Photo by Levent Erutku

Kira is a feel
good evening of African dance. The West African word means “path”, and through
the relentless rhythms of the djembe drum, we make the sacred connection with
Mother Earth. The concert features virtuoso dancing and eye-popping African
percussion.

Lua Shayenne is a much-admired Toronto choreographer and dancer who invited revered Guinean composer and choreographer Fara Tolno to set Kira, The Path|La Voie on her company. Tolno is on hand as lead djembe. The rest of the performers are dancers –Read More

Recent Blog Posts

I’ve Been Missing in Action – Blame the Internet

In December, I was upgraded by Bell to fibre optics because my modem speed was so slow, and so my troubles began.The braindead subcontractors who put in the fibre optics ended them in our mechanical rooms and not in the actual units themselves. As a result, I did not have a stable internet connection and had to keep rebooting my modem (which required my phoning my concierge to send the patrolman to open the door because we mortal owners/tenants don’t –Read More

A New Gig for Paula

June 17, 2018 – A New Gig for Paula

I am now a contributor to Ludwig van Toronto, an online magazine (mostly music) that is now branching out into dance and theatre. My first review for Ludwig van is The National  Ballet of Canada’s summer mixed program.

Ludwig van is a good-looking, informative magazine and I’m delighted to be a contributor for dance and theatre.

Here’s the link. Enjoy.

https://www.ludwig-van.com/toronto/

Musings – Ontario Election 2018

On the night Donald Trump was elected, comedienne Jenna Friedman on a late night talk show summed up the situation perfectly with – “We’re fucked.” Never did I think that I would be in the same boat with a meathead elected as premier in my own province. Now it’s my turn to say, “We’re fucked.”

The only smart Ontario voters live in Toronto. I’m talking about the old Toronto, the real Toronto without Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough, all of –Read More

TIFF Movies 2016 – Best and Worst

Saw 21 films, almost all of them enjoyable. Due to a broken neck, (I kid you not), caused by a very bad fall in early August, I had to construct a list of films where I didn’t have to switch theatres during the day. I also needed decent access because of my walker, so there are more big-budget English language movies than I would usually choose. My directors were largely women, although that was happenstance and not design. By coincidence, –Read More

Recent Reviews

Opera Review – Canadian Opera Company/Verdi’s Otello

It is starting to get embarrassing. At best I sound like the
president of the Johannes Debus fan club, at worst like a stalking groupie, but
once again I’m in the thrall of his conducting prowess. The maestro’s musical
direction of Verdi’s Otello is simply
magnificent.

Otello (1887)is Verdi’s penultimate opera, and
arguably his greatest. Verdi, and his brilliant librettist Arrigo Boito, have
crafted a masterful rendering of Shakespeare’s tragic tale, distilling the play’s
events down to their stark basics. As a result, the text is a taut –Read More

Opera Review – Canadian Opera Company/La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini

Photo by Michael Cooper

This COC production of La
Bohème
first saw the light of day in 2013. 
While original stage director John Caird’s vision has its problems,
musically, both the singing and conducting in this revival are glorious.
Puccini operas need the big voices that produce goosebumps, and there are
several of note in this production. Italian maestro Paolo Carignani, to whom
Puccini must be mother’s milk, pulled out every dramatic nuance in the score to
give us a most passionate of readings.

While it was announced that –Read More

Theatre Review – Factory Theatre & Obsidian Theatre/Angélique by Lorena Gale

Photo by Andrew Alexander

The touring production of Lorena Gale’s Angélique (1995) is a class act. Originally presented by Montreal’s Black Theatre Workshop and Tableau D’Hôte, the classic play is performed with both earnestness and imagination. It has taken over two decades for this important play to make it to Toronto, but given the excellence of the production, the wait has been worth it.

Marie-Joseph Angélique was a 29-year-old slave who was
tortured and hanged in 1734 for burning down 46 buildings in –Read More

Theatre Review – Modern Times Stage Company & Crow’s Theatre/The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

Photo by John Lauener

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Modern Times Stage
Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The
Cherry Orchard
is near perfection.

Modern Times is one of my favourite companies in the city. I
particularly love director Soheil Parsa’s take on the classics. He goes right
to the heart of the matter, and you come away from a Modern Times production
completely satisfied because you have experienced the playwright’s intention in
the purist sense. Such is the case of Parsa’s The Cherry Orchard where Chekhov’s human comedy has –Read More