“ANYTHING GOES”; still tuneful and entertaining Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
“♫   In olden days a glimpse of stocking… ♪ ”. The period Cole Porter referred to was probably the time leading up to the First World War. Things changed with the Flapper era and the market crash.  By 1934 things hadn’t improved financially, but mores had evolved. Thus ‘anything goes’ became a philosophy. Etobicoke Musical Productions has brought back this tuneful hit that embodies the creative style of pre-Webber Broadway productions – i.e. full measure of memorable songs that were sing-along-able even out of context. EMP has another hit presentation with “ANYTHING GOES”. And if one can’t grasp some of the similes quoted in ‘You’re the Top, write us!

Reno (Mary Bowden) leading a chorus number

Reno (Mary Bowden) leading a chorus number


“FUNNY MONEY” no guilt feelings over finding the ‘gelt’ Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
A couple of decades ago, British playwright Ray Cooney wrote a farcical comedy about a windfall acquisition of a mobster’s buy-in for a cache of drugs. The finder is a mild-mannered wimp named Henry Perkins who decides that this is a life-changer and that he’ll take resisting wife Jean, and run away to Barcelona. Two family friends; a crooked cop; impatient cabbie and a homicide detective enter into the equation necessitating the familiar ‘What a tangled web we weave’ scenario with all the requisite verbal gymnastics the genre entails.

a cops/robbers/good guys moment in "FUNNY MONEY"

a cops/robbers/good guys moment in “FUNNY MONEY”


RUTAS Panamericas Festival- classic plays made relevant Reply

Reviews by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
Oct. 13th, ‘16

The biannual RUTAS Panamericanas Festival, now in its third season, is an international performing arts festival featuring work from various countries in the Americas, often with indigenous and experimental themes. This year’s festival, sponsored by Aluna Theatre in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts, also features a Maori production from New Zealand.  Toronto is fortunate to host this event, which features dance and film as well as theatre.  RUTAS Panamericanas Festival, including plays, dance, and film, runs to October 16 at the Daniels Spectrum, 565 Dundas St. East, Toronto.  Following are reviews of two of the productions.  More…

“CONCORD FLORAL” gives teens a voice in the midst of Plague Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
, the title of Jordan Tannahill’s play currently at Canadian Stage, is the name of a vast, abandoned greenhouse in the suburbs of Toronto.  Once the source of roses for births, weddings, and funerals, because “life without beauty is unbearable,” it is now derelict, a night-time hang-out for local teenagers – and for a resident fox; bobolink, an old couch. Soon it will be sold to become a shopping mall. The play, conceived by Tannahill and developed with multi-media artists Erin Brubacher and Cara Spooner, was created as part of Can Stage’s 2012 Festival of Ideas.

the cast dramatically photographed by Erin Brubacher

     the CONCORD FLORAL cast dramatically photographed by Erin Brubacher


Aeneid’s new staging hits home Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
      Montreal playwright Olivier Kemeid’s adaptation of Virgil’s The Aeneid (L’Éneide), at the Stratford Festival, is a powerful theatrical experience.  Beautifully directed by Keira Loughran, the production uses ensemble movement and speaking, creative set and lighting design, and spare, poetic language to make Virgil’s epic relevant to today. First produced in French in 2009, in Maureen Labonté s translation, the play lets the audience empathize with the plight of seeing one’s home and city destroyed and risking a journey into the unknown to find a new, safe place.
Virgil’s epic poem (comparable to the Iliad and the Odyssey), written between 29-19 B.C.E.,    Photo by David Hou

Some of the AENEID cast

Some of the AENEID cast seeing on-stage refuge


A belated apology to Stratford thespians Ross & Talwar Reply

By Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

Precisely one year ago today, this scribe was in Stratford to attend the 2015 production of HAMLET. An amazing presentation, it was one of last year’s Arts Review’s TOP TEN LIST! Today, through the generosity of Sun Life Financial; the CBC aired a taping of that performance sans commercial breaks (eat your heart out trivago & Leons!). In addition to getting out my dog-eared Shakespeare compendium, I re-printed my originally published critique. Alas, three (3) little letters had been omitted…sort of like “for want of a nail etc.”
In describing the portrayals of support roles –  courtiers Guildenstern and Rosencrantz read by Steve Ross & Sanjay Talwar respectively. More…