“PICTURE THIS”, Soulpepper’s silent movie shenanigans Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Picture This, now at Soulpepper, is like a Hungarian strudel: crafted with expertise and love, sweet but not saccharine, a bit flaky, and containing a filling that is both delicious and nutritious. The play, adapted by Morris Panych and Brenda Robins from Hungarian writer Melchoir Lengyel’s 1937 script, The Battle of Waterloo, is a “love-letter” to motion pictures, theatre, and all the arts.  Clever dialogue, brought to life by Panych’s insightful, well-paced directing, an excellent cast, and a creative set, combine to make this an enjoyable evening in the theatre.   Robins, part of the Soulpepper ensemble since 1999, also acts in the play, in a double role as film director’s assistant and wardrobe mistress.   Photo by  Cylla von Tidemann

the cast in a scene from “PICTURE THIS”



Relaxing by the “Golden Pond” Reply

Review by Michael Piscitelli

At the end of the summer, you’re probably back from your cottage after a relaxing time of doing a whole lot of nothing while enjoying the lovely weather and trying your best to ignore the awful bugs. After getting back home, what better way to start off the fall and school season, than to go see a show reminiscing about the time you just came home from? Ernest Thomson’s “On Golden Pond” is a slice-of-life show about an elderly couples’ time spent in the twilight years of their lives at their family bungalow.                                                               the folks who live or visit ‘On Golden Pond”

Hammer Baroque & ‘Eybler Quartet -confusion! Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Hammer Baroque got off to their usual early start to the 2017/18 season with a concert on the Saturday of Labour Day weekend. This time it was the Eybler Quartet presenting an afternoon of classical chamber music by Vanhal, Asplmayr, Hayden and Mozart, even though the concert was billed as Beethoven and Vanhal. Bud Roach took the blame for the confusion, and while there may have been some disappointed Beethoven fans, they were not evident as the near-capacity and knowledgeable audience thoroughly enjoyed the quartets which were offered. String Quartet Op. 6 No. 2 (1771) by Johann Vanhal opened the concert. 

Nosky; Gay; Jordan & Wedman – post-concert


“Back to School” Reply

Suggestions by Danny & Terry Gaisin
After reading about the 1st week problems the GHTA had with school bus pickups & deliveries; blame seemed to fall on the drivers and their individual companies…such is NOT the case !
We spent fourteen years driving ‘special needs’ students for two different Bus companies, and both of our employers, especially Attridge’ stressed
that safety was not only “Job #1”, it was also numbers two & three! It is not the company that has the final say on routes; times and pick-up locations – it’s the School Board’s Transportation’s aegis. It is they that must bear blame. More…

“Choral Spectacular”, NAO’s terrific Festival closer 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

The Brott National Academy Orchestra finished its 30th season with a superlative concert; four featured soloists and seventy-four choir-members selected from dozens of diverse venues – all coming together as one coordinated unit. The magic required to accomplish such a feat was contributed by chorus manager Paul Hawkins and under the mastership of Stephane Potvin. The latter is artistic director of MUSIKAY, a small ensemble whose popularity is growing with each season, but the challenge of creating something tenfold in size boggles the mind. It would be egregious not to mention the challenge facing the podium – choral group AND an orchestra.

Bradley, Segal, MacMaster & Westman performing ‘Ode to Joy with the NAO & Chorus


Shaken not Stirred – The Music of “Bond” 3

Review by Judith Caldwell
The penultimate concert in the 2017 Brott Music Festival was an evening of music inspired by the James Bond movie franchise. It featured the National Academy Orchestra conducted by the NAO’s artistic director Boris Brott, and Roï Azoulay, this years’ apprentice conductor, plus the Jeans ‘n Classics quartet of John Regan keyboard, Jeff Christmas (drums), bassist Mitch Tyler and Peter Brennan on guitar, whose arrangements of the Bond tunes were spectacularly good. Also on the bill were Rique Franks whose rich contralto perfectly suited the music, and Neil Donnell who has a chameleon voice which he used to mimic Marvin Gaye, Louis Armstrong and Duran Duran among others.

Cartoon by Otto Binder (BIZARRO)