“The Places We Are”, a UTM theatre undergrad effort Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Part of UTM’s Theatre Arts Faculty’s curriculum is for the undergraduates to produce all the aspects of a theatre’s creative experience. Thus, they will as experienced thespians, appreciate what the writers, composers, and producers must accomplish. “THE PLACES WE ARE” tells; in vignette format what ‘HOME‘ and ‘LOVE‘ mean. Incorporating monologues; music; songs and dance – the themes of hope and optimism are all portrayed. Inclusion of the First Nations tribal names from each of the student’s own Provinces, towns and neighborhoods remind the audience of our real Canadian historical experience.
The nineteen member cast have opted to employ their own backgrounds and diverse locales as an introduction.



“ALADDIN”; B.L.T.’s take is ♫ Awesome! ♪ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Writing about one of the world’s most popular ‘panto’ pieces “ALADDIN” requires a little introductory trivia. First, the term ‘panto’ is short for pantomime and is a favorite format for British Theatre. The genre must include songs, dances, audience participation and character identities. Cheers for the heroes and heroines; boos & hisses for the baddies! Caveat:- prepare to be inclusive and entertained!
Item 2. Pundits equate the name of the eponymous character with ‘Allah’- Moslem name for God; and ‘Din’ – the 12th century Sultanic title; as in Salad-a-Din, who fought off the Crusaders. Now one can compete on ‘Jeopardy’ !

BINBROOK LITTLE THEATRE wisely started their staging of the Caroline Smith script early

The 12th century folk of ancient Persia; on stage @ Binbrook


Hammer Baroque Ensemble performs Boccherini & Mozart Reply

review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque presented a program of music by Boccherini and Mozart organized by cellist Elinor Frey.  In her introduction Frey said Boccherini was one of her favourite composers because as a cellist himself he wrote interesting music for that instrument instead of the typical ‘accompaniment’ music for cello as composed by his contemporary Hayden.  The concert had an international flavour with Belgian traverso player, Jan De Winne, who is also currently one of the most respected flute makers in the world.  He performed on a flute he recently made tuned to A = 422 Hz, the pitch of the tuning fork of Mozart’s piano.  *

DeWinne; Andriani; Chalk; Frey & Croce performing


Mixed bag of performers at “5 @ 1st” opening 2020 concert Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
For their first concert of the new decade  5 at the First had no less than twelve string players in a quartet, several duos and finally an octet.  The program began with a quartet from the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Beth Cushnie & Elise deBlieck violin, Sarah Cushnie, viola and cellist Christiana Lammers playing the first movement of Antonin Dvorak’s String Quartet in F major.  This is a group of 16 & 17 year olds who have played together for about six months who played this difficult piece very well, especially once they overcame their initial tension and relaxed into the music.

the performers for 5@ 1st’s 2020 opening concert


A delightful H.P.O. Closing 2019 concert Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

‘Tis the season to be jolly” and director Gemma New’s Hamilton Philharmonic ended the year with what epitomizes eclectic and certainly jolly. A projected BBC cartoon, recited and orchestrially accompanied; Hamilton’s Youth Choir; and the musicians of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra augmenting their more mature professionals. Something for everyone.
From a vibrant opening interpretation of Anderson’s ‘Christmas Festival’ to the sing-along ending, this was an evening with something for every taste and especially, every age group.  The youth choir under long-time director Zimfira Poloz performed works by Quartel; Kastalsky and Saindon.

  “ILLUMINI” – the Ham’n Children’s Choir with the HPO


“O.A.R.’s TOP TEN for 2019 ” Reply

Opinion by O.A.R. administrators
Dec. 15th, 2019

Age is finally catching up with us (almost) ancient critical scribes. We attended and wrote about fewer cultural events due to octogenarian fatigue, aches, and general ennui. Still, enough energy to have adequate content from which to select the ten most effecting.

HAMILTON PHILHARMONIC. The whole season was superlative. The HPO’s musicians are all “A-Team” worthy; the conductor’s renown in the orchestral community continues to grow; and the eclectic program has something for everyone. The works chosen please, educate and entertain. The HPO is a credit to its host city and especially its audience. Kudos for a 2nd year in the black! *

Matt Nethersole inviting us to BRIGADOON’s “McConnachy Square