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Showing posts from June, 2013

Anne & Gilbert at The Guild!

Anne & Gilbert: The Musical Music by Bob Johnston and Nancy White
Book by Jeff Hochhauser
Lyrics by Nancy White, Bob Johnston and Jeff Hochhauser
Orchestrations by Tom Leighton & Bob Johnston
Runs until October 13that The Guild Theatre (Charlottetown)

~ Review by Mo Duffy Cobb 

When you arrive at the Guild Theatre in Charlottetown these days, you’re entering the world of Green Gables. Birch trees stretch up towards the sky and one could almost swear that they sway in the breeze. The green schoolhouse stands centre stage, with the church and homesteads (their windows decorated with dainty lace) in the distance. When the schoolhouse door flies opens, the children of Avonlea rush out as they burst into song. Welcome back!
Everyone knows the story of Anne of Green Gables, the red haired orphan who gets adopted by the Cuthbert family of Green Gables, winning the hearts of the villagers of Avonlea. Lucy Maud has written the tale into the hearts of millions through her books, and has further…

Bee Good

Halifax’s Theatre Arts Guild closes out its 2012-2013 season with a swift, sure blow to the funny bone with Rebecca Feldman’s madcap American cult-classic The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

And what could be better than catching a screwball comedy - with a crazy cast of kooky and colourful characters - on a warm summer soiree? 
Brian Hart is simply scrumptious as bad-boy Chip Tolentino, while Karla Bruce is rock-solid in the role of uber-nerd Marcy Park. Rebecca Guilderson (as super-spastic Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre) and Anders Balderston (as loveable, aloof Leaf Conybear) raise the raucousness to uproarious levels.
However, it is the last-standing duo of Karen Myatt (as lost and lonely Olive Ostrovsky) and Kyle Gillis (as nasally, bow-tied Willian Barfee) who bring a shine to the show; the former’s vocals soaring in lament on The I Love You Song, and the latter’s physicality making the most of his space, bringing out the best in all around him.
While the spellers spin th…

Amos Funk!

Serendipitously (or fatefully) Arts East was introduced to Amos Funk, a prolific singer-songwriter living in Tel Aviv. Earlier this year, he released his album Black Rose, what he refers to as a eulogy, his “way of dealing with the loss of a lover”.  AE had the pleasure to speak with Funk via e-mail and learn about his long time passion for music. When asked if he’d like to perform over here, he said, “Sure, I’d love to come to Canada!” Perhaps us locals can help make that happen!

Where are you from originally? AF: I was born in Jerusalem but moved quite a bit during the 80s with my folks, from Paris to Baltimore, New Jersey and back to Jerusalem. For the past 15 years I've been living in Tel Aviv; it might be just the right time for a change.
When did you first realize you were passionate about music and when did you start playing? AF: As a young teen I was heavily influenced by the late 80s hard rock / heavy metal scene and later by the 90s revolution, from Seattle "Grunge"…

LOW by Anna Quon

Anna Quon’s sophomore novel, Low (Invisible Publishing), has just hit the shelves; and tonight she will be launching the tome in Halifax. Recently, Quon chatted with Arts East via e-mail. Her responses—part poetic, part hilarious and authentic through and through—are sure to entice readers to start reading her latest book right away.
Your new novel, Low, follows Adriana Song as she “navigates lopsided friendships, failed romances…” It’s also been teed up with this very intriguing teaser: “Sometimes it takes a hurricane, a mental illness and a man who talks to dead people, to lose your inner child and find your grown up self.” Without giving too much away, what kind of experience do you think readers will have when they plunge into Low? AQ: Plunge is a good word.  Well I hope it's not a plunge into something thick and sticky. I hope it's like a cool rain, kind of shivery on the back of the neck and a tad depressing, but comforting somehow, in the end when you go home and dry off.…

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The Theatre Arts Guild closes its 2012-2013 season at the Pond Playhouse in Halifax with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Recently AE spoke with the show’s director Jolene Pattison about the production.

How long have you been involved in theatre, and in what capacity? JP: I did my first play in a proper theatre (with a printed program and everything!) in 1979 or 1980 in Yarmouth as part of a school drama program. I was hooked; since then I have acted, crewed, directed, written, stage managed, choreographed, and produced. Every new job has been a learning experience and I think that is why I enjoy theatre so much. Learning energizes me. There are rumours that my theatrical performances go back much further; however, since this was before the days of 24/7 social media documentation, I can decline to comment on the recollections of my school friends that I was always making them do plays and dance routines.
“…I can decline to comment on the recollections of my school friends that…

The Guild!

Arts East was so excited to receive this guest post from Justin Shaw, a member of The Guild’s Events Team. In this piece, he highlights what’s taking place at the Charlottetown-based arts centre this summer (including Anne & Gilbert, which kicks off Tuesday the 18th). Shaw also shares some of the intriguing background behind each production/exhibit, and describes just enough detail to entice many an audience member to attend each and every event!

Things are Looking Up: A Look at The Guild's 2013 Summer Season By Justin Shaw

With their new digital marquee installed, The Guild has never looked better!
As their summer season quickly approaches, this new marquee will be illuminating the variety of summer shows the arts venue has to offer. This summer season, The Guild will be the busiest it has ever been. New to The Guild stage this year is the hit musical Anne &Gilbert, which tells the tale of Prince Edward Island's favourite red-head as she travels to college, begins her f…

Singer-Songwriter Ria Mae

June 15, 2013 Bluebird North Halifax The Music Room
Review by Ekaterina Sushko
On Saturday night, Ria Mae shared a songwriters’ circle with Ann Fearon, Christina Martin, Keith Mullins and Mel Farrimond at The Music Room in Halifax. She invited Arts East music reviewer, Ekaterina Sushko, to come check out the show. Ekaterinashares her impressions of the night.
Approaching the Music Room, I can hear the music flowing and someone’s soft voice can be heard. Who’s singing? Ria Mae…The voice and the sound of the guitar take me somewhere despite the fact that I cannot hear the words clearly. The tone of that voice is carrying me away…So when the girl working the door invites me to enter the room, it takes me a while to realize where I am. What’s inside?

The Music Room resembles a small theater with its balcony; however it is a theater where the audience mixes with the actors—songwriters in this case.
Ria and four other brilliant songwriters complimented each other throughout the night and each adde…

Gros Morne Theatre Festival

Gros Morne National Park is a natural paradise, composed of numerous biomes, from desolate mountains and sandy dunes to freshwater fjords, tundra mats, landscapes of exposed mantle and forests of balsam fir. The region in and around this UNESCO World Heritage Site also boasts a rich culture and history; and Theatre Newfoudland Labrador (TNL)’s Gros Morne Theatre Festival annually shares this anthropological beauty to locals and visitors alike.
Gaylene Buckle, TNL’s General Manager, has been with the organization since 1995. She says, “There's not much I don't love about the organization,” sharing that TNL’s artists, staff, Board of Directors, audience, patrons and partners have been phenomenal throughout the years. Recently Buckle talked to Arts East about this year’s Gros Morne Festival.
When did the Gros Morne Theatre Festival begin?
GB: The Festival began in 1996, but essentially began with the creation and performance of the Ethie dinner theatre during the summer of 1995.  N…