5 @ the 1st plus Payadora Tango ensemble 24

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
The Toronto quartet, Payadora Tango Ensemble warmed the audience on a cold November afternoon the second of the 5 @ the First 2015/16 series of concerts with tangos from Argentina.   Tango apparently comes in both dance music; either the familiar syncopated rhythm or a more waltz-like variety, or as a performance piece not meant for dancing and Payadora offered the audience all three.  The concert began with a fiery, passionate syncopated tango called ‘Retrato de Julio Ahumada’ by Leopoldo Federico which featured a piano solo in the middle and earned audience appreciation.

The members of the tango ensemble

The members of the Payadora Tango Ensemble

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“MOZART”; HPO consigns an entire concert to him Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Poor Wolfgang Mozart; a child prodigy by aged five, he never even got to celebrate his thirty-sixth birthday. Sired by a demanding father he was encumbered by names such as ‘Chysostomus’; ‘Theophilus’ and Amadeus. Preferring to go by the latter; he then had the misfortune to have that name utilized as the title in an overly embellished 1984 Milos Forman movie that depicted him as a childish fool. 41 symphonies; 15 masses; 25 piano concerti and the same number of string quartets & over half a dozen operas… not too shabby for only three decades!

Sitarski; Luk & Taurins interpreting Mozart

Sitarski; Luk & Taurins interpreting Mozart

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“A Persistent Peace”; a disarmingly intimate political commentary 1

Review by Terry Gaisin

reviewerETGWe’re serious fans of ‘BLUE BLOODS’ so the expression “family always comes first” has special meaning. We kind-of like our grandkids and even our two daughters; BUT, the people who help us publish O.A.R. are our real family and when one of them accomplishes something we “schlep nachas” or take a personal pride. Contributor Judith Robinson has written a play and naturally, I was there to witness the event. Great concept; super execution.
Judith is a teacher and a writer, this project took her ten years to finalize.

the protagonists of "A PERSISTENT PEACE"

                                                                                   the protagonists of “A PERSISTENT PEACE”

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Bach Elgar Choir; entertaining & educational 1

Review by Judith Caldwell
Last night the Bach Elgar Choir offered an evening of choral works from two very different centuries. The first half of the concert was Italian Renaissance music from the 16th century and the second half was a 20th century Requiem of Maurice Durufle. Initially the choir were in the choir stalls and were accompanied by a brass sextet ensemble and the organ as they sang a Monteverdi piece in six parts. It was a lovely piece but the acoustics were not good and the echoes blurred the sound.

Richard Cunningham, of the Bach-Elgar Choir

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“Hello Dolly”; ♪ it`s so nice to have you back… ♫ Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Back in the Nineteenth century there was a popular one-act play about a special day in the lives of some young people. Thornton Wilder pirated the plot for his 1938 ‘Merchant of Yonkers’ tale. Seventeen years later he updated the story as ‘The Matchmaker”. Less than a decade later Merrick turned it into a 2800 performance Broadway musical starring Carol Channing. Since then, “HELLO DOLLY” is almost continually on stage somewhere in America. Now it’s CMT’s turn in the barrel and the result is a ‘gantza megillah’ [big deal!]

The Harmonia Gardens staff welcome DOLLY- back where she belongs

                                       The Harmonia Gardens staff welcome DOLLY- back where she belongs

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“SEASON’S GREETINGS”; more Huh? than ‘Ho’ Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
            Alan Ayckbourn’s 1980 play about a socially flawed and deviational group marking the Christmas holidays together is both a commentary on mores and an observation of dysfunction. The related faction tolerate rather than like one another; the friends are sycophants that must stomach rather than appreciate their hosts. Under a weak director, SEASON’S GREETINGS would simply be another iteration of stereotypes; under Ron Cameron-Lewis, the play illustrates the full spectrum of humor to pathos. It’s worth the drive to Richmond Hill.

an "OOPS" moment in 'Season's Greetings'

an “OOPS” moment in ‘Season’s Greetings’

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