Hamilton theatre salutes Black History Month Reply

Review by Ellen S. JaffeReviewerEllen S.
Two theatre events in Hamilton during Black History Month deserve mention, although we have not done full reviews because each had only one or two performances. Both shows made excellent theatre from the words of history itself.  Leslie McCurdy presented her one-woman show, “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman”, on February 4 at the Lincoln Alexander Centre.  Leslie hails from Windsor, Ontario, and has been touring this show for 14 years in Canada and the U.S.  Using simple, on-stage costume changes, occasional singing, and superb acting, she presents Harriet Tubman’s life-story.

The Greensboro N.C. sit-ins;  circa 1960

The Greensboro N.C. sit-ins; circa 1960

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“FLOYD COLLINS”; a tragic musical based on reality Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
‘There was a spelunker named Floyd; who was told caving he should avoid.
But he didn’t listen – in the cave he went missin’; his naysayers had the last ‘woid’.
Even the most unflappable columnists sometimes go off the rails, so please forgive the above doggerel as just yours truly being immature. In any case, it does reflect the plot of Guettel & Landau’s musical “FLOYD COLLINS”. Every snowbird driving south on U.S. 75 passes the turnoff sign for Mammoth Cave just north of the Kentucky Tennessee border.

Ben Chiasson as "FLOYD COLLINS", alone in his underground grotto

Ben Chiasson as “FLOYD COLLINS”, alone in his underground grotto

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“FOOTLOOSE”, Sheridan’s showcase vehicle Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

“Where the Hell is Bomont?” is the opening bit of dialogue, and truth be known; it’s actually @ 34°- 57’ N & 97°-23’W. The place is really Elmore City, OK where in 1898 a local bylaw was passed outlawing dancing and only rescinded in 1986. Multi-talented Dean Pitchford took the story and turned it into both a movie and stage play, gleaning both an Oscar™ and Golden Globe™. Sheridan’s David Connolly has taken this ‘period piece’ (re: Joel Cumber -asst. director) and utilized it as a showcase vehicle for the faculty’s undergrads’ abilities. Acting, singing and dance are all role requisites. The entire cast has all three…in spades.

Students Willard & Ren addressing the Bomont Town Council

Students Willard & Ren addressing the Bomont Town Council

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MUSIKAY; seems Renaissance music doesn’t attract 1

Review by Judith Caldwellreviewerjudy
            Love is in the air in February and Musikay offered a concert of 15th and Sixteenth century love songs in the form of madrigals and chansons. The setting of the concert was unusual in that a circle of approximately 30 chairs in the huge atrium of St. Thomas the Apostle Church surrounded the musicians who formed a smaller inner circle. Maestro Stephan Potvin explained that when this music was originally performed the singers would all be reading from one manuscript and so would be very close together so they could see and hear each other thus really helping the polyphonic singing.

Oakes; Ball; McCormack; Potvin; Stachow & Taylor; post-concert

Oakes; Ball; McCormack; Potvin; Stachow & Taylor; post-concert

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A ‘Convenient’ guide to Korean culture Reply

Review by Judith RobinsonreviewerJudith Robinson
Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience is a stunning masterpiece – a speeding train that never stops until Soulpepper’s production of this one act, full length comedy concludes ninety minutes later. The conductor, who keeps the train moving, is Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who has played the role of convenience store owner, Appa, in every production since the play’s origins at the fringe festival, in Toronto, in 2011. He has now given over 400 performances in 10 Canadian cities – and starred in the successful spin off last fall, on CBC TV. The show has already been renewed for next season. Photo courtesy of Cylla von Tiedemann

Choi; Lee; Yoon; Kung & Sills, of KIM'S CONVENIENCE

     Choi; Lee; Yoon; Kung & Sills, of KIM’S CONVENIENCE

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“BLOOD BROTHERS”, revisited & redirected Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
Our first exposure to Willy Russell’s musical tragedy,” BLOOD BROTHERS” was coincidently, ten years ago- almost to the day. It was then staged by Clarkson Music Theatre and starred Jo Kemp (also coincidently was in the audience for last night’s iteration).  Second version: – Sheridan’s 2012 marvelous Studio Theatre adaptation. WEST END STUDIO THEATRE under the direction of Yo Mustafa has taken the play’s starkness to a new level and its impact is thus intensified. A totally bare stage; minute & momentary props plus concentrated harsh spotlighting are the only ancillaries to the dialogue or vocal solos & duets.

The cast (& swing/crew) of "BLOOD BROTHERS"

The cast (& swing/crew) of “BLOOD BROTHERS”

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