Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Djanet Sears’ powerful “rhapsodic blues tragedy, “ Harlem Duet, is onstage at the Tarragon again, 21 years after its world premiere there. The play received Dora, Chalmers and Governor-General’s Awards, and was the first script by a black Canadian produced at Stratford Festival (2006); it has also been produced in New York.
I did not see earlier productions, but seeing it now, I find the play relevant for today and (like Shakespeare and Greek tragedy) for all times. The playwright asks the question, “Who would Shakespeare’s character Othello be if he were alive today…in my world?” As in the blues, the play has a musical, linear and non-linear quality. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
Stephens-Thompson & Borden in HARLEM DUET
Review by Danny Gaisin
Saturday’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s opening 2018-’19 season epitomizes the old “A-Team” slogan about a plan coming together. The works performed; the guest soloist and the published list for the rest of the season were, & are – terrific.
The opening work was Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3; (of four). It initiates the opera Fidelio in which the main character uses the title as her pseudonym in order to become a prison guard and thus help her beloved escape. Maestra New’s interpretation had a slow and understated introduction so dramatic as to have me close my eyes to thus enhance the aural drama being experienced.
Crozman & New’s HPO interpreting Elgar’s cello concerto
Review by Danny Gaisin
The REZONANCE (sic) ENSEMBLE are a five-piece chamber quintet whose interest and emphasis is the post-Renaissance period of the 17th century. Among the stars of the era were Telemann, Corelli, Scarlatti, Pergolasi and a certain J.S. Bach.. For their Hammer Baroque concert at Melrose United, they and soloist Vania Chan selected work by Frederick Handel whose compositional lifetime spanned the first half of the eighteenth century.
Soprano Chan opened the afternoon with Morgana’s aria ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ from Handel’s “Alcina”. Morgana is the sister of the eponymous character and is a desert temptress out to capture Ruggiaro’s heart.
Chan & the ensemble l-r Richards,Onen-Lapointe,Podgorski,Morton & Antal
Review by Danny Gaisin, assisted by Henry & Jaron – also Wikipedia®
Nobody told me that reading the Narnia Chronicles, especially The Lion, Witch & Wardrobe is a necessity if one is to follow and understand C.S. Lewis’ THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW. Fortunately, I was able to enlist two American visitors; Henry, aged 12 & Jaron who is 17 to decode and explain what SHAW Festival’s head honcho Tim Carrroll seems able to decipher. Seems that the seven Narnia Chronicles are NOT about an AMAZONtm warehouse shipping operation, even though boxes and the cuttings thereof are the major on-stage operations. Michael O’Brien’s adaptation of ‘Nephew’ is being premiered by the Festival. Photo by Emily Cooper
Matt Nethersole transporting Sears & Seetoo. Wonder if he also cleans out eavesdrops!
Review by Danny Gaisin
Conan Doyle’s eponymous turn-of-the 20th century CSI-type detective Sherlock Holmes leaps off the book pages as a cheerless didactic with highly pedantic mannerisms. In other words, an arrogant and irritating Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon. Perhaps we, and the dictionary should have a new adjective – “Sheldonistic”.
In this year’s SHAW interpretation under the direction of Craig Hall, liberties are taken but given that Doyle died before Hall (or even I) was born; impropriety surely can’t be litigated. Thus, Hall and his dynamite cast have envisioned an opportunity to substantially lighten an almost science-fiction drama into a comedic possibility. It’s a hoot…also a howl!
Reid & Atkins aka Watson & Holmes —“the game’s afoot”
Review by Terry Gaisin
Vicky Baum’s 1929 book that utilizes the vehicle of a luxurious Weimar hotel to outline some interacting plots, attracted Robert Wright, George Forrest & Luther Davis to reprise the success of their ‘KISMET’ and retell Baum’s story as a musical. The result is a fascinating piece of theatre that demands acting; singing and terpsichore talents from every cast-member. SHAW’s Eda Holmes direction emphasizes the play’s visual impact but does not sacrifice the intricacies of the various plot lines. She subtly leads her audience to subconsciously anticipate the reversal of status-quo that will befall the world in the next decade. Photo courtesy of David Cooper
Daly & Therriault celebrating a windfall at the GRAND HOTEL