Popera plus; Opera Hamilton’s annual event Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

reviewer_DannyThis writer isn’t sure what the designation ‘plus’ refers to in the programme’s title; but methinks it may be recognition for the orchestral interludes that are the agenda’s intrinsic offerings. During last evening’s performance at Theatre Aquarius, some of those musical interpretations were as professional as the arias that highlighted the vocal selections. The Opera Hamilton Orchestral interpretation of the Die Fledermaus overture was as faultless a reading as I’ve heard, with dramatically arranged pauses that emphasized the composer’s mood and intent.

The four soloists displayed diverse presentational styles as well as stance and interpretation. This dissimilarity added so much to the enjoyment of hearing arias in a concert format, that the absence of costumes and settings was hardly noticeable. More…

You don’t have to be Italian, Jewish, or in therapy to enjoy this one-man show! Reply

Review by Glenda MacDonald

Sunday’s matinee performance of Steve Solomon’s “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!” starring Tony Award® winner Paul Kreppel was a source of belly-laughs as well as some cringes and angst. Kreppel did an admirable job portraying comedian and dialectician Steve Solomon’s character & material. His comedic timing was impeccable, his talent for mimicking accents was compounded by doing sound effects plus- the stereotypical physical humour was spot-on. This production is Kreppel’s Toronto acting debut following his successful long run playing the same role in New York City. He clearly engaged the audience with his ad-libbing; including doing a poll of who was Italian; Jewish; and who (to laughs but no hands-up) was in therapy. The audience relished his heckling of some late-comers. More…

A Tiny Piece of Land; been there, done that! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

As a usually fair-minded critic, I leave any biases at the theatre door. A play about making aliyah & kibbutz settlement in Israel certainly has to have a sympathetic ear from someone who experienced all of that as a nineteen-to 21-year old. Yup, this O.F. was once a Kibbutznik in Galilee, and a grunt with the Israeli Haganah on a West Bank military post!
ATPOL is a dramatic metaphor of the political impasse between both sides of the Middle East conflict paralleled as opinions between two American brothers; one who settled in Judaism’s Promised Land, the other who stayed home & became a successful dentist in Washington State. Their reunion recaps certain attitudinal stalemates and writers Joni Browne-Walders and Mel Weiser bring out the mindsets that are somehow endemic between siblings, and mirrored in related religious philosophies. More…

The O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2011 Reply

For the 11th time; the seventh as our own publishers, we acknowledge those events of 2011 that – to our minds were paramount. Readers recalling previous year-end analyticals know that our selection process is based on impact- whether amusing, educational or thought-provoking to the audience. The selection process is demanding & occasionally stressful; but it’s always challenging. While Fringe offerings are by definition, under one hour, our coverage of the Toronto shows gave us some efforts that we decided deserved special (albeit special) inclusion Herewith our editorial team’s selections in calendar orderMore…