5 months ago

Volume 26 Issue 8 - July and August 2021

  • Text
  • Events
  • Listings
  • Opera
  • Jazz
  • Sound
  • Orchestra
  • Festivals
  • Reviews
  • Summer
  • Music
Last print issue for Volume 26. Back mid-September with Vol 27 no 1. And what a sixteen-month year it's been. Thanks for sticking around. Inside: looking back at what we are hoping is behind us, and ahead to what the summer has to offer; also inside, DISCoveries: 100 reviews to read, and a bunch of new tracks uploaded to the listening room. On stands, commencing Wednesday June 30.

DAHLIA KATZ Blackout's

DAHLIA KATZ Blackout's Steven Gallagher and Anton Lipovetsky Katherine Cullen in Stupidhead! JESS LEE Porchside Blackout in High Park is being produced by The Musical Stage Company, adept at meeting the demands of producing during the pandemic with some wonderfully inventive initiatives. One of the most popular of these is the series of Porchside Songs. Four different concerts, small enough to fit on a regular porch, each created and performed by a team of two artists, are available to be booked to perform on your porch or in your backyard for the low cost of 5.50. (The entire fee goes to the artists involved.) Following all provincial safety protocols, the audience size is capped at the current provincial limit and the company works with the hosts to make sure that everyone involved is safe. The series was wildly successful last year and has been expanded this year from three to four new choices: Sad Lady Songs!, conceived and performed by Sara Farb and Britta Johnson (some songs from Johnson’s new musical Kelly v. Kelly, which has been postponed twice thanks to the pandemic, will be in the concert); A Crack in the Wall, conceived by Jewelle Blackman (Hadestown) and performed by Blackman with Evangelia Kambites, offering storytelling songs from Nat King Cole to Gnarls Barkley; Fam Jam, conceived and performed by brother and sister Jake and Gabi Epstein who take the audience on a rollicking journey from family road trips to the stages of Broadway and the Stratford Festival; and Just My Re-Imagination, conceived and performed by Saccha Dennis (Come from Away) and David Atkinson, offering classic songs sung with a jazz and bluesy twist. I was hoping that there would be a showcase of some kind for those of us not fortunate enough to book a private concert, but unfortunately, that is not in the current plans. With luck these shows will come back, or be filmed, so that we can at least experience them in that pandemic way we have become used to. In the meantime, some neighbourhoods are enjoying a great live performance treat. Outside the March. Alley Jams Taking a cue from Porchside Songs, acclaimed immersive theatre company Outside the March is offering porch performances of the one-woman musical comedy Stupidhead!, created by Katherine Cullen and the ubiquitous Britta Johnson. Based on Cullen’s own experiences growing up with dyslexia, Stupidhead! is part stand-up comedy, part musical and all about “learning no matter who you are, you are not alone.” A success at Theatre Passe Muraille in 2017, the show has been reimagined for touring to porches and also as a live radio broadcast as well as for upcoming onsite productions. Last summer, neighbourhoods beyond porches in the East End were enlivened by Alley Jams – live, impromptu jam sessions (with safety protocols) performed at various outdoor sites, organized This summer we’re coming out to play JULY 15th - AUGUST 8th Three unique drive-in concerts at Ancaster Fairgrounds plus a beautiful outdoor concert and tasting at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery. Care to join us? BR TT M U S I C F E S T I V A L 905-525-7664 10 | July and August 2021

y actor and musician Donna Garner. This summer, Alley Jams will be joined by a new rehearsed musical theatre concert series, CanJams, a rehearsed show performed by six actor-musicians from Garner’s company Garner Theatre Productions. The CanJams will be performed in public parks around the city as soon as the reopening protocols allow. It is encouraging that even as protocols keep changing, our performing arts companies remain constant in their endeavours – dreaming up ways to get actors and audiences together for some reinvigorating outdoor live performances this summer. Jennifer Parr is a Toronto-based director, dramaturge, fight director and acting coach, brought up from a young age on a rich mix of musicals, Shakespeare and new Canadian plays. CONTACT INFORMATION As we go to press (June 24), Ontario is still in Step 1 of the provincial reopening plan. Once the province moves into Step 2, outdoor performances can commence. As soon as the province makes clear what size audiences will be possible in Step 2, the companies mentioned here will be able to make tickets available for sale. For up-to-date information on each company or series of performances, please see the links below, and/or follow the companies on social media. Stratford Festival 1-800-567-1600. Canadian Stage Dream in High Park (416) 368-3110 Musical Stage Company (416) 927-7880 2021/2022 Season Update We are busy planning an in-person season beginning early 2022. We’ve missed you and we can’t wait to see you!! Stay tuned for more information! Outside the March Garner Theatre Productions (416) 879-1303 July and August 2021 | 11

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