“(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’

More…

Advertisements

“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

More…

Windermere String Quartet –part of the Hammer Series 1

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

More…

“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!

More…

A ‘twofer’ operatic opportunity from the C.O.C. Reply

Review by Michael Piscitelli
This past week, I have been fortunate enough to go to two operas’ in a row. Both were comedic operas that took very different approaches to comedy, of black comedy and slapstick. For Richard Strauss’ 1933 comedic “Arabella”, director Tim Albery tried his hand at making it into a black comedy. Unfortunately, it fell flat, and made it more of a mellow drama (I’m fully aware of my choice of words) than a black comedy. A show about absurd ideas about love, mistaken identity and poor uses of money it’s sure to have many jokes sung throughout the piece.

                             Erin Wall as “ARABELLA”

More…

“Russian celebrations”, a superlative HPO evening 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Once upon a time, there was a thing called a record player. Round vinyl platters could be stacked up, and thus preferent music choices could be enjoyed. The HPO’s director Gemma New somehow was able to select four of this scribe’s favourites. So, if a reader gleans a little bias in the following…please forgive me.
A capriccio is defined as a whimsical or prankish work. Methinks Rimsky-Korsakov interpreted the meaning to emphasize the lighthearted aspect rather than a joke idiom because the work is a pure joy – both to perform and to hear. The H.P.O. gave all its five sections a distinct image

   Chalifour & New performing Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto

More…