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2018 ” Reply

Opinion by O.A.R. administrators
Dec. 22, ‘ 18
Can’t fight progress, so this year there will be a major change… a Toronto Fringe offering is to be included, even though we previously relegated these 1-hour efforts to the ‘Honourable Mention’ category. However, the criteria for overall inclusion remains unchanged- memorable; educational; entertaining and definitely professionally staged!

HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC. This superior orchestra under the direction of Gemma New offered a full series of superlative concerts whose eclectic selections ran the gamut from the seriously classical to fun pops and contemporary compositions. Given the high caliber of the HPO, choosing just one as a standout proved too difficult; so, a 4-way-tie.

A dramatic on-stage interrogation moment in JOURNEY’S END


TIMON OF ATHENS: “riches to rags, generosity to despair” Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Is friendship only as deep as your pocket?  What happens when you believe you are wealthy in friends as well as money – and then these friends desert you in your hour of need?  Timon of Athens, at Stratford, raises these questions, important for our time as well as Shakespeare’s. Timon is one of Shakespeare’s least performed plays; some scholars even think that the play was not written entirely by Shakespeare but in collaboration with another writer, perhaps Thomas Middleton. It has, however, been revived in the 20th and now 21st centuries, often set in modern dress, as in this production.    Photo by Cylla von Tydemann

      the cast of TIMON of ATHENS on stage


“Critiquing (unbiasly); one’s own ‘kiddlies’ in performance” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
            Every experienced critical columnist will admit that writing about kids is anathematic. Even being objective is rife with danger. An unbiased review in keeping with the writer’s credibility reports on flaws; the editor can expect poisoned-pen letters saying “The kid was amazing… even the obvious flaws were cute…and besides, his or her parents were divorcing or separating or the child wasn’t feeling well! So, like all my counterparts, when a request for a child-oriented column is offered, the closet; bathroom; under the desk or a storage area is immediately sought out. Unless it includes one’s own grandkids or great-grandkids.

One of the younger classes interpreting ” “He’s So Fine”


“Mohawk”, an ancient Iroquois tribe, a modern College Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
            The Mohicans of James Fennimore Cooper and today’s Six Nations tribe have a long and respected history vis-à-vis Canada. Joe Brant; the War of 1812, and the ‘guardians’ of early New York, are part of our combined history. In 1966, MOHAWK COLLEGE was formed and today stands as one of the most successful colleges in the country. For very personal association and respect, we decided to cover its graduation ceremony rather than a McMaster or U of T convocation.

The actual graduation ceremony procession

The actual graduation ceremony procession


“SHIKSA” a CD worth owning & enjoying Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin

Editorial disclaimer: – Traditionally, the ARTS REVIEW has avoided critiquing CD’s and especially those recorded by people we know…especially those we like! However, when Lara St. John told us her new album would be titled ‘SHIKSA’ we were determined to listen to what she might include and how she would have the inclusions arranged. Result — do read on…
Shiksa, n; Yiddish (a) the original name for the female version of a well-known electric razor.  (b) The slang term for a maid in an upscale Jewish household.

The SHIKSA album

The SHIKSA album cover/ label