“Sorting IT Out”, a short morality play about ASD Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin   Apr. 26th, ‘19

Autism Spectrum Disorder, ranges from savant to non-verbal and affects about 1% of the population; mostly males. During our years driving school buses; we were consistently given routes that shuttled ‘special needs’ students. We became familiar with both ends of the ambit. Given our familiarity with the syndromes, it always bothered us that such TV shows as ‘Bones’ or ‘Big Bang Theory’ displayed some symptoms for humor rather than understanding. Awareness might lead to understanding but both shows missed an opportunity.
Back in 2007, our friend Lynn Johnston’s cartoon series, ‘For better or For Worse’ described ‘Shannon’ who was autistic.

l-r …Cook, Scott, Esposito & Buzzelli

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5 @ 1st, honouring Canadian women composers Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell    Apr. 14, ’19

Hamilton should be very grateful to Rachel Mercer for frequently offering wonderful new music she has found or commissioned to local audiences. The most recent concert featured compositions by Canadian female composers from the 20th and 21st centuries and included three works especially commissioned by Mercer for the occasion.   The afternoon began with a young artist, 8 year old Azlyn Spleit, playing Felix Borowski’s Adoration on the violin.  She played entirely from memory and with great aplomb, obviously not a bit nervous, and completed the fairly long and difficult piece without a glitch and to appreciative applause.  More…

“Til BETH Do Us Part” comedic fun from the Pen Players Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin      Apr. 6th. ’19

A contemporary American couple; middle-aged and both career-oriented, have run into a snag. She’s over-worked and on-call 24/7 by her London boss; he’s a TV weatherman who procrastinates or just ignores doing his share of the household or stuff in the “Honey Do” jar. Sound familiar?
This old fart found the plot line way too close-to-home for comfort. I have excuses for NOT loading the dishwasher; claim poor eyesight for not seeing a need to dust or vacuum; and rely on dear Terry to make sure there’s always a full roll of T.P. in our bathrooms. I’m not lazy — just tired!

l-r Wouthuis; Miszturak; Nyman; Quirk; Toews & White of  “Til Beth Us Do Part”.

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“The Woods are Dark and Deep” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Mar. 27,  ‘19

About a hundred years ago, Robert Frost wrote a poem about stopping near a forest just after a snowstorm. The title of Mladen Oradović’s play about the Canadian government’s internment of Eastern Europeans during WW I takes a stanza from that poem as its title. Fitting, as the internees are utilized to clear away a forest for what will be a national park. They earned a quarter for a full day’s back-breaking labour. However, compared to the lack of jobs overseas, this was actually an incentive for young men to emigrate in hopes of gaining a nest egg. The war interfered.

An internment camp Christmas dinner

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“The Brandenburgs”, an O.A.R.’s Top ten contender Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Mar 24th, ‘19

J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti were composed during the second decade of the eighteenth century, but were only so-named in 1870. An intrinsic part of every dedicated collector of classical music’s library, these works are the epitome of the Baroque era. They also have such range as to stating a personal favorite. A lively topic for debate and discussion among aficionados.
To celebrate its thirty-fifth year anniversary, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra spared no effort or venue choice to present all six with guest soloists who were picked from orchestral principals with absolutely stunning resumés.

OCO & solists performing Branderrburg No. 1’s allegro movement

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“Isitwendam” Is a powerful Indigenous journey of discovery Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe      Mar.  20, ‘19

Isitwendam, written and performed by Meegwun Fairbrother  is a powerful, emotional, and beautifully-crafted play , well worth seeing.  The play, a Bound To Create Theatre (B2C) Production, is having its world premiere in Toronto, presented by native Earth Performing Arts at the Aki Studio. It was co-created and directed by Jack Grinhaus. Isitwendam means “an understanding,” and this one-act play shows how theatre, with its blend of physicality, emotion, language, and appeal to our senses, can give us a deeper, fuller understanding of, and empathy with, a complex situation. The play begins with a mysterious, graceful dance performed by Fairbrother, against a background of changing light and shadow – ending with a flashing light and a sense of terror. More…