“Bedtime Stories”, giggles interspersed with drama Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Prolific (52 & counting) Canadian playwright Norm Foster’s “BEDTIME STORIES” is a challenge not only for a director, but for audiences as well, given that format and plot lines are so contrived and web-like in coherency that concentration is highly mandated.
The six vignettes are totally diverse yet intermingled via a radio broadcast and by familial relationships. Personas that we meet prove to be someone mentioned, referred to or a character seen in a previous sketch. Foster does not telegraph these contrivances; thus the needed engrossment in order for the viewer to stay cognizant.

The BLT cast of “BEDTIME STORIES”

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“H.P.O. :-the ‘New World’ from an Eastern European musical view” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Ligeti was Romanian; Bartók -Hungarian and Dvořák was born in Bohemia. So, an evening of classical music with a Central and Eastern European flavor. For someone who grew up with the atmosphere of klezmer permeating my Ashkenazi household, last evening’s Hamilton Philharmonic concert brought on a strong sense of déja vu, or should that be ‘déja entendu’.
Gy
örgy Ligeti grew up in Transylvania and his interpretations of folk idiom music was politically disdained. The Concert Românesc sat unperformed for two decades until 1971. The HPO, under visiting conductor James Sommerville presented the piece with an almost Oriental flavoured scaling throughout the work’s myriad riffs.

Tao performing Bartok with the HPO

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“Little shop of (Hilarious) Horrors”; by Burloak. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The ridiculous concept behind the 1960 B-movie and subsequent off-Broadway presentations led to a big-budget film 25 years later directed by Frank Oz of Muppet & Sesame Street fame. A voracious Venus Flytrap; an amateur botanist; a failing flower retailer located in the slums; and a terrific trio of back-up singers provide all the ingredients for an evening of mirthfulness and entertainment…but only if done as professionally as possible. BurlOak Theatre group and director Mike Ranieri have staged something faultless. Attending a final dress rehearsal meant that this scribe was accorded the opportunity to observe the stage manager’s (Greg Stanton) last chance for his ‘technical tweaking’.

The cast of BurlOak’s “Little Shop of Horrors”

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“(Girl)-CRAZY FOR YOU”; another Sheridan ace Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The Gershwin brothers wrote a rather short-lived musical in 1930 titled GIRL CRAZY. Six decades later it had an overhaul (sort of like any Danielle Steele book) with the names changed, and a plot modification. The new version -”CRAZY FOR YOU” and Sheridan’s theatre faculty has staged a super interpretation directed & choreographed by Julie Tomaino.
Seems every’ Old fart’ reaches a point where he remembers trivia from way-too-far back;  this scribe recalls two anecdotes learned first-hand about the original iteration. At a serendipitous meeting with Ethel Merman, I learned that Girl Crazy was her first major Broadway show. 

The CRAZY for YOU cast deciding the future of ‘Deadrock’

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“The Ghost in the Meadow”, – spooky fun Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

A creepy old house in upper New York State; a constant storm with power outages; church bells ringing the witching hour; and naturally – doors that open & close by themselves…all the ingredients for a scary couple of onstage hours. The Peninsula Players present this Joe Simonelli ‘dramady’ (sic) with the obvious goal of eliciting fright & comedic moments in equal parts. Directed by Ray Hunt, the four characters represent stereotypes and their responses to the supernatural. There is a cynic, one cast-member is the logician, another is gullible, and for tension relief – one is incredulous.    Note: read my final paragraph .

l-r   Munroe; Ingram; Blain & Pleydon. The apparition is Briana Claus

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An Easter gift from ‘5@1st’s ensemble Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
“5 at the First” presented a very varied program of music for strings ranging from a modern duet for violin and viola to a sextet for violins, violas and celli.  The young artist of the afternoon was flutist Aanya Grewel, age 13, who is a student of well-known Hamilton flutist Sara Traficante.  Grewel played a typically melodic and upbeat piece by John Rutter in two movements called Suite Antique.  The Aria was tuneful and the Ostinato was lively and unmistakable Rutter.  Both were masterfully played by a young lady who has complete control of her instrument and is obviously a talent to watch. * 

the musicians & guest soloists… post-concert

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