Win a Pair of Tickets to Dixonlicious!

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Last year, I attended Dixonlicious, a wonderful event hosted by Dixon Hall to raise funds for food programs in Toronto. Dixonlicious returns this year on Thursday, March 1 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East) and the culinary event of the season promises to be a night to remember! It offers supporters a smorgasbord of delicious food and drinks from top Toronto restaurants and chefs including: The Food DudesBiff's BistroDaniel et DanielHawthorne Food & DrinkSkin + BonesLost Craft BrewingKarlo Estates WinerySoCIAL Lite VodkaWalter Craft Caesar and much more! There will also be musical entertainment and a silent auction for you to bid on big ticket-items and experiences. Attending Dixonlicious is a great opportunity to give back to the community, while enjoying a wonderful night filled with excellent food and company. You will help Dixon Hall to deliver 25,000 meals to those in need. Tickets are $90 and and youth under 30 can obtain tickets for $70. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: dixonhall.org/dixonlicious. Use promotional code GIVEBACK for a 15% discount on ticket prices. 

This year, I am volunteering with Dixon Hall and am giving away two pairs of tickets to two lucky readers valued at $180.00 per pair. There are many ways to enter (see below).  Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @thecharmingmodernist for even more ways to enter. Good luck!   
Open to Canadian residents only, 19+. 
Contest ends Monday, February 26. The winner will be contacted directly and I will also announce the winners' names on social media. 

Bang Bang - Theatre Review

Bang Bang - Theatre Review

Bang! Pow! Crash! Like a well-choreographed fight scene in a high-budget superhero movie, Kat Sandler’s play Bang Bang swirls with tension that builds and builds into sudden, startling violence - a slap, a slammed door, a punch to the jaw. It’s a vigorous, muscular play that skillfully plots out a collision course between people who all, with the best of intentions, believe that their claim to tell a story is the right and proper one, and if the play asks more questions than it can answer, well, I’m not sure that it’s the purpose of this play to provide answers. Bang Bang is unsettling, intense, and very, very funny. It will carry you along and if, at the end, you are still perplexed as to what it all means, then the playwright has done her job. When I asked her what she hoped audiences will take away from this production, Sandler told me that what she always wants is for people to have to think about something, to have their views challenged while at the same time being thoroughly entertained. It’s a challenging push-and-pull to achieve, but I think Bang Bang nails it. 

Bang Bang begins with Lila (Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah), ground zero of The Incident. Everything ripples outward from her actions. A rookie cop, the Black daughter of another Black police officer, Lila shoots an unarmed Black teenager after mistaking him for a felon with a gun. The teen survives and makes a full recovery (such a refreshing change from the fictional bodies that pile up in over-earnest misery porn), but there’s an uproar that leads to Lila’s public shaming and eventual resignation from the force. When the play opens she is mired in a deep depression, forgoing meals for beer and cigarettes and sloppily attired in baggy sweats. She is in sharp contrast to her mother Karen (veteran Karen Robinson, whose gravitas serves her well here). Karen, a psychologist, is immaculately dressed and her tastefully decorated home becomes the unlikely battleground of the play. 

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A Christmas Carol

photo by Racheal maccaig

photo by Racheal maccaig

It's not too late to see Ross Petty's rip-roaring, funny family musical, A Christmas Carol! Audience members, young and old, will delight in this modern and hilarious take on a classic story. What's more is that on January 4th and 5th, you can be part of a live audience for a television broadcast on the CBC and Family Channel. Don't miss your chance to be a part of it!

 A Christmas Carol is playing at the Elgin Theatre until January 5, 2018. Ticket prices range from $27-$99 Adults • $27-$69 Children under 12 • $256 Family 4-Pack. Tickets can be purchased online at rosspetty.com/tickets, by phone at 1.855.599.9090 or in person at the Elgin Theatre Box Office, 189 Yonge Street.

 

 

The Illusionists: Live from Broadway - Theatre Review

The Illusionists: Live from Broadway - Theatre Review

Professional magic is serious business. 

Magic is a highly competitive field, with performers jealously guarding their techniques and participating in high-stakes competitions. There’s intense self-promotion and branding and a kind of swaggering machismo in this very male-dominated art form, and if I asked you - quick! - to name a modern magician/illusionist, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that the first person that came into your head was Criss Angel, better known for his broody, Goth-y persona than for sunshine and lollipops. 

It was a pleasant surprise to me, then, that The Illusionists: Live From Broadway was so much fun. Seven headliners give us a solid evening’s worth of pure entertainment, doing acts that have very different definitions of what “magic” is. The feeling that links them all, though, is amazement - a pure, exhilarating rush of OMG what did I just see? that far too many adults are missing in their lives. The audience was a mix of magic newbies and dedicated fans, but all of us participated in the same delightful suspension of disbelief.

As you approach the Princess of Wales Theatre, you’ll notice the abundance of promotional material for the show, mostly atmospheric pictures of seven men that could be Doctor Who (quirky suits, funky hair, guyliner,  and so many frock coats. Never let it be said that magic isn’t the most flamboyant of the stage arts). Once settled in your seat, though, you’ll find that many of the performers have a very warm and engaging stage presence. Darcy Oake, who goes by the stage name of The Grand Illusionist, has a very hard-rock aesthetic - leather, tattoos, driving electrical guitar solos - but in one of the most delightful moments of the show, he came down to the front row and made a card appear inside a bottle for an astounded ten-year-old. The glee he took in her obvious wonder made it clear that Oake is still a geeky kid from Winnipeg fascinated by his dad’s card tricks. (Then he made a motorbike appear out of literally nowhere, so perhaps the rock-star analogy is still a good fit for him.) 

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Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

You know those people who always have their holiday shopping done months ahead of time? Yeah…I’m not one of those people. I’m more of a “run to the mall on Dec 23” kind of girl. I would like to share some gift-giving ideas with you. These amazing products would make wonderful presents at any time of the year!

Caroline Néron
This Montreal-based fashion designer and offers a wide selection of stylish necklaces, rings, bracelets, wallets, handbags, earrings, watches and fragrances. Her line has something special for the fashionista in your life. Caroline Néron offers high quality but affordable products for women, men and even a new collection for tweens. This is a cool Canadian brand that has my support!  

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