centrestage DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES
TANYA TAGAQ TAKES ON
Nanook of the North
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Lightwire Theatre Elephant and Piggie Carousel Players Immortal Chi
THE FILM HOUSE NEW FEATURES documentaries, classics, and family films
TransCanada Highwaymen Four iconic frontmen of Barenaked Ladies Sloan, Odds, and The Pursuit of Happiness
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MUSICAL EVENT SOLUTIONS presents
Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Legends of Motown is a 14-piece cast of singers and musicians performing live look-a-like/sound-a-like tributes to The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas and more and features all your favourite songs of the Motown era. With dazzling choreography, authentic costumes, stunning vocal performances and a fabulous live band, this high-energy show with the most timeless music of our lives is not to be missed!
Tickets on sale now!!! Call 905.688.0722
centrestage table of contents
6 TESTIMONIALS 7 CALENDAR 9 HEAR! HERE! NIAGARA MUSIC SERIES 11 HOT TICKET MEMBERSHIP PERKS 12 THE FILM HOUSE 15 JAZZ & FUNK MUSIC SERIES 16 MOUSE ON THE KEYS 18 LARRY CARLTON 20 SWINGIN’ WITH OSCAR* 22 LIGHTWIRE THEATER: MOON MOUSE 24 ELEPHANT AND PIGGIE 26 IMMORTAL CHI 31 ROOTS & BOOTS MUSIC SERIES 32 TERRI CLARK 34 TERRA LIGHTFOOT WITH DONOVAN WOODS* 36 CRITELLI’S CELTIC SERIES 38 KAHA:WI DANCE THEATRE – THE HONOURING* 40 GEORDIE PRODUCTIONS – JABBER* 42 CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE – JIMI HENDRIX: ARE YOU EXPERIENCED 44 TRANSCANADA HIGHWAYMEN – BERG, MURPHY, NORTHEY, PAGE 46 CAROUSEL PLAYERS: GIRLS, BOYS, AND OTHER MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES 48 TANYA TAGAQ: NANOOK OF THE NORTH 50 SPRING AND SUMMER FESTIVALS *MEMBERS BFF – HOT TICKET members are invited to Bring a Friend for FREE!
EDITORS: Annie Wilson, Michael Chess DESIGNER: Lisa Mancini ADVERTISING COORDINATOR: Kayley Corupe email@example.com
Spring Edition - February 2017 @ FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 2017
BOX OFFICE ORDER YOUR TICKETS
BOX OFFICE COORDINATES
Online 24/7 - FirstOntarioPAC.ca In Person FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office By Email BoxOffice@FirstOntarioPAC.ca By Phone 905-688-0722 TTY 905-688-4TTY (4889) Toll Free 1-855-515-0722
FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre 250 St. Paul Street, Downtown St. Catharines Niagara Region, ON, L2R 3M2
BOX OFFICE HOURS Monday to Friday, 10AM to 6PM Saturday, 10AM to 2PM Summer and holiday hours may vary.
GET SOCIAL #FirstOntPAC Facebook.com/FirstOntPAC Twitter.com/FirstOntPAC Instagram.com/FirstOntPAC Bit.ly/FirstOntPAC_YouTube
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We are also conveniently located kitty-corner from St. Catharines main bus terminal making us very accessible via public transit. Special event parking is $5 when events are happening at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre or Meridian Centre. Payment is by cash only and is paid on entrance to the garage / parking lots.
We recommend the multi-level covered Garden Park / Carlisle Street Garage with 595 spaces and 26 accessible spaces. Please visit StCatharines.ca/Parking for a complete list of parking locations. Drop-off points are available in front of the Box Office Entrance on St. Paul Street as well as the front doors closest to Partridge Hall along Carlisle Street.
On-site parking is not available at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre; however, there are more than 1,000 spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to the FirstOntario PAC.
L - LOT / G - GARAGE
PAC STAFF STEVE SOLSKI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JANIE GRAND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SARA PALMIERI PROGRAMMING & MARKETING MANAGER MICHAEL CHESS MARKETING SUPERVISOR ANNIE WILSON PROGRAM SUPERVISOR KAYLEY CORUPE SALES & SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR STÃ‰PHANIE FILIPPI AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR LISA MANCINI MARKETING & DESIGN COORDINATOR JORDY YACK COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR DAVID RAPELJE OPERATIONS MANAGER KATHLEEN ROSS OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATOR ROB ROBBINS SENIOR TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR KEN GARRETT TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR ROBERT NICHOLLS TECHNICAL SUPERVISOR JENNIE DIMARCO OPERATIONS SERVICES COORDINATOR JENNIFER HUNT-CARBONARA OPERATIONS SERVICES COORDINATOR
LINDA HILKO RENTAL CONTRACT SUPERVISOR CORA SPERRY CLIENT SERVICES SUPERVISOR BILL MERWIN MAINTENANCE & SECURITY COORDINATOR CARLOS ROBAYO ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISOR LEONA MCDONALD ADMINISTRATIVE CLERK TANYA WALSH ADMINISTRATIVE CLERK MARIOLA HILL BOX OFFICE CLERK BOX OFFICE LEADS: KRISTA ASHFORD, LEYA POULOUSKI BOX OFFICE AGENTS: BECKY CAMPBELL, PATRICIA COMFORT, SARAH FRASER, JENNA LEASK, SARAH MARKS, DANA MORIN, TINA MOUSLEY, SIOBHAN RODRIGUE FRONT OF HOUSE LEADS: KATH DAVIES, THELMA FORRESTER, JULIA HILL, ROSEMARIE HUBER, KAITLIN RACE, SEAN RINTOUL CENTRESTAGE 5
are saying about the FirstOntario PAC
I love the FirstOntario PAC as it is providing some of the best entertainment and experiences for audiences in St. Catharines/Niagara. Wonderful staff and volunteers welcoming YOU everytime you step in our doors. What a boon for downtown, too!
‘‘ 6 CENTRESTAGE
Elaine Smithies: Retired Client Services Supervisor
It is a safe space that provides a multitude of communities with a platform to express our many complex and interwoven identities. Iain Lidstone: Member of Twitches & Itches Theatre
We love the PAC because it is a world-class facility
We love the PAC because it is a world class facility that unites the Niagara arts comthat unites the Niagara arts community and also munity and also shows the rest of the world what St. Catharines and the Niagara shows the rest of the world what St. Catharines and Region has to offer. Niagara Region has to offer. Juliet Dunn: Co-creator + the Executive Director Peter Shea: Co-creator + Artistic Director Juliet Dunn: Executive Director, TD Niagara Jazz Festival (Photo Credit: Dan Brown)Peter Shea: Artistic Director, TD Niagara Jazz Festival
2017 Coming Soon Essential Collective Theatre
THE DRAWER BOY
FRI 24 FEB - FRI 3 MAR •
TERRA LIGHTFOOT WITH DONOVAN WOODS FRI 24 MAR •
SAT 25 FEB •
CHARLIE CHAPLIN: THREE RARE COMEDIES
Brock University’s MIWSFPA
FRI 3 MAR - SAT 11 MAR Chorus Niagara
THE FARTHEST SHORE SAT 4 MAR
Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series
THE MARK LALAMA TRIO with Kevin Fox & Mel Monaco SUN 5 MAR •
MOUSE ON THE KEYS TUE 7 MAR •
LARRY CARLTON WED 8 MAR • Lightwire Theater
MOON MOUSE A Space Odyssey THU 9 MAR • Brock University’s Encore! Series
ANAGNOSON & KINTON, PIANO DUO FRI 10 MAR Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble
SWINGIN’ WITH OSCAR
Niagara Symphony Orchestra
MW6 - POPS 4 THE MESSIAH: TOO HOT TO HANDEL! SAT 15 APR
Classic Albums Live
SAT 25 MAR
Musical Event Solutions
Are You Experienced TUE 18 APR •
LEGENDS OF MOTOWN SAT 25 MAR
BERG, MURPHY, NORTHEY & PAGE
Kaha:wi Dance Theatre
WED 19 APR •
THE HONOURING FRI 31 MAR •
ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S We Are In A Play! SAT 1 APR • Brock University’s Viva Voce! Series
CHOIRS FINALE SAT 1 APR Hear! Here! Niagara Music Series
THE MARK LALAMA TRIO
GERRY DEE LIVE FRI 21 APR Carousel Players
BOYS, GIRLS, AND OTHER MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES SAT 22 APR •
FRANK D’ANGELO & HIS 15-PIECE BAND SAT 22 APR
with Johnny Johnson + Marc Jordan & Elton Lammie SUN 2 APR •
JUST FOR LAUGHS ROAD SHOW
IN THE SOIL ARTS FESTIVAL
SUN 2 APR • Choralis Camerata
A Warrior's Quest for Balance TUE 25 APR •
FRI 28 - SUN 30 APR
SUN 2 APR
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA WED 3 MAY
SAT 11 MAR •
Brock University’s MIWSFPA
RHYTHM OF THE DANCE
THE UNIVERSITY WIND ENSEMBLE
SAT 18 MAR •
TUE 4 APR
Nanook of the North THU 4 MAY •
Niagara Symphony Orchestra
Congregation B'Nai Israel
MW5 - STRING THEORY
SAT 18 MAR - SUN 19 MAR
WED 5 APR •
Niagara Symphony Orchestra
Niagara Symphony Orchestra
with Jessica Mitchell THU 23 MAR •
FAM3 – DIG IT! SAT 8 APR - SUN 9 APR
MW7 – ARISE!
SUN 7 MAY
SUN 21 MAY
• MUSIC • DANCE • THEATRE • FAMILY • COMEDY CENTRESTAGE
June 21 - July 7
DONNA AKREY ALSO ALSO FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre call
July 12 - July 28
905-688-0722 local 1-855-515-0722 toll free visit 250 St Paul Street, St. Catharines
Curated by Marcie Bronson February 11 to April 30 HOT TALK: Thursday, March 2, 7 pm 109 St. Paul Crescent, St. Catharines, ON brocku.ca/rodmanhall
website www.fosterfestival.com Donna Akrey, Middle Ground, 2016, mirror, wood, insulation foam, casters. 8 CENTRESTAGE
August 2 - August 18
HEAR! HERE! NIAGARA MUSIC SERIES HOSTED BY THE MARK LALAMA TRIO An organic series of songs and stories featuring international and local artists and our acclaimed hosts MARK LALAMA, RICH MOORE and DAVIDE DIRENZO Sundays at 4PM in the intimate Robertson Theatre.
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS...
MARC JORDAN added to final show!
JOHNNY JOHNSON + MARC JORDAN
& MEL MONACO
& ELTON LAMMIE
PHOTO BY NINO ARDIZZI-DIZZIFOTO
Like a great performance wise investing is built on experience and talent. Our objective and highly experienced advisors provide advice usually reserved only for wealthy investors. And our commitment to investing in our local communities means weâ€™re not just about money we are about your money doing better. Talk to us first about a better way of investing at FirstOntarioInvestments.com
Carolyn Humby, CFP, FMA, Investment Advisor T: 1-800-616-8878 Ext. 5020 | O: 905-988-3562 | E: Carolyn.Humby@FirstOntario.com
Call us at 1-800-616-8878 or visit FirstOntario.com
Join the PAC!
Benefits of a HOT TICKET membership Hello! I'm Bernice Pacard, and I'm a HOT TICKET member! Check out just a few of my favourite member benefits! COMFY NEW CHAIR! 15% discount at a local furniture store
MEMORY LANE! 10% discount at a local record store
4 HOT TICKETS
0 1801 0 8 193 83 93 9
to IMMORTAL CHI! I saved $32 on my tickets
SUSHI NIGHT! HOT TICKET member discounts on food for the whole family
STRONG GRANDMA 15% discount on vitamins
BURGERS WITH BILLY Deals at my grandson’s favourite downtown spot
Coolest lady at knitting club! I get to bring a friend for free to loads of FirstOntario PAC shows!
My Grandma is the coolest! She’s taking me and my cousins to see MOON MOUSE!
TOTALLY FEELING THE BENEFITS It's not too late to join! Become a member today for only $100. Visit FirstOntarioPAC.ca for a full list of member benefits!
THE FILM HOUSE BECOME A FILM HOUSE MEMBER For an annual fee of $25 Film House Members enjoy these benefits: • $7 entry to all films (2 tickets limit per membership) • 15% discount off concession products, excluding alcohol • Buy-one-get-one free tickets for premiere screenings of First-run features • VIP access to meet and greets, artist chats and receptions • Exchange tickets, as needed • Bi-weekly e-newsletter • Direct home mailing of your Film House calendar and the downtown Film & Dining Guide (coming soon!)
The moving image is everywhere, but when cinema is great and at its most incredible, there are no other experiences between viewer and screen that even come close." - Stephen Remus Film Programming Group Member
The Doc Spotlight The popularity of documentaries continues to rise. In a world that seems to become evermore complicated and challenging to understand, the documentary offers a near effort-free opportunity to delve into some of the most intriguing social, political and human interest stories of our time. Every Wednesday this March catch great docs like Angry Inuk, an Inuit perspective on the seal hunt; Fire at Sea, a look behind the headlines at the tragedies befalling migrants trying to escape persecution, war and poverty across the Mediterranean Sea, a film lauded with the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary; and Speed Sisters, a film programmed in recognition of International Women’s Day about Palestine’s first all-female race car driving team.
First-run Features The programming group assembled by the Niagara Artists Centre and the FirstOntario PAC scour the cinema universe for great titles that won’t ever make it to the cine-malls. We work to bring films to St. Catharines and Niagara that can typically only be seen in bigger centres and we bring them fresh and hot. This March and April look for the acclaimed Toni Erdmann, a German screwball comedy about parenthood, mortality and family relationships; 20th Century Women, Mike Mills’ homage to moms and a companion to his lauded film, Beginners; Paterson, Jim Jarmusch’s most recent film about finding meaning in the mundane starring Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani; and A Man Called Ove, a Swedish comedy-drama about an old man who is the neighbour from hell.
SEE THE MUSIC - Special Series Our series of concert, documentary and feature films from where the moving image and music meet continues this spring every Saturday night at 9:30. We’re cranking up the volume on David Chappelle’s Block Party (featuring The Fugees, Mos Def, Kanye West); The Talking Heads legendary Stop Making Sense; and The Beastie Boys Madison Square Garden career punctuation point, Awesome; I … Shot That.
What People Are Saying About the Film House! “It’s been AMAZING having a Film House in downtown St. Catharines, bumping into friends in a brand new 200 seat art house with cool films!” - Geoff Farnsworth, Visual Artist
“The Candy Store of Film!! What a choice! About 25 different titles appear in the varied lineup each month. Surprises galore.” - Don Alexander, TV pioneer and Videomaker
“Wow what a treat being able to walk downtown to see the type of challenging, award-winning, cutting edge films we were missing in St. Catharines.” - Sandy Middleton, Photographer
“Having The Film House downtown is a game changer. From quirky documentaries, to new dramas, to the classics, I feel lucky every time I see a movie downtown.” - Linda Steer, Brock University Professor
“The PAC’s Film House is a much needed remedy for the decline of cinema experience in this city. The Film House is cinematic viewing in its purest form from the intriguing and interesting programming to the high quality projection and sound.” - Geoff Brown, Bartender
“Your choice of what movie to see in St. Catharines used to be restricted to the latest Hollywood action adventure fare. The Film House has classics: old classics, new classics, and not yet classics. And if you’re a member, the cost is $7! Seriously, $7!” - Sean Quaint, IT Systems Manager CENTRESTAGE 13
Furnaces 14 CENTRESTAGE
f i r s to n ta r i o p erformi ng art s c e nt re pre se nt s
Mouse on the Keys 7 MARCH
Larry Carlton 8 MARCH
Swingin’ with Oscar 11 MARCH
mouse on the keys
EXPERIMENTAL JAZZ TRIO CREATES A VIRTUAL TOKYO JAZZ & FUNK SERIES Mouse On the Keys was formed in 2006 by Akira Kawasaki (drums, piano) and Atsushi Kiyota (piano, keyboard) out of the ashes of the math rock/post-rock outfit Nine Days Wonder. A year later, Daisuke Niitome (piano, keyboard) joined as a session musician, ultimately becoming a permanent fixture by 2008. The instrumental trio blend jazz, neoclassical, post-rock, electronic and avant-garde music with inspiration from Debussy, new wave, hardcore, architecture, metaphysics and Detroit techno. While this might sound overwhelming and pretentious, the result is far from it. Mouse On the Keys create conceptual music with uncommon time signatures, contrasting melodic synergies with a simple arrangement of two keyboards and a drum kit; the band is literally and figuratively incomparable. The band’s latest is a six-song EP called Out of Body (available in North America via Topshelf Records). Musically, the EP is stark, yet maintains pieces of the familiar. The title comes from two places: the book and documentary TV program about near-death experiences by Takashi Tachibana. And second, Kawasaki’s personal experience suffering an asymptomatic brain infarction. “We all have learned lots of things through these 10 years and sometimes it is just tough and exhausting to do it. So I sometimes feel like it’s our prayer when we play our music,” says Niitome. “Dark Light,” the EP’s third track, begins with a swell of synth, develops with a bass-heavy beat into what one might think is going to be a dance track. Then the classical piano begins; it’s essentially a modern nocturne. The EP’s next song, “Afterglow” forces the listener to do a 180 and showcases the trio’s musicality. Boom-bap drums, fills, drumstick tapping and an
abundance of playful piano pieces that feels both unpredictable and erratic yet woven together as one. The song reminds me of an organic take on Aphex Twin’s “Bucephalus Bouncing Ball,” an electronica/IDM song that gives life to the sound of a bouncing ping pong ball. Then just past the halfway mark, “Afterglow” transcends into an ambient, modern soundscape that sends the listener to float over a version of their past self. “Our purpose is to send what we feel and think while living in this place through the band,” explains Kawasaki to Jame World in 2010. “So, not only the music, but other elements like video projection, fashion or artwork are all connected to some kind of image which symbolizes the contemporary period of Tokyo.” - Jordy Yack FirstOntarioPAC.ca
Mouse On the Keys ROBERTSON THEATRE ALL TICKETS: $30 (Standing GA)
Tue 7 Mar 8PM
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LARRY CARLTON JAZZ & FUNK SERIES Music fans looking to shake off the remnants of winter can do so to the sound of some of the finest guitar licks played over the past 50 years. This March, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre welcomes legendary guitarist Larry Carlton, whose extensive body of work includes over 3,500 recordings! Carlton is better known as “Mr. 335,” a reference to his trademark 1969 Gibson ES-335 semi-acoustic guitar as well as his long-standing recording studio. Even if you’re not familiar with his nickname or full name, you have undoubtedly heard him play!
The four-time Grammy winner and 19-time nominee first entered the scene with 1968's solo album, With a Little Help from My Friends. He quickly established himself as a top-notch session player with Steely Dan, including his stand-out guitar solo in “Kid Charlemagne.”
Since then he's played on more than 100 hit records, working with a who's who of musical artists on some of their biggest hits; from Billy Joel to Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson to Joni Mitchell. These days, Carlton tours mainly with his own material, venturing across several genres, from blues to jazz to fusion. A true musical pioneer and innovator, Carlton thrives on the freedom of live performances. In an interview with online publication Music Radar, Carlton says of his playing style that he treats spaces between guitar licks as "an opportunity" for any number of things to happen. "One, you can get another idea. Two, somebody else in the band might play something in that space that inspires you. Or somebody in the band plays something that is so appropriate for what you just played. Or you are going to play what you just played
again except barely vary it. The space is an opportunity for something to happen.” Carlton tours with a tight-knit band, featuring Travis Carlton on bass, Gene Coye on drums and Mark Stephens on keyboards, generously allowing each of these talented musicians some time in the spotlight. While drawing mainly from his solo catalogue, fans shouldn't be surprised if they hear guitar work from some familiar Steely Dan songs, as he's been known to throw in the classic "Josie,” a song he often – jokingly – claims he hates. Niagara is in for a special treat and a unique opportunity to hear one of the most accomplished and admired guitarists in the world. - Mike Zettel NiagaraThisWeek.ca
Larry Carlton PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $52 MEMBERS: $45
Wed 8 Mar 7:30PM
37 3,500 SOLO ALBUMS
WHILE NOT EVERYONE KNOWS HIS NAME, VIRTUALLY EVERYONE HAS HEARD HIM PLAY.
RÉMI BOLDUC JAZZ ENSEMBLE
TAUREY BUTLER PIANO
The music of
FRASER HOLLINS BASS
DAVID LAING DRUMS
JAZZ & FUNK SERIES Oscar Peterson is perhaps the most famous of Canadian jazz musicians. His mellifluous manner of capering across the keyboards made him a unique voice in jazz and distinctly different from his predecessors and contemporaries such as Art Tatum. Peterson became world renowned for his performances as part of Norman Granz’s “Jazz at the Philharmonic” project, which consisted of extensive concert touring as well as record releases. The JATP included a changing parade of jazz luminaries, many of whom Peterson played with beginning at a JATP concert at Carnegie Hall that introduced him to American jazz fans in 1949. He then gained international recognition on several JATP European tours in the early 1950s. The prolific Peterson released about 200 recordings during his 60-year career, many of them on Granz’s own Clef, Verve, and Pablo labels. For Granz recordings he accompanied such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong, and many others. On Verve he recorded numerous LPs with his highly regarded trio, at first with guitar, later Ed Thigpen on drums, and of course Ray Brown on bass. Although known primarily as a player, Peterson was also an underrated singer, with a vocal grain that sounded a bit like Nat “King” Cole. And he was also a composer – perhaps most famously for his “Canadiana Suite.”
Alto saxophonist Rémi Bolduc and his Jazz Ensemble pay homage to Peterson in their concert at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. “I wanted to explore Oscar's music through his compositions,” Bolduc says. “He is less known as a composer. Many think of him as a player. I wanted to highlight another aspect of his music.” Bolduc, himself a formidable soloist with a growing international reputation, has arranged Peterson’s music for a quartet that includes Taurey Butler on piano, Dave Laing on drums, and Fraser Hollins on bass. Among the tunes Bolduc has chosen are “Noreen’s Nocturne,” which the Peterson Trio recorded live at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 1956. Also included in the concert will be “Place St. Henri” from “Canadiana Suite,” recorded by Peterson in 1964. “The Canadiana Suite is about Peterson’s home, Canada,” Bolduc explains. “It is an essential piece of Canadian culture...and one of his strongest musical statements. The album expresses his affection and pride for the city where he was born, Montreal.” Bolduc teaches in the Shulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, the same city where Peterson was born, grew up, and began playing. Bolduc has already recorded an award-winning tribute to Charlie Parker, one of his biggest influences, and now, fittingly, he is doing the same for Oscar Peterson. - Barry Keith Grant BrockU.ca
Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble Swinging’ with Oscar CAIRNS RECITAL HALL REGULAR: $40 MEMBERS: $34
Sat 11 Mar 7:30PM HOT TICKET MEMBERS BRING FRIENDS FOR FREE!
FUN K & JAZZ iN THE CITY
CHOPS N’ SOUL featuring
JO EL PARiSEN
FRIDAY, JULY 28.2017 - 7:30 pm EARLY BiRD Tickets: $39+HST Available through the PAC or
VISIT NIAGARAJAZZFESTIVAL.COM @jazzniagara
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M o n u o s o e M a space odyssey LIGHTWIRE THEATER
BIG FAMILY FUN Knowing they were on to something, they produced a 10-minute clip and started shopping it around. The Detroit Music Hall commissioned a 60-minute live show, after which they wowed global television audiences as semifinalists on America’s Got Talent Lightwire Theater has been lighting up stages around the world ever since.
From the dark comes light. And for the past 10 years, Lightwire Theater has proven the adage true. With its topical and eye-catching performances using lighted puppetry in dark theatres, the New Orleansbased troupe tells stories in a way that human characters and bright stage lights can’t. “We take (audiences) on a journey. It’s a visual feast. We try to capture them and then there’s this story underneath,” explains Eleanor Carney, Lightwire Theater co-founder and director.
...An eye-popping display of storytelling that's like nothing else you've ever seen." - BROADWAYWORLD.COM The magic of Lightwire Theater comes from using the unique technology of electroluminescent wire (EL wire), combined with music and dance to create those visual feasts that strive for both flash and substance. The proverbial light went off for Carney’s husband and Lightwire co-founder, Ian, while performing on Broadway 10 years ago. Ian was dancing in Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out when he and fellow performer, Corbin Popp, started tinkering with EL wire and all the ways it could bring bold characters to life. They constructed creatures out of the material, turned off the overhead lights and began telling universal stories using movement rather than dialogue.
“It was neat because you erase the dancer,” Carney, also a dancer, explained. “You turn out the lights and it’s ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ You’re not seen, it’s just the character and the lights.”
Lightwire came on stage tonight and blew everyone away..." - E! ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION It will continue its streak of sparking imaginations when its production of Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey hits the Partridge Hall stage on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m. Carney describes it as a story “celebrating difference.” Moon Mouse is the tale of a mouse named Marvin. His is the classic story of the nerd who crushes on the cheerleaders but gets picked on by jocks at school.
Their captivating combination of dance, puppetry and lighting earned Lightwire a standing ovation." - TV GUIDE
Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $25 | MEMBER: $20
Thu 9 Mar 6:30PM
YOUR TICKET TO
NIAGARA ARTS HERITAGE FESTIVALS
// Find your next seat at cNiagara.ca CENTRESTAGE 23
ELEPHANT & PIGGIE'S WE ARE IN A PLAY!
Get ready for a musical experience ripped from the pages of your favourite books. You'll be doing the "Flippy Floppy Floory" dance all night long! 24 CENTRESTAGE
Marvin chooses to rise above being bullied by heading to the moon in search of what every mouse wants: cheese. While there, he meets Moon Girl, who defies conventional beauty but affirms for Marvin there’s more to someone than meets the eye. Marvin returns to Earth with his haul of cheese, earning acceptance from those who tormented him, but he realizes he doesn’t want their approval after all. “The story is very clear,” Carney said. “It’s probably our favourite show, probably because it’s the newest. We’ve had a lot of positive response to it. Teachers say it gives them a platform to start discussing these issues…It’s wrapped up in something entertaining. It’s not shoved down people’s throats.” The production is one of four family-friendly performances coming to the FirstOntario PAC in early spring. Also on deck are Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play! (Partridge Hall, April 1); local favourites Carousel Players’ Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures (Robertson Theatre, April 22); and Immortal Chi: A Warrior’s Quest for Balance (Partridge Hall, April 25). In Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play, the Children’s Theatre Company makes Mo Willems’ popular storybook characters jump off the page and into a musical escapade to entertain young theatregoers. Carousel Players bring new material to the stage in an adventure based on a young boy’s imagination. Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures will also be performed as a sensory-friendly performance, which means the house lights will be up and space will be made for the audience to dance and sing along with the actors on stage. Immortal Chi is the stunning martial arts spectacle by Multimedia-Novalux, the company founded by Erick Villeneuve, who has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil and Peter Gabriel. The performance, which has been touring the world since 2013, features 15 Kung Fu artists and nine musicians on “a high-tech stage that pushes the boundaries of technology.” This adrenaline-packed Chinese spectacle fuses stunts, traditional weaponry, martial arts and jaw-dropping acrobatics, accompanied by an all-female percussion ensemble. It tells the heartfelt story of a martial arts master who loses his chi and finds it again, using only music and movement to convey its message to the audience.
Elephant & Piggie's We Are In A Play PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $25 MEMBERS: $20
Sat 1 Apr 1PM + 4PM 3.5” x 2.5” | Maximum Font Size: 30 pt
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Though every production comes with a different storyline, they all succeed at showing the potential of boundless imagination, along with something else. “With all the things, TV, movies, tweeting, blogging, Instagram and technology, our MO is to get kids excited about coming to theatre,” Carney said. - Tiffany Mayer EatingNiagara.com
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A WARRIOR’S QUEST FOR BALANCE
Visually sumptuous… A hypnotic cornucopia of contemporary culture and timeless tradition - UK THEATRE NETWORK
FAMILY FUN From the producer of Shaolin Warriors, Immortal Chi features a spectacular new fusion of Chinese martial arts and jaw-dropping acrobatics, accompanied by an all-female percussion ensemble. Immortal Chi weaves a compelling narrative around a Tai-Chi master and his ultimate challenge to regain his inner energy and life force.
Audiences can expect to see adrenalin-packed stunts, traditional weaponry, incredible feats of human endurance, innovative video projections and stunning costumes. In short, Immortal Chi is a feast for the senses that brings the ancient traditions and rich theatrical history of China to life with a rousing 21stcentury twist.
Immortal Chi A Warrior’s Quest for Balance PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $55 MEMBER: $47 CHILDREN (13 + UNDER): $25
Tue 25 Apr 7:30PM
A stage rammed full of adrenalin-packed stunts... If you want these elements wrapped around a story that brings a wider range of Chinese culture to the stage, this is without a doubt the show for you. - MARTIAL ARTS ILLUSTRATED
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FIRSTONTARIO PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE PRESENTS
ROOTS& BOOTS Music Series
TERRI CLARK 23 MARCH
TERRA LIGHTFOOT & DONOVAN WOODS 24 MARCH
TERRI CLARK with special guest Jessica mitchell
GO FOR IT ROOTS & BOOTS MUSIC
If there's one piece of advice that stands out from the time she was trying to make it as a country artist it was “go for it.” Specifically, the word "go" referred to Clark packing her bags and heading to the mecca of American country music, Nashville, Tennessee. The 18-year-old from Alberta had just finished high school. On the advice of fellow musicians, she made the leap and "reached for the big brass ring." It wasn't a decision she made lightly. "It was scary," she said, explaining she didn't know anyone, didn't have a green card and was 2,300 miles from home in a city with loads of competition. "I was scared but also very excited for the future," she said. With more than a dozen top-10 singles and five Canadian Country Music Association female vocalist of the year awards, it's safe to say the gamble paid off. And while the rousing success she's enjoyed is far from guaranteed, Clark said she would counsel anyone with similar dreams to make that leap. "You've got to go for it in life sometimes. You don't let fear take over, and see what happens."
drummer Tim Horsley and fiddler Amberly Rosen.
from her new album, in part because it's not nearly ready yet.
Speaking to CentreStage, Clark describes the latter as "sunshine on a stick." Rosen, she said, is one of those performers, who's just happy to be nominated. "She doesn't stop smiling. She's just so happy." She said when you're playing, there's an energy exchange between you and the audience, but there's a similar exchange between you and the band.
Clark is still writing songs for the album and prefers to have them recorded before having her band perform them live. Besides, she said, that's not what the fans will be expecting.
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"If you love who you're on stage with, you're going to be happy no matter where you are," she said.
Clark said that she's "very, very fortunate" to have a large body of work, and a large number of hits to from – enough that she can easily fordraw HOT TICKET members! fill a 75- to 90-minute show with hits the audience knows and enjoys. "As a fan, that's what I go to a show to hear," she said. "I'm all about customer approval. They want to hear what they know and what they can sing along to."
Relax. Breathe. Feel.
Clark's stop in St. Catharines is part of a small tour that touches down in just a handful of performing arts centres across Ontario and comes between two significant points in her career: last fall's highly successful and intimate Back to My Roots solo acoustic tour, which featured Q&As with the audience, and a new album set to be released next year.
-Mike Zettel NiagaraThisWeek.ca
Terri Clark with special guest Jessica Mitchell PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $65 MEMBERS: $55
Unite your mind, body and spirit.
When she takes to the stage on March 23, with opening act Jessica Mitchell, who hails from London Ontario, Clark will not be performing
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Clark will be bringing her extensive catalogue of number-one hits and her stellar band to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on March 23. She'll also be bringing a band with whom she has a close relationship, including bassist Clay Krasner and lead guitarist Chris Cottros and who have played with her for six and seven years respectively. Joining them are relative newcomers,
Terra Lightfoot & Donovan Woods
TWO RISING STARS, ONE NIGHT ONLY ROOTS & BOOTS MUSIC After receiving ample critical acclaim, though less commercial success, with the collective Dinner Belles, Hamilton's Terra Lightfoot was suddenly thrust onto stages around the world over the last year and half as her sophomore LP, Every Time My Mind Runs Wild, marked her arrival as a premier songwriter and voice in Canadian roots music. Likewise, 2016 was a breakout year for Donovan Woods. After three wellreceived LPs, the Sarnia native signed a major label deal and saw his fourth album, Hard Settle, Ain't Troubled, enter the mainstream and earn a nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize. That honour was followed this year with a “lifelong dream” to be nominated for the JUNO Songwriter of the Year award alongside the likes of Gord Downie and Leonard Cohen. On March 24, music fans in Niagara will have a rare opportunity to see these two rising stars of the Canadian music scene together in a one-time performance.
Terra Lightfoot with Donovan Woods PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $30 MEMBERS: $25
Fri 24 Mar 7:30PM HOT TICKET MEMBERS BRING FRIENDS FOR FREE! 34 CENTRESTAGE
In writing and recording Every Time My Mind Runs Wild, Lightfoot pushed her songwriting, guitar, and vocal limits, crafting soulful tunes like “All Alone,” “Lily’s Fair,” and “Emerald Eyes,” which transcend the genres of folk, rock and roll, blues, and soul. As the Toronto Star pop music critic Ben Rayner said when he featured Lightfoot in his Your New Favourite Thing column, the album is “a simultaneously tough and tender assertion of Lightfoot’s star-worthy prowess as a singer, songwriter and guitarist.” “My life is pretty boring, ultimately,” laughs Lightfoot while speaking with CentreStage, “so I like to write about my friends, or I’ve started writing about situations that may or may not have happened. I love fiction, and so it’s a little bit of both, but I’d say there is a lot of me in every song, just like every songwriter.”
As fan interest grew, so too did Lightfoot’s touring schedule in 2016. Having rarely played outside of Canada previously, she and her band went far and wide, playing more shows than ever in the U.S., Britain, and across Europe. “I’ve learned about playing a show, to be quite honest,” says Lightfoot. “I mean, until this record came out, I didn’t feel as confident on the stage. You get to different levels in your progression as a musician and a performer and I’m definitely at a different level now than I was when the album came out.” While Lightfoot has spent some time in Nashville, Woods has made himself a fixture of that city, earning praise in a competitive market for his songwriting abilities. A number of country music stars, including Tim McGraw, have recorded his songs, but now Woods is making a name for himself as a songwriter and performer. “In the country world, it used to be pretty stringent that songwriters wrote and artists sang,” he says. “It just seemed like that part of the world is fading out a little bit, so I think I caught the tail end of it and think I'm lucky because I don't know if it's going to exist for much longer.” Woods fans are lucky, too, as melancholic folk songs like his often carry more resonance when performed by the writer. Rooted in the folk tradition, and sometime labelled “alt-country,” Woods spins contemplative tales that are beautifully sung in his slightly raspy voice. He has grown a loyal live following as much for his songs as his hilarious and charming stories between songs. - Michael Raine CanadianMusicianRadio.com
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Sunday May 7th 2017 at 2pm
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2017-01-27 1:23 PM
KAHA:WI DANCE THEATRE One of Canadaâ€™s leading contemporary dance companies
A heartfelt journey through war, death and grief, but always with dignified ceremony." - THE GLOBE AND MAIL
DANCER SANTEE SMITH HONOURS ONKWEHON:WEN WARRIORS IN THE WAR OF 1812 DANCE Kaha:wi Dance Theatre presents The Honouring, a multi-disciplinary performance about the role of Onkwehon:wen warriors during The War of 1812, at The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in on March 31. “I'm always creating work for Kaha:wi that has strong Indigenous narratives and female counter narratives,” said Kaha:wi Artistic Director Santee Smith, who is of Onkwehon:wen decent from Six Nations. “They are narratives that our population don’t get to hear or people don't necessarily learn in school as a part of the education system.” Based out of Toronto, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre was founded by Smith in 2001. Since its inception, the company has gone on to become an internationally renowned success for its creative and innovative focus on expressions that honour and celebrates Indigenous cultures. The Honouring was originally commissioned in the summer of 2013 by the City of Toronto Museum Services, when Canada was celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. After much debate and extensive research, Smith decided to submit a creation told from an Onkwehon:wen perspective on the role that First Nations warriors played during the war, which was, and still is, a little-known aspect of the War of 1812. “It specifically rang home with me because I have ancestors who fought in that war,” she said. “John Smoke Johnson was a relation of mine.” During the War of 1812, Johnson became an influential Mohawk leader among First Nations and British communities in Ontario. A part of her research involved reaching out to historians and
cultural advisors within the Onkwehon:wen community, including Rick Hill, Mike Mitchell and Paula Whitlow. The history is rather complex. Smith said she chose to focus on the battles that happened along the Niagara Escarpment, close to where her community is located and close to St. Catharines. When the war started, originally there was a pact of neutrality among the Onkwehon:wen, who decided not to partake in the war until numerous negotiations saw Smith’s ancestral community side with the British. She said, “they didn’t fight because they enjoyed warmongering, but because they were fighting for the land, trying to maintain their culture, and trying to position themselves as nation to nation with the hopes of bettering their situation for the next generation.” Yet, when they returned home after the war, their efforts were not acknowledged by the British and their land reduced to the confines of the Six Nations reservation. The Honouring will begin its Ontario tour on March 14 in Brantford, with stops in Kingston, Dryden, Sudbury, Richmond Hill and St. Catharines. Smith hopes that The Honouring will educate audiences on the motives and lives of the Onkwehon:wen and other First Nations warriors during the War of 1812. “It's important to tell because it's part of the Onkwehon:wen past,” she said. “A part of telling this story is recognizing our nationhood and that all of our treaties and all of our negotiations have always been on a nation-tonation basis.” - Erica Commanda Muskrat Magazine
Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre
PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $42 MEMBER: $36 CHILDREN (13 + UNDER): $25
Fri 31 Mar 7:30PM HOT TICKET MEMBERS BRING FRIENDS FOR FREE! CENTRESTAGE 39
GEORDIE PRODUCTIONS THEATRE Fatima used to hang out with her hijab-wearing friends, dubbing themselves the "jabbers," but when a racist incident happens at her school, Fatima's parents panic and force her to move to a new school. At the new school, Jorah is a troubled and mysterious boy who is intrigued by the new Muslim girl after they keep bumping into each other at the guidance counsellor, Mr. E's, office. Jabber sets itself up as a play for teens, but while it uses its framing device and teen-speak tone to connect with its intended audience, its unraveling complexity, which slowly reveals the two main characters' individual emotions, problems, and thoughts, and the many issues teens deal with today, manages to draw the audience in. Everything is not as it first seems, and Youssef's play is wonderfully written in its examination of the assumptions and stereotypes we make, as well as the isolation and connections Canadian teens live through today, despite our social media-connected world. While there are some moments that might not make sense, this will come into play later in the plot, showing the realities of our human flaws. This is not just some perfect moral tale told all neat and tidily.
Jabber by Marcus Youssef PARTRIDGE HALL ALL TICKETS: $20
Wed 5 Apr 7PM RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 12+
HOT TICKET MEMBERS BRING FRIENDS FOR FREE! 40 CENTRESTAGE
Amanda Kellock's direction, and a simple set (by James Lavoie) with some frames, chairs and a screen, is used to maximum effect, with a cast of three gamely presenting this
as actors playing out a scenario. Mariana Tayler is wonderful and believable as Fatima, the Muslim Canadian teen who isn't as shy as people assume her to be. Tayler's Fatima has a great chemistry with Ian Geldart's Jorah, who gives the misunderstood boy wonderful layers beneath the hooded "loner." David Skylar fills in the gap as Mr. E, as well as Melissa, another teen girl that goes to the school. Even Skylar's Mr. E, while attempting to be a calm counsellor, still has his own preconceived notions and imperfections. While the effective framing device still does first hint that the play might talk down to its teen audience, much like the subject matter, it uses it to revert your initial thoughts and twists and reels you into the story of these two teens' lives.
Jabber examines assumptions based on appearances within the school world â€“ where a diverse student population must learn to negotiate cross-cultural respect and mutual understanding. Fatima, Jorah, even Mr. E, and Melissa, are fascinating characters that are far more complex than first-impressions would indicate, and Marcus Youssef has written a wonderfully complex tale that doesn't feel like a lesson plan. - Vance Originally published on Tapeworthy.Blogspot.com
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CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE NOTE FOR NOTE, CUT FOR CUT PERFORMING HENDRIX TAKES EXPERIENCE MUSIC It’s one thing to be asked to walk in the footsteps of a god. It’s quite another to be asked to recreate his masterwork. When the deity in question is the immortal Jimi Hendrix, you can see the challenge a guitarist must face when asked to play note-perfect renditions of the songs on Are You Experienced for Classic Albums Live. “When I started playing the guitar at age 12, it was because of the song “Little Wing,” which I heard randomly,” explains Clifton David Broadbridge, the 38-year-old guitarist tasked with emulating Hendrix on stage. “It absolutely resonated with me - the colours, the imagination. I’ve been chasing my tail trying to understand the music of Jimi Hendrix ever since. Every time I listen to it I hear something new or learn something new.” Widely regarded as one of the greatest debut albums in music
history, Are You Experienced introduced the world to Hendrix’s unique guitar prowess and his incomparable fusion of rock, blues and jazz amplified for maximum impact. Classic songs such as “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” “Foxy Lady,” “Manic Depression” and the seminal title track established Hendrix as the bar with which all future guitarists would be measured. To help him achieve a level of authenticity that fans would demand of his guitar playing, Broadbridge turned to his recording studio partner Edwin H. “Eddie” Kramer, who served as recording engineer on the four albums Hendrix released before his untimely death in 1970. “Through Eddie I’ve developed a far greater understanding of the music, how they recorded it, how they mixed it, Jimi’s headspace through the different albums, what was going on through the recording of different songs. It was unlike anything else. That’s the one thing you have to keep in mind when performing this music, it’s just an insane hybrid of influences all thrown in.”
If anyone can pull off the impossible task, it’s Broadbridge. While Broadbridge has mastered his role as guitarist, don’t come to the show expecting to see Hendrix incarnate. As with all Classic Albums Live performances, Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced is about recreating the music not the look of the band they’re honouring. “With Classic Albums Live we dress in black. I don’t look anything like Jimi Hendrix so that’s probably a good thing. We just focus on having the audience lose themselves in the layers of the music. We’re replicating studio albums as opposed to trying to be a tribute band.”
In addition to the disparate musical influences he has to incorporate into his performance, Broadbridge has to recreate the unconventional playing style of Hendrix, an ambidextrous player who often played his guitar upside down, behind his back or with his teeth.
Hearing is believing.
How does one recreate the wild spontaneity and untameable sounds of Hendrix with the meticulous precision that Classic Albums Live has built their reputation on?
Jimi Hendrix Are you Experienced
“Sometimes when he’s playing, he’s picking the notes up near the neck 42 CENTRESTAGE
of the guitar, sometimes he’s picking notes down near the bridge to get a certain tone. He wrote songs with his right hand, played guitar with his left. He had both hemispheres of his brain going on in a very peculiar way. When I listen to some of the things he did I scratch my head. It’s almost like I’m starting the guitar at ground zero.”
- David DeRocco GoBeWeekly.com
Classic Albums Live PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $59 MEMBERS: $49
Tue 18 Apr 7:30PM
JiMI hendrix Are You Experienced
The Pursuit of Happiness THE HISTORY OF CANADIAN INDIE ROCK IN ONE GROUP MUSIC The biographies of the members of the TransCanada Highwaymen tell the story of a defining era in Canadian indie music. The band, also known by the more straightforward tag of Berg, Murphy, Northey & Page, is undoubtedly one of the greatest collections of indie rock musicians ever assembled in this country. And though they shy away from the term “supergroup,” it’s hard not to refer to them as such. Just think about this: in the 10-year span from 1993 and 2002, there is not a year where a member of this band wasn’t nominated for a JUNO Award. For Canadian music fans aged 30 to 45, the songs of Sloan (Chris Murphy), Odds (Craig Northey), The Pursuit of Happiness (Moe Berg), and Barenaked Ladies (Steven Page) were ubiquitous. While the four members of the band crossed paths over the years in the tight-knit Canadian indie music scene, it was actually a mutual friend, theatre director Jim Millan, who planted the idea for them to play together live, sharing their songs and stories from the stage. As such, this isn’t the kind of supergroup that ignores the members’ respective discographies. In fact, 44 CENTRESTAGE
for the upcoming TransCanada Highwaymen shows, there are no new songs. These concerts are all about pleasing the crowds and having fun, with each guy bringing his four or five most popular tunes. “Those guys are all entertainers in terms of the, ‘are you an artist or are you an entertainer?’ But I also think everybody in the Highwaymen group has their artist side,” says Murphy. “I think that when the four of us get together, everybody is willing to engage the audience and engage each other.” While seeing these musicians together at once, sharing songs everyone knows, like Sloan’s “The Rest of My Life” or Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week,” has a high novelty factor for the audience, it’s a pretty novel experience for the musicians themselves.
Four iconic Canadian frontmen join forces to perform their hit songs and share road stories. “I’m just hanging out with my friends and getting to play [Pursuit of Happiness’] ‘I’m an Adult Now’ with the guy who wrote it and having Moe Berg sing the harmony on [Sloan’s] ‘Underwhelmed,’ it’s all high novelty for me,” says Murphy. “And I think as a sort of
northey page package thing, I think it’s a pretty high-quality show and it’s a super fun hang for me.”
probably be up for whatever. I don’t know exactly how that’s going to go, but in the process it’s super fun.”
With both Sloan and his other group, Tuns, still active, Murphy is happy to see the TransCanada Highwaymen keep it easy and just have fun playing the hits. That said, “I think there could be a next step to it where it’s like, ‘you know what? Let’s put our heads together and write some songs’ or ‘let’s get together and record some other covers,’” he says. “But for now, I’m also trying to keep Sloan on the tracks, too. Page has got his own thing, Craig is doing the Odds still, they continue to make music, and Moe Berg is the most dormant. I think he would
- Michael Raine CanadianMusicianRadio.ca
Berg, Murphy, Northey & Page PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $62 MEMBERS: $53
Wed 19 Apr 7:30PM
Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures by Mark Crawford Playwright Mark Crawford in conversation with Director Jessica Carmichael THEATRE With his plays The Birds and Bees, Bed and Breakfast, and Stag and Doe, Ontario playwright Mark Crawford weighs in on such topics as small-town life, weddings, science, agriculture, and love. In his new play, Boys, Girls, And Other Mythological Creatures, he explores gender, transformation and magic. Director Jessica Carmichael sat down with Mark to talk about his latest work and his drive as a playwright. JC: I know the simple answer of what draws me to your script: a person’s right to ask for the space to be who they fully are. What brought on the idea of writing this story? MC: In my time working with Theatre for Young Audience (TYA) companies as an actor, I would sometimes encounter a young person who seemed to be expressing their gender differently from the other kids around them. At the same time, I started to see more articles in mainstream media about kids and gender identity. I thought these would be fascinating ideas to explore with our youngest audiences while they’re still at their most open and curious. JC: Why do you think this play is important to share now? 46 CENTRESTAGE
MC: Despite a lot of news to the contrary, I believe most people truly do want a more open, understanding, compassionate, caring, empathetic society. Especially for our kids. We want them to be the best version of themselves they can be. This play focuses on the hope of becoming our true selves and our ability to transform into kinder people. JC: I’ve been preparing for rehearsals reading Ontario’s updated Health and Physical Education Curriculums, which include the new topic “Gender Expression.” There has been some interesting backlash on introducing this important topic into public schools. MC: Here’s something I think about a lot: just because we’re now finally talking about gender nonconformity in kids doesn’t mean this is a new phenomenon. There will be boys in every single school we visit who sometimes wish they were girls. There are girls who wish they were boys. There are girls who like wearing dresses and girls who hate it. Boys who like traditional "boy stuff" and boys who don’t want anything to do with it. I’m really excited to talk about that. I hope this gets young people
thinking about being their true selves whatever that may be and allowing and supporting other people to be their true selves. And I hope any grown-ups who are worried about what we’re doing just come to see the play. It’s going to be a really fun time. There's a really cool dragon in it! JC: You and I have talked a lot about the kind of theatre we want to make. I come into theatre firstly wanting to think and feel. To me there is no difference between that need for adult or young people’s theatre. MC: Yeah, I don't really see a huge difference between them. It's like you say: when I see a play, I want to think and feel. I want a good story, I want to have fun, and I want to care about what's happening on stage. JC: What inspires you as a playwright? MC: I draw inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. I'm always inspired by great plays I see or read, by great movies or TV, by bad movies or bad TV, by good books, great visual art, by nature, by my friends and family, by the news, and I’m always inspired by audiences. I think my main motivation comes from a desire to have an exciting conversation between artist and audience. For this play, I draw inspiration from the
young people in my life, as well as those gender non-conforming kids I've encountered on school tours. And this play is hugely inspired by classic fairy tales. JC: Describe your ideal writing environment. MC: Funny you should ask! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. In my new house in Stratford, I will have an office for the first time in my life! It has a good window for staring out of, a bit of floor for pacing, a spot for my desk, and if I can squeeze it in, a couch to stretch out and think. JC: I always love when writers in interviews take the Proust Questionnaire. Will you do us the pleasure of answering a few such questions? MC: Sure thing! JC: Which words or phrases do you most overuse? MC: A few that might not be appropriate for publication... As a playwright, I've been accused of overusing exclamation points! Oh well!!!!!
JC: Which talent would you most like to have? MC: I have a very long list. But lately, I've been thinking about how cool it would be to speak multiple languages. I'm going to do a play in Montreal in the spring and my high school French is feeling pretty rusty...
HISTORY HISTORY MATTERS MATTERS M JC: What is your favourite journey? MC: Do you mean physical journey? I don’t know… But my favourite journey in plays is the classic comedy structure: a journey from chaos and isolation to unity and togetherness.
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Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures by Mark Crawford ROBERTSON THEATRE ALL TICKETS: $15
Sat 22 Apr 11AM + 2PM RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 6+
2016 –2017 SEASON
THE FARTHEST SHORE A CELTIC CELEBRATION Saturday, March 4
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Sponsored bythe box office at: For tickets, contact (905) / firstontariopac.ca Peter688-0722 & Janet Partridge
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nanook of the north
COLONIZE THIS! INUIT THROAT SINGER TANYA TAGAQ TAMES ‘NANOOK’
MUSIC Wearing a shiny gold tunic and hand-crafted silver-etched headpiece with bear claw accents and sealskin mukluks, Inuit-style throat singer Tanya Tagaq took the stage at Vancouver's York Theatre on January 31 as one-third of a trio. Their mission: contextualize Nanook of the North, a silent film that is both a cinematic landmark and a document of the era's patronizing colonialist mentality. Cambridge Bay-born and Brandon, Manitoba-based singer Tagaq collaborates with her longtime musical partner, violinist Jesse Zubot, and percussionist Jean Martin, the trio's hardest-working member, who punches in electronic cues from the foundation of the soundscape while keeping time and responding to the immediate 48 CENTRESTAGE
collaboration taking place on stage. Together, they perform a live, inspired and informed musical soundscape presented simultaneously with the 1922 Robert Flaherty silent film.
The contrast is obvious. The film is a white man’s exploitative look at the “exotic” and harrowing lifestyle of one Inuit family on the brink of contact. The singer is living proof of the intersecting of cultures resulting in a dynamic, self-empowered display of Inuit ethereal reality with both Nanook and Tagaq reaching into their unnamed spirit domains that help(ed) both to survive; one literally, the other culturally. Tanya confronts the ridiculous representation of her people through her expressive vocables. A gramophone is introduced to the Inuit family in the film as a whimsical experiment to “see what would occur.” An Inuit, surviving off the land, combating life-threatening elements on a daily basis would have no need for a gramophone or records. However the filmmaker thought it “funny” to have Nanook, his children and hard-working pets interact with this object, directing
them to bite the record in a cavemanlike fashion. Tagaq found this offensive when she viewed the film as a child and exacts her revenge delivering a gravely, equally offensive reply, repeating the word Colonizer— Colonizer—Colonizer when the gramophone makes its appearance. She celebrates the beauty of the people and the land she so loves too. Tagaq has been quoted as saying “Inuit babies are so cute, you just want to eat them.” With her extraordinary vocal range, Tagaq channels adorable baby sounds when Nanook’s offspring pokes out from mommy’s hood and intuits the whimpering of puppies. Conversely, she growls in rhythmic spurts
Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies.” - THE WIRE (UK)
portraying the alpha dog we see on screen. The audience’s gaze shifts from screen to singer, to musicians, back to the screen. Tanya is an animated performer and lends satisfaction to the note “people listen with their ears as well as their eyes.” In this performance she is no less animated, but a bit more stationary as the trio receives musical cues from the film displayed on monitors at their feet. In this unique pairing of live performance and film, we are privy to gifts of the extraordinary. Through instinct and practice, Nanook locates a sea lion beneath the ice and with the help of his extended family, wins a tug of war with the creature to feed his family. Tagaq employs similar instincts pulling the audience through a performance experience like no other. She continues to push the boundaries of both vocal performance and cultural traditions to create new territory. She has found a fearlessness inside the reinvention of Inuit throat singing that liberates her as an artist and thrills us, as an audience.
Calling Tanya Tagaq an Inuit throat singer is like calling Yo-Yo Ma a cello player. Sure, it’s accurate, but it’s not the whole of what he does. Like Ma, Tagaq is the best of what she does — innovative, inspired.” - THE NATIONAL POST, CANADA
Tanya Tagaq Nanook of the North PARTRIDGE HALL REGULAR: $35 MEMBERS: $30
Thu 4 May 7:30PM
Take that, Robert Flaherty. - Janet Rogers Originally published by Indian Country Media Network
FAMILY HEARING CLINIC Trust your hearing to an audiologist
Mike Pihura, B.S., M.S., AuD Doctor of Audiology Owner 33 Lakeshore Rd. (at Lake St.) St. Catharines
Call for appointment
How can you enjoy the performance… if you can’t hear it ? CENTRESTAGE 49
FESTIVAL IN THE SOIL ARTS FESTIVAL 600 ARTISTS, 15 VENUES, 3 DAYS, 1 REALLY GOOD TIME
In the Soil Arts Festival is a multidisciplinary explosion of creativity. Celebrating nine years, the festival has grown in both scope and impact as the premier showcase for the arts in Niagara. In the Soil Arts Festival encourages audiences to discover new artists and art forms while promising a wide variety of offerings to choose from: Music - Over 50 bands and solo artists will grace our venues' stages to share rock, jazz, pop, experimental, hip-hop and more
Theatre - Over a dozen new plays, collaborative creations and Suitcase in Pointâ€™s signature comedy show to Robertson Theatre and venues throughout downtown Poetry - A poetry slam, readings and special poetry performances created just for the festival. One-time audience experiences Streets filled with installations and interactive art opportunities and expanded RHIZOMES choose-yourown-art-adventure Family - Free interactive activities for families at our outdoor hub and in partnership with the St. Catharines Library In the Soil Arts Festival is brought to you by Suitcase in Point Theatre Company and festival partners with an aim to bring Niagara artists from a range of disciplines
DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES together to provide unique audience experiences. The festival nurtures the creation of new work, encourages innovation, offers learning opportunities for youth and provides intimate and uncommon platforms for audiences to experience artwork. Last year over 500 artists and 6000 attendees came together to celebrate the arts of Niagara and beyond. This year, In the Soil Arts Festival is bringing another rich and fruitful harvest to the St. Catharines downtown core to help grow a Niagara that is self-determining and culturally distinct.
Early Bird All access festival pass (until 1 APR) $35
All access festival pass (after 1 APR) $50
range from free to $20 per ticket Get all the dirt at
5 – 28 MAY Canada’s oldest continually running Heritage Festival Celebrate a beautiful blend of cultures and people that make Canada a nation to be envied. The Niagara Folk Arts is comprised of over 30 ethno-cultural groups, community organizations and individual members. Throughout the year, 30 staff and over 100 volunteers deliver settlement assistance to over 2,000 newcomers from all over the world at locations throughout the Niagara region. Every May, this work is celebrated as our welcoming community opens its doors to showcase the ethnic diversity of our region. During the festival the multicultural community opens its doors and its hearts and welcomes you to experience the beauty and uniqueness of their cultures,
traditions, art, music and food. There are dances, exhibitions, live entertainment and more. From 5-28 May, local ethno-cultural groups will open their doors to the public for 20+ open houses featuring food, music, dance and entertainment from all over the world. Thousands of citizens enjoy delicious meals including Greek, Middle Eastern, Polish, Indian, Ukrainian and Filipino cuisine.
THE WORLD IS AT YOUR DOOR STEP, COME OUT AND EMBRACE IT! At our new home at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines, celebrate Canada’s heritage with the One World Stage artist presentations of music and dance happening inside Robertson Theatre, stroll through the Marketplace for cultural crafts and art pieces, participate in hands-on cultural activities in the Pen Centre Family Area and enjoy cultural foods by our food truck vendors. Free admission and family friendly.
FOLK-ARTS.CA CENTRESTAGE 51
21 JUNE 18 AUGUST
IN THE HEART OF NIAGARA!
The Foster Festival is the only Canadian theatre festival to celebrate the work of a living playwright. Norm Foster is the most produced playwright in Canadian history, with his nearly 60 plays receiving an average of 150 productions each year across Canada and internationally. The Foster Festival and FirstOntario PAC applaud the recent appointment of Canadian playwright Norm Foster as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour in the nation. The first production of 2017 will be the world premiere of Screwball Comedy, followed by Foster's Old Love and finally the world premiere of Lunenburg. New this year, The Festival will offer reserved seating and subscriptions for the entire season as well as a Pick 2 Pack, where theatregoers can select tickets to two of the three shows at a discounted price. Tickets for The Foster Festival on sale now. To learn more, please visit
FOSTERFESTIVAL.COM 52 CENTRESTAGE
I'm the luckiest guy in the world and I happen to live in the greatest country in the world. To be recognized by my country for my work is something very special to me. I have a job I love and I get to work with the most fun, creative people on earth. - NORM FOSTER,
LAUGH ALL SUMMER LONG WITH THE NORM FOSTER THEATRE FESTIVAL
on his recent Order of Canada
A TWO-DAY MULTI-VENUE EVENT
SAT 3 - SUN 4 JUNE
SAT 3 JUNE Niagara VegFest is an annual event that takes place in downtown St. Catharines and throughout Niagara Wine Country. The festival celebrates the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond.
• VegFest in the Vineyard. Four wineries with vegan wine and food pairings throughout the Niagara region. • Vegan dining. • Veg-themed film at the Film House (to be determined).
• 91 King Street (Market Square), St. Catharines 11AM – 6PM for the full vegan festival.
SUN 4 JUNE
28 JULY - 30 JULY
*with special activities throughout the spring and summer
The 4th annual TD Niagara Jazz Festival is one of the region's premier festivals dedicated to celebrating the art form of jazz in the Niagara region. The festival inspires, educates and develops future jazz audiences for generations to come while combining live jazz with a Niagara experience – food, wine, culture and natural wonders.
vocals and piano. A great way to kick off the festival weekend! Festival passes and individual tickets available at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office.
Join them as they kick of the 2017 TD Niagara Jazz Festival in Partridge Hall on Friday, July 28. The Adrean Farrugia Trio opens the show with the 'Keith Jarrett Songbook' followed by a world premiere performance of Chops n' Soul featuring Joel Parisien on CENTRESTAGE 53
AUDIENCE POLICIES • • • • •
Every person, regardless of age, must hold a valid ticket. Unauthorized photography or any recordings of sound or video are prohibited. Please remember to turn off cellphones and digital devices. Fragrance-Free Zone – Please help us accommodate those who are chemically sensitive to fragrances and other scented products. Thank you for not wearing perfume, aftershave or any scented hand/hair/body products. The Algoma Central Lobby and bar open one hour before show time. Arrive early to get the best parking spots, avoid lineups and enjoy a pre-show beverage in the lobby. At most performances, beverages are permitted inside the theatre. Drink transfer stations (disposable cups) are set up outside the theatre entrance. We do not allow glass into the theatres.
ACCESSIBILITY NOTES • • • • • •
Drop-off points are available in front of the Box Office Entrance on St. Paul Street as well as the front doors closest to Partridge Hall along Carlisle Street. We recommend the multi-level covered Garden Park / Carlisle Street Garage with 595 spaces and 26 accessible spaces. All theatres are accessible for seating – please notify the Box Office when you book your tickets. We will have the seats removed to make room for your wheelchair. All washrooms are accessible and located near each of the four theatres. We have two elevators with access to all levels of the building. Handrails in the theatres are there to assist patrons with navigating the aisles and steps. We have a wheelchair on site and Front of House Staff are available to assist our guests. Booster seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The new Listen Technologies hearing-assistance system is available in all theatres. Please reserve any of these in advance via the Box Office or ask the Front of House Staff when you arrive.
HEARING ASSISTING DEVICES Are available upon request 54 CENTRESTAGE
THE ART OF GIVING "I’m so proud of the community for standing behind this unique and ambitious project. I’d like to thank our generous donors for their vision, partnerships and commitment to enriching lives through the arts.”
- Peter Partridge, Campaign Chair
FirstOntario Credit Union FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
Peter and Janet Partridge Partridge Hall
John and Harriet Lehnen
Algoma Central Lobby
Joy Wiliams Lobby
John and June Mann
RBC Innovation Studio
Linda and Tom Goldspink
Algoma Central Corporation
Mann Raceway Plaza
Christopher J. Slater In memory of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Slater Lobby Elevator
The Cairns Family Cairns Recital Hall
Joe and Anita Robertson Robertson Theatre
The Film House
Marian Gordon-Kendall Recital Lobby
John Muratori Family
Virgina Atkin and Keith Ambachtsheer
Art and Val Fleming
John Muratori Family Box Office
Virgina Atkin and Keith Ambachtsheer Green Room
The Brinkman Boardroam
Art and Val Fleming Staircase
Nicholson Dressing Room
The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is very grateful to our COMMUNITY CAMPAIGN DONORS for making us a philanthropic priority with gifts of $10,000 and above. We would like to acknowledge The City of St. Catharines Mayor, City Council and staff (past and present); Brock University President, faculty and staff; Infrastructure Canada and the Province of Ontario for project funding support; The Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Arts Presentation Fund); the Ontario Arts Council (Ontario Dances Program & Theatre Connects Program); Niagara Region (Niagara Investment in Culture) for their support of our season programming; the Niagara Centre for the Arts Task Force, PAC User Group and the citizens of St. Catharines-Niagara.
2016/17 HOT TICKET SPONSORS
This is the third issue of CentreStage, the in-house program for the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and magazine that is distributed ac...