Bach Elgar choir, a change-of-pace concert Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
Last evening, Hamilton’s Bach Elgar Choir deviated from their usual fare to offer a concert of Canadian folksongs. The Choir was led by Alexander Cann and accompanied by Krista Rhodes, piano and flautist Susan Edmonds. The first half was of older, more traditional songs – most over 200 years old – and began with a Huron Dance Song which sounded very familiar to us in Southern Ontario with its traditional drum beat and words with no meaning sung to reinforce the beat. Then on to a 1919 shipwreck song from Newfoundland which honoured the Captain for grounding the ship and thus avoiding loss of life.

the Bach-Elgar ensemble in performance

the Bach-Elgar ensemble in performance

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“All Shook Up”; like our P.M. – ‘Not quite ready!’ Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
♫ Well bless my soul what’s wrong with me? My hands are shaking and my knees are weak. I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet Perhaps Elvis & Otis Blackwell were thinking about this writer’s deteriorating old body when they wrote these lyrics to “ALL SHOOK UP”. Clarkson Music Theatre and director Craig Marshall seem to have shortchanged the cast and chorus by about three rehearsals. The delayed cue pickups; missed lighting spots and especially the uncoordinated chorus numbers are not up to the usual CMT standard.

The arrival of 'cool' Chad on his bike

The arrival of ‘cool’ Chad on his bike

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“Murdered to Death”; you’ll die laughing Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
“I am serious; and don’t call me Shirley”. Everyone remembers Leslie Nielson’s (Inspector Drebin) most famous tagline. If you can imagine 2½ hours of the same side-splitters, Peter Gordon’s Murdered to Death staged by Waterdown’s Village Theatre is a must-see. Under the direction of Graham Clements, the ten-person cast seem to having even more fun in doing their portrayals than the viewing audience’s enjoyment. Each character is a stereotype and the actors actually embellish their depictions. The whole thing start-to-finish is a hoot and totally entertaining.

The hosts, staff guests & cops involved with MURDERED to DEATH

The hosts, staff, guests & cops involved with MURDERED to DEATH

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Cacophony in the Dollhouse Reply

Review by Michael PiscitellireviewerMichael P2
Doing your research for a play is crucial when performing.  Doing your research for seeing a piece of theatre; not so much. But I’ve been known to be wrong before.  Going in to a show blind can be either a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, you could end up experiencing a fantastic plot, with dynamic visual designs and action. Or you could end up witnessing something that may leave you confused and unsure of why you came in the first place. Or worse, wanting your money back.

An interpretive moment in "Dollhouse"

An interpretive moment in “Dollhouse”

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HAMMER BAROQUE, a talented musical nonet Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
Since the ARTS REVIEW started critiquing its presentations, word has definitely spread about the calibre of the Hammer Baroque series of concerts. There was a near capacity crowd for the Toronto Consort’s Hamilton performance of music from the court of the Italian Queen of France – Catherine de Medici (1519-’89). Catherine was the daughter of a French noblewoman, Madeleine de la Tour d’Auvergne, and Lorenzo de Medici and she was married at a young age to a French Prince who unexpectedly became King of France. As Queen, she was viewed with suspicion because of her Italian heritage, and derision because her father was ‘just a banker’, even though he was wealthier than the King.

the nonet (9-member) team of HAMMER BAROQUE

the nonet (9-member) team of HAMMER BAROQUE

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HPO’s tribute to the ‘Swing’ era…my times Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Do the names ‘Dorsey; Goodman; Miller; Ellington; Shaw and Basie’ ring some reminiscent bells? If they do, you’re probably mature enough to remember the “Big Band Era” or SWING! As yours truly sits down to write this, my set of drum sticks ‘stolen’ from Gene Krupa, and some ancient pop-music trumpet sheets ‘borrowed’ from Eldridge are sitting on the desk, probably peering phantom-like over my shoulder. Incorporating 2/4 & 4/4 time; oversized orchestras and celebrity conductors; attending a ball or dance where any of these were performing was pure ‘crème de las crème apex society.

Vanhwvel (aka ol' Blueeyes) belting "Night & Day"

Vanhevel (aka ol’ Blue eyes) belting out “Night & Day”

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