In Stereo with Elliott Brood

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I am a proud member of newchoir, a rock choir comprised of 130 passionate singers in Toronto. We will be performing at Koerner Hall on May 25. In Stereo will mark my third concert with this exciting and lively choir and I hope you will get the chance to listen to us live. Dr. Robin Williams will be conducting us as we celebrate the music of some of the greatest harmonizers, including Queen, The Eagles, Simon and Garfunkel, Supertramp and many more! Memorizing 17 songs is no easy feat, but it has been an absolute joy to sing every week with my fellow choristers.

What’s more is that folk singers, Elliott Brood will be joining us as our special guests. I have had a wonderful time learning their music and rehearsing with these consummate professionals. I am looking forward to gracing the stage with them later this month. It’s going to be an unforgettable night! Won’t you join us?

newchoir will be performing at Koerner Hall (273 Bloor Street West) on Saturday, May 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $59 and can be purchased at: www.rcmusic.com/events-and-performances/newchoir-presents-in-stereo

Now Playing: Virgin

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Virgin is a one-woman show written and performed by Canadian artist Alyson Renaldo. The play chronicle’s a woman’s abrupt growth and maturity when she examines her relationship to God, sex, purity and love. In the brain equivalent of Groundhog Day, she continually concludes that her life is missing something, that is, until one strange moment changes everything.

We are invited to laugh and identify with the human experience of abundance. We relish the opportunity to explore the "problem of plenty" and imagine the many funny ways we would handle it. Virgin explores the conundrum of perceived lack. What do we do when we feel empty? How do we meet that challenge? And how funny are some of the solutions we devise to fill the void?

Virgin is directed by Alyson Renaldo and Chris DeCarlo, co-artistic director of Santa Monica Playhouse.

Virgin is playing at the Aki Studio Theatre (250-585 Dundas Street East Toronto, ON M5A 2B7) until April 14, 2019 with performances Tuesday through Sunday.

Tickets are $35.00 and can be purchased at tacheproductions.com or nativeearth.ca/akistudio/virgin/.

The Second City's She The People - Review

The Second City's She The People - Review

There’s a meme floating around the internet somewhere of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Branner, a character whose fury transforms him into the Incredible Hulk. “I’m always angry,” he says, world-weary, gazing over his shoulder. It’s a feeling a lot of people can relate to. We live in a world full of injustices, of systems that keep lot of us in a constant, simmering rage. And rage is not funny (with the possible exception of some adorable toddler tantrums.)

Or is it? The Second City is trying something new at its Mercer Street Theatre; comedy that’s pissed as hell and holds back no punches. It’s called She The People and it’s 100% written, directed, and performed by women. It talks about the glass ceiling, about giving birth, about abortion and mimosas for brunch. It doesn’t ignore the world we live in - it’s whatever the opposite of escapism is - and it may make you uncomfortable to be reminded that hey, there are a lot of people around us who are Hulk-level angry all the time as they make their way through a world that doesn’t seem to care. But this show is also funny and smart and observant as hell. It’s comedy that sees the people on the bottom and not just those calling the shots. It’s a pressure valve for all that rage. If you’re already mad, She The People has got your back. And if you’re not, you will have a great time as you learn something.

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The King and I - Theatre Review

The King and I - Theatre Review

Imagine yourself on a boat, pulling along the shore of Bangkok in 1862. You’re a windowed mother of a young son, about to embark on a new job – schoolteacher for the children of the King of Siam (currently known as Thailand). This is where the King and I begins its story; the titular “I” being the character of Anna Leonowens. 

The classic musical, written by the brilliant, multiple-award winning duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein, is, at its heart, a tale of clashing cultures. British born Anna has lived in the Eastern hemisphere most of her life, but only in countries under the British rule. Siam, much like its King, is still fiercely independent and lives by its own rules. Or rather, the rules of the King – a headstrong man who believes women are beneath him, and only exist to pleasure him and bear his children. When the equally headstrong Anna enters his life, he’s forced to reconsider this view.

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Potted Potter - Theatre Review

Potted Potter - Theatre Review

I like reviewing shows and doing a deep dive into the symbolism of sets and props, the nuances of language and the layers of a performance. I like getting tangled up in the author’s intentions and how that plays out in the process from page to stage. I like the depth, in other words; it’s the complexity of a theatrical piece or a work of art that gets to me. 

Every once in a while, however, something comes along that is simple, uncomplicated, and absolutely perfect that way. That’s Potted Potter, a rather twee-named show that promises to recap all seven Harry Potter books in seventy hilarious minutes. Spoiler alert - the show is seventy minutes, and it’s hilarious. It delivers exactly what it promises, no more, no less, with a joyous exuberance that’s completely lacking in snideness or cynicism. It’s already one of my favourites of the year. 

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