“Stravinsky; St. John & the H.P.O.” Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin
Objectivity is a basic precept of criticism or assessment. So, to be impartial when writing about a performer who is also a longtime friend; our evaluation of Lara St. John is a collaboration. Conclusion- she still entrances and mesmerizes her audience. Executing the demanding Korngold violin concerto in D; St. John demonstrated that in addition to a faultless technical talent, she has lost none of the mischievous mannerisms that so endeared her to us pre- NYC and the myriad orchestral solo opportunities she has enjoyed. Like Shauna Roulston, she permits moments of elated animation insert itself into her posture and interpretation.

St. John performing the Korngold violin concerto with the H.P.O.


“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; been there – lost! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The William Finn 2005 short musical comedy about a Middle School competition is always a pleasure to witness as the play usually recruits 3 or 4 additional competitors chosen from the audience; and the improvisational ‘please use in a sentence’ bits are always contemporary and hilarious. This scribe participated in just such an event back in 1948. Youngest & smallest contestant; I was the only 6th grader in a Grade Seven Bee. The word ‘Apricot’ screwed me up and I’ve never eaten one since!
Drury Lane’s production under the direction of Gregory Flis is smooth, fast-paced and delightful.

The contestants and moderators of PUTNAM COUNTY


“MESSIAH”, performed by Oakville’s MUSIKAY Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
            “Messiah” is usually performed at Christmas but Musikay offered it on the final Saturday and today of April. Handel’s original performance was in Dublin just after Easter and that timing makes more sense with a libretto largely concerned with Christ’s passion and resurrection. It is rather discomforting at Christmas when the birth of Jesus is celebrated to sing of Him being despised, rejected etc. ‘Messiah’ normally is performed by a large choir but Musikay had a small 12-member chorus, four soloists and a nine-piece orchestra – each one of them talented, well trained professionals, capable of making a wonderful sound separately and together.

The MUSIKAY choir & musicians performing “MESSIAH”


“SENZA LUCE”; allegorical musical by Sheridan undergrads. 1

Review by Danny Gaisin
An allegory is a representation of ideas; morals; religion or politics integrated into a poem, story or play. Theatre Sheridan’s “SENZA LUCE”, is a musical adaptation of a newspaper article seen by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill. Directed by the latter, the story reminds one of Gerstäcker’s 1840’s ‘GERMELSHAUSEN’. ‘Senza Luce’ is Italian for ‘without light’ and the plot deals with a town so deep in a valley as to be in total darkness. When a young inhabitant dares climb the mountain, he sees sunlight. Endeavoring to reflect the sun into the town, he disturbs the status quo and thus faces antagonism as well as intense animosity.

the cast of SENZA LUCE


“SUPERMARKET”; play deserves in-depth analysis Reply

co-review by Sylvie Di Leonardo and Michael Piscitelli
Artscape Youngsplace, frequently a haven for multi-media mavens, is transformed into SUPERMARKET for the final-year studio artists from the University of Scarborough.
“If you think about the nature of a supermarket, it’s a place with an eclectic variety of items placed together, especially now that its all one-stop shopping,” says fourth-year contributor Kristina Zaja. “Then if you think about conceptual art and doing conceptual art at the senior level in a university, we’re all working on our own concepts…and since we’re all creating within the same social/cultural time; but are quite different because of where our inspirations take us, in a sense this is like a supermarket of an art exhibition.”
Creative student playbill for “SUPERMARKET” More…

“How to Succeed in Business without really trying” …WORKS! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Editorial disclaimer: – see end of article!
It is almost a definition of musical or dramatic theatre that there is always a character whose role is pivotal and thus interpretation is paramount to its realization. Nowhere is this tautology more evidential than that of J. Pierrepont (or Pierpont) Finch in the 1961 Burrows/Weinstock/Gilbert book ‘HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING’. This allegorical story about a young man’s corporate rise is a Machiavellian ‘Horatio Alger’. The addition of Frank Loesser’s lyrics and compositions made it a multiple Tony Award™ winner; N.Y. Drama Critics Circle prize; and a Pulitzer.

The WWW staff being advised ” A secretary is NOT a toy”