There was a time when Hamilton had no real identity crisis. The myth of the lunch-bucket City relieved us of the dreadful responsibility of gazing at our navels. It was easy to believe that we lived in a town where anyone who wanted to work hard could get a job; and where our sports teams were as tough and gritty as we were. A thriving and satisfying arts scene was exploding in all its glory: down the road in Toronto. Here in Hamilton, people were still wearing the free T-shirts that came in beer cases. Photo courtesy of James A. Chambers
Review by Danny Gaisin
Patrick Dennis’ 1955 serio/comedy play that portrayed his radical aunt – Marion Tanner, was made into a blockbuster movie musical (Auntie Mame) for Rosalind Russell, then back into an on-stage musical. Along the way, plot changes and support character adds/removals naturally occurred.
Review by Danny Gaisin
“It’s alive; it’s alive!” a phrase like ‘Frankly my dear….”; “Round up the usual suspects”; or even “May the force be with you” immediately insinuates to a specific story or movie. In this case, (and long before DNA, genomes or stem cells were even a glimmer); it refers to Mary Shelley’s ‘FRANKENSTEIN’, the 1818 Promethean tale about re-creation of life. Last evening was an unusually dark and stormy night for Halloween, but a perfect atmosphere to see the Oakville Players dress rehearsal.
Noel Coward was way too clever…one of those people who was brilliant at trillions of genres. Personally, I prefer a more normal dilettante type like most of ours truly’s. Long before computers and spreadsheets, the guy wrote ‘SEMI MONDE’; a play with over three dozen characters and innumerable revolving-door inter-relationships. It must have been a Herculean task to create and keep each one pigeon-holed and maintain their individual psyches straight. Talking about straight, Coward wasn’t and I always thought how delicious it would have been if he had been into S/M…his long-time partner was Graham Payn! Photo courtesy of Jim Smagata
On arrival at the Citadel Theatre for the opening night of the rock musical Next to Normal, I noticed that the piped-in background music was interesting…Peter Gabriel, John Mayer, and a cover of a John Hiatt song, among other selections. I guess I found that surprising because I was attending a musical, and somewhere deep inside I expected some cliché Glee-ish hits. It was only the first of many pleasant surprises. The play won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2009 and a Pulitzer Prize the following year, and is anything but cliché.