Review by Danny Gaisin
George Fredrick Hanover, King George 3rd, ruled Great Britain for the 60 years between 1760 & 1820, a 6-decade run. That certainly outlived the Alan Bennett 20-year film depicting him before going into reruns. Poor George III & his military minions won the 7-Years War but lost the American colonies, so a 500% ERA statistically isn’t too bad. SHAW’s director Kevin Bennett has staged a rather sympathetic interpretation of the movie by emphasizing the horrific medical practices of the time plus the political shenanigans within his court. His son & heir, the Whig/Tory battles; and the struggle for influence are all highly focused. Photo by David Cooper
Tom McCamus & Chick Reid; aka HRH’s George III & Charlotte
Review by Judith Caldwell
Five @ the First again held their annual fundraising Cello Extravaganza in aid of Blooms for Africa and the Ann Vallentyne Scholarship for string players. This year 26 cellists performed in solos, duets, sextets and as a combined cello choir. The Extravaganza is in its fourth year and the choice of music and arrangements seems to get better each year. This year there was one piece written especially for the duo who performed it and several pieces arranged specifically for groups of cellos, including a quiet, thoughtful and rather romantic Requiem written as a cello sextet by David Popper. The cellists …
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
It is great to have the presentation of a modern classic in a bold new version. Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, had an “abiding insistence on the interdependence of love and death,” according to one critic. This is clear in the current production of Blood Weddings/Bodas de Sangre , at Buddies in Bad Times. The show is a remounting of the 2015 collaboration between Modern Times Stage Company, led by Iranian-Canadian director Soheil Parsa (director choreographer of this play) and Aluna Theatre, a Latin-Canadian theatre company whose Artistic Director is Beatriz Pizano.
Kwan; Pizano; Lauzon; Yaraghi & Bush in BLOOD WEDDINGS
Review by Judith Robinson
Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience is a stunning masterpiece – a speeding train that never stops until Soulpepper’s production of this one act, full length comedy concludes ninety minutes later. The conductor, who keeps the train moving, is Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who has played the role of convenience store owner, Appa, in every production since the play’s origins at the fringe festival, in Toronto, in 2011. He has now given over 400 performances in 10 Canadian cities – and starred in the successful spin off last fall, on CBC TV. The show has already been renewed for next season. Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann
Choi; Lee; Yoon; Kung & Sills, of KIM’S CONVENIENCE
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
While many musicians may find themselves rehearsing The Nutcracker this season, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra found themselves performing other works by Tchaikovsky earlier this week at Roy Thompson Hall. While only one of the pieces performed was intended to debut in the theatre, this evening’s program was as drama-filled as the Russian composer’s life.
There exists no formal record of the chronology of the piece, the Overture for Hamlet conjures images of love and loss. One cannot help but recall the sweet melancholy of Ophelia when listening to oboist Keith Atkinson.
The T.S.O. members in a formal photograph