Aug 162012

‘They really are best brothers……..’

Playwright and lead actor Daniel MacIvor has created a funny and poignant 80 minute experience that you should most definitely see. The show reinforces once again that some of the most enjoyable theatre at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival is found on the Studio Stage. Many of you may be familiar with the Canadian playwright’s work. I wasn’t, but believe me, I’m glad I am now. There are many touching and thought provoking moments that make the audience laugh, smile, and no doubt recount their own experiences with the loss of a loved one.

Laugh at the loss of a loved one? Bunny Best, Hamilton and Kyle Best’s mother has died accidentally under quite hilarious circumstances. It is her death that brings the brothers together to take care of the many details. Along the way we share their journey of acceptance-of her death, of themselves, and of each other.

Older brother Hamilton (played by MacIvor) is straight laced, task oriented, and focused on getting the job done by the book, “as it should be.” Kyle (played by John Beale) has more flair and is insistent on sending their mother out in style. Both have unresolved issues they deal with in their own way and at their own time. Both actors do a super job at communicating their different approaches to life and their uniqueness. We feel their pain, frustration, desire, and ultimately, their joy at being understood by the other. Director (and Associate Artistic Director at Stratford) Dean Gabourie ensures the play moves at a very good pace.

The simplicity of the set and its use by the actors is first rate. It just goes to show that with very good direction-and a great script, lots of props and lavish settings aren’t required. It is encouraging to see the Festival support the development of new Canadian plays-this is the play’s worldwide debut, and one you should not miss.

“The Best Brothers” is in repertory until September 16th at the Studio Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford Ontario.

Blair Zilkey is a realtor in Oakville, ON and merges his passions for both helping people and theatre by supporting Ontario Arts Review and penning reviews with his wife, Zorica. You can follow Blair’s weblog at

Aug 152012

Zorica and I are finishing up a business trip that has included attending  Buffini and Company’s annual MasterMind Summit.

We have been blown away by the content, delivery, and organization of the seminar. Our take-aways and the action steps we have created (and will implement) will help us deliver even better customer service to our clients. We feel very fortunate to be in a business where the goal of the business is helping people. It’s truly an honor to serve you.

As we get ready for the final stretch of the summer we will be listing a lovely home in the Wedgewood Creek area of Oakville. Listing inventory is low right now, if you know of anyone thinking of selling, now is a great time. Just give us a call and we will take great care of your friends, family members, neighbours, and work colleagues.

Throughout September I will be speaking with many of my clients about the market. As time allows, I will be continuing work on my website- focusing on the listing and investor sections, and updating the Business Directory with the names of service providers that have impressed me and my clients with their great service.  Give them a call!!!

Look for my eReport this coming weekend and news about my “Reverse” Thanksgiving Pop-By.


Aug 112012

Zorica and I love the theatre. We met Danny and Terry Gaisin a few years ago, hit it off, and decided to support the arts in a unique way. As time will allow, we write reviews for their on-line publication Ontario Arts Review. Enjoy…….

I always enjoy seeing the ‘popular Shakespeares’; “Twelfth Night”, “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Macbeth” etc. It’s fun to compare and contrast my memory of how the play was ‘done’ before, how much I enjoyed each, what was happening in my life at that time, who I attended the performance with, and what’s new this time around.

“Cymbeline” isn’t that kind of production-and if, like me, you hope to see all of Shakespeare’s works at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival before you shuffle off your own mortal coil-do make the investment to see “Cymbeline”. But come better prepared than I did; it’s probably the heaviest intellectual lifting I’ve had to do at the theatre in a long time and I would have benefitted from a little research. Ask one of your English major friends for a crash course prior to the show.

Shakespeare repeats many of the storylines from his other works, and I found that a bit….well, dull. Do we really need another lost child, disguise, and deception story? My answer would be cautiously no….perhaps that is why “Cymbeline” is performed infrequently. However, the main themes of transformation and tolerance-the world needs lots of this-are explored very well in this production, reminding us once again how very fortunate we are to have the Festival so close to home.

Costume design is striking and helps the audience remember who is aligned with whom. There’s a great fight scene, and an erie dream sequence that looks spectacular. So much can be done in such a small space at the Tom Patterson stage, and for director Antonio Cimolino, set designer Scott Penner, lighting designer Robert Thompson, fight director Tom Campbell, and in charge of movement, Sonia Norris, I say well done.

The acting is solid, if not spectacular. Tom McCamus as the leacherous Iachimo stands out and isn’t it great to have Graham Abbey back? Gerriant Wynn Davies does his best work at play’s end; his emotion moves all, especially fathers and their daughters. Unlike the Montagues and the Capulets, he does transform before it is too late and implores his subjects to both “forgive, and deal with others better.” Hear! Hear! Perhaps this work of Shakespeare should be performed more often indeed……..

“Cymbeline” is in repertory until September 30th at the Tom Patterson Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Stratford Ontario.

Blair Zilkey is a realtor in Oakville, ON and merges his passions for both helping people and theatre by supporting Ontario Arts Review and penning reviews with his wife, Zorica. You can follow Blair’s weblog at


Aug 082012

Once you choose to work with the Blair Zilkey Team we recommend contacting your trusted lender to determine the mortgage amount you qualify for so that we can establish a selling price range that fits your budget. If you aren’t satisfied with your current lender or would like to consider your options, please visit our referral directory for an updated list of lenders our past clients have used and recommend. These lenders are the ones we speak with when we have mortgage or refinancing questions!