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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Handel’s “SAMSON”; not just a concert – an experience Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Handel composed twenty-nine oratorios but one composition stands so far out from the pack as to almost render the others insignificant. Everyone knows ‘Messiah’, but ‘Esther’ is also a creative work and so is SAMSON! Composed in 1741, it is a respectful and empathetic retelling of the Old Testament’s last ruling judge before the establishment of King David (Judges 13-16). The work is ambitious to stage; difficult to perform; and more than just diversion for the audience – it’s an experience. Statistics: – MASTERWORKS of OAKVILLE has assembled thirty-two musicians; seventy-seven choir members; four soloists and eleven members of St. Andrew’s Children’s Choir chamber team. 

The MASTERWORKS orchestra & choir awaiting maestro Demuynck

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“(Girl)-CRAZY FOR YOU”; another Sheridan ace Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The Gershwin brothers wrote a rather short-lived musical in 1930 titled GIRL CRAZY. Six decades later it had an overhaul (sort of like any Danielle Steele book) with the names changed, and a plot modification. The new version -”CRAZY FOR YOU” and Sheridan’s theatre faculty has staged a super interpretation directed & choreographed by Julie Tomaino.
Seems every’ Old fart’ reaches a point where he remembers trivia from way-too-far back;  this scribe recalls two anecdotes learned first-hand about the original iteration. At a serendipitous meeting with Ethel Merman, I learned that Girl Crazy was her first major Broadway show. 

The CRAZY for YOU cast deciding the future of ‘Deadrock’

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“COTTAGERS AND INDIANS”; Using humour to ask serious questions Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Most of you who are reading this review, and will see Drew Hayden Taylor’s new play, Cottagers and Indians, at the Tarragon Extraspace, are probably closer to “cottagers” (or “settlers”) than to “Indians,” although I hope Indigenous people also see this play, inspired by actual people and events. Taylor, an Anishnaabe, was born, grew up, and lives on Curve Lake Reserve, near Peterborough. He writes in a variety of genres – novels and short stories, plays, television scripts. His work is comedic – but comedy used to spotlight the truth about difficult situations, usually about Indigenous characters and their dealings with “the rest of Canada,” to borrow a phrase.    photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Barnes & Hoyt in a dramatic on-stage moment

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Windermere String Quartet –part of the Hammer Series Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

As part of the Hammer Baroque series of concerts the Windermere String Quartet played three string quartets by teenaged composers. The concert was called ‘Young Blood’ and featured Mozart, Arriaga and Schubert. The players of the Windermere String Quartet, Elizabeth Loewen Andrews & Michelle Odorico, violins, Anthony Rapoport, viola and cellist Laura Jones, were seated in the centre of the room with the near capacity audience circled around them. This gave the concert an air of being in a large living room, which is how these works would have been originally heard.
Mozart was 17 when he wrote a String Quartet in B flat (K172).

The members of Windermere Quartet, performing

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“A theatrical ‘Double, Double’” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Baseball has it’s ‘double header’; opera ‘s “Pagliacci” & “Cavalleria Rusticana” are always performed as a duo; and theatre has the two one-act efforts – Shaffer’s BLACK COMEDY and Stoppard’s THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND performed sequentially. Oakville’s Drama Series has both entries directed by Jeff Morrison; so he must work under two distinct mindsets and two different cast teams. A challenge, but one that is well met.
Black Comedy is unusual in that it is a ‘reversed lighting’ process, i.e. the stage is lit for the major period of a blackout, but is in almost total darkness when the power comes on.

Activity in the (supposed to be) Dark!

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