News from Around the Barrio

Holy Moses, Canada! I have received so many Facebook Event Invitations over the past two weeks, I’m going to have to split this edition of News From Around the Barrio into two parts for maximum readability! So, with no further hullabaloo, let’s get cracking!

Firstly, I would like to remind you about Toronto’s Comedy Week for Haiti. Since Sunday Toronto’s Comedy Community has come together in support of Earthquake Relief, which is ongoing until Sunday, January 31st. Performers, Producers and Venues across Toronto will donate 100% all box-office proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross Haiti Fund. Funds raised will support Red Cross efforts to provide medical aid and support for earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince and Panama, Haiti. For more information visit or check out the schedule here.

anne frank

The Diary of Anne Frank is at The Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street) until Sunday February 7th, 2010. This play, based on the bestselling novel of the same name has been called, “An extraordinary portrayal of humanity set during one of history’s most inhumane periods, this drama is an uplifting story of the human spirit. It is a play for everyone, no matter your age, religious, or cultural background.” This production is directed by Mario D’Alimonte and features Caitlynne Medrek as Anne Frank, with Judy Gans, Mark Albert, Fleur Jacobs, Morris Jacobs, Michael Rausch, Christina Elizabeth Hall, Amy Babcock, and Fabio Saposnik. It is produced by Merle Garbe. For tickets please call 416-872-1111 or go online to

allie hughes

You should catch Cabaret sweetheart Allie Hughes at the Rivoli (332 Queen Street West) tonight (Friday, January 29, 2010) where she is opening for Ben Gunning’s release for his new album Mal De Mer. Hughes will be singing with her new band (Bram Gielen, Johnny Spence, Jordan Howard, Randy Lee and Adam Hindle), which she says has a different sound and some new material! She is always a treat, so check her out if you can. The music starts at 9pm.

January Sing & Tell is this Sunday, January 31st and event coordinator Tricia Lackey says, “For the beginning of the new decade, we thought we would throw back to the old Sing & Tells and invite anyone – ANYONE – who would like to come out and sing their Canadian piece to come on down … Do you have a new song you’ve written that you would like to have someone sing? Do you have something that has been performed before but you have done some rewrites? Or are you a performer who really just wants to sing their favourite Canadian musical theatre piece? We welcome you ALL to the Smile Theatre Space at 97 George Street in the basement from 7:30pm – 9:30pm … come on out and let’s show, tell & discuss!” These events are incredibly fun, inspiring and often audience members have the rare opportunity to be the first to hear the most exciting and contemporary of Canadian musical theatre pieces.

This sounds like a lot of fun! Do you like coffee? Do you like pretty songs? Check this out! “Coffee House” (noun): 1. a place serving coffee and other refreshments. 2. (N. Amer.) a place where coffee is served and people gather for poetry readings, music, and other informal entertainment. 3. (EUC) a place where friends gather to enjoy coffee and conversation, hear live music, eat food and have food for the soul. “Something’s Brewing!” It’s a Coffee House! And a FREE ONE at that! Sunday, February 7 at 7pm. Eastminster United Church Auditorium. Bring friends. Make friends. “Savour the intense, full-bodied & dark-roasted musical stylings of our House Band “Espresso” featuring Dale Miller (vocals), Jacqueline Sadler (vocals & keys), Wesley Allen (bass guitar), Ron Leprohon (lead guitar) and Scott Carmichael (drums). Don’t miss this incredible, inspirational evening! Our auditorium will be transformed into a coffee house where you can chat with your friends, listen to the music of our House Band “Espresso” and enjoy a good cup o’ Joe. This is an amazing opportunity to invite your neighbours to Eastminster. The coffee’s hot, the band is hotter, and the message will sizzle! Keep watching for more details…this night will have lots of “perks”! Coffee supplied by one of the great local coffee shops on the Danforth. Get there early and don’t be “Latte”.” Visit this website for more details.
anton chekhov
If you are in Halifax on February 1st, 2010, I propose that you spend your evening celebrating the birthday of infamous Russian playwright and physician Anton Chekhov at the North Street Performing Arts Centre (5657 North Street). This party is held in support of PARC (Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre) and the DaPoPo Youth Ensemble Project. The evening will feature performances by the following Haligonian theatre companies and wildly entertaining Nova Scotians: DaPoPo Theatre, Left Foot First, TRRRASH, Angels & Heroes, Ann-Marie Kerr, DalTheatre, Stewart Legere, Mike Chandler, Ann Doyle, Hugo Dann, Annie Valentina and “digital representations of Mary-Fay Coady and Sarah English.” The party also features a cash bar, a silent auction, cake and a dance party! What else could you ask for in the name of Chekhov? Put on your best babushka and start pouring the vodka! Tickets are $10-$15 ($10 for PARC members, students and artists). 19+ event. Tickets can be purchased from Outside the Lines, 6265 Quinpool, from any DaPoPo artist (Kim Parkhill, Amy Reitsma, Keelin Jack, Kristi Anderson, Bonnie Archibald, Sher Clain, Eric Benson, GaRRy Williams, Nathan Pilon or Steven Bourque) or, conveniently, by email at

tara brodin

Hey Edmonton, know who is an even bigger barrel of laughs than Anton Chekhov? Yes, Yes, Stewart Lemoine, of course! How convenient that you can see Break the Wall Productions’ I’ll Show Ya Crazy! Performed by Tara Brodin at the Catalyst Theatre. Here are the details: “The vivacious singer/actress/raconteuse Tara Brodin, is joined by pianist Ryan Sigurdson, for a whimsically unhinged exploration of musical madness, scripted by playwright Stewart Lemoine. Through a wide-ranging program of songs by composers ranging from Mozart to Richard Rodgers, and Irving Berlin to Stephen Sondheim, Brodin and Sigurdson soar, swoop, and swing in a sassy salute to the concept of theatrical derangement. The untethered eclecticism of this examination of the lyrically loopy is further evident in the inclusion of songs from musicals both well beloved and delightfully obscure- from Annie Get Your Gun and The Sound of Music, through Nine and Follies, to Eating Raoul and Ruthless. I’ll Show Ya Crazy is the ultimate in high functioning elegant cabaret entertainment. To miss it would be utter lunacy.” I’ll Show Ya Crazy plays at Catalyst Theatre (8529 Gateway Boulevard, Edmonton) Tuesday February 2nd at 7:30pm until Sunday February 7th at 2:00pm. With shows on Saturday at both 2:00pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the door and through or by calling 780.420.1757. Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for students and seniors 55 years and older. February 2nd and February 6th at 2:00pm are PWYC with cash at the door. You’d be crazy to miss this, Edmonton!

tortoise and the hare

Also in Edmonton, at the swanky TransAlta Arts Barns, beginning Friday February 5th, 2010, you can see the world premiere of Promise Productions’ The Tortoise and the Hare as part of the TransAlta Family Theatre Series. “With sky high characters and an electrifying story, this updated twist to the classic tale will delight both children and adults alike! It’s official. The City of Storyland will be launching a satellite into outer space as part of the city’s new space program. Mayor Hensworth has challenged two local development companies to invent the new fuel system. But who will be first to launch their new designs and catapult the satellite into the air? The small, family owned Tortoise Trades or the mega-corporation HARE Industries Inc.? Featuring a cast of wacky Storyland characters against the backdrop our complicated corporate world, The Tortoise and the Hare is a contemporary look at a well-loved fairy tale. In this version, the race has been taken off of the road into the technological advancements of the satellites. It’s the race to space! Entertaining the whole family with themes of climate change, environmentalism, duty and standing up for what you believe in. The Tortoise and the Hare is a new, re-imagining of the classic fairy tale by Edmonton’s Promise Productions who created the Fringe Festival hits Cinderella the Wizard (2007), The Too Tall Princess (2008) and The Twelve Dancing Princesses (2009). The Tortoise and the Hare is adapted & performed by Ellen Chorley and features cast members Brian Bergum, April Killins, Ben McIvor, Elena Porter and Tasha Weenk; Directed by Pamela Schmunk with Set Design by Stewart Burdett and Kevin Green as Production Manager & Lighting Designer.”
The Tortoise and the Hare performance dates & times are: Friday February 5 at 7 pm, Saturday February 6 at 2 pm, Sunday February 7 at 2 pm, Friday February 12 at 7 pm, Saturday February 13 at 2 pm and Sunday February 14 at 2 pm. Single ticket prices are $23.50 (Adults); $19.50 (Students/Seniors) and $12.50 (Children 12 & under). For more information, contact the Fringe Theatre Adventures Box Office at 780-409-1910 or visit

Check back soon for a brand new dose of theatre from across the country!

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