“The Importance of Being Earnest” by Theatre Erindale 1

Review by Terry Gaisin
How fitting that Oscar Wilde’s final satirical farce would be selected by Patrick Young as his final directorial effort with UTM’s Theatre Erindale. Our Arts Review has critiqued about 70 continual Erindale presentations since 2003 and have had the opportunity to witness a dozen productions under Young’s thespian management. All of them were noteworthy and thought provoking. No doubt, this is because the man has the innate capacity to discover the essence and motivation behind each playwright’s rationale. He is a consummate examiner; researcher, and thus his results always succeed.   Photo by Jim Smagata; UTM

Himes; Bennet; Pottinger; Nguyen; Thorne; Wamsley & McDonald

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OKLAHOMA; it’s “O.K.” to have fun at the theatre Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Some interesting facts about the ‘Sooner’ State. Oklahoma was the first territory to hold a land Rush in 1889. It received Statehood in 1907 and was the first State to utilize parking meters (1935) and the first one to erect a ‘Yield’ sign in 1950. The motivation for mentioning Oklahoma’s myriad originals is because “OKLAHOMA” was the first collaboration of Rogers and Hammerstein in1943; heralding the golden age of Broadway musicals. Take Riggs’ book ‘Green Grow the Lilacs’; add in superb music and amazing lyrics and no wonder the result is still a sellout 74 years later!

          The farmers & cowboys of pre-statehood “OKLAHOMA”

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“BLOOD WEDDINGS”; Hatfield/McCoys or Romeo/Juliet Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
            It is great to have the presentation of a modern classic in a bold new version.  Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and playwright, had an “abiding insistence on the interdependence of love and death,” according to one critic.  This is clear in the current production of Blood Weddings/Bodas de Sangre , at Buddies in Bad Times. The show is a remounting of the 2015 collaboration between Modern Times Stage Company, led by Iranian-Canadian director Soheil Parsa (director choreographer of this play) and Aluna Theatre, a Latin-Canadian theatre company whose Artistic Director is Beatriz Pizano.

Kwan; Pizano; Lauzon; Yaraghi & Bush in BLOOD WEDDINGS

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“SIBELIUS” a ‘New’ H.P.O. scrutiny Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Finnish composer Jan Sibelius lived from the mid-19th to mid twentieth century. A passionate anti-Nazi, legend has it that he composed his ‘Finlandia’ after ludicrously firing his pistol at an overhead Luftwaffe fighter plane. His final work, Symphony No. 7, is uncharacteristic in that the work is played as a single movement, although the tempi coincidently varies through seven diverse rhythmic ranges. To underscore the evocative themes, The Hamilton Philharmonic utilized the vehicle of PowerPoint™ projections featuring photographs of the flora & fauna of Bruce Trail.

The HPO; Lau’s composition; & Lake Moraine – projected on-screen

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PEACE RIVER COUNTRY Explores passion for land & family Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

Peace River Country, by Maria Milisavljevic is a passionate play; kudos to Tarragon Artistic Director Richard  Rose for choosing and directing a Canadian story worth telling and worth seeing. It is based on the actual story of Wiebo Ludvig (1941-2012), a Christian fundamentalist pastor and farmer in rural Alberta (his community, Trickle Creek, was about 450 km. north of Edmonton). In the 1990’s, he became an “eco-warrior,” fighting against oil and gas companies in Alberta and B.C. His major campaign was against the production of “sour gas,” with its high concentration of hydrogen sulfide’
Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Sutherland; Sherman; Green & Coleman in PEACE RIVER

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Oakville Chamber Orchestra, a “smorgasbord” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Given that the intermission pastries were from the town’s Danish Bakery; using the ‘’ term for a wide range or variety of something seems a apropos. The O.C.O.’s concert at St. John’s had something for every taste…classical music; new compositions; operatic arias and popular standards. Almost all had an Oakville story or a connection. The opening work was a recently discovered piece by the late Amice Calverley; an Oakvillian with almost ‘Rambo’ résumé. War hero, archeologist; film maker; impresario; re-builder and composer. The work was conducted by Charles Demuynck of Oakville!  The audience also heard a premiere of his own new composition.

Sitarski performing the Mozart Andante Cantabile movement

Sitarski performing the Mozart Andante Cantabile movement

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