Category Archives: Books & Literature

Salome: from Matthew and Mark, through Oscar, Richard and Atom

It can be enjoyable to trace the changes in the way a story is adapted and/or interpreted. Salome begins in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Matthew 14:1-11 (NIV)1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus, … Continue reading

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Fifteen Dogs at Crow’s Theatre

I loved the book (André Alexis’s 2015 novel Fifteen Dogs). I love the play (adapted for the stage and directed by Marie Farsi at Crow’s Theatre). The book hit me in totally different places than the play. When you read … Continue reading

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Telling stories of dogs and gods

Anecdotes are one sort of story. For example I heard that in 2020 COVID caused a surge in canine adoptions. Later I heard there was a flood in reverse, dogs being given up when people changed their minds. No I … Continue reading

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There’s a place for us: in Scarborough

I’m thinking about two films I saw recently. Last week I finally saw Spielberg’s West Side Story. One of the songs in that film is the lens through which I viewed today’s film: Scarborough. In the 1961 film and the … Continue reading

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Mother Sorrow: workshop December 9th

I was privileged to observe an open rehearsal of a new creation titled “Mother Sorrow.” The creative team is large, but I should mention director & choreographer Jennifer Nichols, Composer and music director Adam Scime and librettist (combining new words … Continue reading

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Simon Banks’ Opera: The Autobiography of the Western World

For me Christmas came early, when I got my hands on Simon Banks’ new book Opera: The Autobiography of the Western World. I mention that because this is the ideal gift for anyone you know who loves opera or who … Continue reading

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Red Velvet history lesson

I feel the need to frame my testimony, reviewing Lolita Chakrabarti’s play Red Velvet at Crow’s Theatre, in the admission that Ira Aldridge, the first black man to portray Othello onstage in London, is almost completely unknown largely because of … Continue reading

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Profoundly Creative Requiem for a Gumshoe

The body count is higher than any superhero movie. But there’s no CGI, no fancy effects. Your imagination is engaged as never before. It may scare you, seeing so much death and contemplating the end of the world in Eldritch … Continue reading

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Provocative TSO program: a glimpse of Gimeno

It’s fun getting to know the new music director of the Toronto Symphony, Gustavo Gimeno. I’m excited both by the programming and the performances. Assembling concerts involves a curating process, picking & choosing pieces for performance. Forgive me for repeating … Continue reading

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Sarah Polley – Run Towards the Danger

I have just finished reading Sarah Polley’s Run Towards the Danger, a book like none I’ve ever read before. It might be the most authentic autobiography I’ve ever encountered. Except that it’s not an autobiography. I notice too that while … Continue reading

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