All’s Fair in ‘LEMONS’ and War Reply

   Review by Michael Piscitelli  reviewerMichael P2
         A play should make you feel. If it doesn’t, it falls short. If it does, it hits you like a truck and makes your heart race. You despise a character or alternatively appreciate an actor for a terrific performance. Lemon by Andrew Markowiak hits the mark as part of Filament Incubator’s #8playsin8months.
Lemon is the story of a girl named Liz (Julia Hussey) coming home after 5 years away, dreading and cursing the slim pickings of the post-school job market, and decides to open a lemonade stand out on her parent’s front lawn.

LEMON's creative play poster

LEMON’s creative play poster

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Miller’s political prophecies resonate Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson

Arthur Miller’s, “Incident at Vichy”, is a speeding train that carries the audience into the heart of the Holocaust. SOULPEPPER has mounted an unforgettable, disturbing and eerily prophetic production of a classic drama. Director Alan Dilworth accentuates the play’s power with an understated, minimalistic touch.
It’s a regular day for the German and French inspectors; guards; and examiners in 1942 Vichy. Their actions and emotions are those of bureaucrats – not torturers or executioners. There are no guards present. The interrogations are going on off-stage. The audience hears an occasional laugh, or raised voice,
                 Photo by  Cylla von Tidemann

Ado, Hughes, Matemoros, Nasmith, Lancaster, Fernandes & Dennis on-stage in "VICHY"

Ado, Hughes, Matamoros, Nasmith, Lancaster, Fernandes & Dennis on-stage in “VICHY”

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TAFELMUSIK presents a cultural coffee-house Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
      Wednesday evening in Hamilton, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Trio Arabica presented the Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House – a marvelously original multimedia presentation – conceived and scripted by Alison Mackay, Tafelmusik’s bass player. The images, music and storytelling evoked the cultures of Leipzig and Damascus in the eighteenth century – two trade centres exposed to new ideas and cultural influences – one of which was coffee.
In Leipzig, coffee was drunk from delicate Meissen cups with floral patterns on the inside. The coffee was weak enough to see the flowers through it, so Leipzig coffee was called ‘the floral drink’.      Photo by Sian Richards

the TAFELMUSIK Baroque orchestra members

the TAFELMUSIK Baroque orch. members

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SHAW’s, “Uncle Vanya”, a revolutionary moment Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
       Director Jackie Maxwell, deftly brought out the subtle undertones that made Uncle Vanya an eternal classic in the current production at the Shaw Festival. Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov’s, masterpiece, originally performed in Moscow in 1899, is teaming with desperation, a sense of isolation, and hopelessness. Still, in its authenticity and truthfulness, the play plumbs to the depths of the heart of human nature. Underneath that negativity, there is hope and the strong will to survive. The atmosphere was perhaps the most important character in the play – the forest that was about to become extinct. Maps illustrating the erosion were potent symbols in the production.  Photo by Shaw‘s David Cooper

Cast of UNCLE VANYA, on stage

Cast of UNCLE VANYA, on stage

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Students energetically explore the DONNELLY Story Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
     Blustery weather on May 14 did not dampen the enthusiasm of the student ensemble presenting Kat Sandler’s “#The Donnelly Project”. Her adaptation of Sticks and Stones by James Reaney is part one of his trilogy about the notorious Donnelly family.  The chilly outdoor performance space behind the Scarborough Arts Centre on Kingston Road, overlooking Lake Ontario, heightened the drama.  The Donnelly Project was an artistic collaboration between the Tarragon Theatre (which premiered Reaney’s play in 1973); Scarborough Arts; and R.H. King Secondary School Arts Management program.  Agincourt Collegiate Institute and the University of Toronto, Scarborough (UTSC) also participated.
Photo courtesy of Tarragon Theatre

R.H. King Academy'sDONNELLY cast ensemble

R.H. King Academy’s DONNELLY cast ensemble

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Chamber musicians strike a resonant chord Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
     Although the 5 at the First Chamber Music program’s title, Different Romances, conjures up the idea of sweetness and light, the concert on May 21st in Hamilton was anything but. The music was stormy and angst ridden, passionate and even angry. The masterful music of Shannon Mercer, soprano; Andrew Burashko, piano; Yehonatan Berick, violin; and Rachel Mercer, cello made the audience think about what it means to be human and connected to one another.
The afternoon began with Annie Kang, a youth guest artist, playing The Sea by Selim Palmgren on the piano.

Berick; Burashko; Rachel Mercer & Shannon Mercer-recitalist

Berick; Burashko; Rachel Mercer & Shannon Mercer-recitalist

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