Wednesday, February 29, 2012

iPad App Release: Stage Write® for Directors & Choreographers Out March 1

From a media release:

STAGE WRITE® THE REVOLUTIONARY NEW IPAD APP FOR DIRECTORS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO GENERAL PUBLIC ON MARCH 1, 2012

Press Event/Launch Party At The MPE Penthouse In NYC With Broadway’s Tony Award Winning Director/Choreographer Susan Stroman, Sierra Boggess Joshua Henry, And Tony Nominee Will Swenson

(New York, NY) - The revolutionary new iPad app Stage Write® which allows directors, choreographers and stage managers to easily document choreography, staging and blocking for theatrical productions and events will be made available to the general public on March 1, 2012 - via iTunes App Store.

The debut will coincide with a NYC press event, headlined by a growing number of Broadway celebrities including Tony Award winning Director/Choreographer Susan Stroman, Sierra Boggess, Joshua Henry, and Tony Nominee Will Swenson – Thursday, March 1, 2012 from 3 - 5PM, at the MPE Penthouse (432 West 45th Street).

Created by Broadway Associate Director/Choreographer Jeff Whiting (pictured - image by Jordan Matter), the app is already being used by numerous Broadway shows and National tours, including: THE PRODUCERS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, WICKED (5th Anniversary), THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, HAIR, DISNEY and JAMES TAYLOR LIVE.

For the first time, directors, choreographers, and stage managers of any size production across America will be able to easily capture creativity by creating dynamic spacing charts, which effectively show the spacing, choreography, and traffic patterns for all the numerous moving pieces contained in a theatrical production.

“This app has changed the way we create Broadway shows,” said app creator Jeff Whiting.  “As an Associate Director on Broadway, part of my job is to document the position of all the actors, performers, and the scenic elements, at every given moment in time  - both on and off stage.  I also need to track the traffic patterns of each of these elements - and put them into a ‘show bible.’  It can be a pretty daunting task.” 

“I came up with a method for tracking all of these elements while we were creating YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN on Broadway.  The method worked so well, but there was no existing software available to help me in the process,” said Whiting.  “So I just decided to build it.” 

“I'm very excited that Stage Write is going to be made available to everyone" said Director Susan Stroman. "It offers me the ability to maintain a musical ‘bible’ by notating, in the most precise way -- blocking, staging, motivation and the knowledge of all technical elements involved in the creation of a show.”

"In the old days," she added,  "I used to move pennies around the table to represent dancers!  It is very important to me not to waste the time of the actors.  I want rehearsal to be about acting and exploration.  Stage Write allows me that creative freedom.  And now the pennies stay in the jar!”

Broadway Production Stage Manager’s are chiming in too.  Joshua Halperin (West Side Story, The Scottsboro Boys) declares “Finally! Creating charts has never been simpler. The interface is wonderfully intuitive.  Modification is simple and clean.  Charts have a professional look and couldn’t be easier to read.  All this combined with the portability of the iPad make this App indispensable!”

Jeff Whiting is a Director/Choreographer/Associate Director whose Broadway credits include THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, HAIR, WICKED (5th Anniv.), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.  National Tours: HAIRSPRAY, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, THE PRODUCERS, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS.  New York: JAMES TAYLOR LIVE (Carnegie Hall), HONORING SUSAN STROMAN (Hudson), HAPPINESS (Lincoln Center), WE OPEN IN PARIS (Glimmerglass Opera), TARANTELLA.  International: JERSEY BOYS (West End), HAIRSPRAY (Brazil).  Disney:  MICKEY MOUSE CLUB (India), POWER RANGERS (Brazil), 100 YEARS OF MAGIC (Brazil), PARADE OF MAGICAL MOMENTS (Brazil).  jeffwhiting.net

Mr. Whiting is also the owner and Artistic Director of THE OPEN JAR INSTITUTE, a music theatre training program founded in 2003 for the development of music theatre artists of all ages.  The Summer Institute offers students intensive workshops with Broadway's best directors, choreographers, agents, and casting directors.

DETAILS:
Available on iTunes app store: March 1, 2012
Category: Business
Requirements:  Compatible with iPad 1 and iPad2, with iOS 5 operating system.
Release Date: March 1, 2012

CD Release: New York Gypsy All-Stars' Romantech March 6

From a media release:

CD Release: New York Gypsy All-Stars, Romantech (Traditional Crossroads - March 6, 2012)
Nuyorbalkan: New York Gypsy All-Stars Jump the Turnstiles of Balkanalia, Turkish Roots, and Gypsy Soul with Funky Refinement

NEW YORK CITY -
A Greek bassist ducked into a little bar in New York’s Alphabet City and heard the Eastern Mediterranean and Southern Balkans pouring across the packed room. The clarinet was keening and singing, and he knew every tune.

From this blown-away moment of discovery, the New York Gypsy All-Stars sprang, uniting bi-musical virtuosi raised on the lush sounds of Macedonian, Greek, Turkish, and American roots and forged in the halls of the world’s best music schools. With composer like ears and a madcap relish for ill and crunky sounds, the quintet of crack musicians tears through the tollgates separating the region’s interlocking roots on the long-awaited album of original pieces, Romantech (Traditional Crossroads; release: March 6, 2012) and on tour in February with concerts in cities including Chicago and NYC.

“We cover all the Balkans melodically,” explains classically trained, traditionally raised Macedonian clarinet wonder and band headman Ismail Lumanovski, “and we cover the world rhythmically and harmonically.” Zooming with Roma-inspired zeal from swinging salsa to pulsing bhangra, the group never loses its sharp musical focus, astounding chops, and true spirit their Gypsy namesakes.

“We use lots of musical elements in our original compositions that are typically Balkan Romany in style but aren’t necessarily in your face, like the 9/8 rhythm on tracks like ‘NY9’ or the way we use musical ornaments throughout the songs,” Lumanovski muses. “But more important than that is how we use the Gypsy term in a broader sense. We are taking what the Gypsies did, traveling from India to the Balkans and on to Western Europe and putting together the best musical ideas from every nation along the way. We’re open to the world, and we just take everything we like and make it one.”

The All Stars come by this impulse and skill naturally. It’s a rare thing, even in music-rich Southeastern Europe and in musician-packed New York, to find conservatory-caliber musicians who grew up playing weddings or rocking a cocek or a çiftetelli with local masters. Yet that’s exactly what the All Stars are: Alongside degrees from places like Juilliard and Berklee, they grew up jamming with local roots musicians or defiantly attacking traditional zithers with their bare fingers, getting into Latin jazz or bringing the funk.

It’s in playing and improvising together—often for marathon sessions or ecstatic crowds from the Black Sea to Brooklyn—that the All Stars have honed their repertoire over the many years it’s taken the strong-willed, devoted musicians to craft and record Romantech.

Through all the complexity and ability, a good-times vibe jumps out at listeners, making the hardest-core kopanitsa in 11/8 feel like an easy two-step. “We have a piece called ‘EZ Pass,’ because our music can feel like an easy pass to the Balkans,” Lumanovski laughs, explaining one of the album’s song titles and its ties to the New York area toll pass. “With an EZ Pass, you don’t stop; it’s very fast. You just go. And it just flows.”

Photo Credit: Muhsin Akgün

Tiger Princess Dance Projects Premiere at Citadel Theatre Toronto March 7-11

From a media release:

tiger princess dance projects presents
'Frequency' and 'Untitled Solo'
An ensemble quintet and a solo work created by Yvonne Ng
Citadel Theatre, Toronto - March 7 to 11, 2012

Toronto.
Internationally acclaimed Toronto-based dance company tiger princess dance projects will premiere 'Frequency' and 'Untitled Solo' at the newly renovated Citadel Theatre in Regent Park on Thursday, March 8th 2012.

'Frequency', an ensemble work for five dancers is an abstract exploration of the connections between individuals and how social cohesion is built and torn down. Individual frequencies clash, mingle and synchronize in a collective peak. The dancers perform with an honesty and immediacy, struggling with technologies from the last four decades: from cassette players to iPhones. Scenes blur the line between performance and reality, with dancers transitioning in and out of their “onstage” personas.

It was Ng’s experiences in Labrador in 2003 working with children in Innu communities that catalyzed her investigation of how traditions and cultural practices evolve and how changes in technology effects the way they are transmitted from one generation to the next. For the children in the Innu communities, as in Ng’s own childhood, Western radio predominated and profoundly shaped these cultures. The work doesn’t posit an answer, but sets the questions as starting points for the work on stage.

'Untitled Solo', performed by Ng and inspired by the ensemble piece, plays with ideas about the ceaseless variety of distinct and entangled frequencies that exist within oneself. The piece provides an introductory narrative for the ensemble work. Employing cues from her own life, Ng explores the scope of our shifting experiences, desires and beliefs through time. The only constant within one's self is change.

The two pieces, although distinct, are complimentary, one informing the other; inviting the audience on journeys translated into movement, musicality, text and voice. tiger princess dance projects was founded in 1995, under the umbrella of princess productions to reflect Yvonne Ng's uniquely Canadian experience as an Chinese immigrant and visible minority. That experience has given Ng a perspective of Canada that is shared by many, and one that translates effectively to worldwide audiences. As a result, the company has established an international touring repertoire, which has received critical and commercial acclaim including eight Dora Mavor Moore nominations for performance and choreography. In 2007, Ng received the
“Premier’s Emerging Artist Award” as selected by dance artist Peggy Baker when she was awarded the “Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts”.

'Frequency'
Concept, Choreography and Direction: Yvonne Ng
Performers: Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate, Amy Hampton, Meredith Thompson, Brendan Wyatt
Video Artist: Jacob Niedzwiecki
'Untitled Solo'
Concept, Performance: Yvonne Ng

Citadel Theatre:
At the Citadel Theatre | 304 Parliament Street | Toronto, Ontario.
March 7th 2012 at 8pm: Preview
March 8th 2012 at 8pm: Premiere
March 9th and 10th 2012 at 8pm.
March 11th 2012 at 2pm.


Frequency from princess productions on Vimeo.

CD Release: Zieti's Zemelewa (Grigri Discs, March 6)

From a media release:

Beautiful Struggle: American-Ivorian Trans-Atlantic Band Zieti Turns War, Separation, and MIDI Madness into Perfect Afropop on Zemelewa
Zemelewa (Grigri Discs; March 6, 2012)


Far across the lagoon, people swayed as the music from battery-powered amps and sardine-powered jams drifted over the water.

They were dancing to the beach rehearsal of Zieti, two Americans (guitarist Michael Shereikis and drummer Alex Owre) and two Ivorians (lead singer Yeoue Narcisse and guitarist/vocalist Tiende Laurent) who had unexpectedly become fast friends. By the water near Abidjan’s oceanfront shantytowns or in a tiny rehearsal studio built from shipping crates, the quartet developed an exuberant rapport in skillful, insistent songs.

Now a decade removed from Abidjan's mellow beaches, after years of political turmoil and violence, and despite the players' radically different backgrounds, Zieti has done the impossible: make roots-rich music that sounds utterly fresh and organic. Undulating bass lines, bright vocal harmonies, glittering percussion, wailing organ and accordion, and a vintage vibe winking at the best of 70s Afrofunk, they all come together on Zemelewa (Grigri Discs; March 6, 2012) for a refreshing and passionate take on Ivorian tradition and the current state of Afropop.

But it almost never happened: “Before I left the country, we had gone into the studio and recorded ten tracks,” Shereikis recalls. “That recording was lost, which was a major blow to all of us. It sounded great though, and a lot of the songs on Zemelewa come from that time.”

Those songs were honed over two halcyon years of playing together. Composers Yeoue and Tiende had been friends for years, playing music together since they were kids in their home area in far Western Ivory Coast. It was King Shabba, a heavyweight on the Rasta-dominated local scene, who first connected them with drummer Owre. Owre soon brought along Shereikis.

“It was instant friendship,” Yeoue remembers, “because Alex and Mike would come out and visit us, even though we lived in a part of town people thought was rough, and we’d go visit them. We saw each other all the time. We’d share simple meals—manioc and oil, sardines and bread—and we’d all eat from the same bowl.”

“From the very beginning we sat down and just played,” Owre reflects. “Not, ‘You play this, you play that.’ The guys accepted my style and they liked what I brought to the mix. They were happy to have some approaches that were different from what they got on their home turf. The faith and trust in each other superseded any need to be orthodox.”

Songs came together effortlessly: the group penned “Bah Bohi” five minutes after their first meeting with Shereikis. The friends practiced on the beach—a fact that’s almost palpable on elegant, aching tracks like “Tche.” They drew on Yeoue and Tiende’s Guere traditions for the lovely melodies and unique rhythms of their deep-rooted musical heritage, especially on songs like “Tindehe” and “Zion Do.”

Wide-ranging musically, Yeoue and Tiende’s lyrics tackle issues from AIDS awareness to the power of tradition, from love lost to the need for political unity in a country torn by infighting and violence. They sing primarily in Guere, but as Shereikis says, “You don’t have to understand the words to appreciate this music. As you’re tapping your foot, Narcisse’s unique phrasing and tone convey a visceral sense that this is message music.”

When Zieti played an outdoor concert in Western Cote d’Ivoire, on Yeoue and Tiende’s home turf, they had their Guere compatriots dancing in circles and cheering to the group’s hard-hitting lyrics. The crowd even demanded they play “Zion Do” twice, to ecstatic response followed magically by a flourish of rain. “That was one of the proudest moments of my musical life,” Owre exclaims.

But after Owre and Shereikis left in 1999, things got complicated. Ivory Coast descended into civil war. Tiende was called home to one of the most violence-wracked areas of the country, resurfacing after months of silence, during which the other members feared he was dead. Yet Zieti managed to stay connected, and Shereikis arranged for local studio time for Yeoue and Tiende via an Ivorian contact he met at an African record store in DC.

The resulting cassette, full of MIDI-driven production, didn’t make much of a splash in Ivory Coast, but became the core of Zemelewa. Struck by the continued power and beauty of the band’s work, and deeply frustrated with the production approach favored in Abidjan, Shereikis set about to recast the songs, drawing on his exhaustive knowledge and passion for African pop music—from West African funk-inspired sounds to Congolese rumba. As Yeoue told Shereikis, “We’ll sing and play guitar, and you dress it up.”

Tracks began flying back and forth from Maryland to Maine where Owre had settled, as the American side of the project emerged. Through Grigri Discs, a label and incubator for the Afropop scene in DC, Shereikis recruited masterful players of everything from sax to slide guitar, including bandmates in Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band and émigré musicians he knew from around DC. Now more lushly arranged, Zemelewa channels the band’s original spirit, first formed on the sand across the ocean long before.

“I fleshed out what we had done together, the way I remembered it as we played and recorded it,” Shereikis notes. “I added a few other colors and elements to give it a bit of edge. None of these choices were calculated, beyond my hope that they would make Narcisse and Laurent  happy and give this music its full worth.”

For Zieti, the music and message don’t stop with the herculean effort of finally making their debut album. The group is now working together to help struggling artists harness their creativity by providing instruments to Ivorian musicians, lack of which is one of the key reasons MIDI production rules the day there. A first shipment of instruments was recently delivered to Yeoue, who has rented a small rehearsal space near his home in Abidjan, a place poised to become a community music hub.

“The project we started with the instruments is very important,” Yeoue says, “and that’s what’s going to make the difference. Our work together proves what can be done, no matter how far apart or how different we seem from one another.”

CD Release Party: Sabrina Lastman at Joe's Pub New York City March 4

From a media release:

Sabrina Lastman Quartet: CD Release
The Candombe Jazz Sessions
March 4, 2012 at Joe's Pub, NYC
7:30 PM


NEW YORK CITY - Sabrina Lastman is a New York-based vocalist and songwriter from Uruguay/ Israel. The Candombe Jazz Sessions -her latest album released by ZOHO Music display Sabrina's unique, multifaceted vocal style, singing in Spanish and Portuguese. The Sabrina Lastman Quartet is an innovative music project that brings together jazz, South American rhythms and contemporary music. Candombe is the percussion-driven genre with origins in African Bantu, primarily played in Uruguay, and a precursor of the Tango. Accompanied by world class musicians pianist Emilio Solla, dummer/percussionist David Silliman and bassist/ Grammy nominee Pablo Aslan, Sabrina delivers a stunning, soulful tour de force.

"Telling a story in song does not require words. Of course, if you are a singer, you might then need an exceptional vocal instrument, imagination, and a willingness to walk on tightropes — all of which brings us to Uruguayan-born singer and composer Sabrina Lastman."
-Fernando Gonzalez (regular contributor to The International Review of Music, Jazz Times and The Miami Herald) USA


"Sabrina Lastman is an outstanding singer. She sings with irreproachable technical display, and unusual expressive intensity"
-Sergio Piccirilli / El Intruso Magazine. Argentina – USA

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wazimbo: the Golden Voice of Mozambique in Toronto March 8

From a release:
       
Batuki Music Society presents WAZIMBO & Orchestra Marrabenta de Toronto
the Golden Voice of Mozambique, the magical Marrabenta style...
direct from Maputo, first tour in Canada!


March 8, 2012 at Lula Lounge
Tickets: $15 at the door (open at 8:00 pm)
Info: www.batukimusic.com
Contact: info@batukimusic.com

TORONTO -
WAZIMBO’s music is a mix of big band sounds, Latin melodies and unique African dance rhythms, typical of Lusophone (Portuguese speaking Africa).

Humberto Carlos Benfica, known as Wazimbo, is one of the greatest voices of Mozambique and one of the most famous singers for the style of music called marrabenta. Wazimbo started his musical career in 1964 with the Silverstars (continued as a singer with the Geiziers), performing a colonial mix of international pop music with a Brazilian tinge in Mozambique’s capital Maputo. After independence from Portugal in 1975, Wazimbo was the only singer employed by state radio and worked with its band, ‘Radio Mocambique’.

He became the lead vocalist of Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique in 1979 and played with various members from the big band of Radio Mocambique. Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique developed a full and funky style of music named marrabenta featuring electric guitars, powerful horn lines and soulful vocals.

In 1988 Wazimbo recorded with Orchestra Marrabenta de Mocambique, the popular ‘Harare Sessions’ in Zimbabwe as Mozambique did not have a recording studio or any music industry. During a recording break Wazimbo played his legendary ‘Nwahulwana’ ballad while the tape machine was still running, discovered later in London when the mixing took place. The song was also used in the soundtrack to the Jack Nicholson film, ‘The Pledge’, directed by Sean Penn. The lyrics of the song translate like this; ‘You are a night bird, moving after dark from bar to bar…’

After becoming extremely popular in Mozambique, Wazimbo and Orchestra Marrabenta Stars toured Europe and released two CDs on Germany’s Piranha label. Both showcased a varied mix of dance styles plus the occasional, strikingly soulful ballad. The 90’s saw a return to peace in Mozambique, but by then there were no recording studios or music venues and the group finally disbanded in 1995. Since that time Wazimbo has had a solo career and recorded a CD in South Africa called ‘Makwero’.

Wazimbo will be accompanied by a Toronto lineup of musicians including Tichaona Maredza, Gordin Mapika, Larry Lewis, Ruben Esguerra and Sam Petite.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage

Wazimbo & Orchestra Marrabenta de Toronto at Lula Lounge
Presented By Batuki Music Society
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tickets: $15 at the door (open at 8:00 pm)
9:00pm until 11:00pm

World Premiere: The Happy Woman on Stage March 5 - 24 in Toronto

From a media release:

Maev Beaty and Barbara Gordon star in the World Premiere
of The Happy Woman
March 5 to March 24, 2012 at The Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs
Produced by Nightwood Theatre

Toronto, ON…
Nightwood Theatre is thrilled to present the World Premiere of Rose Cullis’ The Happy Woman. The play will open March 7 and run until March 24, 2012 at The Berkeley Street Theatre downstairs. Fast on the heels of success with The Penelopiad and reuniting the same production trio of Thornton, Karn and Purtell, Nightwood is delighted to bring this new Canadian play to the Toronto stage.

Cassie wants to be normal, Christian wants to be perfect and Margaret just wants to be happy. But what's lurking beneath this family's glossy veneer? The Happy Woman is a darkly comic exploration of what happens when bliss gets in the way of truth and threatens to destroy the very foundation we rely on.

Cullis’ play explores our struggle for “the pursuit of happiness” and the tension between truth and idealism. It depicts a few months in the life of a seemingly typical middle-class family. Margaret, the matriarch of the family, eagerly awaits the birth of her first grandchild. Her son Christian aims to pacify his wife Stasia who is beginning to unravel as her due date approaches. Her daughter Cassie, a ‘colourful’ performance artist, is unhinged and possibly manic. Is she merely a narcissist or is her behaviour a fair response to the family secrets she’s keeping under wraps? Her impulse to tell the truth conflicts with Christian’s desire to keep all things status quo as he prepares for fatherhood. Margaret seems oblivious to these conflicts as they come to a head and does her best to be “happy, happy, happy” while Margaret’s neighbour, BellaDonna keeps commentary throughout.

Kelly Thornton, Nightwood’s Artistic Director and Director of The Happy Woman, remarks, “Cullis’ play is provocative in its themes and yet savagely funny in its execution. Her whimsical sensibility is matched by a fierce wit as she paints this larger than life portrait of family dysfunction like no other. I am thrilled to bring this world premiere to the stage.”

The Happy Woman
Written by Rose Cullis
Directed by Kelly Thornton
Starring Maev Beaty, Ingrid Rae Doucet, Barbara Gordon, Martin Happer, Maria Vacratsis
Set and Costume Design by Denyse Karn, Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell,
Sound Design by Joelysa Pankanea, Stage Manager Kinnon Elliott

DATES: March 5 to 24, 2012
SHOW TIMES: Monday to Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Wednesday 1:30 pm, Saturday at 2:00 p.m.  
LOCATION: The Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs, 26 Berkeley Street, Toronto
TICKETS: Tickets are available by calling (416) 368.3110 or www.nightwoodtheatre.net; Prices range from $22-$46

Malagasy Blues: Madagascar Slim at the NOW Lounge March 2

From a release:

Batuki Music Society presents MADAGASCAR SLIM
Malagasy guitar maestro & multiple JUNO award winner
launching AFRICA UP CLOSE: a Monthly Series in an intimate setting every FIRST FRIDAY, DJ APOLLO spinning.

March 2, 2012 at the NOW Lounge

Tickets: $10 at the door (open at 7:00 pm)
Info: www.batukimusic.com
Contact: info@batukimusic.com

TORONTO
- AFRICA UP CLOSE is a series of concerts that would exclusively take place at the NOW Lounge, a cozy room that holds a maximum of eighty people. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience music in an intimate setting, as well as interact with the artists. You will not only enjoy the music and ambient atmosphere but also be able to eat healthy, organic, and locally sourced food from the NOW Lounge’s kitchen.

MADAGASCAR SLIM
Randriamananjara Radofa Besata Jean Longin is a Canadian Malagasy folk and blues guitarist who records and performs under the stage name Madagascar Slim. Slim was inspired by the music of Jimi Hendrix and B. B. King. He came to Canada in the late 70’s to study, and while pursuing his academic career at Senecca College, he also joined La Ridaine, a French Canadian folk group of which he was a founding member.

Slim is a member of the roots and traditional band Tri-Continental, and the African Guitar Summit, as well as a solo artist. He is a three-time JUNO winner; winning in the categories of World Music Album of the Year (2000), for his solo album ‘Omnisource’, Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (2001), with Tri-Continental, and the super group African Guitar Summit in 2005 World Music Album of the Year. Slim’s latest recording, ‘Good Life Good Living’, released in 2009 is a labour of love that took him a couple of years to craft.

If you love the blues, traditional Malagasy folk and contemporary African music, then don’t miss Slim’s performance. DJ APOLLO will be spinning his diverse collection of popular African hits between sets.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage and the NOW Lounge.


Visual Arts in Toronto: The Artist Project March 1 - 4

From a media release:

The Artist Project Celebrates Five Years of Supporting New & Emerging Artists
March 1 - 4, 2012 in Toronto

(Toronto)
From seasoned collectors and first time art buyers, to gallerists and interior designers, The Artist Project offers visitors a rare opportunity to meet and purchase work directly from Canadian and international artists. This face-to-face approach allows patrons to experience the thrill of discovering new talent and take home a great story along with their artwork. Special features such as Art Chats, the Untapped Emerging Artist Competition and expert-led tours also give visitors an insider’s view on new trends in the art world.

This March, The Artist Project marks its fifth anniversary with yet another exciting show featuring original works by a juried selection of over 200 independent contemporary artists. The fair has grown dramatically through the years – from 90 to over 200 artists, and more than 12,000 visitors are expected to attend in 2012.  For four days (March 1-4, 2012), artists from a variety of geographic and creative backgrounds will converge and connect with patrons looking to get a glimpse of tomorrow’s Art Stars.

WHAT’S ON AT TAP:

Opening Night Preview Party Thursday, March 1, 7-10 PM (restricted19+)
– Be among the first to view and purchase original works of art from top independent contemporary artists. Enjoy a decadent evening of art, music, and treats! A portion of the ticket proceeds from the Opening Night Party will be donated to the Canadian Art Foundation.

Untapped Emerging Artist Competition – 17 of the best up-and-coming emerging artists will be invited to participate in this special exhibition for FREE. Visitors are asked to vote for their favourite Emerging Artist and the winner will be awarded a free booth in the Main Section for 2013!

Installation Alley – Explore large-scale sculpture, conceptual art, and installations from the country’s most exciting emerging artists!

The Energy Competition – Every artist in the show will have the opportunity to create a piece in their medium based on this year’s theme: energy. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and awarded cash prizes. There is also a People’s Choice Award!

“Take-12 SONY Studio” – TAP is pleased to welcome back SONY as the creator of the brand NEW “Take-12 SONY Studio” featuring the SONY A77 Translucent Mirror Camera, which takes 12 shots per second. This year, five photographers will use this revolutionary camera to develop exciting works. Editions will be available for purchase at the show.

“Artists-at-Work” Presented by SONY – With the help of SONY’s latest camcorder, which features a built-in projector, five artists will document their artistic practices, their studios and techniques. The videos will be projected in the form of an installation in the “Artists-at-Work presented by SONY” feature space.

ART CHATS Series – Features a variety of engaging and inspiring seminars hosted by leading art and design experts. This year, the series features topics such as The Art Detectives by writer Joshua Knelman and an artist panel hosted by Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes.

Art Walks – Docents take visitors on an informative exploration of the show where they will meet the artists and ask the questions that visitors never think to ask! Art Walks are complimentary with admission and last approximately 30 minutes.

Images:
• Nissim Ben Aderet. (Booth 616 - Tel Aviv, Israel www.nissimbenaderet.com)
• Gretta Gibney. (Booth 330 - Oils/Acrylic - Whitby, ON, Canada www.grettagibney.com)


The Artist Project
WHEN: March 1 – 4, 2012
WHERE: Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place - 180 Princes’ Blvd | Toronto, ON
Come by: TTC, GO, or car (Paid Parking on-site)–MAP
DETAILS: Admission:  $14 (adults) | $10 (seniors / students)
Free: Children 12 years of age or under
Free Re-Admission
$25 Opening Night Preview (open to 19 + years of age)
ONLINE DISCOUNTS ON TICKETS

About The Artist Project:
The Artist Project is a meeting ground for artists, art collectors, dealers and enthusiasts and produced by MMPI. As one of the largest trade show producers in the world, MMPI is committed to the continued development and enhancement of the art world through collaboration and partnership. As international purveyors of fine art, craft, and design exhibitions, our experienced staff of art fair coordinators are credited with Art Chicago™, Volta, The Armory Show, and NEXT. MMPI Canada is also responsible for Art Toronto, the One of a Kind Shows, Interior Design Show and IIDEX/NeoCon Canada.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway - Previews March 1, Opening Night March 22

Update:
There are THREE Sheridan College alums in this production,including Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Aaron Walpole as Annas and Mark Cassius as Matthew!

From a media release:

THE STRATFORD SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL’S PRODUCTION OF
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER AND TIM RICE’S

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR ON BROADWAY
PREVIEW PERFORMANCES BEGIN MARCH 1
OPENS MARCH 22 AT NEIL SIMON THEATRE

Get Jesus Christ Superstar Tickets

NEW YORK CITY - The box office opened Thursday, January 26 at 10:00 AM, for The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s hit production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.  Directed by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director Des McAnuff, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR will open March 22, 2012 (previews begin March 1) at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 West 52nd Street).

The cast will feature Paul Nolan as Jesus Christ, Josh Young as Judas Iscariot, Chilina Kennedy as Mary Magdalene, Tom Hewitt as Pontius Pilate, Bruce Dow as King Herod, Marcus Nance as Caiaphas and Aaron Walpole as Annas.

Also in the cast: Matt Alfano as Thaddeus, Mary Antonini as Elizabeth, Karen Burthwright as Ruth, Jacqueline Burtney as Mary (Martha’s Sister), Mark Cassius as Matthew, Ryan Gifford as Bartholomew, Kaylee Harwood as Sarah, Jeremy Kushnier as James the Lesser/Priest, Mike Nadajewski as Peter, Melissa O’Neil as Martha/Maid by the Fire, Laurin Padolina as Rachel, Katrina Reynolds as Esther, Jaz Sealey as Thomas, Jason Sermonia as John, Julius Sermonia as James, Lee Siegel as Simon Zealotes, Jonathan Winsby as Phillip, Sandy Winsby as Andrew, and Krista Leis and Matthew Rossoff as swings.

In addition to Mr. McAnuff as Director, the creative team includes Choreographer Lisa Shriver, Musical Director Rick Fox, Set Designer Robert Brill, Costume Designer Paul Tazewell, Lighting Designer Howell Binkley, Sound Designer Steve Canyon Kennedy and Video Designer Sean Nieuwenhuis.



This ground-breaking rock opera, which reinvented musical theatre for the modern age, tells the story of the last week of Christ’s life.  The score includes such chart-topping songs as “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” “Everything’s Alright” and “Superstar.”

The Los Angeles Times wrote “O ye of little faith. To all those who made snarky comments when it was announced that ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ was being resurrected by Des McAnuff, I say unto you, “Go down to La Jolla Playhouse and observe the benevolent gift of this revival, which has had the miraculous effect of turning even an Andrew Lloyd Webber denier like me into a momentary believer.”

Variety wrote “In Des McAnuff's Broadway-bound revival of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ costume designer Paul Tazewell dresses the title character in solid white, as if offering a blank canvas on which the world is invited to paint for the next 2,000 years and beyond. The usefulness of the carpenter from Nazareth to serve everyone's select purposes is the theme here, surely the most thoughtful and scintillating reading of the Webber/Rice rock opera since its 1969 recording.”

The Globe and Mail wrote, “This production is an absolute miracle,” while the Toronto Star called it “the best show you’ll see this year.” “A sparkling production literally pulsing with life,” wrote the Toronto Sun; and Variety enthused, “McAnuff has managed to come up with a vision that is faithful to the original but manages to make it seem fresh to an audience in 2011.”

Producer Dodger Properties and the Really Useful Group present the Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of
• Tickets for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR are available at the Neil Simon Theatre, 250 West 52nd Street.
• Box office hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 
• Group sales (of 15 or more) are on sale now and available by calling 1-877-536-3437.

Ticket prices (including the $2 facility fee) range from $62-$99 for previews (March 1-March 21), $62-$142 for performances March 22 onward.

March 2012 Concerts at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto

From a media release:

GODS AND MORTALS IN PURSUIT OF LOVE.
CABARET. TANGO.
BRASILIAN, MEXICAN, AFRICAN, AND MIDDLE EASTERN MUSIC CELEBRATED AT THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY TORONTO IN MARCH 2012


TORONTO - March brings the start of the new Kabaret at Koerner! concert series in high style as Max Raabe and Palast Orchester return to Koerner Hall for two nights, having sold out  their performance at The Royal Conservatory  two years ago. The audience is transported to the Berlin cabaret circa 1920s with authentic dance band arrangements of classics by Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, and Franz Lehár, performed with elegance and humour in both German and English. “Like Fred Astaire, [Raabe] can croon his way to tenorial highs or dip to playfully earthy basso lows.” (The New York Times) Celebrating the release of their latest CD, One Cannot Kiss Alone, the concerts on March 8 and 9 were made possible with the help of Presenting Partner, the Goethe-Institut Toronto.

Spanish viol master Jordi Savall (pictured), joined by his Hespèrion XXI ensemble and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo from Mexico, make their Koerner Hall debut March 1. In a program titled “Folías Antiguas & Criollas from the Ancient World to the New World,” they perform works by the foremost Baroque music composers from the Old Spain, the Mexican Baroque, and the living Huasteca and Jarocho traditions.

For something completely different, Sō Percussion is joined by Canadian turntable artist/composer Nicole Lizée and electronics wizards Dan Deacon and Martin Schmidt (from Matmos), to celebrate what would have been John Cage’s 100th birthday with a big bang from vibraphones, drums, aluminium space blankets and beer cans, birdcalls and horns, custom synthesizers, laptops, and, of course, an amplified cactus! Presented in partnership with Soundstreams. On March 2, the program includes John Cage’s Credo in Us; Imaginary Landscape #1; Quartet for Percussion, from She is Asleep; Inlets (Improvisation II); 0'00"; Duet for Cymbal; 45’ for a Speaker; and Third Construction. Also on the program are Needles by Sō Percussion/Matmos; 24x24 by Sō Percussion; “Bottles” from Ghostbuster Cook: The Origin of the Riddler by Dan Deacon; and a world premiere written by Nicole Lizée: White Label Experiment (for John Cage), commissioned specially for the evening.



One of the world’s great string quartets, the Takács Quartet plays Franz Schubert’s Quartettsatz in C Minor and Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp Minor, and is joined by rising star Korean pianist Joyce Yang for Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A Major on March 11. In a very special event on March 17, British cellist Colin Carr takes on the complete Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Bach in the intimate Mazzoleni Concert Hall in historic Ihnatowycz Hall. Carr will also give a series of master classes at The Conservatory.

Upcoming vocal performances include acclaimed English tenor Ian Bostridge joined by pianist Julius Drake on March 4 in a program that includes Robert Schumann’s Liederkreis and 13 songs by Johannes Brahms, including Es träumte mir, Auf dem Kirchhofe, Sommerfäden. Always a highlight of the concert season, The Glenn Gould School Opera presents its annual staged opera in Koerner Hall on March 21 and 23. This season, the talented young singers join forces for Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto. This 17th century Venetian opera, with libretto by Giovanni Faustini, explores the journey between gods and mortals in their relentless pursuit of love. It is conducted by Adam Burnette and directed by Brent Krysa, with sets by Michael Gianfrancesco, costumes by Erika Connor, and lighting by Kimberly Purtell.

Myriad of world cultures take the stage at The Conservatory throughout March. Toronto’s groundbreaking Art of Time Ensemble showcases Brasil on March 3, featuring legendary guitarist and composer Guinga, singer/songwriter Luanda Jones, soprano Shannon Mercer, a group of eight cellists, a rhythm section, and a host of other Canadian musicians. They explore the full range of Brazilian music with songs by Villa-Lobos and Antônio Carlos Jobim in this concert, presented in partnership with the Arts of Time.

Tango gets the heart pumping at the hands of and Karen Gomyo (pictured above) with Pablo Ziegler on March 25. The first half of the program in this concert includes Johannes Brahms’s Scherzo in C Minor for Violin and Piano (Sonatensatz) and Ballade No. 4 in B Major, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano in E Major, and Béla Bartók’s Allegro from Violin Sonata No. 1 in C-sharp Minor with Alessio Bax on the piano. The second half of the program features works by Ástor Piazzolla such as Fugata, Mumuki, and Libertango, and original works by Pablo Ziegler, such as Desperate Dance and Muchacha de Boedo. Gomyo is joined by Argentine pianist Pablo Ziegler, who was the legendary Piazzolla’s pianist, Hector Del Curto on bondoneon, Pedro Giraudo on double bass, and Claudio Ragazzi on electric guitar.

Mexican culture could not be more evocatively explored than by Lila Downs (pictured) on March 7. Downs’s new multimedia concert transcends categorization. Both earthy and ethereal, she recasts the grand narratives of religion in light of contemporary issues while adding a visual component to the music by commissioning a series of Mexican devotional paintings (which will be projected on a screen during her concert) thematically connected to each song on her new album, Pecados y Milagros (Sins and Miracles).

Grammy Award-winning singer Angélique Kidjo, called "Africa's premier diva" by TIME magazine, performs her infectious Afropop on March 10, and, finally, the Music From Across the Middle East concert series continues on March 31 with Intercultural Journeys. European and Arabic classical music traditions meet and mingle in this program of Vivaldi, Um Kulthum, and other composers. Israeli cellist Udi Bar-David, Arab-Israeli violinist Hanna Khoury, and Syrian-Venezuelan percussionist Hafez El Ali Kotain bring us this cross-cultural program with special guests, Syrian singer Youssef Kassab, Toronto-based qanun master Dr. George Sawa, Holy Blossom Cantor Beny Maissner, and students from The Royal Conservatory.

One concert takes place in Mazzoleni Concert Hall in March as part of the Discovery Series, featuring violinist Andréa Tyniec, one of the recipients of the new Glenn Gould School Fellowship Residency, and GGS graduate pianist Ben Smith. Their challenging program on March 27 includes Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 2 for Solo Violin, Op. 27 “Obsession,” Arvo Pärt’s Fratres for Violin and Piano, and César Franck: Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, M. 8.

Postlude Concerts
Three Koerner Hall mainstage performances are followed by Postlude Concerts in the Leslie and Anna Dan Galleria, Lower Level: Anthony Szczachor follows the Art of Time Ensemble on March 3, students from The Glenn Gould School follow Karen Gomyo and Pablo Zeigler on March 25, and the postlude artist after Angélique Kidjo on March 10 is to be announced.

The Royal Conservatory and the Goethe-Institut are proud to partner on the Max Raabe and Palast Orchester performances on March 8 and 9. Both the Institut and The Conservatory are celebrating significant anniversaries this year – the Goethe-Institut its 50th and The Conservatory its 125th. Both organizations are deeply committed to advancing the arts and culture throughout Canada and have been pleased to partner on a number of concerts since Koerner Hall opened. The Goethe-Institut is the official German cultural organization worldwide and has reached more than 5 million Canadians over 50 years, and The Royal Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally, providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education programs.

March Performances at The Royal Conservatory
• Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI (Strings & World): Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $50.50
• Sō Percussion: Cage @ 100 (Chamber Music): Friday, March 2, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $28
• Art of Time Ensemble: Brasil (World/Chamber): Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $39
• Ian Bostridge, tenor, with Julius Drake, piano (Vocal): Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 3pm (KH); starting at $33.50
• Lila Downs (World): Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $33.50
• Max Raabe & Palast Orchester (Kabaret at Koerner!): Thurs., March 8 & Fri., March 9, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $39
• Angélique Kidjo (World): Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $33.50
• Takács Quartet with Joyce Yang, piano (Chamber Music): Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 3pm (KH); starting at $45
• Colin Carr, cello (Strings): Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 7pm (MCH); $48.50
• The Glenn Gould School Opera (Opera): Wed., March 21, at 8pm & Fri., March 23, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $22
• TANGO! Karen Gomyo with Pablo Ziegler (Strings): Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 3pm (KH); starting at $33.50
• Andréa Tyniec, violin, and Ben Smith, piano (Discovery): Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 7:30pm (MCH); $14.50
• Intercultural Journeys (Music From Across the Middle East): Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8pm (KH); starting at $39

(KH) – Koerner Hall; (MCH) – Mazzoleni Concert Hall


Tickets are available online at www.rcmusic.ca, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person at the Weston Family Box Office

Free Shakespeare in Central Park 50th Anniversary in 2012

From a media release:

The Public Theater
Announces
50th Anniversary of
Free Shakespeare in the Park
 
At The Delacorte

AS YOU LIKE IT
Directed by Daniel Sullivan
With Lily Rabe as Rosalind

INTO THE WOODS
Directed by Timothy Sheader
Co-Directed by Liam Steel
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine

NEW YORK CITY – The Public Theater (Artistic Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Patrick Willingham) announced the line-up for the 50th Anniversary Shakespeare in the Park season at the Delacorte. Daniel Sullivan, who directed acclaimed productions of All’s Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night in the Park, will return to direct AS YOU LIKE IT in June with Lily Rabe (pictured) as Rosalind.

The second show of the 50th Anniversary summer season will be Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s beloved musical INTO THE WOODS, directed by Timothy Sheader with co-direction by Liam Steel. Based on the Olivier Award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre London production in 2010, The Public Theater’s INTO THE WOODS will be an all new production with an American cast and designers and will be staged in one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in the world—the Delacorte Theater. INTO THE WOODS will begin performances at the end of July.

Bank of America continues its leadership sponsorship in support of The Public’s mission to keep Shakespeare in the Park free.

"For half a century the Delacorte has been at the heart of New York culture, a priceless embodiment of America's democratic promise, offering superb performances of the greatest plays in our literature, free for the people,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “To celebrate, we are offering two magnificent plays about the lessons to be learned in the forest: Shakespeare's As You Like It, and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's masterpiece Into the Woods. Lily Rabe is returning, after her luminous performance as Portia in Dan Sullivan's production of The Merchant of Venice, to assay the greatest of Shakespeare's heroines, Rosalind. And I'm delighted that we are adding Stephen Sondheim to the Delacorte's roster: our greatest artist of musical theater will sit very comfortably next to Shakespeare.  Sondheim in the Park has a good ring to it.”

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, THE DELACORTE THEATER officially opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962 with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring George C. Scott as Shylock. The Merchant of Venice was followed that summer by a production of The Tempest, directed by Gerald Freedman and featuring Paul Stevens as Prospero and James Earl Jones as Caliban. The first Delacorte summer season concluded with King Lear, directed by Joseph Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring Frank Silvera as Lear.  Since then more than 100 productions have been presented for free at the Delcorte Theater.

Highlights of past Delacorte productions include Othello in 1964 with James Earl Jones; Hamlet in 1975 with Sam Waterston; The Taming of the Shrew in 1978 with Raul Julia and Meryl Streep; The Pirates of Penzance in 1980 with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt; Henry V in 1984 with Kevin Kline; Much Ado About Nothing in 1988 with Kevin Kline and Blythe Danner; Richard III in 1990 with Denzel Washington; Othello in 1991with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken; The Tempest in 1995 with Patrick Stewart; The Seagull in 2001 with Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman; Mother Courage in 2006 with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline; Macbeth in 2006 with Liev Schreiber; HAIR in 2008 with Jonathan Groff and Will Swenson; Twelfth Night in 2009 with Anne Hathaway; The Merchant of Venice in 2010 with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe; and most recently last summer’s acclaimed productions of All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure.

AS YOU LIKE IT features scenic design by John Lee Beatty; costume design by Jane Greenwood; lighting design by Natasha Katz; and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

INTO THE WOODS features scenic design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour; costume design by Emily Rebholz; lighting design by Natasha Katz; movement direction by Liam Steel; and sound design by Acme Sound Partners.

In AS YOU LIKE IT, Rosalind, Shakespeare’s most breathtaking heroine, and her boyfriend Orlando find themselves in the enchanted Forest of Arden, where all the world’s a stage, and where sudden infatuation is as confusing as it is beautiful.  Along with other “country copulatives,” they discover that nothing transforms, redeems, or enriches experience quite as powerfully as love.  AS YOU LIKE IT has everything we adore about Shakespearean comedy: mistaken identity, cross-dressing, madness, mayhem, rage, lust, laughter, and of course plenty of romance, both heartbreaking and joyous.

In INTO THE WOODS, a witch’s curse condemns the Baker and his Wife to a life without children. They embark on a quest to find the four items required to break the spell: the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Will they succeed?  And what happens after “happily ever after?” A Tony Award-winning masterpiece by musical theater giants Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, INTO THE WOODS is a witty and irreverent reimagining of beloved classic fairytales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.

The 2012 Shakespeare in the Park summer production of INTO THE WOODS is based on the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre London Production, produced by Timothy Sheader and William Village for Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are FREE and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park at 1:00 p.m. the day of the show. The Public Theater will again offer free tickets through our Virtual Ticketing lottery at www.shakespeareinthepark.org on the day of the show.

In honor of five decades at the Delacorte, The Public Theater is launching the 50th Anniversary Fellows Program to help support free Shakespeare in the Park for years to come.  For more information on the Fellows Program, please call 212-967-7555 or visit www.shakespeareinthepark.org.

The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is accessible by entering at 81st Street and Central Park West or at 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Toronto Premiere: Chloë Moss' This Wide Night March 1 - 17

From a media release:

M E R M A I D  P A R A D E presents...
This Wide Night
March 1 - 17, 2012 in Toronto


"Not everyone can be all right, Marie. The world isn't like that..."

TORONTO - Mermaid Parade is proud to present Chloë Moss’ award-winning THIS WIDE NIGHT, a site-specific production at Toronto’s Red Sandcastle Theatre, from March 1-17, 2012. THIS WIDE NIGHT is a funny, gutsy, poignant drama about the complex relationship between two women, former cellmates, trying to cope with the uncertain freedom of life on the outside. Directed by Jon Michaelson, THIS WIDE NIGHT is being staged in a gritty Queen St. East store-front venue.

Advance tickets are available for credit card purchase; door tickets are cash-only.

On her release from prison, Lorraine (Astrid Van Wieren) heads straight to Marie's (Claire Burns). On the inside they shared everything, but the friendship that once protected them now threatens to smother the freedom they seek. Over the course of a week we see their bonds tested, teased and provoked as they try to reconnect and rekindle their relationship. Issues with family, friends, and lovers bubble up to the surface - including the son Lorraine lost over twenty years ago, with whom she is desperate to make contact. THIS WIDE NIGHT is a tender and fierce portrayal of two women trying to start again, when 'freedom' feels like a bleak and frightening prospect.

With humour and sensitivity, British playwright Chloë Moss (winner of the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn playwriting prize) draws us into the world of these women and allows us to witness their struggle from the inside out.  Lorraine and Marie are not the super-cool ex-cons we see in movies, but are real women with real needs, hopes, and dreams for a better life. But instead of starting over, their lives have stopped. The freedom they've longed for is terrifying, and the world not bound by four confining walls is impenetrable, unreadable, and uninhabitable.

The story at the core of THIS WIDE NIGHT has a profound resonance for Canadians. A multitude of women have passed through the doors of nearby Kingston's "P4W" - Prison For Women - hoping to be reintegrated into society … only to experience the same fear, alienation and struggle as the two ex-offenders we see in the play. It is a call to awareness for us to witness, understand, and empathize with the immense societal pressures and prejudices these women face.

Set & Costume Design for THIS WIDE NIGHT is by Lindsay Anne Black, winner of the 2007 Pauline McGibbon Award, and former head scenic artist for Tarragon Theatre. Sound Design by Pandemic Theatre's Mike Conley & Emily Derr. Lighting Design by Colin Harris (Theatre Passe Muraille). Mermaid Parade is a Canadian Actors Equity Association approved Co-op, with support from Mercury Stage Productions and Pandemic Theatre. For more information, please visit www.thiswidenight.com.

Red Sandcastle Theatre
922 Queen Street East (near Queen and Logan)

March 1-17, 2012
Thurs-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2:30pm
PLUS a special additional show on Mon 12 March @ 8pm

Tickets: 
$20 General, $15 Student/Arts-worker/Senior/Under-Employed.
Sun Matinees & Mon 12 March: PWYC
Door Tickets are Cash Only
Reservations via redsandcastletheatre@gmail.com or 416-845-9411

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Toronto Indie Film Screening: Rohan Fernando's Snow - February 24

Toronto Indie Film Screening: Snow
Written & directed by Rohan Fernando
Screening in Toronto on February 24, 2012


Snow is a beautifully shot movie that takes a nuanced look at the experiences of a new Canadian immigrant through the eyes of Parvati, a young Sri Lankan woman who loses both her family and her home in the Boxing Day tsumani of 2004.

She arrives in Canada to live with her aunt and uncle, left to navigate her way through the newly strange - and strangely cold - landscape of Southern Ontario suburbia. Parvati takes a dismal job cleaning rooms in a hotel and dutifully meets the nice young man her relatives are eager to marry her off to. It's the connections she makes on her own, however, with a troubled tenant of the hotel and a homeless woman, who lead her out of the traditional enclave of her aunt and uncle's home and on the road to Nova Scotia.

The characters and their relationships are nicely complicated and have a realistic feel that goes along with documentary-style camera work. It's artfully shot, however, to appear so nonchalant, using close ups and an artistic sense of composition to add drama to the scenes set in suburban domesticity and generic chain hotel décor.

Solid acting all around fleshes out a well written script, anchored by Kalista Zackhariyas in the role of Parvati - or Kala, as she comes to call herself after the sister who slipped from her hands into the churning waters of the tsunami. The dialogue is often sparse, the story resting on her expressive eyes and whole demeanour. She physically embodies the role in a way that's entirely convincing.

This is a story about loss, Parvati's move halfway across the world mirroring the displacement of her whole foundation in life. In a way that feels real and offers no pat answers, Parvati's story ends with the notion that where there is still breath, there can still be hope at the end of the tunnel.

All images by Holly Crooks


Snow
Parvati / Kala - KALISTA ZACKHARIYAS
Emily - RIA MAE
Ganesh - MOHAN FERNANDO
Lakshmi - ACHALA HEWAARACHCHI
Jennifer - HIMALY FERNANDO
Uthayan - PARDIS PARKER
Man in Room - SOBAZ BENJAMIN
Maria - ALICIA ORR MACDONALD
Written & Directed by  ROHAN FERNANDO
Produced by ROHAN FERNANDO & SUZANNE LIVELY
Executive Producer - Ann Bernier
Director of Photography - TAREK ABOUAMIN
Production Designer - ALAN MACLEOD




Snow 2010 Official Movie Trailer from Rohan Fernando on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Once, A New Musical Moves to Broadway on February 28 2012

From a media release:

Once - a new musical
Based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film
 

TO MOVE TO BROADWAY’S BERNARD B. JACOBS THEATRE
BEGINNING TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2012
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012

Music & Lyrics by Academy Award Winners
GLEN HANSARD & MARKÉTA IRGLOVÁ

Book by ENDA WALSH
Directed by JOHN TIFFANY
Scenic and Costume Design by BOB CROWLEY
Lighting by NATASHA KATZ
Movement by STEVEN HOGGETT

TICKETS ON SALE ONLINE
• OR CALL 212-239-6200.

(New York City, NY)
Producers Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, and Executive Producer Robert Cole are pleased to announce that ONCE, the new musical based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film, will play Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre this spring.

Previews will begin Tuesday, February 28, 2012 with opening night set for Sunday, March 18, 2012.

ONCE began performances Tuesday, November 15 and opened Tuesday, December 6, running through Sunday, January 15, 2012 at New York Theatre Workshop.

ONCE features the Academy Award-winning music and lyrics of Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, a book by award-winning Irish playwright & screenwriter, Enda Walsh (Penelope, Hunger, The New Electric Ballroom), direction by the acclaimed Scottish director of Black Watch, John Tiffany, movement by Steven Hoggett (Black Watch, American Idiot) and musical direction by Martin Lowe (Mamma Mia!). The set and costume design are by five time Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (The Coast of Utopia, Mary Poppins), lighting design is by Tony winner Natasha Katz (Aida, The Coast of Utopia), and sound design is by Clive Goodwin.

The cast of ONCE features Steve Kazee as 'Guy' and Cristin Milioti as 'Girl.'  Also in the company are David Abeles, Claire Candela, Will Connolly, Elizabeth Davis, David Patrick Kelly, Anne L. Nathan, Lucas Papaelias, Andy Taylor, Erikka Walsh , Paul Whitty, and J. Michael Zygo.

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician (Guy) and a Czech immigrant (Girl) are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by the emotionally charged music that has made ONCE an international sensation.

The 2007 Academy Award-winning film, ONCE, was written and directed by John Carney, and starred Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, with original music and lyrics by Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová.

The Oscar winning independent Irish film, Once (written and directed by John Carney) was made for $150,000. Shot in 17 days, it went on to gross $20M worldwide becoming a critically acclaimed international smash. It stars Glen Hansard, from the popular Irish Rock band The Frames, and Markéta Irglová. Glen and Markéta won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original song for “Falling Slowly,” the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Music, and the soundtrack was nominated for two Grammy Awards.

© 2012 once on broadway. photos by frank ockenfels

Once On Broadway
at the Shubert Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre - 242 West 45th street - New York, NY 10038