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Showing posts from January, 2011

Taj Weekes Brings Roots Reggae to Joe's Pub NYC Feb 5

From a media release:

Taj Weekes Brings Roots Reggae to Joe's Pub NYC

TAJ WEEKES & ADOWA
Joe's Pub, NYC - Saturday, February 5 at 9:30 PM

An enigma on the reggae scene, Taj Weekes is on the one hand deeply serious and intensely passionate about his worldviews and on the other hand, a gentle and humble man with a quick and easy smile. Driven to inspire conscious thought and provoke discussion through his poignant poetry and lyrics, Weekes says, "I write from the heart and I speak about issues that move me. I believe that’s what really matters."

Born and raised on the island of St. Lucia, Weekes grew up the youngest of ten children in a musical family. "My musical influences were quite varied, 'cause the radio stations played all kinds of music. There were no formats, so we grew up listening to everything from reggae to calypso to classic rock and classical music."

Taj Weekes and Adowa released their much-anticipated third CD, A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen, i…

Music Africa Toronto & the Gladstone Hotel Team Up for Free Friday Concerts

From a media release:

MUSIC AFRICA & Gladstone World celebrate Black History  Month every Friday night throughout February with a series of FREE concerts
Thanks to CIUT-FM 89.5 FM

Featuring some of the top African artists living and working in the city. Music Africa, presenters of AFROFEST, is a community organization dedicated to promoting African music and culture. Discover Africa in the Heart of Toronto!

FREE at the Gladstone Melody Bar, every Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.

February 4th – Blandine
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and raised in Canada, Blandine has been exposed to the best African, American and European music all her life. It partly accounts for her ability to mimic such great singers as M’bilia Bel, Chaka Khan and Mariah Carey. During her teen years in Toronto she developed her distinctive classical/ R&B/ Afropop vocal style, and by age 20 had performed at festivals throughout North America. She later landed a role as a backup singer on tour for Canadian art…

Canadian Opera Company Premieres Nixon in China Feb 5 - 26

From a media release:

COC Premiere of Nixon in China relives five days that changed the world

Toronto, Ontario – A defining moment in modern-day history takes centre stage this winter with the Canadian Opera Company premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China.  Richard Nixon’s historic five-day trip to China in 1972 was a media phenomenon viewed simultaneously by millions at home on their television sets.  Adams’ unique lyrical score for Nixon in China intertwines occasions of grand, public spectacle with moments of quiet, private reflection to transform a political event into a story with universal appeal and significance.  American James Robinson returns to the COC to direct this highly-lauded and widely-seen production with award-winning Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado making his Canadian debut leading the COC Orchestra and Chorus.

Sung in English with English SURTITLES™
• Nixon in China runs for eight performances on Feb. 5, 9, 11, 13, 19, 22, 24 and 26, 2011.

Nixon in China had its…

Visual Arts at York Quay (Toronto) Winter 2011

From a media release:

Visual Arts at York Quay Centre opens new exhibitions Jan. 28, 2011
Neighbourhood Maverick moves into the architecture gallery,
Jan. 28 through April 3

TORONTO, ON (Jan. 26, 2011) – Harbourfront Centre presents an eclectic collection of new projects at York Quay Centre this fall, including a new architecture exhibit entitled Neighbourhood Maverick, exploring Toronto’s patchwork neighbourhood aesthetics.

Featured artists in York Quay Centre include Jesse Boles, Harbourfront Centre artist-in-residence Alisha Marie Boyd, Brothers Dressler, Murmur (Robin Elliot), Caitlin Erskine-Smith, Lana Filippone, Ann Marie Hadcock, Sin-Ying Ho, Peter MacCallum, Shawn Micallef, Sorrel Muggridge, Laura Nanni, Howard Podeswa, Sandra Rechico, James Redekop, Seth Scriver, Sandra Smirle, Despo Sophocleous, and Rachael Wong. A photo exhibit on rodeo culture by Peter Sibbald also premieres in a new exhibition space in the Fleck Dance Theatre lobbies.

Neighbourhood Maverick in the architectur…

ReelAbilities Film Festival Feb 3 - 8 NYC

From a media release:

The Third Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival
February 3 to 8 in 20 venues throughout the five boroughs, Roosevelt Island, Long Island and Westchester.

ReelAbilities is dedicated to promoting the awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. Discussions and other engaging programs will bring together the community to explore, discuss and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. Films this year will have an increased focus on manmade disabilities and mental illness.

Presented by the JCC in Manhattan, with the support of UJA-Federation and over 40 partnering organizations, ReelAbilities will feature 11 films showcased in 20 venues, opening and closing night receptions, special non-film programs (performing arts, live music, theatre performances and more), panel discussions with guest filmmakers, and educational programming in various locations.

The third edition will mark an…

Comedy & Beer on Special with Julia Hladkowicz & Matt O'Brien in Toronto

From various sources - comedy and beer on special this month in Toronto:

Comedy in Toronto
Grindhouse Comedy February 3 with Julia Hladkowicz
Comedy Records Presents: Comedy At Czehoski February 15 with Matt O'Brien

Who is Julia Hladkowicz? She is a comedian and actor who has won numerous awards in the world of comedy, including the Hogtown Comedy Festival Directors Award, a 2008 Fresh Meat Showcase Nomination, the prestigious Brian Linehan Scholarship Award and was crowned Last Comic Smoking. This blonde dynamo is a rising star at YukYuks and she recently returned from a California tour.

Grindhouse Comedy is a bi-monthly show hosted and produced by Julia making its debut February 3rd. This show will run the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month is at GrindhouseBurger Bar at 365 King Street West (King and Bluejays Way), and Julia's promising a hot line up.

It starts at 10PM
• A PWYC show
• Amazing burgers which will be served all night and Mill Street beer specials!

The first show inclu…

Turning 32 Documentary Toronto Premiere February 4

From a media release:

16 years later . . . what have they become?
Turning 32 Toronto theatrical premiere
Follow-up to award-winning TV series opens Feb. 4

Toronto, Ontario, January 20, 2011 – The National Film Board of Canada documentary Turning 32, a sequel to the 1992 television series Turning 16, will have a Toronto theatrical engagement February 4 to February 10 at the NFB Mediatheque. Produced by Adobe Productions International in co-production with the NFB, this powerful film revisits the subjects of the TV series 16 years later and explores two universal themes: the journey to adulthood and the role of family. Co-director Robbie Hart will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screenings on February 4 and 5, while Turning 32 participant JR Messam, whose birth was captured in Turning 16, will attend on February 8.    

Screening information
• Turning 32 (2010) – 104 min
• NFB Mediatheque – 150 John St. at Richmond St. W.
• February 4 to February 10
• Daily screenings at 7 p.m.
• $6/$…

Kuumba - Black History Month Festivities at Harbourfront Toronto

From a media release:

Kuumba presented by TD
Feb. 5-6 & 12-13, 2011

Two weekends of fun to celebrate Black History Month at Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, ON – The 15th annual Kuumba festival presented by TD returns to Harbourfront Centre with two entertaining and educational weekends commemorating both the history and the future of black culture.

This winter, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that questions the BIG iDEA of witness. Join us Feb. 5-6 and Feb. 12-13, 2011 to witness black history through audio installations, visual arts, theatre, dance workshops, film screenings, music, comedy, family activities and more!

Kuumba is one of Toronto's longest-running and largest Black History Month festivals. This year features two jam-packed weekends of fun that the whole family can enjoy. The first weekend explores ideas surrounding the past, present and future of the black diaspora, while the second weekend focuses on the fusion of art and history in Caribbean culture.

“Kuumba”…

Review: Factory/Crow's Theatre Eternal Hydra

CROW'S THEATRE'S ETERNAL HYDRA AT Factory Theatre
continues to February 13, 2011

"These days, writing is a very small part of being an author."

Eternal Hydra is a play of ideas fleshed out by the foibles of its very human characters, crisscrossing through time, fact and fantasy to pose questions of morality and truth and a whole lot else. That it succeeds in this quite captivating production is due to brilliant writing and a strong cast that takes on a total of 11 roles between the four of them.

Just as a spare but striking set and cast of four flit back and forth, so does the story trip back and forth between the present, where scholar Vivian (Liisa Repo-Martell) brings a long lost manuscript she's unearthed to be published, and Paris of the 1930's, where its author(s) lived and drank prodigiously. It also slips between the "reality" of the present day publishing transactions and the various fictions represented on the page, from one author to another…

Elia Suleiman's The Time That Remains Opens in Toronto Feb 4

From a media release:

eOne Films presents

THE TIME THAT REMAINS
A Film By Elia Suleiman

*World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2009
*North American Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2009

Opens in Toronto on Friday, February 4th, 2011
Bell Lightbox Theatre

Screenplay written by Elia Suleiman
Produced by Michael Gentile and Elia Suleiman
The film stars Elia Suleiman, Saleh Bakri, Samar Qudha Tanus, Shafika Bajjali, Tarek Qubti, Zuhar abu Hanna and Ayman Espanioli

THE TIME THAT REMAINS is a semi-autobiographical film in four episodes about a family, my family, from 1948 until recent times. The film is inspired by my father’s private diaries, starting from when he was a resistance fighter in 1948, and by my mother’s letters to family members who were forced to leave the country. Combined with my intimate memories of them and with them, the film attempts to portray the daily life of those Palestinians who remained and were labeled "Israeli-Arabs", living as a minority…

Art of Time Ensemble's Take This Waltz - Feb 4-5 Harbourfront

Art of Time Ensemble  presents Take This Waltz
the waltz explored throughout the last 150 years
February 4-5, 2011.

Toronto - The acclaimed Art of Time Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Andrew Burashko, presents Take This Waltz, a diversely rich and compelling program that explores the waltz throughout the last 150 years, running Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, 2011 at Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre, sponsored by BMO Financial. CBC Radio Two is recording the concert for future broadcast.

A stellar lineup of outstanding classical and jazz musicians along with celebrated singer Steven Page perform:

Les Allt - Flute/Sax
Rachel Mercer - Cello
Benjamin Bowman - Violin
Doug Perry - Viola
Andrew Burashko - Piano
Jonathan Goldsmith - Piano
Rob Piltch - Guitar
Stephen Sitarski - Violin
Joaquin Valdepeñas - Clarinet
George Koller - Bass
Peter Longworth - Piano

The evening is book-ended by two legendary waltzes: the late 19th century Emperor Waltz from Johann Strauss (1825-99)…

Pistolera's Brooklyn-Mexico Dance Party at Joe's Pub NYC February 4

From a media release:

PISTOLERA
at Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC
Friday, February 4 at 9:30 PM; $15


Pistolera's accordion-driven melodies invite you to a dance party at the Brooklyn-Mexico border. Fans around the world are dancing cumbias to the group's socially conscious songs--en español--about immigrants' rights, war, racism, feminism, and life on the border.

• Get tix online at joespub.com

Pistolera's two albums, Siempre Hay Salida (2006) and En Este Camino (2008), were produced by Grammy-winner Charlie Dos Santos. The band has toured in the U.S., Belgium, Holland, Portugal, and Mexico, and has shared the stage with Los Lobos, Lila Downs, The Mexican Institute of Sound, Kinky, Ely Guerra, Los Amigos Invisibles, Vieux Farka Toure, and Ozomatli, among others. Billboard Magazine said it was "...glorious and galvanzing. If this is homework, it gets and A."

Directed by Haroun Ibn-Mock and filmed in Brooklyn, NY, "Policia" was the first music…

Denis Villeneuve's Incendies Garners Academy Award® Nomination

From a media release - I did an interview with actor Allen Altman about his role in the film last September when it premiered at TIFF - the kudos haven't stopped since.

For Immediate Release
Entertainment One film INCENDIES granted Academy Award® nomination


TORONTO – JANUARY 25, 2011
Entertainment One and Les Films Christal is pleased to announce Canadian feature film INCENDIES directed by Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has been nominated for Best Foreign Film by the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences for the 83rd edition of the annual Academy Awards to be held in Hollywood, California on February 27, 2011.

After the news was announced this morning, Denis had this to say,

"This is one of the most intense nights and mornings in my life. This nomination feels like a very big Christmas gift to a 6 year old.  I want to share this honor with Wajdi Mouawad whose incredible play and ideas are the basis of the film.

I am proud that the film conveys the same message of reconcil…

Road to Qatar Opens Off-Broadway January 25

From a release - sounds like fun:

The Road to Qatar

The York Theatre Company
Presents by special arrangement with Paul F. Burchett
In association with Coltrane, LLC
Book and Lyrics Stephen Cole • Music David Krane
Choreographer Bob Richard • Music Director David Caldwell • Director Phillip George

Featuring
James Beaman • Keith Gerchak • Bill Nolte • Sarah Stiles • Bruce Warren

January 25 to February 27

Use code BEST47 for $47 tickets (regular price $67.50)

THE ROAD TO QATAR! is a new true musical comedy about two American musical theatre writers commissioned to do the impossible - write a larger-than-life Broadway-style mega-musical for the Emir of Qatar including 100 actors, 40 camels, 17 fire-eating jugglers and Muhammad Ali. Surprises abound as the quirky self-professed "short Jewish writers" leave New York and begin trotting the globe.

Performances Begin January 25th!
• The York Theatre Company ∙ 619 Lexington Avenue (Corner of 54th St.) ∙ New York, NY 10022
• Box Office: (212)…