O.C.O. visits a musical Olde England Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Distance & time constraints have kept this particular OAR critic from some concerts by the Oakville Chamber Orchestra; the hiatus is over as of last evening’s performance featuring the music of 17th-20th century Britain. From the individual instruments rehearsing pre-downbeat, this OCO is a musical force to be appreciated. In true chamber mode the program was restricted to the strings, including theorbo!

The opening work was Elgar’s ‘introduction & allegro, which like Beethoven’s 6th possesses an intrinsic delightfully-melodious hypnotic. More…

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H.P.O. and “Cherish The Ladies” Reply

Review by Kim Wessel

The audience was waiting with anticipation and everyone was filled with excitement waiting for the show to start. Guest conductor Martin MacDonald came out and started us off with “The Irish Washerwoman” by Anderson. I have to say that Martin was quite the jokester in his comments tonight. He was telling us how he isn’t Irish and he hopes that just because he is a Scotsman that they don’t drag him off the stage. And, just so that everyone is aware, one concert (not tonight) he actually conducted while wearing a kilt, and he let us all know that they are really warm, not drafty. Unlike a true Scotsman, he wore bicycle shorts underneath.

Conductor McDonald & critic Kim Wessel

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Tango Pasión – not your traditional dances Reply

Review by Eva Frank

Tango Pasión is a seasoned tango troupe that was created in 1982 by Mel Howard & Jose Libertella with choreographer Hector Zaraspe. They succeeded in creating a new and totally innovative tango spectacle. Tango Pasión started in a small theatre in Miami, and moved on to Broadway. Since then the group performed in USA, Europe, Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Libya, and Asia. Tango Pasión  is simply one of the best Argentinean tango performances to be seen today. This is not the traditional Argentinean tango that we are accustomed to seeing. The troupe performed at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on Feb. 21st. More…

Bach Elgar & Co. – light opera Gala Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin (1936)

One of Canada’s oldest choral groups; this country’s oldest Reform Synagogue, and the Nation’s perhaps oldestmentally teen-aged music critic united for a gala evening of light opera. Held at Hamilton’s Anshe Shalom Synagogue (1853); the Bach Elgar Choir (1905) enlisted the amazingly lyrical voices of soprano Charlene Santoni; Keith Klassen – tenor; and baritone Alexander Dobson. Accompanied by pianist Krista Rhodes who has also been a contributor to this paper; the programme featured arias from both light & tragic opera, as well as operetta works by Herbert; Strauss Jr.; Sullivan and Smetana. More…

Into the Woods; whole lot of flouncing going on! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Just a couple of weeks before ‘Mickey ‘D’ brings Cinderella, Snow White et.al. to Copps’ coliseum’s icy surface;McMaster’s Musical Theatre is staging the Lepine/Sondheim ludicrous hit “INTO THE WOODS” at the LYRIC on King Street. A prolific writer & director; James Lepine has collaborated with the composer on other on & off-Broadway productions that succeed because the two complement each other…Sondheim is strait-laced; Lepine is weird! More…

Stage West gets “All shook up” 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Admission; I wasn’t always this handsome, charming and charismatic; truth be told – I was more like the character Dennis in Joe DiPietro’s ALL SHOOK UP. I was a rather geeky kid who tried desperately to be the wingman (sidekick) of my more appealing & attractive buddies!

This plot deals with an Elvis-ish catalyst disrupting a small town’s eccentricities and hang-ups in what might be called a plagiaristic ‘Footloose’, except this version is staged to the music of said Mr. Presley. More…