Skip to main content

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble Presents: COMA October 30 to November 3 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble Presents:
October 30 to November 3, 2013

• Tickets for the Gala are available only online here, and at the door

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble is pleased to announce the addition of two remarkable performers to the cast of Jude Idada's new play, COMA: Bridget Ogundipe and Wale Ojo  will join 2013 Juno Award Winner (World Music Album of the Year) Lorraine Klaasen in this moving, hard-hitting drama. COMA runs at the Al Green Theatre Oct. 30-Nov 3, 2013.

British Nigerian film and stage actor Wale Ojo (pictured below) is best known for his series Meet the Adebanjos, an award-winning British TV sitcom about a British Nigerian family living in London, UK. The show follows a larger-than-life Dad (Ojo) struggling to instill his old-fashioned African values in his black British household.  Ojo won a Nigeria Entertainments Award for best actor for Phone Swap. Other film credits include Johnny English Reborn  and The Guard alongside Oscar winner Brendan Gleeson. TV credits include guest appearances in the Emmy-Nominated No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and NBC's The Philanthropist.

Nigerian born Torontonian Bridget Ogundipe has recently appeared as 'Mayme' in Neptune Theatre's Intimate Apparel. Toronto stage credits include Language of the Heart  at Factory Theatre and  For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf  at Theatre Passe Muraille. AfriCan Theatre Ensemble patrons will remember her from The Marriage of Anansewa. Ogundipe's television work includes guest appearances on CBC's Heartland  and voice work for the Gemini Award winning series Life’s a (Teletoon, CTF).

Juno Award winning artist Lorraine Klaasen, daughter of legendary South African singer Thandi Klaasen, has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence. Lorraine makes her Toronto theatrical stage debut in COMA. Lorraine’s previous credits include Inheriting Trouble: The Estate of Etta James, (Documentary, CMJ Productions).

For 15 months, Nana (Lorraine Klaasen - pictured below) has been lost in a coma in an upscale Lagos hospital room. Her doctors say she will never awaken. At the end of her rope and crushed by medical bills, Nana's daughter Ifueko (Bridget Ogundipe) makes the painful decision to end her mother’s life…but everything changes when she informs her exiled brother in Canada.  Osasu (Wale Ojo) rushes back to stop his sister.  Highlighting the power of love over hate and the healing that comes with forgiveness, COMA is an odyssey into a mother’s prolonged nightmare, a son's desire to make amends for a lifetime of neglect, and a daughter’s need to be loved.

COMA is written and directed by award-winning screen writer, playwright, and director Jude Idada (Coma – feature film, 1 Take Media; The Calling, AfriCan Theatre Ensemble; Flood! / Brixton Stories / Lost, AfriCan Theatre Ensemble - pictured below).  Set and Costume Design by Guthrie Award and Tom Patterson Award winner Sean Mulcahy (Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Rainbow Stage; Suds!, Thousand Islands Playhouse), and Lighting Design by three-time Dora-nominee Arun Srinivasan (Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre; Canadian Stage Company; The Globe Theatre; Buddies In Bad Times). 

Gala: COMA’s Friday November 1 performance includes a pre-show Cocktail Gala Reception beginning at 6:00 pm, during which Juno winner Lorraine Klaasen will perform two songs for the attendees. Tickets for the Gala are available only via, and at the door.

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble (ATE) recognizes the power of live art to inspire and renew the human spirit and to forge human relationships across cultures, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, genders, and social classes. Our work presents the theatrical idioms, traditions and experiences of Africa and creates an avenue for cultural exchange between Africa and Canada. More information is available at

COMA has been generously sponsored by Radio Regent.

Show information for COMA:
Al Green Theatre ~ 750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto (Spadina and Bloor)

Oct 30 – Nov 3, 2013

(Preview Oct 30 at 4pm, Opening Oct 30 at 8pm, Cocktail Gala Nov 1 at 6pm)
Wed-Sat at 8pm. Sun matinee at 4pm
Gala Reception Nov 1 at 6pm (performance begins at 8pm)

Preview: PWYC ($10 suggested minimum) at the door
Regular: $32 Early Bird (before Oct 25), or $35 at the door / Students $27
Gala Reception with Performance $55 in advance or $60 at the door. VIP Gala Tix: $100

Regular tickets available via or, or at the door
Gala tickets available only via, or at the door.
Group ticket rates are available via


What Else Is Hot This Week?

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 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…