“Grand Hotel- the musical”; smoke & mirrors Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Vicky Baum’s 1929 book that utilizes the vehicle of a luxurious Weimar hotel to outline some interacting plots, attracted Robert Wright, George Forrest & Luther Davis to reprise the success of their ‘KISMET’ and retell Baum’s story as a musical. The result is a fascinating piece of theatre that demands acting; singing and terpsichore talents from every cast-member. SHAW’s Eda Holmes direction emphasizes the play’s visual impact but does not sacrifice the intricacies of the various plot lines. She subtly leads her audience to subconsciously anticipate the reversal of status-quo that will befall the world in the next decade.   Photo courtesy of David Cooper

Daly & Therriault celebrating a windfall at the GRAND HOTEL

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‘The Toronto Fringe’ – a most worthwhile festival Reply

EDITORIAL UPDATE  (7/12): A serious situation occurred very late Monday night that caused us to completely curtail attending, and even miss entry closings at some of our chosen Fringe offerings. To GEEK; Kabarrett; Andy Warhol; ‘2018 -a Sex Odyssey; & “Tee Shirt”. Our sincerest apologies. Perhaps some of the above are planning on re-staging their efforts at the Hamilton Fringe. If so, let us know!

The FESTIVAL is over; so this is our recap! The Hamilton/Toronto train rides are onerous; schlepping around downtown Toronto -tiring; taking our notes and then publishing same means 14-16-hour days. However, the efforts & thespian results make it all more than worthwhile…its a privilege!    HINT: – Watch for a major change in our ARTS REVIEW’s Top Ten in December.

 

High School Symphony -cast

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“THE TEMPEST” Brings many Sea-changes, woven by Martha Henry Reply

by Ellen S. Jaffe

The Tempest, probably Shakespeare’s final sole-authored play, is about magic – its power and its limitations – and about finding forgiveness, healing, and freedom through the breaking of spells and illusions. It is also about the magic and the power of theatre. Stratford’s current production of the play, beautifully directed by Antoni Cimolino (the Festival’s Artistic Director) and starring Martha Henry as Prospero, is one of the most magical and moving theatrical experiences I have had. Certainly a Tempest with a soul.  Martha Henry as Prospero, you say? Isn’t Prospero a “male” role? Well, yes – and no.

Martha Henry (Prospero) & Michael Blake (Calaban)   Photo by David Hou

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“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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