“PRIVATE LIVES” a less–than-usual Stratford interpret. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
From a set that looks like the entry to a fancy restaurant’s Ladies Room, to faulty blocking, to poor vocal projection, to some hammy acting, Noel Coward’s Private Lives deserves better. The plot deals with two newly-wed couples at the start of their respective honeymoons. Couple ‘A’s groom and couple ‘B’s bride were once couple ‘C’ but have been divorced for five years. They all reunite at the same Cote D’azure resort and the old sparks fly. Being a Coward play the dialogue is clever and memorable and especially re-quotable. I still include ‘don’t quibble, Sybil’ in conversations.    Photo courtesy of David Hou

Davies, Shara, Walker & Peacock discussing their ‘Private Lives’

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BILLY ELLIOT, the Musical, “Very Fokken Special” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
For over a decade, I’ve had a love/like relationship with director Donna Feore. The lady’s background is classical dance and occasionally she allows her dedication to the art get the best of her. It happened with her work on ‘Oklahoma’, (OAR July ’07) and it’s the only flaw in Stratford’s amazing Billy Elliot, the Musical. Feore utilizes every inch of the Festival’s thrust stage with chorus numbers that are outstanding and definitively bear her imprimatur.
The play has two plots, the first deals with a pre-teen male who decides that he’d like to learn ballet; the other deals with the tragic U.K.’s miners’ strike.     Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

Nolen Dubuc (Billy) leading the miners; cops & ballerinas in a big chorus number

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Bienvenue to a visiting young French Choir Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

 

Maitrise des Hauts de France, Young Singers of Lampersart, is a French boys choir who began their 2019 North American concert tour on July 12th at Burlington’s oldest church, St Luke’s Anglican, and will end their tour- after many stops in the United States – at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, the newest church in Waterdown on July 28th.  They are a group of about 40 singers in every regular register (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) who all come from the town of Lamersart, near Lille in northern France.  The choir was founded in 1970, performing regularly in Europe including at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and for Queen Elizabeth.                                                      The Choir = on stage

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“ROPE” dark & foreboding plus “The RUSSIAN PLAY” Reply

Reviews by Terry Gaisin

Patrick Hamilton’s drama “ROPE” either refers to ‘”Give em’ enough rope…etc” or perhaps to the fact that Leopold & Loeb both held on to ends of the cord used to throttle Bobby Franks in the so-called ‘crime of the Century’ thrill murder; the true-life case on which Hamilton’s plot is based. Like the infamous L & L, his protagonists (antagonists?) are highly intelligent; considered themselves Nietzschean ‘Ubermenschen’ (supermen) and thus sociologically non-responsible, and too bright to ever be caught.
Director
Jani Lauzon utilizes stage lighting as a dramatic vehicle actually have an opening scene in almost total darkness. So, both mood and plot are sinister.   Photo courtesy of Emily Cooper (Shaw)

Therriault facing off against Seetoo & Wong in “ROPE”

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“Brigadoon” an old favourite, renewed & improved Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
July. 9th,’19

First off; let’s deal with the elephant in the room. This scribe has read Gerstacker’s Germelhausen and it’s the antithesis of Lerner & Lowe’s terrific musical – BRIGADOON! One is a depressing tale of a curse; negativism and a depressing ending; the other is about hopes and miracles! I’ve seen Brigadoon numerous since 1957’s road company performances and loved every version. From the exciting opening number to the quotable last line (“ye must love her very much…Ye WOKE ME UP” and then the line about anything being possible if one believes in miracles). This scribe actually applauds WHEN Peter Pan needs support to revive Tinker Bell. Imagine how I respond to such an affirmative ending! Yup –teary-eyed.  Photo courtesy of ShawFest

Matt Nethersole telling his townsfolk about his feelings for ‘Bonnie Jean’

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Outside Mullingar”, or – The Life of Reilly’s Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

It’s an awful business…Growing old!” When Vince Carlin makes this statement in John Shanley’s 2014 com/dram (sic) OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, it was way too close to home. Both the muse and I have just undergone a necessitated cognitive analysis. Our concentration veers; our memory has too many gaps; and worse of all – the short trip between brain and mouth often detours.
Interpreting Shanley’s play, the unique production team of ‘
Act of Faith’ have brought back the ‘Painting Churches’ (see O.A.R. 4/28/’18) dynamic team of Caroline Saulez; Vince Carlin & Willard Boudreau. The latter, recovering from major surgery, is still in top directorial form with his minute (‘mine yoot’ not the 60-second noun) style of detailing.

l-r: Saulez; Sheehy; Marchment & Carlin, chez Reilly’s farm kitchen

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