sondra2

At the recent Sondra Radvanovsky concert at Koerner Hall, my former boss at Classical 96 FM joked that I had discovered the soprano who is now considered the belle of the opera world. That is not far from the truth in terms of Toronto. He remembered when I came back from Spoleto Festival USA in 2000, and in my review, raved about a young singer who had been very impressive, both in vocal and acting skills, in the title –Read More

Recent Blog Posts

Fall for Dance North Festival – Opening Night

Fall for Dance North is a triumph. The packed house was really stoked and you could feel the buzz in the Sony Centre. It was palpable excitement and each performing group was cheered wildly. Artistic director Ilter Ibrahmof mounted a dream program. What a boon for the city. Program two is tonight and tomorrow and I am in breathless anticipation.

No one will ever again say Fall for Dance what? The tickets for next year’s festival will go like wildfire.

Game of Thrones Rant

This is a stern message for George R.R. Martin.

I love the Game of Thrones series because I fell in love with the books long before they ended up on HBO. However, the TV shows have now moved beyond where Book 5 ended. We’ve been waiting for Book 6 for ages. Meanwhile the TV series leaps ever onward. Come on George, give the GOT fanatics Book 6. You’ve kept up waiting long enough. I am very aggravated.

Brian Macdonald and Jean Béliveau

I was saddened by the death of these two great Canadians, but for very different reasons. In the case of Macdonald, its the passing of that first generatiion of Canadian dance pioneers. As for Béliveau, he brings back memories of my late mother.

Macdonald’s contributions to dance and theatre in this country are enormous. He was a fine choreographer who never disappointed. In his works, dancers looked wonderful, whether on or off point. As for his Gilbert & Sullivan productions –Read More

I’ve Been a Bad Girl

i’ve fallen behind on my website. The problem is, I’ve been researching a big story which required mega interviews and a lot of organization. Plus being out every night at some theatre somewhere. I just ran out of time. Poor excuse, maybe. But true.

I will catch up by Thursday night..

P

Recent Reviews

Theatre Review – Off-Mirvish and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Seminar by Theresa Rebeck

Seminar, a 2011 play by the prolific American writer Theresa Rebeck, is a thoroughly enjoyable theatre experience, until, that is, you get to the drippy Hollywood ending (but more about that later). Seminar is also a very New York play, filled with sassy, insult humour that is a hallmark of Big Apple playwriting. The setting is even an infamous rent-controlled apartment (infamous because rich people are living in low rent units), its elegant upper West Side appointments courtesy of –Read More

Dance Review – National Ballet of Canada/The Winter’s Tale

The English ballet tradition has produced great choreographic storytellers. Think Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan and John Cranko. Down the line, Christopher Wheeldon will be added to this august list. At this point in time, he is caught between ballet convention and original thought. Choreographic aspects of The Winter’s tale are routine, while other segments jump off the stage with innovative bravura.

The Winter’s Tale is Wheeldon’s second full-length story ballet, following hard on the heels of the –Read More

Opera Review – Opera Atelier/Lully’s Armide

This season, the remarkable Opera Atelier is celebrating its 30th anniversary. During these three decades, the company has continued to educate the audience in the delicacies of baroque opera. In other words, for long-time fans of the company, the concept of 17th  and 18th  century performance practices seems completely natural, as opposed to the aesthetic being an exotic rarity.

But there is an inherent underlying challenge for director Marshall Pynkoski and choreographer Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg. How do they avoid –Read More

Post Tiff Dance Wrap – ProArteDanza, Peter Chin’s Woven, and Toronto Heritage Dance

No one in the performing arts who is in their right mind plans an event during TIFF. That is just plain artistic suicide. The great tragedy of this fact is that just after TIFF, you tend to get dance bunched together. Thus, the first weekend after TIFF had three wonderful dance events running opposite each other and competing for audiences. In one word – bummer, but on the plus side, what a feast for the eyes!

ProArteDanza

ProArteDanza is –Read More