“MacBETH”; a Stratford Mega-Super presentation Reply

Review by Danny & Terry GaisinDanny & Terry '05
            For obvious reasons, Shakespeare’s MacBETH (aka The Scottish Play – to the superstitious) is one of the most required Eng. Lit. studies. Our seatmates at the Festival Theatre actually discussed in what grade it was first encountered; and then on how many occasions it was subsequently seen. We were near the foremost in that latter category given our present career! Viewed it myriad times but Antoni Cimolino’s directorial take has to be considered the new benchmark and the new ten as in “ – out of ten”. It’s awesome.

Pellerin welcoming a triumphant Lake back from battle (Act I scene III)

Pellerin welcoming a triumphant Lake back from battle (Act I scene III)


“A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC”; needed – the clowns! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
It is a theatre tradition that harks back to vaudeville and travelling circus tents, that when ‘S*#t’ happens on stage or in the center ring; the director orders – “Send in the clowns”. Stephen Sondheim’s period piece about love; liaisons; familial relationships and convoluted interaction is a perfect vehicle for Stratford’s extensive reservoir of turn-of-the century costumes. Wardrobe honcho Bradley Dalcourt holds nothing back. Same can’t be said for director Gary Griffin; one gets the feeling that he strictly adhered to the Broadway & Hollywood predecessor versions.

The various coupling duos dancing

The various coupling duos dancing    ( by David Hou)


“A Chorus Line”; it’s done with mirrors! Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Talk about magic, or ask about how a trick is accomplished, the response is always “it’s done with smoke and mirrors”. Donna Feore’s directorial take on A CHORUS LINE is creative and immaculate. Originally staged by Michael Bennett with music of Hamlisch & lyrics by Ed Kleban first opened on Broadway just over forty years ago and immediately became a standard. Utilizing the vehicle of a ‘cattle call’ –or audition, seventeen young dancers are trying out for eight spots. The choreographer wants to know the ‘why’s’ as well as the “can’s” of their individual talents.

The Casting Call dancers waiting their turns

The Casting Call dancers waiting their turns  (by David Hou)


“As You (WILL) Like it” @ Stratford Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor
                        Joke:- Do you know how Les Canadiens™ came about?   Seems a ‘Newfie’ was playing hockey on the St. Lawrence … and got a breakaway!!! Rationale for the above: –Jillian Keiley’s locale setting for “AS YOU LIKE IT” circa 1980, and its only one of numerous surprises that Madame Director has in store for her Stratford audience. A dress code; seeing the cast-members performing on stage before curtain; a goody bag of items needed during the performance; requisite audience participation under strict direction and the play is a semi-musical! ***All Stratford photos by David Hou

Robin Hutton & her NFLD Reelers, amusing the audience

Robin Hutton & her NFLD Reelers, amusing the audience and the cast


Hare’s play ‘SKYLIGHT’ sparks a fire Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
British playwright, David Hare’s powerful, evocative, award-winning drama, Skylight, at Can Stage’s Berkeley Theatre, is about bridging gaps – between the sexes, generations and economic groups. This is Hidden Cove Productions first theatrical production.
In the context of Margaret Thatcher’s rabidly individualistic London, two former lovers – wealthy businessman, Tom Sergeant, played by Lindsay G. Merrithew, and teacher to the underprivileged, Kyra Hollis, played by Sara Topham – try to connect with one another. They are lost in ideologies; strongly-held beliefs; and patterns of behavior. They refuse to change, own their mistakes or adapt to the other’s viewpoint. Honest self-revelation becomes impossible.                             Photo of Merrithew & Topham in a dramatic SKYLIGHT moment … by Matthew Plexman

Skylight More…

T.S.O.’s ‘Eroica’ celebrates liberty, equality, fraternity Reply

Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo ReviewerSylvie2

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55, the “Eroica,” heralded Romantic composition: It was written at the beginning of the French revolution, and underwent some changes in dedication between its writing, publication, and performance for reasons of politics, but more so, of integrity. Surely these sentiments are relevant to a contemporary audience.  Solid from beginning to end, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s performance was championed by the funeral march. The woodwinds shone during the return; the clarity in their execution of the theme gave a glimpse of the celebration of life inherent in the march.   Photo courtesy of JOSH CLAVIR

Bronfman performing with the Toronto Symphony

      Yefim Bronfman performing the concerto No. 3 with the Toronto Symphony