Going Home Star

The full title of this Royal Winnipeg Ballet production is Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation.  It’s being presented at Conexus Arts Centre on Tuesday March 22 with curtain at 7:30 p.m.

In Canada’s current political climate, the term “Truth and Reconciliation” is linked inextricably with the recent commission of inquiry that was held into the history of residential schools in our country. And that’s precisely what this ballet is about.

Choreographed by Mark Godden, and based on a story by Joseph Boyden, with music by Christos Hatzis, Going Home Star features a young indigenous woman named Annie who is somewhat adrift in the contemporary urban world. At some point, she meets a trickster disguised as a homeless man who provides guidance in exploring her cultural heritage.

You can get more details on the performance in this CBC report and on the CAC website, and here’s a promotional trailer produced by RWB:

Cabaret Series

Tonight at the Artesian on 13th the local company Golden Apple Theatre is presenting a preview of some songs that Regina artists Jeffery Straker and Kelley Jo Burke are currently working on as part of a new musical that is set at a prairie summer camp for LGBT teens.

Straker is a well-known local musician who is the two-time defending champ in our Best of Regina contest as Best Solo Act. Kelley Jo Burke is a local playwright and broadcaster.

The show tonight is a prelude to Golden Apple possibly presenting the musical at a later date. The show is at 8 p.m., and you can get more information on the Golden Apple website.

Stream Of Dance Festival

School of Contemporary Dancers
School of Contemporary Dancers

This festival is presented as part of New Dance Horizons’ Magdance 3 residency at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. There’s six performances in total running between March 10 and 21, along with a variety of talks and workshops.

You can find more information on the NDH website, but here’s a breakdown:

March 10

Stepped Forming A NDH /Rouge-gorge creation with guest dancer Krista Solheim and live music with Wascana Voices, Helen Pridmore & WL Altman. This performance will also involve Rodney LaTourelle’s installation The Stepped Form that we reviewed in the Feb. 18 Prairie Dog. (MacKenzie Gallery, 7:30 p.m. $10.)

March 13

New Works Regina Performances by Kathryn Ricketts & Ian Campbell, Connie Moker-Wernikowski, Johanna Bundon & Bee Pallimino, Caitlin Coflin (MacKenzie Gallery, 2 p.m. Adults $30, Student & Senior $20, 13 and under $10.)

March 18

ART FOR LUNCH Guest-speaker is Alberta sculptor Peter von Tiesenhausen who is in Regina for the Stream of Dance Festival. (RC050, University of Regina, noon.)

Prairie Dance Circuit I Features Heather Cameron, Krista Solheim, Brent Lott, Kate Stashko and the School of Contemporary Dancers (MacKenzie Gallery, 8 p.m. Adults $30, Student & Senior $20, 13 and under $10.)

March 19

Prairie Dance Circuit II Features a screening of the documentary A Good Madness about the late choreographer Rachel Browne (1934-2012), followed by a performance by Helen Husak (MacKenzie Gallery, 7 p.m. $15.)

March 20

Prairie Dance Circuit III Features a performance by Helen Husak, followed by a free screening of A Good Madness. (MacKenzie Gallery, 2 p.m. $15.)

March 21

Prairie Dance Circuit IV Features performances by Heather Cameron, Krista Solheim, Kathryn Ricketts & Ian Campbell, Connie Moker-Wernikowski, Johanna Bundon & Bee Pallimino, Caitlin Coflin (MacKenzie Gallery, 1:30 p.m. Adults $30, Student & Senior $20, 13 and under $10.)

The Secret Mask

SecretMaskFather and son drama will be centre stage at the Globe Theatre in March with the presentation of the play The Secret Mask by Rick Chafe.

Thirty years ago, Ernie (Oliver Becker) walked out on his family, leaving his son George (Skye Brandon) to cope without a dad.

But after a long estrangement, Ernie has suffered a stroke and is now confined to a wheelchair. Contacted to provide assistance, George is faced with the challenge of trying to care for a man he doesn’t really know.

Directed by Marti Maraden, The Secret Mask opens at the Globe Theatre tonight and runs until March 20. You can find more information, along with tickets, on the Globe website.

Vitruvian Recipes

Bill ColemanI blogged awhile ago about Magdance 3 which involves a residency by New Dance Horizons at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The residency coincides with NDH’s 30th anniversary, and involves a variety of performances, workshops and a special presentation by the MacKenzie of an exhibition highlighting the work of Quebec artist/choreographer Francois Sullivan.

As part of the residency, NDH is presenting a performance this afternoon by Toronto dance artist Bill Coleman (pictured) called Vitruvian Recipes. You can find a bit of info on Coleman on the NDH website. I’m not sure what the work involves, but Coleman’s appearing as part of the Blueprint Series that typically features work that’s in the process of being developed.

Vitruvian Recipes goes at the MacKenzie Gallery at 2 p.m. and tickets are $15.

Flashdance: The Musical

The 1980s were kind of a lame decade for me. The punk scene was out there, but I wasn’t as tapped into it as I could have been. The 1990s, with a surge in quality Canadian music and the grunge/garage scene was much more my style.

Which brings me to the subject at hand — a blog post on a touring production of a Broadway musical based on the mega-1983 hit Flashdance… What a Feeling! At least, I think that was its full title, because when I was hanging out with friends we used to mock it by saying “Flashdance dot dot dot What a Feeling!”

But the story of a struggling dancer (Jennifer Beals) who does that running really fast in the same spot thing during the song “Maniac”, and gets doused with water when sprawled on chair at another point, and poses seductively in an extra stretchy sweater with big hair at a third point, definitely resonated with a lot of people.

And I imagine this musical production will be equally popular. It’s on at Conexus Arts Centre Feb. 22-23. Curtain both nights is 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $72.75-$94. See the Conexus website for details.

The 39 Steps

In January, the Globe Theatre presented The Hound of the Baskervilles on its main stage. While the title referenced the well-known Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the play wasn’t in the same mystery/thriller vein. Rather, it was a slapstick version of the story.

The upcoming Regina Little Theatre play The 39 Steps has a similar pedigree. The most famous adaptation of Scottish writer John Buchan’s pre-WWI espionage thriller set in London was Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. What RLT is presenting is a 2005 adaptation by Patrick Barlow that is inspired by the Hitchcock film, but which plays as a comedy, with four actors performing the roles of over 100 different characters.

The 39 Steps runs at the Performing Arts Centre on Feb. 10-12 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. You can find more details on the RLT website. To give you a taste, here’s a trailer for a 2013 production mounted somewhere in the world by the Arts Club Theatre Company.


Love Songs: A Diatribe

Sabryn R-800In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, Golden Apple Theatre is presenting a new work created and composed by the company’s artistic director Robert Ursan.

Love Songs: A Diatribe stars Regina-born, Toronto-based Sabryn Rock (pictured) as a young woman who has taken more than her share of lumps in the game of love. Past rejections have made her somewhat insecure and neurotic, yet she still holds out hope of one day finding true love.

Love Songs: A Diatribe runs Feb. 9-13 at the Artesian on 13th with curtain each night at 8 p.m. You can find ticket information on the Golden Apple website.

Isn’t It Romantic

Every year in the run up to Valentine’s Day, Regina Lyric Musical Theatre presents a musical lunch at the Hotel Saskatchewan that in addition to the fine food on offer at the hotel typically features as entertainment a program of well-known Broadway, pop and jazz tunes.

This year’s event, which is directed by Jane Ursan, is called Isn’t It Romantic. It’s being held on Sunday Feb. 7 and on V-day itself Sunday Feb. 14 with start time at noon. Tickets are $50, and more information can be found on the Regina Lyric Musical Theatre website.

To close, here’s Ella Fitzgerald’s 1957 recording of Rogers and Hart’s classic show tune Isn’t It Romantic:


Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story

BD-122300February is Black History Month in Canada. At Regina Public Library there are two events that I’m aware of that are being held to commemorate the month.

The first goes Monday Feb. 1 at Central Library, and involves a dramatic reading by Peterborough playwright/musician/actor Beau Dixon (pictured) of his one-man play Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story.

Without giving to much away, it is set during the Springhill Nova Scotia mining disaster in October 1958. Coal mines in the Springhill area had spawned previous disasters in 1891 and 1956. The 1958 incident involved a mine collapse over 1000 m below ground. Of the 174 miners in the shaft at the time, 75 died and 99 were rescued.

The title character in Dixon’s play was a miner at the time, and was later recognized for his heroism in aiding other miners. The reading goes tonight at Central Library from 7-9 p.m., and you’re asked to register on the RPL website.

The second event goes at Central Library on Monday Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. It’s titled An Evening Under African Skies and it features traditional storytelling with Mary Chipanshi and Chimuka Simasiku. Again, you’re asked to register on the RPL website.  

A Soldier’s War

SoldiersWarWritten by Joshua Ramsden, this play was inspired by real-life events and traces the experiences of five WWII soldiers through various stages of the conflict from the time they enlist through basic training, deployment overseas, landing in Europe during D-Day and ultimately returning home at war’s end.

A Soldier’s Story is presented by the Globe Theatre as part of its Shumiatcher Sandbox Series.  It’s directed by Judy Wensel and features Jeremy Hilsendager, Kenn McLeod, Greg Ochitwa, Josh Ramsden and Devon Wesnoski in the starring roles.

The play runs Jan. 28-Feb. 6, with curtain at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available on the Globe Theatre’s website.

Magdance 3: Art + Dance (Updated)

Françoise Sullivan (with Marion Landry), Les Saisons Sullivan, 2007, photograph. Collection of the Université de Quebéc à Montréal (UQAM)
Françoise Sullivan (with Marion Landry),
Les Saisons Sullivan, 2007, photograph.
Collection of the Université de Quebéc à Montréal (UQAM)

Starting on Thursday, Jan. 28, local dance company New Dance Horizons begins a two-month residency at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The previous two times NDH and MAG joined forces space was set aside in the hardwood-floored Kenderdine Gallery, and a variety of workshops and performances were held.

This year marks NDH’s 30th anniversary, and if you visit its website you’ll find a run-down on all the events that are planned during the residency.

One theme that will be explored is the relationship between visual art and dance. Concurrent with the residency the MacKenzie is hosting an exhibition of dance-themed photographs, drawings and text by Quebec artist/choreographer Francoise Sullivan (sample image above).

Les Saisons Sullivan opens on Thursday Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. with a performance of three of Sullivan’s dance works by Ginette Boutin: Dédale (1947), Black and Tan (1947-48) and Je parle (1993). The evening will also feature a conversation between Sullivan and Louise Déry who is the director/curator of the Galerie de l’UQAM in Montréal. Also in attendance will be Allana Lindgren, who authored a 2003 book called From Automatism to Modern Dance: Francoise Sullivan with Franziska Boas in New York. Admission is free.

Following that, there’s the dance work Misfit Blues. It’s co-presented with Le Conseil culturel fransaskois and Dance Saskatchewan, and involves a performance by choreographer Paul-André Fortier and Robin Poitras that explores the inherent comedy in human relationships. It will be held at the MacKenzie Gallery on Jan. 29-30 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 1 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets for that are $30 adult, $20 students & seniors, $10 13 and under.

As outlined on NDH’s website, many more events are planned after that. The residency will run until April 10.

The Hound Of The Baskervilles

Hounds of the BaskervillesFor the first main stage production of 2016 the Globe Theatre is presenting one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson venturing on to the dark and foggy moors on the trail of a legendary murderous hound that is believed to curse the Baskerville family on their Devonshire estate.

There’s several classic film versions of the mystery out there. This, though, is a slapstick adaptation of the Doyle tale written by Steven Canny and John Nicholson. The play opens at the Globe Theatre on Wednesday Jan. 20, and will run until Feb. 7. You can find more information on the Globe Theatre website.

Christmas Crackers

If you’ve had your fill of holiday-themed entertainment on TV, here’s an opportunity to check out some local talent having holiday fun in a live setting.

I don’t have a ton of info on who the special guests will be, but the show is presented by Golden Apple Theatre, and if it follows the pattern of previous instalments you can expect a mix of music, comedy and holiday-themed merriment.

Christmas Crackers goes Sunday Dec. 20 at Artesian at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for students, and are available through the web-link above.

Red Hot Riot

If you’re a fan of the dude who received the Best Comic nod in our recent Best of Regina you’ll be pleased to know that he’ll be hosting another of his Red Hot Riot variety shows at the Artesian on Friday Dec. 18.

This RHH is subtitled “Comfort and Joy”, and as befits the season, it will have a fair bit of holiday content. Joining Jayden Pfeifer on stage to perform sketches and other comedy bits will be Tom Hill, Adam Paisley, Kris Alvarez, Warren Bates, Tess Degenstein and Jon Neher.

Musical guest is Megan Nash. In October, I posted video of Nash doing a solo acoustic version of her song “Deer Head”. If you’d like to check it out, click the link. Doors for Red Hot Riot: Comfort and Joy are at 7 p.m. at the Artesian, with the show at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15.

The Nutcracker

You’ll have three opportunities in the next week or so to experience Tchaikovsky’s famous holiday-themed ballet The Nutcracker.

On Dec. 16-17, the local young people’s theatre group Class Act is performing a live version at Conexus Arts Centre. Full-length ballets will be performed each evening at 7:30 p.m., while a shorter child-friendly version goes Thursday at 12:30 p.m. You can get ticket information on the CAC website.

Prior to that, the RPL Theatre is screening a special broadcast of the ballet as performed by the Royal Ballet at the London Opera House. That goes Sunday Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets for that are Adult $15, Senior $12 and Student $10. In addition, Galaxy Cinemas is presenting a Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker on Sunday Dec. 20 at 12:55 p.m.

Here’s the trailer for the London Royal Ballet production

Huron Carole

Over the last decade or so this event has become a holiday tradition in the cities its held in across Canada. The organizer is First Nations musician and actor Tom Jackson, and this year’s stop in Regina is on Thursday Dec. 10.

Jackson released a new album called Ballads Not Bullets in October so he’ll likely perform a song or two off of that. As always, there’s some guest artists. This year it’s jazz musician Kristian Alexandrov and R&B/soul singer Shannon Gaye.

The Huron Carole goes Thursday evening at Conexus Arts Centre, and proceeds go to the Regina Food Bank. You can find out more on theevent and ticket prices on the RFB websiteand to give you a taste of what to expect here’s video from 2013 of Alexandrov and Gaye performing “Baby, I Love You”

The Hobbit

For the past three Decembers, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit have had installments of Peter Jackson’s multi-gazillion dollar live-action trilogy to look forward to.

That bloated opus has run its course. But if you’re still in need of a Tolkien fix Regina Little Theatre is presenting a much tighter stage version of the tale as its annual holiday offering.

The Hobbit runs at the Performing Arts Centre Dec. 2-4 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 5 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. You can find out more info by visiting the RLT website. To give you a taste of what to expect, here’s a trailer from the first Jackson flick

Theatre Saskatchewan Fundraiser

Theatre Saskatchewan is an umbrella group geared to promoting and developing the community theatre scene in Saskatchewan. If you visit the Theatre Sask website you’ll see that there’s theatre groups active in such cities as Prince Albert, Yorkton, Melfort, Weyburn and the Battlefords, along with many smaller centres.

From Friday Nov. 20 through Sunday Nov. 22, a fundraiser is planned to help support Theatre Saskatchewan’s activities. Featured is a presentation of Paul Slade Smith’s Unnecessary Farce directed by Jennifer Lyn Squires.

There’s a buffet dinner option which goes Nov. 20-21 at the Regina Performing Arts Centre with doors at 6 p.m. and the play at 8 p.m. The cost is $40. There’s also a dessert option, and that’s on Nov. 22 with doors at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $20.

For ticket information check the above linked website or call the RPAC box office at 306-779-2277.