“Kiss Me Kate”; Sheridan aces this Cole Porter standard Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
A year or so ago, while critiquing a Stratford presentation directed & choreographed by Donna Feore; we created our own descriptive adjective. The term we came up with was “Dancical “and it is the perfect qualifier to exposit our opinion of Theatre Sheridan’s take on the Cole Porter blockbuster – “KISS ME KATE“. Direction is faultless; costumes are impeccably detailed; the entire cast meet every professional standard. Lastly, choreography is superlative, creatively and performance.
This concept of a musical version of a Shakespeare play is not unique; ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona”;
The Boys From Syracuse and of course ‘West Side Story’ are all familiar.

Cast, crew, musicians & production team of “KISS ME KATE”

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The Romance of Josef Suk; an E.M.I.C. tribute Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Ensemble Made In Canada presented a program entitled The Romance of Josef Suk at their February 10th concert. An appropriate title so close to Valentine’s Day. The four musicians of EMIC are Angela Park, piano, violinist Eliza Lee, , Sharon Wei, viola and cellist Rachel Mercer. They are rapidly gaining recognition as Canada’s premier piano quartet providing master classes, chamber music coaching and lectures at Universities across Canada and the United States. Their musicianship is always outstanding and on Saturday they presented a varied program mostly from the Romantic Era with a more modern Canadian composition as well.

Pinto; West; Park; Roughley; Lee & Mercer

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“A theatrical ‘Double, Double’” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Baseball has it’s ‘double header’; opera ‘s “Pagliacci” & “Cavalleria Rusticana” are always performed as a duo; and theatre has the two one-act efforts – Shaffer’s BLACK COMEDY and Stoppard’s THE REAL INSPECTOR HOUND performed sequentially. Oakville’s Drama Series has both entries directed by Jeff Morrison; so he must work under two distinct mindsets and two different cast teams. A challenge, but one that is well met.
Black Comedy is unusual in that it is a ‘reversed lighting’ process, i.e. the stage is lit for the major period of a blackout, but is in almost total darkness when the power comes on.

Activity in the (supposed to be) Dark!

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Get Thee to HAMLET, with music * Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe

“You will never see another Hamlet like this one,” says Richard. Rose, Artistic Director of the Tarragon and director of the current new production of Shakespeare’s play.   I agree, and urge you to “get thee to the Tarragon” to see a Hamlet that is both theatrical and intimate, bold and expressively nuanced. The music is billed as rock and roll, but ranges from heavy metal-like to jazz to plaintive, suspenseful leitmotifs. Not just an “addition,” the music is an expressionist subtext in sound and brought home the emotional and intellectual impact of the play. I was completely captivated emotionally, from the opening scene where the ghost appears…    Photo by Cylla Von Tydemann

Cast members of ‘Hamlet’

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Drury Lane’s “Music Hall”; ver. 38.1 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
Wikipedia defines the term ‘Music Hall’ as a British format circa 1850 that paralleled the American Vaudeville genus. The UK.’s vaudeville sector was lower class and thus more in keeping with the burlesque shows on this side of the pond. The style(s) remained popular for a century. Why the history lesson? Just to introduce the oddity that is Drury Lane Theatre Productions who can continually fill a house for just short of four decades!
Directed & choreographed by Caroline Clarke & Shelley Rennick, audiences are the recipients of the requisite telegraphed one-liners; skits; chorus numbers and are essential participants in commentary and sing-alongs.

                                                                    A difficult photo-op situation, on stage

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“Clybourne Park”; You could HEAR the ‘cringe’! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
As a collegiate freshman in 1960; I drove to NYC to see ‘A Raisin in the Sun’. It starred unknowns Ruby Dee; Lou Gossett; and Ossie Davis – who had just taken over from another novice Sydney Poitier! The story dealt with a black family in Chicago and dealt with desired upward mobility. Playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s family had actually been involved with the legalities of Blacks wanting to live in an all-white neighbourhood, fought under the U.S. Constitution’s famous 14th Amendment.
Eight years ago, playwright Bruce Norris wrote a follow-up to ‘
Raisin‘ titled CLYBOURNE PARK and this two-Act comedy/drama is a powerhouse tour-de-force. *   Photo (& stage  design) by Jim Smagata

L-R    Ruhs; Watt-Bowers; Martin; Grant; Clarke & Francis – in a tense moment

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