Monthly Archive: September 2018

Gender-bending Shakespeare

Faithful readers may remember my praise for Martha Henry’s performance this season at Stratford as Prospero in “The Tempest.” Imagine my pleasure to see her interviewed Monday night at McMaster University along with Seana McKenna. The two actors appeared as part of The Socrates Project, a series of cultural events running until next summer, sponsored by L. R. “Red” Wilson, a businessman and former McMaster chancellor. The two women were interviewed by CBC’s Eleanor Wachtel. McKenna talked the most, but Henry was the best. In response to a question about how she got into acting, Henry told of owning a dress that made...

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Music of the spheres

A sentence on the front page of my morning paper caught my eye. The story was about the meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un who greeted his visitor while “a brass band played the North Korean leader’s personal arrival song.” Arrival song? Has diplomacy taken on the patina of Major League Baseball where a batter gets to choose the stadium music played as he walks to the plate? For example, Justin Smoak of the Blue Jays takes his practice swings to the sound of Brantley Gilbert’s “The Weekend.” Maybe Kim’s arrival song is simply the modern-day inheritor of campaign...

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The quiet of the crowd

I recently attended a lunch at a downtown Toronto location, one of those events with a quick chicken plate followed by a speaker. All the usual niceties were observed including the rhythmic clapping to welcome the arrival of the head table.There also was an acknowledgement – that has become essential at any public gathering – of the specific indigenous nations who once lived on the site. We even had grace and toasted the Queen. How often do those latter elements feature in a program? And then, a mezzo-soprano was introduced to sing O Canada. I joined in, as I always do. I knew the...

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