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Canada, Montreal: Pulitzer Prize Winning Play Glengarry Glen Ross

It’s special when we can get to view a play which was honored with a Tony nomination and garnered a Pulitzer Prize.  Glengarry Glen Ross, now playing at the Mainline Theatre (produced by Acts to Grind Theatre), shows off David Mamet’s ability to write profound dialogue.

This story highlights the cynical, difficult, pushy life of real estate salesmen in Chicago. I was not surprised to learn that the play is also often referred to as “Death of a Fuckin’ Salesman”, because it is notorious for its use of profanity. That hardly resonates in today’s foul language world – on the other hand, today’s politically correct society would flinch at the prejudice shown against East Indians and Polish people.

Mamet’s characters are drawn down and dirty as lying, backstabbing, double-dealing tricksters willing to toss out ethical principles to justify their work. Yet they really are passionate about selling, and especially enjoy the nitty gritty details of closing a deal.  One of Mamet’s goal in writing this play was to highlight the plight of so many people who go about their lives performing regular jobs yet often having to endure indignities while doing so.

Actor Zag Dorison (Shelly Levene) does an amazing job of making you feel his nervousness and despair; we twitch and pull on our lapels right along with him. Dorison, commenting on his character, “This play will always be relevant. There will always be those who exploit others and are out
for a buck at the expense of someone’s savings and dignity. Although the character of Shelly Levene is down on his luck, he believes that
it’s just a streak that will break; he had been a shark and wants to be one again. It is interesting that in spite of this, the audience still
sympathizes with him when his whole world comes crashing down upon him.”

Michael Aronovitch (George Aaronow),  Izak Benrobi (Ricky Roma) and Jake Caceres (Dave Moss) have all been cast well for their parts, and they make their distinctive personalities apparent. Bryan Libero (John Williamson) really makes you dislike him while the company man, Olivier Ross-Parent (Blake/Baylen) is properly detestable.  Davyn Ryall (James Lingk) does well as the meek patsy trying to get his money back.

Be prepared for Mamet’s long soliliquys for each of them – with the other salesmen there mostly as an audience for their rants.  Since this is a small theatre, you too feel as though you are right next to them in the room. Be careful though because as Levene says, these guys are so manipulative, they know how to sell you something you didn’t even want.

Location: MainLine Theatre, 3997 St-Laurent, 2nd floor
Dates: Presented in English: Wed-Sat Nov 7-10, 14, 15, 16, 17, at 8pm. Sun matinees Nov 11, 18, at 2 pm
Tickets: (Prices include taxes and service charge) $22 general admission; $20 Seniors; $18 Students
Tel: 514 849-3378
e-mail: boxoffice@montrealfringe.ca
www.mainlinetheatre.ca/en/spectacles/glengarry-glen-ross
youtu.be/kQOG32GINho
NOTE: mature language. Recommended ages 14+

US: Wilmington, DE – Let’s Do the Time Warp at The Rocky Horror Picture Show

What better homage to Halloween for adults then The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For over four decades, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been giving absolute pleasure to adoring audiences.

You aren’t going to want to miss this interactive movie experience at the Theatre N Stage that combines film and live performers. A cult classic for more than forty years, The Rocky Horror Show is a humorous and sinfully twisted tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through to the early 1970s.

The musical tells the story of a newly engaged couple getting caught in a storm and take refuge in the eerie mansion of Dr Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry),  a transvestite scientist. Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy biker ((Richard O’Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.”

Costumes and audience participation are highly encouraged so get in touch with your inner Frankie and come to the party wearing your best Transylvanian costume. Sing along, shout along, and dance along having a great time with the featured live shadowcast.

Location:  Theatre N at Nemours , The Nemours Building, Wilmington, DE 19801
Dates and Times: Sat Oct 20 @11pm, Thurs, Fri, Sat Oct 25-27 @8pm
Tel: 302-571-4075
theatren.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: Brunswick, GA – Coastfest For Circus, Sharks, Cannons, and Shrimp, of Course

The 24th edition of CoastFest, Georgia’s largest celebration highlighting their state’s unique coastal environment and natural resources, takes center stage on Saturday, October 6th from 10 am ’til 4pm with a family-friendly day of fun and education.

Over 70 environmental, educational, research and resource organizations from around the southeast will be represented at CoastFest 2018, offering visitors a chance to learn about Georgia’s coastal resources through interactive exhibits and displays and have some fun at the same time.

Visitors of all ages can participate in activities from recycling to learning about coastal weather, native plants to sea turtles, water conservation to archeology, herpetology to geology, sharks to shrimp.

Be captivated throughout the day under the Big Top by many unique events: Arthur Atsma and his Science Circus amaze the audience with science and Newtonian physics taught through fast-paced circus stunts and magic tricks keeping you on the edge of your seat. Jim Sawgrass and his Creek Indian encampment entertain with Native American songs and ritual dances, master juggler Rhys Thomas performing amazing juggling feats with tons of audience participation and Bubble-ologist Keith Johnson uses imagination and science to explore how bubbles work, and reptiles and raptors from the Center for Wildlife Education at Georgia Southern University will take center stage for two shows throughout the day.

CoastFest 2018 will offer new experiences around every corner. Put your hands into the touch tanks with unique coastal Georgia sea life, participate in living history demonstrations with military re-enactors from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War and witness cannon firings. Learn boating safety, master kayaking, try your hand at archery, or how about holding live snakes or even an alligator. You can tour the US Coast Guard boats, Plenty of ‘make-it-take-it’ projects, walk up to a bull moose, a bear, an elk, a wolf, and too many more activities to list.

Catch the excitement at this fun and kid-friendly, family-friendly FREE event with an abundance of educational games, activities and experiences.

Location: MaryRoss Waterfront Park , Bay Street at Gloucester St., Brunswick, GA 31520
Date: Sat, Oct 6, 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm
Tel: 912-264-7218
coastalgadnr.org/CoastFest
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goldenisles.com

US: Boston, MA – Boston Pops 4th of July Concert & Fireworks in Boston

Music and fireworks will once again fill the air as part of Boston’s legendary July 4 celebrations attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the birthplace of American independence.Orchestra 1

Deemed one of the most popular Massachusetts summer events,  the Pops will once again throw one of the country’s largest Fourth-of-July parties. The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular concert is FREE and open to the public.

Stage USA 1Entering their 133rd season of entertaining audiences in Boston and beyond, feature Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston POPS Orchestra will take the stage at the Hatch Shell, on the Esplanade, performing the identical concerts on July 3rd and 4th, and on July 4th when the concert wraps up, a stunning half-hour display of pyrotechnics.

The headliner for the 2018 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, is American singer/songwriter Rachel Platten, whose mega hit “Fight Song”  topped the charts, will headline the 2018 Boston POPS Fireworks Spectacular Concert. The event will also feature 2 Grammy Award-winning artists, Rhiannon Giddens from The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Folk-Rock Duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls.

The legendary singer/actor/dancer, Academy Award Winner Rita Moreno will make a special appearance on the July 3 and 4 performances in honor of the Leonard Bernstein centennial tribute.

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Event Schedule:

Tuesday, JULY 3
Official Rehearsal of the July 4 Show. Includes all guest artists. No fireworks.
GATES OPEN AT APPROXIMATELY 5PM
8:00PM: Concert begins
10:00PM: Concert ends
Wednesday, JULY 4
Concert & Fireworks
GATES OPEN AT 9AM
8:00PM: Concert begins
10:30PM: Fireworks begin
11:00PM: Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ends

Celebrate America with this amazing concert and 4th of July fireworks extravaganza.snapshot

Photo Credits: Michael Blanchard

Location: DCR Hatch Shell, 47 David G. Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108
Date: July 3- July4, 2018
Time: July 3rd, concert 8pm -10pm, July 4th, concert  8pm – 10:30pm, fireworks display 10:30pm – 11pm.
bostonpopsjuly4th.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: bostonusa.com

US: Providence, RI – Beloved by Generations The Little Prince Comes to Life

Festival Ballet Providence presents The Little Prince, based on the popular book written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, first published in 1943.

The charming fable tells the story of a young boy as he explores and makes sense of a strange new world after falling to Earth on a tiny asteroid. It’s a tender tale of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss.

This interplanetary exploration and adventure comes to life in this multi-media adaptation by choreographer Boyko Dossev, which includes an original video and stop-motion animation, bringing the story to life.

Admission includes post-show meet-and-greet where audience members have a chance to meet and mingle with the characters while enjoying complimentary milk and Seven Stars Bakery cookies.

Order tickets by phone: 401-353-1129 or Online

Location: FBP Black Box Theatre, 825 Hope Street, Providence, RI
Dates and Times: Sat. March 3: 4pm, Sun March 4: 1pm & 4pm,
Sun March 11: 1pm & 4pm
Tel: 401-353-1129
festivalballetprovidence.org/chatterBox.php
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Providence, RI – Five Days of Dance, Storytelling, Music and Theater at Providence’s Fringe Fest

Providence’s 4th annual Fringe Festival, FRINGEPVD 2017 – will be held July 24-29, 2017 and it has grown rapidly since it started.

The Providence Fringe Festival (FRINGEPVD) is open to anyone who wants to produce their own show. For some artists, it’s a once-a-year opportunity to create a show and for others it can be an opportunity to try something new.

This year more than three hundred individual theatre, music, dance, multi-media, and performing artists  will be brought together for five nights in traditional and non-traditional performance venues throughout the Providence area.

Founded in 2014 by The Wilbury Theatre Group, the festival offers affordable tickets for outside-the-box performances that run from 40-60 minutes. Some are Free, while other tickets are $5 or $10 and can be purchased at the door. Audiences are encouraged to take full advantage of the variety of performing and visual artists participating in the fringe and attend performances that you wouldn’t normally attend, see things you wouldn’t otherwise see. Keep an open mind, have fun and check out multiple shows each night. Hringe Festival Profile2017-07-19_13-34-22

Downtown venues include AS220 Black Box Theater, Aurora, Big Nazo Satellite Space, The Dean Hotel, Mathewson Street Black Box Theater, and the RISD Museum and more. Eleven venues in total. fringepvd.org/venues.html

Location: The Wilbury Theatre Group, 393 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02907 and various other venues
Dates: July 24 – July 29, 2017
Times: 6pm – 11pm
Tel: 401-400-7100
fringepvd.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Newburyport, MA – Reptiles, Comedy Juggler, Flash Mob, Drumming and Art at Newburyport’s 2-Day Fest

Celebrate the season at historic Newburyport Spring Festival, a tradition upheld for over 30 years on Memorial Day Weekend.  Enjoy great live music, art, fine crafts, activities for kids, and food from Newburyport’s outstanding restaurants at this 2-day FREE festival featuring entertainment for the whole family -rain or shine. Springfest Group SittingDSC_0022

Sunday -Entertainment
10:30am-11:15am in Market Square -Bryson Lang – Comedy Juggler – audiences will see a family-friendly show and an energetic personality performing inventive and clever routines that mix comedy, audience participation, ball spinning, flying sombreros, ball bouncing, fire-juggling, well-crafted timing, huge spinning bouncing rings, giant Beach Balls, improv, and a few surprises.Springfest Crafters 71

10am, 12pm, and 2pm -Theater in the Open – Flash Mob on Inn Street

Live Music
1pm – 4pm  Live Music in Market Square 617 Band – Covering your favorite party and dance hits!

11pm, 1pm, 3pm – 30 min sets on Inn Street – Zach Field Drum Studio

Art
“Emerging at Any Age” – A group of Newburyport’s finest senior artists from just starting out to artists that have had long careers in art. Gallery will be on Pleasant Street.

Monday Entertainment
Kids Entertainment from 10:30-11:30am in Market Square – Reptile Show
Come and meet some of the friendliest reptiles in New England. Brought to you by Zoo Creatures/New England Reptile, they will teach you about some most impressive animals. From giant snakes to prehistoric lizards, you can learn, touch, hold and hug.

Live Music in Market Square
Eagle in the Attic – Newburyport band performing Springfest Bridge Band 14

Location: Downtown Newburyport, Market Square, Newburyport, MA 01950
Date: Sun  May 28 – Mon May 29, 2017
Hours: 10am – 5pm
Tel: 978-462-6680
newburyport.com/events-in-newburyport/
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: newburyportchamber.org

US: Providence, RI – Interactive Improv Comedy Show for the Whole Family

Bring Your Own Improv’s Family Friendly Comedy Show is a rarity – a comedy club that you can bring your kids to.BYOI Kids

Bring Your Own Improv (BYOI) is now in its 10th season and family-friendly comedy shows are Fridays at 7pm. This interactive improv show welcomes voluntary audience participation, of all ages.

The format is similar to “Who’s Line is it Anyways” where different games and scenes are set up. The troupe asks for audience input, the actors put their own spin on scenes, and the action changes constantly,  so no two performances are ever the same. They encourage you to participate in one of three ways: Applaud at a scene you like, yell out fantastic suggestions, or if you feel you’re ready,  jump up and get involved with the performers on stage.

So if anyone in your family wants to flex their comic muscles or would just like partake and play along, the clever and creative cast will support you.  No worries, they only choose volunteers with hands up .BYOI Performers

Why not start your weekend off with some laughs, the players are pros and know how to keep the audience entertained.  Sit back and chuckle your cares away with this fun, inexpensive night out with the family. This is a hidden gem if you’re looking for something to do while on a family vacation in the Providence or Newport area. There’s also a Late Night Comedy Show (PG-13) Fridays at 9pm.

For a list of all shows: bringyourownimprov.com/Shows.htm

Location: Warwick Center for the Arts, 3259 Post Rd., Warwick, RI 02886
Dates:  March Family-Friendly Shows –  Fri, Mar 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2017
Time: 7 – 8:30pm
Tel: 401-261-7678
bringyourownimprov.com
goprovidence.com/event/bring-your-own-improvs-family-friendly-comedy-show/29118/

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

Canada – Montreal – Bakerfield Mist: Artsy Fartsy Tryst at Centaur

It is really hard to take the boring authenticity-proving side of the modern art world and make it into a delightful audience loving (2 standing ovations on opening night) theatre piece.

Stephen Sachs, the playwright, took on the true story of Terry Horton, a former truck driver who scavenged a painting for $5 at a second-hand shop as a gift for a friend who needed cheering up. Maude Gutman, as she is called in this play, is a lover of kitsch – her trailer is overwhelmed by it (A congratulatory shout out here for the jam-packed shelves created by set and costume designer Pam Johnson, who really needed my Smart Shopping Montreal book to find all that stuff!). At a yard sale, the local art teacher noticed the painting and mentioned it might be a Jackson Pollock; and so begins the tale. Somehow Gutman managed to get a major art house in NYC to send an expert over to check out her claim.

And therein lies this sparring pied-a-deux. A foul-mouthed bourbon drinking trailer park madam vs. the snooty elitist artsy gentleman. Human authenticity versus art authenticity is set to be proven. Nicola Cavendish walks the walk and talks the talk. Her sneaker grounded stalking moves her around the trailer while her expert verbal comedic timing keeps the pace going. She even manages to give the garbage pail “a line”.

Jonathan Monro (Lionel Percy), himself a renaissance man (competitive swimmer, piano prodigy, singer, director, lyricist, actor), glides around her, expertly dodging her verbal and physical attacks. My take-away forever (as a former NYC art teacher) is the exuberant and sexually suggestive way in which Monro teaches us the how and why a Jackson Pollock painting is important – and not just a bunch of paint splashes on a canvas.
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Though Percy always trusts his “first blink”, it is Nicola Cavendish who summed it up brilliantly when she observed Pollock’s paintings, “You can see that what emerges is layers and layers and layers. I think it’s a lesson on how we can learn to look more closely, whether we are talking about a piece of art or whether we’re talking about the woman who lives across the street who’s offensive.” Modern art is beyond the understanding of the ordinary citizen, and this play opens the door a crack as to what it is all about, how it works and doesn’t work. The show makes it all fun and drives Maude’s trailer expertly to the end to find out if she goes from rags to riches.

Location: 453 St-Francois Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: Jan 31-Feb 26, 2017
Prices $28- $51
www.centaurtheatre.com
Metro: Place d’Armes

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US: Columbia, MD – Stop for a Broadway Show in Columbia

Wow. Instead of a night with the boob tube while you travel, why not get energized by a  live musical production. Located in the heart of Columbia, Toby’s Dinner Theatre offers award-winning Broadway and original musicals with a tasty buffet-style dinner.

The featured production is Sister Act: A woman hiding in a convent helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she rediscovers her own. Sister Act is the feel-amazing musical comedy based on the smash hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet. Featuring original music by TONY and 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors), this uplifting musical was nominated for 5 TONY Awards including Best Musical. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, Sister Act is a reason to REJOICE! sister-act-tobys-dinner-theatre

The quality of the performance would make New York proud.  The dinner buffet offers: turkey, ham, baked fish, chicken, roast beef, onion/pepper mashies, spinach phunque, fresh salad bar and “Make-your-own” ice cream Sundae bar for dessert. Keep an eye on your servers, for they become the performers.

Location: Toby’s Dinner Theatre,5900 Symphony Woods Rd, Columbia, MD 21044
Dates:  running until Nov 13, 2016 (Tues – Sun)
Hours: Tues – Sat Evening – Doors open 6pm, Buffet Served 6:15-7:30, show starts 8pm, Sunday Evening – Doors open 5pm, Buffet Served 5:15-6:30, show starts 7pm
Wed & Sun Matinee Brunch Doors open 10:30am, Buffet 10:30-11:50,  Matinee 12:30
Tel: 1-800-888-6297
tobysdinnertheatre.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithowardcounty.com