Goodnight Desdemona; good morning Juliet @ UTM Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Jan. 21st, ‘12


“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!” Marty McFly – ‘Back to the Future’.

In the 1988 comedy GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA, GOOD MORNING JULIET, author Ann-Marie MacDonald has her pathetic heroine fall down a rabbit-hole à la ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to confront Othello’s wife and Romeo’s love in hopes of proving that their stories should have been comedies if only…!

THEATRE ERINDALE’S innovative rendering of the story is directed by Daniel Levinson in what is a most creative and re-focused progression. The result is sexy, vulgar, very contemporary and overall –funny. Knowledge of the original Shakespearean tragedies is certainly an asset, but Levinson and his extremely competent cast imbue the presentation with a stand-alone quality that is both entertaining and even has a somewhat Coles Notes™ acquiescence to Eng. Lit. 101. More…

Local luminary receives International accolade Reply

Exclusive to the “Ontario Arts Review”

Hamilton is the host city of the Canada’s acclaimed NATIONAL ACADEMY ORCHESTRA whose artistic director is Boris Brott  O.C., O.Ont. Maestro Brott has generated great respect for our city as a cultural center and Mecca for young music degree graduates.

Brott has recently been the guest conductor for operas staged at Verona, Trieste and Bari on Italy’s southeast coast.  Last season’s “MADAMMA BUTTERFLY  and “LA TRAVIATA” garnered such critical compliments that he was appointed Principal Guest conductor for Bari’s Petruzzelli Theatre where Lorin Mazel is Musical Consultant. His success in Trieste last season with “Samson and Delilah” and Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony was such that he was asked to direct Donizetti’s ANNA BOLENA and Verdi’s BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO. Below, in translation, is the review published by the renowned ‘IL MESSAGERO’ of Venice, and critiqued by our Italian counterpart – Danilio Soli

The importance of being earnest; @ Mac! Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

Over a century ago, British playwright Oscar Wilde created what he categorized as a ‘trivial comedy – for serious people’. This ironic play satirized the communal mores of the time and also offered a ‘bunburized’* insight into Wilde himself! The play’s plot deals with two idle middle-class bachelors and their fictitious alter-egos that permit them to escape their social responsibilities. Into the mix is their individual matrimonial intentions, and an almost sibling rivalry between Algernon & Jack… the two buddies.

‘Being Earnest’ has had myriad reincarnations in many different formats, so the only novelty for theatregoers is to observe the directorial focus of a production. McMaster’s Thespian Company has selected Andrea Pohlmann, assisted by Thomas Chiolfi; to supervise the objective and their emphasis is obviously on the two male protagonists. More…

AVENUE Q; “fun-est street in Manhattan” Reply

Review by Mark Andrew Lawrence


reviewer_Mark_AndrewPhilosophical question…”what is the sound of two puppets f**king? NOISY!”

“Avenue Q” is an off-beat musical, created by Jeff Whitty, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx who all won Tony awards for this clever, tuneful show. The musical is geared for young adults raised on Sesame Street to help them deal with the frustrations of adult responsibilities. The story begins with ‘Princeton’ played with touching sincerity by Adam Proulx. He is a recent graduate with a B.A. in English that he finds isn’t opening many doors for him. Arriving on Avenue Q, he rents an apartment from landlord Gary Coleman (a hilarious Jazz Testolini sending up the former TV star), and meets up with other disillusioned denizen. More…

Orchestra London weaves a ‘tapestry’ on its musical loom Reply

Review by Brian Hay

This concert, on stage at Centennial Hall, was already hopping before the guest soloist Denzal Sinclaire took the stage. Conductor David Martin’s arrangement of ‘Three Preludes’ sparkled with life and brought out the best in the musicians of Orchestra London. There was more to come during this afternoon of highlights. Sinclaire’s voice soared on performances of ‘For You, For Me, Forevermore’ and ‘You Must Believe in Spring’. He gave the rhythm section their first real showcase of the day with his performance of ‘I’ve Got the World on a String’. Drummer Rob Inch displayed an acrobatic side that’s not often seen in a concert with a symphony orchestra. Sinclaire lulled the crowd beautifully with ‘I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling’. He lifted them quietly with lovely renditions of ‘I Want to Be Happy’ and ‘Too Young’. His performance of ‘Amazing Grace’ was accompanied only by some beautifully restrained playing by Orchestra London’s Principle cellist, Christine Newland. His delightful reading of ‘Love is Here to Stay’ paved the way for the instrumental piece, ‘A Touch of Bacharach’, which the conductor accompanied on the Tuba. The vocalist’s performance of ‘Nature Boy’ reminded the audience that musicians are fans as well. Most of them could be seen smiling while Newland accompanied Sinclaire’s extraordinary singing. There was a moment when Denzal was singing ‘The Look of Love’ when Martin just stopped conducting and stood straight to absorb the music. Why not? The orchestra had the passage that led to the break, well in hand. When they stopped; the rhythm section took over the while pianist Dean Harrison played lines filled with gentle melodic beauty. Karen Pincombe injected some delectable percussion work while bassist Joseph Phillips with percussion accompaniment created a platform that gave the relaxed sounding performance an unmistakable surge of energy. When he came back in, Sinclaire’s sublime vocal work just soared above it all. It was an extraordinary moment and certainly a highlight. More…

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…