“POPOPERA”; the NAO’s program-design evolves 1

Review by Danny & Terry GaisinDanny & Terry '05
            The concept of an accepted program of familiar arias from classical opera presented in a concert format has faded into a same old, same old listing of ‘Nessun dorma; Habanera; “Au fond du temple Sainte” and the flower duet from Lakmé, usually with the invariable divas & divos. The National Academy Orchestra’s Brott summer Festival has pushed the envelope. Less familiar arias; new voices and program notes defining the actual pieces made this year’s edition a novel experience, especially for aficionados of the genre.

the soloists taking well-deserved kudos

the soloists taking well-deserved kudos

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“PERFECT WEDDING” ver. 3.0 Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
            Our first exposure to Robin Hawdon’s ‘Perfect Wedding’ was back in September of 2006. The next iteration was October of last year, with three of the original cast. Now, Galahad Theatre has recalled the same trio to reprise their roles and this iteration has a different take. Director Yo Mustafa has done some tweaking that puts focus on the best man, a hilarious Danny Deakin rather than the groom. The plot, about a night before the wedding stag party with the groom getting drunk and then ‘lucky’ with a stranger who is stunning and has an adorable personality.

The cast of PERFECT WEDDING 2016

The cast of PERFECT WEDDING 2016

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“The Hero of Hunter Street” builds hope from ashes Reply

Review by E. Lisa MosesReviewer E. Lisa
    The world premiere of Maja Ardal’s play, The Hero of Hunter Street, tackles one of the biggest industrial catastrophes in Canadian history. Massive explosions, and a four-day fire in a Peterborough, Ont. Quaker Oats plant, killed 24 men 100 years ago, and left the community reeling. Directed by Kim Blackwell, the play at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook leverages the talents of 47 professional and volunteer actors – from an infant to an octogenarian. Their 75 characters treat the poignant story, intricate characterizations and profound emotions with sensitivity and grace.

a moment of comedic relief during "Hero of Hunter St."

A moment of comedic relief       Photo by Wayne Eardley (Brookside Studio)

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Powerful N.A.O. Concert in Waterdown Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
      The National Academy Orchestra gave an outstanding performance of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, in Waterdown, Part of The Brott Music Festival, the concert also featured a large choir and four talented soloists. The N.A.O. is made up of recent music graduates who are just beginning their professional careers. They gain the opportunity to play orchestral music during the Festival, while being mentored by seasoned orchestral players, who give them both musical and business advice. The competition for places is quite fierce and the standards very high.

Conductor Brott & soloist BARB CROALL

Conductor Brott & soloist BARB CROALL

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“A Woman of No Importance”, but some significance! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
            Oscar Wilde was a Victorian author whose plays; ‘Windermere’s Fan’; ‘Ideal Husband’ & ‘…Ernest’ were all bigger hits than A Woman of no Importance, currently on stage at SHAW’s Festival Theatre. Directed by Eda Holmes, the play is (sort of) updated to 1951 although the costumes; dated plot and morality are still rooted in the last half of the nineteenth century. Wilde’s fascination with satirizing the upper class and confronting the double-standard of the period is reflected in all his plays.   Photo by David Cooper

The women of " A WOMAN of No IMPORTANCE

     Some of the women of ” A WOMAN of No IMPORTANCE

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“Engaged”; a convoluted play about trigamy (sic) Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

The Victorian era was period of progress including within the arts. Although the moral dictates were strict, subtlety and ironic endings endowed theatre with the opportunity to poke fun at its world. W.S. Gilbert was a master of satirizing the hypocrisy of the times, and was probably one of the reasons his collaboration with Sullivan was so symbiotic and successful. His 1879 play “ENGAGED” is a convoluted farcical play about an almost middle-aged man who falls in love with every woman he meets. His family commissions another fellow to keep him from taking the fatal marital step.
Photo courtesy of David Cooper

the cast of "ENGAGED"

the cast of “ENGAGED”

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