“INTO THE WOODS”, or be careful what you wish for Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Three decades ago, Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics to an imagined Fairy tale that incorporated Grimm’s “Little Red Riding Hood”; ‘Rapunzel’; Jack & his Beanstalk plus Cinderella (The Disney version, not the opera). Readers may recall that Sondheim is not one of this scribe’s favourite composers. I find his works repetitious and boring, sort of like Gordon Lightfoot. Think Sweeney Todd where not one but two songs are composed of repeating “Johanna” over & over. Then, there’s his West Side Lyrics to ‘Maria, Maria, ad infinitum. His music & prose default carries throughout ‘Into The Woods’… and for a long three & 1/4 hours!

The cast of “INTO THE WOODS”

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Winter is coming… and so is the TBSO! Reply

By Sylvie Di Leonardo
Hey, Northerners [Norwesters?]; are you looking for music that hits a little closer to home? The TBSO has you covered. Each year, the musicians of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra set out on two regional tours, to bring as much music as possible to as many people as possible. This year’s tour, thoughtfully arranged by TBSO musician and tour manager Damian Rivers-More, will take our new Musical Director, Paul Haas, and Conductor-in-Residence, Simon Rivard, East of the city. This tour herald’s the TBSO’s return to Terrace Bay after many years, and its annual visit to the Pic River First Nation. More…

“Puccini & the H.P.O.”; 2017 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
We’re democratic (in the social -non-political way) so we respect folks right to different opinions than ours. This is especially true of opera. Unlike many other ambiguous items, this particular genus seems to elicit, like piano keys, either a black or white response – no grey area. We understand this because opera is more than just listening to music it’s experiencing the entire presentation; sight, sound and ethos. When we attend an in-concert opera performance our minds recall the whole libretto, the rationale and the scenario behind each presented aria. Non-aficionados may thus not appreciate the piece as part of an entirety.

Benedikt & Jackson interpreting “O Soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme

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“South Pacific ”, a 3-hr R&R opportunity on Bali Ha’i Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
            “We’ve got sunlight on the sand and moonlight on the sea,
We’ve got mangoes & bananas you can pick right off a tree.
We’ve got volleyball & ping pong and a lot of dandy games;

But what don’t we got -we ain’t got Dames!”
Even without a brilliant accompanying composition, such poetry has a musical lilt as well as meter, rhyme, and timbre. Coupled with Richard Rogers’ amazing score, Hammerstein II’s lyrics are a perfect blend.
This dynamic duo paired in 1943 with ‘Oklahoma’ and followed bi-annually with ‘State Fair’; “Carousel” and then in 1949 adapted Michener’s ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ into “SOUTH PACIFIC”.

Some of the inhabitants of an island near”‘BALI HA’I”

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How to keep warm in the North, or life in ‘T-Bay’ Reply

Comment by Sylvie Di Leonardo

Editor’s note: We’ve heard of folks moving from Toronto to the suburbs, but 1400kms seems a bit of overkill. Just lost one of our contributors to Thunder Bay, ON. Here’s Sylvie’s take on her new community’s culture and lifestyle.


Naive, innocent, or inexperienced; abstinent. These are all words that the general population has come to associate with one’s relationship with enjoyment, in one regard or another. This is not the place to discuss the merit of humans’ obsession with quantifying and assigning value to the experience of pleasure. This is the place to, instead, focus on alleviating the absence of the experience.

1396 kms, (or 865 miles) …definitely not an urban/rural commute!

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“A Murder is Announced”; WEST’s take on Agatha ‘C’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Trivia question: – what are the three most-published works of all time? The Bible (naturally); Shakespeare’s plays (of course); 3rd – Agatha Christie’s mysteries (surprise!). In spite of the superfluity of people having seen and thus know the answer to ‘who dunnit’, the lady’s plays still get staged before full houses and now it’s West End Studio Theatre’s take on ‘A Murder is Announced’ and another chance to see dear old Miss Marple inimitably solve a puzzle. Director Paul Groulx‘s interpretation explores the passably amicable dialogue between Marple and Craddock, her local police inspector. It’s two sharp minds at work.

     OOPS, somebody’s been killed and (almost) all the above are suspects

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