Review by Judith Caldwell
Five @ the First’s January concert featured warm music on a cold afternoon to an almost sell-out audience who were very appreciative of the music and the talent. The AYR Piano Trio consists of Angela Park, piano; cellist Rachel Mercer; and Yehonatan Berick, violin. Each has a teaching and a solo career, when they are together it is obvious that they respect each other’s ability and thoroughly enjoy playing as a group.
The afternoon began with Piano Trio in G major “Gypsy” of Joseph Haydn. This is his best-known piano trio and it is dominated by the piano with the violin and cello providing tonal strength.
Park; Berick and Mercer- The AYR TRIO
Review by Ailine Hess
The Penderecki String Quartet performed last evening at McMaster University’s Convocation Hall. The quartet is celebrating 30 years as a quartet and 25 years in residence at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. The concert opened with the String Quartet in A Major Op. 41, No. 3. The composition was premiered in 1842. After studying the quartets of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Schumann composed the 3 quartets of Op. 41. The third quartet became the most famous and popular. The opening movement was rich with lush, romantic sound. Melodic lines were effectively accompanied by pulsing, rhythmic harmonies giving forward motion to the performance.
the Penderecki musicians on stage at McMaster
Review by Danny Gaisin
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen may have scripted HEDDA GABLER back in 1890, but Theatre Erindale’s director Melee Hutton has taken the original and created an inspired rendering that not only makes the story contemporary, but totally more meaningful for today and today’s audiences. This is a virtuosic and motivated regeneration of a classic eponymous nameplate. The title character’s name rhymes with a common synonym for shoemaker and she ‘gobbles’ and devours everyone around her. Obsessive; sociopathic; and totally amoral- Gabler is the epitome of uncaring bitch. Thus; a role any actor would die for. Photo by Jim Smagata
VanDuzer & Pandullo As Hedda & Anastasia
Review by Michael Piscitelli
Film and theatre are two drastically different art forms. Thinking you can do one and can transfer what you know to the other will often lead to… less than effective media. I’m going to be frank and say that I was unimpressed with the story-telling of this show. It honestly felt like I was watching a Sears drama festival play. For context, the Sears Drama Festival is a high school drama competition that has several different school districts put on plays or scenes to be adjudicated and potentially win prizes.
Sandcastle Theatre’s clever poster for RABBIT HOLE
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe
Are our lives ruled by luck, chance, reason, DNA, or a divine plan? Sequence, the award-winning play by Arun Lakra, which premiered in Calgary in 2013 and is now onstage at the Tarragon, poses these questions – which may never have definite answers. The one-act play demonstrates a current tendency for playwrights to use scientific concepts in their work, as both content and metaphor. This is welcome, as science plays a major role in our lives & our thinking (perhaps similar to religion in former times), even for those of us who are not scientists. Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann
Polk; Marcus; Bundy & LaVercombe -playing ‘Jacks’
Review by Michael Piscitelli
Elizabeth II has been the reigning monarch for the last six and a half decades. In that time, she has had 13 British Prime Ministers visit in her private audience chambers. In Peter Morgan’s “THE AUDIENCE” we get to take an imagined look at what some of those conversations might have looked like and how the queen comported herself with the leaders of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Fiona Reid who plays the monarch herself, displayed an excellent manner and an understanding of the differences in age that the queen has gone through in 65 years of rule.
H.R.H. QE II with some of her on-stage courtiers