“SWEENEY TODD”- a razor-sharp version by Sheridan Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Admission: – my favorite revenge tales are Dumas’ “Monte Cristo”; Boorman’s ’67 flic “Point Blank”, & Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus”. Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD with its repetitious lyrics and melodies seems uninspired by comparison. Last night, I witnessed a preview of young director Adam Brazier’s take and my opinion did a180.

 Lovett (Rexhepi) & her rolling pin …Todd (Haidar) & his razor!

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Sandra Shamas- “Wit’s End III: Love Life” 1

Review by Sharon Letovsky
Returning to the stage for the final act of her Wit’s End trilogy; Sandra Shamas, the Sudbury, Ontario-born author of the famed 1980’s smash hit, My Boyfriend’s Back and There’s Gonna be Laundry, does it again.  How this woman, alone, devoid of props save a chair, a small table, glass of water and a fan, kept us in stitches for two solid hours is beyond the scope of my comprehension.
Sandra Shamas - stand-up excellence More…

“Drowsy Chaperone”, C.C.M.P. adds a polish & sheen Reply

 The Martin/McKellar book, DROWSY CHAPERONE, musicalized by Lambert and Morrison for the Toronto Fringe is a Cinderella Story; i.e. from humble beginnings to the pinnacle. Mississauga’s CITY CENTRE MUSIC PRODUCTIONS adds another aspect to this decidedly popular bit of fluff…meticulous direction.

               In keeping with the children’s fables motif – CCMP & Michael MacLennan put on a ‘Goldilocks’ effort…it’s “not too anything…it’s Just Right!”

Director MacLennan overseeing his minions!

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Twelfth Night@ M.T.C.—a few evenings short 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Shakespeare’s delightful comedy about dress-up & misrepresentation has had many imitations… “Yentl”; and the recent T.V. movie of an athletic girl attending a school as her own brother in order to compete, come immediately to mind. Great plot and interesting hypothesis

The challenge with staging old Willie’s original is his eloquence.  The lines require emoting; not recitation. Phrasing, appreciating the concept of meter (iambic or otherwise), and projection are requisite and unfortunately- McMaster’s Thespian Company earns an overall failing grade.McMaster's Thespians do TWELFTH NIGHT. More…

Charly Ciarelli, telling it like it was! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

I can’t recall the source, but do remember hearing an aphorism that stated “If Italians weren’t ITALIAN…they’d be JEWISH!” The ethical similarities; sense of community; kinship; identity and mutual respect are paralleled …even to the point of analogous terminology. This paradigm was again made apparent while witnessing the comedy of CHARLY CIARELLI at Hamilton’s PEARL

Charly, definitely no MANGIACAKE!

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STAGE DOOR, a UTM blockbuster success Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The adjectival phrases for evolutionary advancement have morphed from ‘expanding horizons’; to ‘paradigm shift’ to ‘outside the box’; and ‘pushing the envelope’. All are appropriate for the major thespian project by UTM’s THEATRE ERINDALE. To mount the original version rather than the extremely familiar movie version is a challenge.

the Footlights Club residents

Photo  courtesy of Jim Smagata More…