8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

Disney musical The

Disney musical The Happiest Millionaire.For Cascone, the objective is to present a quality musical theatreexperience for those who can't afford anything on a 'Broadway'level, one where people "don't have to pay 0 for a show thatdisappoints them", as he puts it. At the time of writing, he is deepinto a short but intensive four-week rehearsal period for The Fantasticks,working until 11 pm four nights a week in addition to theweekends. It's typical of the level of commitment found in communitytheatre, and of the sense of pride in the end result.Performing at the intimate Fairview Library Theatre, CLOC issmaller than most of the other groups in the Toronto area, and consequentlyoften has the feel of a repertory company; indeed, Casconehas recently been toying with the idea of removing Light Opera fromthe company's name and replacing it with something that more accuratelyreflects the present nature of the company. It is also unique inthat there is no Board of Directors or Executive Committee runningthe group, just Cascone, who designs and directs each show as wellas frequently performing on stage or playing piano. This may soundlike a one-man band, but it is one that consistently gets things doneand delivers the goods; it is also much closer to the set-up in professionaltheatre. Nor does it mean that it is a one-man effort - far fromit. A major part of the CLOC's continued artistic growth over thepast few years has been the assembly of a top-class support team.Every critical function - ticket sales, front-of-house, set constructionand painting, costumes, stage management, props - is now handledby an experienced individual on an ongoing basis, giving the group asolid foundation on which to build each new production.Even so, there is always room for new people, as there is in allthe community groups across the city - and not just on stage. Auditionprocedures vary from company to company, but communitytheatre can be a wonderful introduction to the musical stage foryoung children as well as enabling professional performers to takeon roles they are probably not going to get the chance to play anywhereelse. Cascone says that CLOC receives e-mails and phonecalls throughout the year from people wishing to audition, althoughvery few actually make it to the stage with such a small company.Behind the scenes and back-stage, however, there are plenty of opportunitiesfor volunteers with all the community groups, in areassuch as publicity and front-of-house in addition to the usual showrelatedfunctions.Above all, there is the thrill of participating and contributing, ofsharing the enthusiasm and of seeing the efforts of a group of highly-talentedand dedicated people combine to produce a top-levelshow. Cascone loves to tell the story of an experienced musicianwho played for one of his shows: "He told us that the only way hecould tell it was not a professional company", he says, "was that thepeople were too nice."And the tickets are really cheap, too!Terry Robbins regularly contributes to WholeNote 's record reviews. A violinist,he plays regularly in community orchestras and for several communitytheatre groups, including CLOC.Several GTA groups have shows running in November, so if you're interestedin seeing what the standard is like then there's plenty of opportunity;here's a list of what's on. Ticket prices are normally in the - range;for more information on how to get them visit the individual company websites,which will usually list information on auditions and volunteer opportunitiesas wel I.Curtain Call Players ( present Andrew LloydWebber's Cats at Fairview Library Theatre, October 30 - November 8.Etobicoke Musical Productions ( presents Anne of GreenGables at Burnhamthorpe Auditorium, November 14-29.Scarborough Music Theatre ( _ home.html) presents Gypsy at Scarborough Village Theatre, lateOctober - November 8.Clarkson Music Theatre (www presents StephenSondheim's Sweeney Todd at Meadowvale Theatre, November 21-29.Brampton Music Theatre ( presents PeterPan at the Rose Theatre, Brampton, November 12-15.BEAT BY BEATIn with the Newby Richard MarsellaSun Ra' s ArkestraFrom X-Avant! ... to Somewhere ThereThis Fall, the spirit of the great jazz composer Sun Ra will fall uponthe City of Toronto. In Sun Ra, so many practising musicians,composers, music lovers and star gazers come together. Sun Ra'smusic is representative of the underdog, as his approach was neverthat of the beaten path, fearlessly exploring new musical genres,technologies, and spirituality.On Saturday October 4th, the City of Toronto will burst with newideas, in an all-night carnival of arts and culture - Scotiabank's 3rdannual Nuit Blanche, The complete lineup is readily available online,but in keeping with the underdog theme of this month's column,I'd like to shed light on some of the lesser-known events.University of Toronto's Faculty of Music will present Deja,Presque, Jamais: three views of creative sound. This all-night productionwill feature scheduled events and installations in Walter Halland the adjacent lobby that combine live performance, electronics,multi-channel audio diffusion, spoken word and visual media representinga wide range of genres including improvisation, jazz, opera,and contemporary composition.And as part of the 7th Annual SOUNDplay Festival, New Adventuresin Sound Art present a world premiere by David McCallumand Erik Martinson. Their interactive video and audio installation"Sign Me a Space" explores the music of Toronto's public spaces.You can find this engaging installation running all night long duringNuit Blanche at Gallery 1313 on Queen Street.Later in October, from the 2lst to the 26th the Music Gallery unleashesits third X-Avant Festival, this year entitled Space is thePlace, as an homage to Sun Ra. Music Gallery artistic directorJonathan Bunce explains the festival's theme: "I chose Sun Ra as atouchstone for the festival, because he is a true visionary artist, passionatelydedicated to his cause, both musical and political. He envisionedthe 'infinite possibilities' of music, both in terms of takingthe listener to new sound worlds, and also as a positive force forchange in our world. His notion of 'Space is the Place' - as thedesire to escape the limits of our world and find true freedom inouter space - is something that I can really relate to. Who hasn'twanted to say they're from Saturn at one point in their life? Sun Ratook these fanciful notions that others would consider 'silly' andbased his life around them. Now that's commitment".Fittingly, the X Avant Festival opens October 21 with a performanceby Sun Ra's very own Arkestra under the direction of MarshallAllen. The gala festival launch will take place at the Palais Royale, andfeatures the dancers of Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie accompanied bySun Ra's Arkestra in a production entitled "Hymn to the Universe".Also part of X-Avant's amazing Space is the Place program( for the complete lineup), the Music Gallerywill present a night in dedication to the pioneering German composerKarlheinz Stockhausen on October 26th. The night will be highlightedby a performance of Stockhausen's Kontakte for piano, percussionand electronics performed by American pianist Stephen Drury,saxophonist Wallace Halladay, and percussionist Aiyun Huang.10 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2008

Moving on, on November lst, New Music Concerts tip their hat tothe next generation of composers in a presentation of Generation2008 at the Music Gallery. This exciting lineup of four young composersfeatures world premieres by Scott Good, Michael Berger,Fuhong Shi, and Brian Harman. This concert is the kick-off for atour by !'Ensemble contemporain de Montreal, led by VeroniqueLacroix. It's also the kick-off to a very busy month for New MusicConcerts. More about that later.I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with with Scott Thomson,trombonist/composer and the radical curator of SomewhereThere, a truly special place in Toronto, located in Parkdale at 340Dufferin Street. At Somewhere There, music is always deliberatelyplaced in the foreground, and love, beer, politics, self-image, snobbery,idle chit chat, and any other social convention spawned fromthe concert hall are merely swept aside. The venue celebrated its oneyear anniversary on Sunday September 14th with its 200th show!For me, Somewhere There is anational treasure, something thatshould be cherished as the antithesisto big box cultural development.I have always been astaunch supporter of alternativearts spaces, and SomewhereThere is a space that sheds lighton the music that exists in theshadows. Somewhere There,named after a Sun Ra tune, is theperfect space to accentuate thatkind of music, as it's not tooglamorous; there's no marble, noushers, no fancy lighting. Whatyou'll find are a few sofas Scottpulled out of the dump, someScott Thomsonplastic chairs, a Sears lamp, anda true sense of history being made. I hope this space can one daycelebrate its 50th anniversary, and if the ratio of 200 shows per yearstands ... we'd be looking at a total of 10,000 shows!!! I'd say this isthe place where true art ferments.Happy one year anniversary to Scott Thomson and SomewhereThere. Here are excerpts from our conversation:Richard Marsella: Why did you start ST?Scott Thomson: There are literally hundreds of dedicated musiciansin Toronto with few viable options for the performance of their music.Since I am one of them, the space is for us, as well as for interestedlisteners. A galaxy of 350 different artists from numerousscenes, styles, and backgrounds have performed at ST - the majorityprizes an environment with fine acoustics where playing and listeningare primary. Another priority is the way the space fosters whatI call "informal music" ; while many performance conventions remainin place which allow the musicians the formal context in which toperform, many of the details of the music at ST get sorted out duringperformance, often through improvisation though not necessarily so.I like all kinds of music, but informal music (no matter the genre)tends to have the stuff I like most: risk, play, inquiry, and at best asense of discovery that is shared by players and listeners alike. Informalmusic rarely makes a lot of money, hence the dearth of venuesfor it. ST is my positive response to this unfortunate situation.RM: What were some highlights for you over the year you've beenpresenting concerts?ST: There were many discrete, surprising, and transcendental musicalmoments that, in their ephemeral nature, don't lend themselves toinclusion on a highlight list. That said, the opening of Jeff Schlanger's"musicWitness" art exhibition in the ST gallery space and WilliamParker's related solo concerts in July are unequivocal highlights.I liked especially how a neighbourhood cat (whom I'd named"Lee Konitz") found his way in and lay peacefully at William's feetas he played. Jeff's artwork is still on display and it's beautiful -people should come to see it! John Oswald's "Pitch" concert inMay, where performers and audiences were in total darkness, wasGREAT CHAMBER MUSIC DOWNTOWNBRENTANO STRING QUARTETtorontdartsbou n c il"'~""""slo,,9thbody of 1hoC;1yot rc,.,,,,o~­ID~N~www. mu sic-toronto. co mone of America's finest,brainiest young quartetsThe New Yorker, May 08Haydn, Mozart,MendelssohnThursday Oct. 16at 8 pmALEXANDRETHARAUDA boyish and preppy 40-year-o Id, Tharaud makeshis Toronto debut with aprogramme of Rameauand ChopinTuesday Oct. 21at8 pmAn ensemble so goodthat it must lead hundredsof lesser quartets to thebrink of despairThe Ottawa Citizen,summer08Mozart, Kurtag, SchubertThursday Oct. 30at8pmTHE GRYPHON TRIOatToronto's beloved!Haydn, Heather Schmidt,MendelssohnThursday Nov. 6at8pmJane Mallett TheatreSt. LAWRENCE CENTRE ~~r, ARTS416-366-7723 • 1-800-708-6754order online at www.stlc.comO CTO BER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2008 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 11

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)