Skip to main content

Haunted Hillbilly - part of SummerWorks

Haunted Hillbilly
part of SummerWorks Festival
August 15, Theatre Passe Muraille - Toronto

Sidemart Theatrical Grocery
Written by Graham Cuthbertson
Songs & Music by Matthew Barber
Starring: Daniel Brochu, Graham Cuthbertson, Kyle Gatehouse, Gemma James-Smith, Greg Kramer, Matthew Raudseep & Alexis Taylor
Directed by Andrew Shaver
Music by Matthew Barber with Joe Grass & Julian Brown

I'll stop swillin'
If the good Lord's willin'!

Take a feckless but talented young singer/songwriter with ambitions and a sleek older man with a gift for couture and an appetite for blood and buttocks, add some country tunes, a wife, a girlfriend, a preacher and a henchman or two, and you have what was described to us as the "cautionary tale" of one Hyram Woodside.

On his way to buy a new shirt one day, he stumbles across the haberdashery of Nudie, a man with a talent for making clothes. He talks Hyram into wearing his flashy garb on stage, instead of the homespun attire made by wife Audrey. The kicker is, Hyram's built a reputation for writing songs about being lonely, and since getting married, he hasn't been able to write. So Nudie talks him into a sequinned jacket, then an embroidered suit or two or several, and eventually out of his marriage. Lonely again, he writes the songs that get make him famous...

It's a classic Faustian-esque theme. The writing is fresh and funny and kept me guessing, even as it used a flurry of familiar icons - the seductive vampire, the loving wife, macabre wax museums and carnivals - the brisk pace held it all together. The talented cast handled the musical numbers with aplomb and an appropriately gleeful abandon, aided by three musicians who played onstage the entire show. As for the blood and buttocks, I'll just mention that the vampire gets his fill from Hyram via jeans with special flaps at the back.

Not surprisingly in a piece about the corrupting influence of couture, the costumes are fab, especially Hyram's stage gear. There was a lot of buzz about this show, and deservedly so, with a sold out house and a line up around the block for Sunday's matinee.

Haunted Hillbilly is based on the 2003 book of the same name by Derek McCormack, and is a production Sidemart Theatrical Grocery, a mainstay of Montreal's English theatre scene.


Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …