“Unconscious Curriculum”; U/Waterloo students stage a trailblazer Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo                  


The University of Waterloo is home to many of the world’s brightest young engineers. It is also the home of important theatre. Of course, I would realize this post my post-graduate, on Thursday evening, when I entered campus as a visiting member of the press rather than a pub-hopping grad student abusing inter-library loan. Speaking of which… I recognized myself in many of the characters on stage that evening, and I’m not sure how I feel about it quite yet. But I do know what I think about it, so there’s something.

a dramatic moment in Waterloo’s “UNCONSCIOUS CURRICULUM”


“The Importance of Being Earnest” by Theatre Erindale 1

Review by Terry Gaisin
How fitting that Oscar Wilde’s final satirical farce would be selected by Patrick Young as his final directorial effort with UTM’s Theatre Erindale. Our Arts Review has critiqued about 70 continual Erindale presentations since 2003 and have had the opportunity to witness a dozen productions under Young’s thespian management. All of them were noteworthy and thought provoking. No doubt, this is because the man has the innate capacity to discover the essence and motivation behind each playwright’s rationale. He is a consummate examiner; researcher, and thus his results always succeed.   Photo by Jim Smagata; UTM

Himes; Bennet; Pottinger; Nguyen; Thorne; Wamsley & McDonald


OKLAHOMA; it’s “O.K.” to have fun at the theatre Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Some interesting facts about the ‘Sooner’ State. Oklahoma was the first territory to hold a land Rush in 1889. It received Statehood in 1907 and was the first State to utilize parking meters (1935) and the first one to erect a ‘Yield’ sign in 1950. The motivation for mentioning Oklahoma’s myriad originals is because “OKLAHOMA” was the first collaboration of Rogers and Hammerstein in1943; heralding the golden age of Broadway musicals. Take Riggs’ book ‘Green Grow the Lilacs’; add in superb music and amazing lyrics and no wonder the result is still a sellout 74 years later!

          The farmers & cowboys of pre-statehood “OKLAHOMA”


“BLOOD WEDDINGS”; Hatfield/McCoys or Romeo/Juliet Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
            It is great to have the presentation of a modern classic in a bold new version.  Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, had an “abiding insistence on the interdependence of love and death,” according to one critic.  This is clear in the current production of Blood Weddings/Bodas de Sangre , at Buddies in Bad Times. The show is a remounting of the 2015 collaboration between Modern Times Stage Company, led by Iranian-Canadian director Soheil Parsa (director choreographer of this play) and Aluna Theatre, a Latin-Canadian theatre company whose Artistic Director is Beatriz Pizano.

Kwan; Pizano; Lauzon; Yaraghi & Bush in BLOOD WEDDINGS


PEACE RIVER COUNTRY Explores passion for land & family Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Peace River Country, by Maria Milisavljevic is a passionate play; kudos to Tarragon Artistic Director Richard  Rose for choosing and directing a Canadian story worth telling and worth seeing. It is based on the actual story of Wiebo Ludvig (1941-2012), a Christian fundamentalist pastor and farmer in rural Alberta (his community, Trickle Creek, was about 450 km. north of Edmonton). In the 1990’s, he became an “eco-warrior,” fighting against oil and gas companies in Alberta and B.C. His major campaign was against the production of “sour gas,” with its high concentration of hydrogen sulfide’
Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Sutherland; Sherman; Green & Coleman in PEACE RIVER


“The Book of Mormon” a hoot from start to curtain. Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Admission of guilt; this scribe is a longtime fan of Eric, Kyle, Stan & Kenny (the ‘South Park’ kids), so naturally I’m an admirer of their creators -Trey Parker & Matt Stone. Along with Robert Lopez, this talented duo created the musical BOOK OF MORMON, and just like in that fictional Colorado locale, nothing is sacred and everything is grist for their destructive pens. Fortunately, the same humour that afflicted the denizens of South Park is subjected to an atheistic assault on the followers of Joseph Smith & Brigham Young. For what I know of Mormonism, read this column to its end.

Connor Peirson (Elder Cunningham) coverting the Ugandans

Connor Peirson (Elder Cunningham) converting the Ugandans