“A theatrical ‘Double, Double’” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Baseball has it’s ‘double header’; opera ‘s “Pagliacci” & “Cavalleria Rusticana” are always performed as a duo; and theatre has the two one-act efforts – Shaffer’s BLACK COMEDY and Stoppard’s THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND performed sequentially. Oakville’s Drama Series has both entries directed by Jeff Morrison; so he must work under two distinct mindsets and two different cast teams. A challenge, but one that is well met.
Black Comedy is unusual in that it is a ‘reversed lighting’ process, i.e. the stage is lit for the major period of a blackout, but is in almost total darkness when the power comes on.

Activity in the (supposed to be) Dark!



Get Thee to HAMLET, with music * Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

“You will never see another Hamlet like this one,” says Richard. Rose, Artistic Director of the Tarragon and director of the current new production of Shakespeare’s play.   I agree, and urge you to “get thee to the Tarragon” to see a Hamlet that is both theatrical and intimate, bold and expressively nuanced. The music is billed as rock and roll, but ranges from heavy metal-like to jazz to plaintive, suspenseful leitmotifs. Not just an “addition,” the music is an expressionist subtext in sound and brought home the emotional and intellectual impact of the play. I was completely captivated emotionally, from the opening scene where the ghost appears…    Photo by Cylla Von Tydemann

Cast members of ‘Hamlet’


Drury Lane’s “Music Hall”; ver. 38.1 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Wikipedia defines the term ‘Music Hall’ as a British format circa 1850 that paralleled the American Vaudeville genus. The UK.’s vaudeville sector was lower class and thus more in keeping with the burlesque shows on this side of the pond. The style(s) remained popular for a century. Why the history lesson? Just to introduce the oddity that is Drury Lane Theatre Productions who can continually fill a house for just short of four decades!
Directed & choreographed by Caroline Clarke & Shelley Rennick, audiences are the recipients of the requisite telegraphed one-liners; skits; chorus numbers and are essential participants in commentary and sing-alongs.

                                                                    A difficult photo-op situation, on stage


“Clybourne Park”; You could HEAR the ‘cringe’! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
As a collegiate freshman in 1960; I drove to NYC to see ‘A Raisin in the Sun’. It starred unknowns Ruby Dee; Lou Gossett; and Ossie Davis – who had just taken over from another novice Sydney Poitier! The story dealt with a black family in Chicago and dealt with desired upward mobility. Playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s family had actually been involved with the legalities of Blacks wanting to live in an all-white neighbourhood, fought under the U.S. Constitution’s famous 14th Amendment.
Eight years ago, playwright Bruce Norris wrote a follow-up to ‘
Raisin‘ titled CLYBOURNE PARK and this two-Act comedy/drama is a powerhouse tour-de-force. *   Photo (& stage  design) by Jim Smagata

L-R    Ruhs; Watt-Bowers; Martin; Grant; Clarke & Francis – in a tense moment


Seager-Scott, with the Hammer Baroque 1

Review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque’s first concert of 2018 featured harper (not harpist, she said) Julia Seager-Scott playing both the Italian baroque triple harp and clarsach (Gaelic harp). It was a very damp day and Seagar-Scott spent an hour before the concert tuning both harps and had to re tune the clarsach during the concert. This, plus the fact that the concert was held in Melrose United’s church hall, gave the whole concert a casual and intimate feel as though the audience were in someone’s living room even though the room was packed to capacity. This mood suited the music, much of which came from the Irish bardic tradition and was written by Turlough Carolan (1670-1738).

Seager-Scott and her harp; post-Hammer concert


“A Long Time Ago…”, ridiculous & funny B.L.T. effort Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Theatrical or musical replications can be covers; tributes; paraphrases; or parodies. BINBROOK LITTLE THEATRE’s newest effort is the Barron/Dyson caricature/spoof A Long Time Ago which is a hilariously funny take-off of Star Wars; “Star Trek”; Harry Potter; Elvis & ‘Big Bang Theory’. From the pre-curtain themes by Alex Courage (Star Trek) and the classic John Williams Star Wars melody, the audience knows we’re about to travel (fortunately) where ‘No man has gone before’! The intersecting plots deal are plagiarized from all those Royalty/Commoner tales (Princess Diaries; A Prince for Christmas; The Prince & Me, ‘Cinderella’ etc.) but with a galactic venue.

The Inter-Stellar cast members of “A LONG TIME AGO…”