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Brilliant conducting by Italian maestro Paolo Carignani, coupled with the sensational singing of French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine as Carmen, and the passionate delivery of Canadian tenor David Pomeroy as Don José, make the COC’s production of Bizet’s warhorse worth the price of admission.

All, however, is not perfect.

Bizet’s Carmen can be a two-edged sword. Yes, the richly expressive music certainly tells you all you have to know about the story and the characters, but on the other hand, weak staging –Read More

Recent Blog Posts

Regarding Rob Ford

First let me point out that the death of a relatively young man with a young family is a very sad story indeed. Rob Ford was only 46, after all. Nonetheless, within the adage of you don’t say anything bad about dead people, i’ve been very amused how Canada’s politicians have struggled to find the positives to say about the late Mr. Ford. My favourite is, “He was very dedicated to the city”. I wonder who thought up that bit –Read More

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

Recent Reviews

Dance Review – DanceWorks/Jackie Burroughs is Dead & what are you going to do about it?, choreographed by DA Hoskins

DA Hoskins usually creates busy pieces inspired by sophisticated intellectual inquiry. Elaborate is a good word to describe his epics that employ text, sets, and visual media, all rooted in a deep emotional base that pervades his choreography.  Jackie Burroughs is Dead & what are you going to do about it? has Hoskins going back to the basics. Three dancers, an empty stage, and a live musicmaker are the sum total of the forces employed to express this work.

The –Read More

Theatre Review – Modern Times/Theatre Centre – Bahram Beyzaie’s The Death of the King

Since 1989, Modern Times Stage Company has come to stand for elegance of expression. Its productions are spare and passionate, whether the plays are original, classical or international. Co-artistic directors Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge believe in content that says something about and to humanity at large. As a result, there is a timeless quality to a Modern Times production. If I had to sum up the company in one word, it would be universality.

The Death of the King –Read More

Theatre Review – Coal Mine Theatre/Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe

Under artistic curator Ted Dykstra and artistic producer Diana Bentley, Coal Mine Theatre has become synonymous with quality and professionalism. The venue may be a storefront on The Danforth, but Coal Mine productions are top of the line in terms of programming and theatrical values. The company likes to style itself off off Broadway in design, and it’s a good comparison, because for many New York theatre goers (including visitors), off off Broadway is the last bastion of raw –Read More

Theatre Review – Tarragon/Studio 180, François Archambault’s You Will Remember Me

Studio 180, under artistic director Joel Greenberg, deliberately chooses plays that provoke. By presenting material on the edge, the company always guarantees an interesting visit to the theatre, and I mean interesting in the very best sense of the word.

At the heart of François Archambault’s play, You Will Remember Me, is a family living with Alzheimer’s. The title comes from the Yvette Giraud song, Tu te souviendras de moi, and the lyrics in English are provided in the program. –Read More