“DOGFIGHT”; a visceral picture of war Reply

Review by Terry GaisinreviewerETG
Six years ago, an off-Broadway musical about the Viet Nam War went mainstream. SHERIDAN’s theatre arts faculty brings all the pathos, transformations, and forced maturity that the war effected. The play is emphasized by song and dance; thus, the dialogue is transitory but exacting and severe. The phrase ‘DOGFIGHT’ usually refers to an aerial battle between fighter planes, but is occasionally used as the male counterpart to a struggle between women. It also represents a cruel U.S. Marine game in which ‘jarheads’ on leave pool funds to award whomever brought the ugliest date to a party.

The marines heading for leave, & the girls they want to meet

The marines heading for their ‘Frisco leave; & the girls they want to meet


Sheridan aces “SHREK, The musical” Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
One of the challenges facing any professional critic is having to review the same presentation without repeating adjectives or worse – repeating an article. I was introduced to SHREK by a Mississauga community theatre ten months ago and adored the ludicrous story line about the recluse whose swamp is invaded by expelled fairytale characters and so must embark on a quest to obtain permanent property rights. Theatre Sheridan’s take is about as entertaining and professional as anything ‘Downtown’ could stage. The singing/acting is non-pareil; the costuming delightful; and the directing -immaculate. Even the off-color bits aren’t disturbing given our era of overly sensitive political correctness.

SHREK & his stage-mates revolving around his 'swamp'

SHREK & his stage-mates revolving around his ‘swamp’


“Come From Away”; Mirvish musical has come to stay 1

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
Come From Away
, currently playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, is a musical pulsing with resilience and hope. First produced at Oakville’s Sheridan College in 2013, the musical went on to sell-out crowds in Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington, D.C. In February, it will move to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Broadway. (Ed. note: -First critiqued here as a workshop, then studio performance, see our O.A.R. archive-‘2/15/13)
This Canadian success story chronicles the hosting of nearly 7,000 stranded airline passengers in Gander, Newfoundland during the 9/11 crisis.

The 'Come From Away' original workshop cast

The ‘Come From Away’ original workshop cast


“THE CIRCLE”; teens look for love, family & escape Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
What starts out as a typical – though especially fraught and edgy – high school garage party on a suburban Friday night ends in a starkly unexpected way, in Geoffrey Simon Brown’s play The Circle, at the Tarragon Extraspace.  The 26-year-old playwright, close in age to his characters, says the play is about growing up, about family, about friends, about violence and the points where people are stretched so far that they break, and “ultimately, beyond anything else, this is a play about love, about understanding, and hopefully, about forgiveness.”  He has produced a script that is both daring and beautifully-crafted.  Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Duval; Ehman; Endicott-Douglas & Ellis..part of "The Group"

Duval; Ehman; Endicott-Douglas & Ellis…part of “The Circle”


“CONSTELLATIONS” offering the variable alternatives Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
            Imagine if all the decisions you ever – and never – made, actually happened somewhere in a quantum multiverse – a place where many universes exist simultaneously.  This is the premise of Nick Payne’s drama Constellations, presented by Canadian Stage & Montreal’s Centaur Theatre Company at the Bluma Appel Theatre. The play has previous delighted audiences in London’s West End and on Broadway. Payne, a leading voice in UK theatre, began writing the play after his father’s death, when he happened to see physicist Brian Greene’s documentary The Elegant Universe (based on Greene’s own book by that name). Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

constellations-2                                                           Ricketts & Cuthbertson performing. Cellist Jane Chan -stage left


“All Shook Up”; like our P.M. – ‘Not quite ready!’ Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
♫ Well bless my soul what’s wrong with me? My hands are shaking and my knees are weak. I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet Perhaps Elvis & Otis Blackwell were thinking about this writer’s deteriorating old body when they wrote these lyrics to “ALL SHOOK UP”. Clarkson Music Theatre and director Craig Marshall seem to have shortchanged the cast and chorus by about three rehearsals. The delayed cue pickups; missed lighting spots and especially the uncoordinated chorus numbers are not up to the usual CMT standard.

The arrival of 'cool' Chad on his bike

The arrival of ‘cool’ Chad on his bike