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Showing posts from November, 2012

Camelot, The Panto!

Starting tonight at the Pond Playhouse in Halifax, the Theatre Arts Guild presents the hilarious comic adventure Camelot, The Panto. Recently AE caught up with the show’s director Angela Butler. How long have you been involved with theatre and in what capacity? I have been involved in theatre since 1996. It all started when a friend said asked me to be a part of a workshop that involved a play. I was hooked. I then became involved with community theatre groups, Dartmouth Players first then in 1998 I stepped across the pond and joined Theatre Arts Guild and been involved here ever since.I have tried my hand in almost every aspect of the theatre from acting, directing, props, to serving at a board level. I am the current President of the Board of Directors at TAG. One aspect I haven't tried yet is lighting but I am hoping it will be my next adventure.

Why the decision to direct Camelot, the Panto? My friend Bunny Shore(AKA- Musial Director extraordinaire) and I have collaborated togeth…

Fun & Festive!

The spirit of the season arrived in splendid holiday style at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre last week, with the Canadian stage premier of the contemporary Christmas classic Elf.
From the opening notes to the closing chorus, lead Mark Uhre (well-cast as the perky, quirky and beloved Buddy the Elf) takes a sure hold of centre stage (and the animated, all-ages audience) and never lets go. And though it might seem a stretch to fill Will Farrell’s swirly shoes, the young actor succeeds at making the role his very own. Lavishly outlandish - and often deliciously outrageous – Uhre’s supple Gumbyesque physique is perfect for the part, twisting and turning across the floor for the entire two-hour performance. If his prowess doesn’t push you to believe, then his powerful voice will.
Uhre is not alone in the action, however, as solid supporting spots from Marty Burt (as Walter Hobbs), Liz Gilroy (as Emily Hobbs) and Blair Irwin (as Buddy’s love interest Jovie) accentuate the already positive.
The ense…

The Mill on the Floss

This week, Dalhousie Theatre continues its 2012-2013 season with a performance of The Mill on the Floss, a drama adapted from George Eliot’s nineteenth century novel. This universal coming-of-age tale will be brought to life by Dalhousie students in their final year of the Honours degree acting program (as well as a couple third year students); the set, period costumes and technical support are also delivered by students pursuing degrees in technical scenography and costume studies. Providentially, this production is directed by Roberta Barker, an alumnus of Dalhousie University and a professor in her alma mater’s theatre department. Arts East had the pleasure to catch up with this educator, author, researcher, philogist and lover of the stage, whose directorial credits include productions for Opera Nova Scotia, Windsor Theatre (Mount Allison) and the Shakespeare Institute (Stratford-upon-Avon).
AE: What drew you to directing The Mill on the Floss? RB: I have loved Helen Edmundson's…


Neptune Theatre in Halifax officially kicks the spirit of the season into high gear tonight with the premier of ELF, the warm and whimsical stage adaptation of the classic Christmas film. AE had the good fortune to catch up with actor Mark Uhre, who plays the lead role of Buddy.
What inspired you to start acting? My older sister and I were exposed to a great deal of theatre, music, and art at a very young age. I grew up in London Ontario, so when my parents saw that we loved theatre, heading to Stratford, The Grand, and Toronto for theatre became a regular outing. I was definitely inspired by every bit of theatre I saw. I started taking classes at The Theatre School in London where they offered programs in all aspects of theatre...not unlike Neptune Theatre School here. And also went to Lester B Pearson School for the Arts, an elementary school with a huge vocational focus on the arts. The combination of this inspired me to focus on performing. The turning point was when I was cast in a…

Peru Through the Lens

Family photographs are being proudly displayed in the community of Ccaccaccollo, Peru, nine months after Halifax photographer, Shari Tucker led a group of photo enthusiasts on an unforgettable adventure where they put their talents to use to give families their first-ever photographs to cherish.
Peruvian families in the community of Ccaccaccollo received their long-awaited family photographs last week. They were hand delivered by a local representative of the Planeterra Foundation, the not-for-profit organization that helps support the important Women’s Weaving cooperative in the community.
“The thought of parents not having documented memories of their children at a young age, or photos with their loved ones at all, tugged at my heart strings. And I knew that it was something so simple that I could easily give back, with the help of some willing volunteers.” explained Ms. Tucker
Nine months prior, Halifax photographer, Shari Tucker, led a group of 10 photo enthusiasts on a 12-day photo …

La Belle Chanteuse

It is a sort of homecoming for sultry chanteuse Jill Barber this evening as she brings the heat to the Spatz Theatre in Halifax in support of her latest recording Mischievous Moon. We caught up with her in between shows.
How has life on the road treated you this year? Life on the road has been kind. I enjoy touring very much; every day a new city, new audience. It's a clever way to see the world. This year I have been on tour in France, The US, Australia and coast-to-coast here at home. Touring Canada as much as I have has had the unusual effect of making this country feel both very large, and somehow small at the same time.

What has audience response been like to the live show? With the exception of one morale-crushing, soul destroying, poorly booked, last-minute appearance at a late night dance club in NYC, the audience response has been generally positive.

What can audiences expect to experience at the Halifax concert? The Halifax show is a special one because I'm sharing the bil…


This week, Neptune Theatre in Halifax rings in the spirit of the season with the hilarious and heartwarming tale of holiday hi-jinx, ELF. Recently, AE caught up with Bebe the Elf to get a behind-the-scenes scoop on the production and what it is like to be one of Santa’s little helpers.
How old are you? I am 33 elf years old.

Where are you from? I was born and raised in the North Pole of course!

When did you start working at Santa's workshop? We elves begin workshop training at a very young age. It is not long before we work our way up the workshop ladder. I now work at the head toy-making table!

What are the working conditions like? We all love making toys! It's our favorite! My coworkers are always bright & cheery, and very funny - especially Shawanda. And Buddy makes frequent trips to the cocoa cart for us!

Do you get vacations? We have lots of time for other activities, especially as one big family. Why, just the other day our boss, Charlie, took us on an iceberg sail across th…

Pentland Unveiled

This coming weekend, three concerts inspired by the music of Canadian composer Barbara Pentland (1912-2000) will take place at The Music Room in Halifax as part of the Canadian Music Centre’s worldwide celebration of her 100th birthday.
Always ahead of her time, Barbara Pentland is now “recognized by scholars and many fellow composers as one of the most significant figures in 20th century Canadian music” (Canadian Music Center). She was one of the pre-eminent members of the generation of Canadian composers who came to artistic maturity in the years following World War Two.
The three concerts – full of love, loss, despair, transformation, and transcendence – are being presented by Halifax-based Vocalypse Productions, and will feature the best of both local and national musical talent. They will include Pentland’s music as well as the music of composers who fired her creative imagination and changed her musical direction.
The first concert on November 23 will feature works by Copland, Webe…

High Spots

It is a miracle that Captain James Wilbur Johnston (1854-1945) lived into his 90s. He nearly drowned in a swimming hole in Great Village, Nova Scotia (his hometown), intimately witnessed murder, was nearly blown to bits while fumigating the forecastle of a ship he was crewing to guard against smallpox and was a close bystander to warfare between Chile and Peru during the War of the Pacific. These were just some of the treacherous events Johnston survived, all before the age of 30.

These escapades, along with the personal accounts of Johnston’s three-decade seafaring career, are found in High Spots: The Seagoing Memoirs of Captain James Wilbur Johnston. Dick Akerman and Bruce Graham of the Colchester Historical Society in Truro embarked on an adventure themselves to track down the manuscript of Johnston’s personal diaries and have them published through Pottersfield Press.

You may be thinking this is just another standard East Coast account of ships and gales, but for this Generation X/Y…


LOWLIFE was dubbed the “weirdest film” among the entirely unusual line-up at this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival. It won the Audience Award for Best Feature at this year’s Atlantic Film Festival. The extremely low-budget film has attracted media all over North America, from the Hollywood Reporter to Exclaim, describing the feature with various qualifiers, such as “clearly the most original feature debut in East Coast cinematic history”, “surreal”, “shiver-inducing”, a “feel-bad hit” and having the ability to make audience members want “to go home and shower for an hour”.

If you have not yet witnessed this motion picture madness, you are in luck. The film’s co-writers, Seth Smith and Darcy Spidle, are tapping into their experiences of being out on the road as musicians, and releasing LOWLIFE on a huge tour this weekend. For three days, the film will be screened in 24 different cities representing every single province and territory.

Smith (also LOWLIFE’s director, editor and…

The Rest Is Silence

Author Scott Fotheringham is a former research scientist in New York and holds a PhD from Cornell University in molecular genetics and a BSc from the University of Guelph. He left Manhattan to live in the country. After a sojourn near Halifax, he now lives and writes near Ottawa. His first novel, The Rest is Silence, is an engaging and enlightening story of a man who withdraws from the world to the backwoods of Nova Scotia.
What inspired you to tell this story? I began writing as a means of understanding my grief; grief about loved ones disappearing from the world, grief about loss of home, and grief about the state of the natural world. But the writing had become tedious and I wasn’t enjoying it. I wanted to write something fun. I had the idea of genetically engineered bacteria eating plastic, and what that would mean to the world, so I began to write a thriller. It was fun. The CIA, FBI, and animal rights activists all made appearances. Soon enough, all my old writing filtered back in…

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet Returns!

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet returns to Halifax tonight and tomorrow for two nights of contemporary dance at the Rebecca Cohn auditorium. Recently AE spoke with the world-renowned troupe’s Artistic Director Andre Lewis.

How, when and why did you become involved with the RWB? My girlfriend and I were travelling to Australia in the summer of 1975, and we stopped in Winnipeg and decided to do the summer school (at the RWB School Professional Division) and the rest is history. I had previously seen the Company do a mixed-repertoire performance in Ottawa, and I thought that they looked absolutely great.

What are the challenges of the profession?
The field of dance has evolved, and we have to keep up with that evolution without letting go of the traditions that have defined ballet. As an Artistic Director, the biggest challenge is to have a keen sense of balance between what the various stakeholders need, desire and want out of a ballet company – and that includes people anywhere from the choreogr…


Remember your mother telling you to stop playing with your food? Well, get ready to play with your food and enjoy a new taste sensation as Chef Leslie Ann Hull serves up fresh, contemporary comfort food with a twist at Tempo Food + Drink in Halifax.
In a gleaming, polished chrome kitchen that will serve up many soon-to-be city favourites, award-winning executive chef, Hull leads Tempo’s culinary team at the new, inspired, street-side restaurant, centrally located in the heart of downtown Halifax on the corner of Barrington and Duke Streets adjacent to the Delta Barrington Hotel.
Graduating at the top of her class from Nova Scotia’s Community College Culinary Arts Program, Hull debuted in culinary arts at the age of nine in her grandmother’s kitchen in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland.

“My goal is to make people happy and have fun with their food”, said Hull, whose self-proclaimed mission is to offer high quality comfort food with fresh and creative flavours. She is also fully committed to us…

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet will be heading east this month for a four-city tour from November 7-12 across Atlanta Canada that includes stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

RWB will be presenting a mixed repertoire program showcasing works by some of today's most celebrated choreographers, leaving no doubt that the Company deserves its distinguished global reputation. The impressive four-piece lineup includes Peter Quanz's In Tandem, Brian Macdonald's Pas D'Action, William Forsythe's The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude and Jorden Morris' The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen.
Joining RWB on tour in Atlantic Canada will be Canadian songstress Allison Crowe and American singer-songwriter Cris Williamson, who will be performing live in The Doorway: Scenes from Leonard Cohen.Crowe, a native of Nanaimo, B.C., will be performing Cohen's 1984 legendary balladHallelujah while Williamson wil…