Truer words… Thanks to thoughts on theatre.

Thoughts on Theatre

This playwright’s keen eye and unique voice has given us classics such as Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. His wisdom on the human experience is second to none.

“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”

– Thornton Wilder

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Nightwood Theatre’s FemCab 2012 – strong, proud women inspire & entertain

I had not been to Nightwood Theatre’s annual FemCab (Feminist Cabaret) for many years – and I was so glad I went last night.

The Brigantine Room at the Harbourfront Centre was packed – with additional seating set up to accommodate the demand for tickets, the audience full of women of all ages, orientations and ethnicities. And my pal Lizzie Violet was there with me to share in the inspirational, entertaining, enraging and touching evening of women’s voices.

FemCab 2012’s amazing line-up included stand-up comic host Elvira Kurt (http://www.elvirakurt.ca/), who not only gave us some laughs and introduced the featured artists, but did an amazing job with the interview segments of the show. And I want her vest. DJ Cozmic Cat (http://cozmiccat.net/) spun the digital sounds for an evening that featured musicians, politicians, activists, actors and singers – like the audience, a diverse group of women (and one man). The evening opened with RAW (Raging Asian Women http://ragingasianwomen.ca/) performing on taiko drums – powerful, beautiful and moving.

We heard from Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (http://www.toronto.ca/councillors/wong_tam1.htm) and NDP MP Olivia Chow (http://www.oliviachow.ca/), both positive, hopeful and passionate women who want to create environments of equality, security, sustainability and prosperity for Toronto and Canada. Activist Anna Willats (http://awcca.ca/about/faculty.php) spoke on confronting the abuse of power – particularly regarding our system of policing – as well as violence against women, and encouraging/educating community engagement and leadership.

We enjoyed singers Evalyn Parry (www.evalynparry.com), Suba Sankaran (www.subasankaran.com) and Rosina Kazi (http://www.facebook.com/rosina.kazi), poetry by Motion (http://www.motionlive.com), a hilarious short film on panty liners for thongs by Dayna McLeod (http://daynarama.com/), a comedic/dramatic personal monologue by Shoshana Sperling (http://www.myspace.com/themonkeybunch) and an excerpt of Little. Miss. Everything. by Lisa Pijuan-Nomura (http://girlcancreate.com/CMS/index.php). Artistic expression in response to socially imposed ideals of beauty/femininity, rage against injustice, stories of everyday life/experience (both hilarious and heartbreaking), and moving sounds and voices.

And while the women who comprised FemCab’s 2012 line-up represent a range of disciplines and personal experiences, what they all had in common was their strength, pride, sass and ability to inspire.

FemCab was a one-night only event, but fear not, Nightwood has more to come this season. And look out for FemCab 2013.

For more info on Nightwood Theatre and its upcoming productions, check out their website: http://www.nightwoodtheatre.net/

And speaking of the wise and talented Kat Leonard – she’s playing at Graffiti’s Tumultuous Tuesdays tomorrow night. 🙂

Kat Leonard

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Ah… a quiet Sunday all to myself to catch up with me and plan the rest of my life again.  I crack open my new CD, Florence & The Machine, which fuses magnificently with the blissful sound of coffee percolating.  It’s 12:30pm when I wake up.  It’s never too late for a good morning and it’s never too late for a happy childhood!  I sit in my comfy chair gazing out the front window, watching glitter fall from the sky.  I breathe deeply, inhaling the optimistic scent of a fireside candle, nestle in and reflect on how I want to spend the rest of my life.  What is most important to me?  What is the least my being needs to subsist joyfully?

I pick to belly laugh. I had an explosive time over dinner with friends last night. When we get together it is non-stop fast and funny.  It…

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The courage of actors

Amen to this…!

The Alumnae Theatre Company's Blog

David Suszek, who directed me in a New Ideas Festival play (Eve’s Prayer by Kelsey Blair) last year at Alumnae Theatre and also performs standup comedy, has a funny and insightful blog called On Being A Stagewhore.

A link on Facebook sent me to his latest post, titled “The Courage Of Actors”.   Check it out – definitely worth reading.  Actors will recognize themselves, and directors should take note!

http://www.stagewhore.com/wordpress/?p=1320

 

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Last adventures of 2011

Happy New Year!

Lots going on since I last checked in. Thursday night, I headed to The Painted Lady to hear the Cubadors with my friend Marta, who knows the guitar player, Ana Medeiros. These three musicians rock, with great sounds that include musical influences The B52s and The Police, and I also heard U2’s the Edge in Ana’s riffs (plus you gotta love the Wonder Woman sticker on her guitar). Check them out at: http://www.cubadors.com/

Friday afternoon, I dropped by the AGO for the Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde exhibit – and, man, was it packed in there. This is a lovely selection of works by Chagall and his contemporaries. I especially love Chagall’s pieces from the 50s, like Blue Circus, where he uses the bright primaries he came to be known for. You still have a chance to see it – on till January 15. Check out the AGO site for details: http://www.ago.net/chagall-and-the-russian-avant-garde

Friday night, it was more music – this time at the Rivoli with my girlfriends Kat and Lizzie, and Kat’s friend Linda. We went to the back room venue on the main floor to hear Fleece Elves (http://www.facebook.com/people/Fleece-Elves/621385790) and Tin Star Orphans (http://tinstarorphans.com/), with Orphans frontman Zachary Bennett doing a solo acoustic set to start off. You must check these bands out – powerful lyrics, driving instrumentals and passionate performances – and both feature amazingly talented (not to mention hard-working) drummer Johnny Rowe.

Saturday, I went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with pals Kerri and Cecilia at the Rainbow Market Square. Holmes and Watson square off against Moriarty in this action-packed sequel. While maintaining the witty repartee and mind-blowing observation of the first installment, this story features a lot more action sequences – which are amazing. I just prefer wit over action, I guess. Big fun at the movie theatre – take a look at the trailer and details on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1515091/

Enjoy the first day of 2012!

Better to light a candle…

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Even better – light a lantern or a torch. Hell, juggle that torch and set a giant paper mache sculpture on fire!

I finally broke my Kensington Market Festival of Lights (aka Winter Solstice) celebration cherry last night. (And that’s gotta be the longest cherry-popping confessional ever for me.) The weather was looking pretty dodgy, so my pals Lies and Michael and I decided to meet at Last Temptation and see if the rain was going to settle down while we had a pint. And settle it did. Around 7 p.m., we ventured out to catch up with the parade, which had already reached its destination in the park at Bathurst/Dundas. We joined the crowd, taking turns carrying the lantern I brought (hastily planned, so not on a stick and lit with a battery-operated tea light) – and craned our necks to catch a glimpse of the performance on the stage, featuring Samba Squad drummers, and a jazz band of saxophones and horns.

In the centre of the crowd was a giant paper mache sculpture of a hand holding a heart. A procession of torches appeared and circled around it. At some point, fire jugglers also appeared (though they could have been the torch-bearers too, I couldn’t see) and the sculpture was set aflame. It wasn’t a windy night, so the embers went straight into the air. The sparks shot up so fast they looked like fireworks through the smoke and cheering in the cool overcast night – the night before the daylight starts to return, on the day when daylight is shortest.

Michael said: ” Make a wish!” as we watched the hand/heart burn. It reminded me of a lyric from the Jann Arden song Good Mother: “Feet on ground, heart in hand.” It also reminded me of my key chain – a metal hand with a cut-out heart in the centre – I carry it with me wherever I go. I made a wish for love. That’s it. Just love. And that’s a lot, I guess.

We followed the band back to Augusta and Nassau, then detoured west to visit another pub (which I can’t recall the name of now). It was there that we decided that this festival should be our new annual tradition. It was a beautiful and wondrous spectacle to behold – and the atmosphere of community was palpable.

The winter solstice festivities were organized by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, including an army of volunteers. Check them out at: http://www.redpepperspectaclearts.org/