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Canada, Montreal: “Birthmark” Play Reveals Cultural Baggage of Montreal Jewish vs Palestinian Kids

Let’s start with the aim of the Teersi Duniya Theatre group itself, which is to highlight theater focusing on social justice. Different cultures get to take the stage, whether they be Indigenous, Palestinian, Israeli, Armenian, Rwandan, Iranian, Turkish or whatever. The theatre’s goal, as mentioned by their artistic director Rahul Varma, is that we are all one people and it takes stories of everyone else to see ourselves.  Varma says, “the only way to tell stories in a new way is to get new storytellers into the room”.

So Stephen Orlov’s story Birthmark is about families. In writing this, he was asking himself why Jews who founded Israel to end their centuries of oppression were now dispossessing another people that had lived there for centuries. Michelle Soifer, the director, says we have in this play, “two young adults filled with passion and drive…  and the chutzpah to do something about it”.

Canada as a nation is made up of many communities of people who may have been displaced by war and conflicts. Living here in Montreal we have Jewish and Palestinian cross currents. Though families  may have immigrated here and now raise their families in this safe haven, the memories of their living history or those of their parents will always shape them. The children get stuck between the two solitudes: perhaps the need to avenge their families’ past or to just ride along safely here for their future.

Though this is a story of the Israeli vs. Palestinian conflict, it raises the universal problem of parents or caregivers who live with a family member who thinks differently, or even perhaps might be mentally challenged or elderly, and the parent must learn to live with the pain of not being able to fix things (which they might have caused), or even change them.

Natalie Tannous gives a strong performance as a mother conflicted by secrets in the past and fears for her child ‘s future.  Howard Rosenstein is her gentler counterpart, with his own untold secrets and the consequences of not listening to a child. Stephen Spreekmester creates two very different characters, and does them well – one of an observant Rabbi and one of a tough RCMP officer.  Patrick Keeler  as Nelson, the Jewish child finding solace in religion, and Dalia Charafeddine as Karima secretly planning revenge for her parent’s death, give us two very realistic diametric opposites on both sides of this divide.

The simplicity of Sabrina Miller’s set design, using floor squares and wall hangings to identify rooms, walls and doorways was very effective.

We learn that words matter: why do we refer to the Israelis as extremists but the Palestinians as terrorists?

Location: Mai Centre, 3680 Jeanne-Mance
corner: Milton
Dates: Nov 3-18, 2018
Price: $17 – $25
Tel: 514-982-3386
www.m-a-i.qc.ca

 

Canada – Montreal – Go to the Nasty Show while it’s here – Just for Laughs 2017

I have not seen a nasty show since the days of Bobby Slayton, so I wondered how I would find it. I was actually very pleasantly surprised to find that the show was not so nasty,

Ari Shaffer

Ari Shaffer

but WAS so funny. Don’t get me wrong – there was plenty of swearing and 4-letter words, especially f___ heard incessantly, but we found ourselves laughing out loud more than we had at the galas recently.

Ari Shaffir as host was definitely qualified and funny, with some great lines about Orthodox Jews and their clothing, and about New York City.

Robert Kelly was the first performer, and his description of potty-training a toddler brought me all the way back in time, when my toddler(s) resisted sitting down and doing their thing, preferring to sit in a dirty diaper instead. He discussed how he was taken aback when he realized that he probably has only 30 summers left in his life.

Robert Kelly

Robert Kelly

Yamaneika Saunders, herself a large person, joked about being fat and black, and had the audience in tears, especially when discussing black-boy weed.

Jimmy Carr was next, and he came out with a list of one-liners in a notebook, roasting Montreal, Donald Trump (when Donald Trump took office, little did he know), a takeoff on the word “cunt”, and pedophiles.

Godfrey followed with his comparisons of Trump and Trudeau, a diatribe about vegetarians, and his amazement about vaginas (“people actually come out of there, whole groups of people”).

The show was closed by Big Jay Oakerson covering the topic of buttf__king in prison.

Yamaneika Saunders

Yamaneika Saunders

Jimmy Carr

Jimmy Carr

Godfrey

Godfrey

Big Jay Oakerson

Big Jay Oakerson

Happily, there was no serious heckling as happened the day before. If anything, the audience was standing up to urge the comedians on and to show their glee over the performances.

The show continues until Saturday night the 29th at the Metropolis, 59 Ste-Catherine St. E. Prices range from $45 to $60.

http://www.hahaha.com/en/show/nasty-show-0

 

 

Discover Parks (etc) in Canada for FREE

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by visiting the our home and native land. Parks Canada is offering all Canadians a FREE 2017 Discovery Pass so there will be no cost to visit any of their sites. You have the option of visiting 148 locations everywhere in the country. You probably think  they’re all about national parks but Parks Canada is way more than that – their mandate includes marine conservation areas and national historic sites.

You could visit the wreck of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in Nunavut, view Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan in Kluane National park, ice fields in Jasper, our country’s birthplace within the fortifications of Quebec, Alexander Graham Bell’s inventions,  walk amongst the flower pot rocks on the ocean floor in the Bay of Fundy, Haida Heritage sites, or even Anne of Green Gables‘ writer, Lucy Maude Montgomery’s house.

Here’s a challenge: See how many of their iconic red Adironack chairs you can find and Instagram them. If you want to drool – and – plan ahead, get copies of the National Geographic books Guide to the National Parks of Canada and Guide to the National Historic Sites of Canada.

Yes, you can camp, but you can also reserve a yurt, a goutte d’Ô which resembles a water droplet, a micro cube, large modern houses called oTENTiks or be one of the first to sleep in a hanging Cocoon in Cape Breton.

SBCocoon

www.parkscanada.gc.ca
Tel: 888-773-8888

guides

US: Daytona Beach, FL – Calling All Jeep Aficionados… Jeep Beach is the Place to be!

Jeep enthusiasts celebrate a passion for off-road vehicles over JeepBeach Flyerfive days of family-friendly fun for Jeep owners. The Jeep Beach event has become the largest Jeep only five-day event in the southeast USA and is held each April in Daytona Beach, Florida to raise much needed funds for worthwhile local and national charities.

Thousands are expected at Daytona Beach and The World Center of Racing, the Daytona International Speedway for this unique Jeep Extravaganza.  Jeep Beach attracts Jeepers and Jeep Industry Vendors from all over the USA, Canada, and even overseas. Jeep Beach - Line up

While appreciating the great weather with like-minded Jeep aficionados, enjoy and partake in the many festivities including: obstacle courses for all levels of drivers, largest Jeep specific vendor show, Beachside Mainstreet Cruise In, clean up at the Jeep-shining show, Pirate Night Themed Kick-off party, Scavenger Hunt, Off Site Trail Rides, Beachside Concert, Block Party and Fireworks, and $150,000 in Raffle Prizes.Jeep Club

Location: City wide Daytona Beach, FL 32118
Dates: April 25 – 30, 2017
Hours: For dates & times of specific events: jeepbeach.com/schedule-events
jeepbeach.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: daytonabeach.com

Canada: Montreal, Quebec – Voiles en Voiles Pirate Ship

Voiles en Voiles is a family-oriented park in the Old Port of Montreal, based on a pirate ship and consisting of aerial climbing, zipping, wall climbing and inflatable bouncing games. Voiles en Voiles Pirate ShipThis is an idea of what you are up against at Voiles en voiles.

Canada: Montreal, Quebec – Old Montreal’s Voiles de voiles

View of the Voiles de voiles Pirate Ship adventure from the SOS Labyrinthe in Old Montreal. The Voiles consists of games, aerial courses and bouncy castles that can keep you occupied for hours.

voiles

Canada: Montreal, Quebec – SOS Labyrinth at Vieux-Port de Montréal

The SOS Labyrinth is one of the great family attractions at Montreal’s Old Port. Essentially, you have to make your way through this huge complex maze and find 4 items: the Captain’s hook, a pair of Dutch wooden shoes, a travel wallet and a Cuban pitchfork. The stories behind these items can be found on the wall as you enter the labyrinth, and they are also on their web site. Plan to spend about an hour here.  labrinth

 

Canada: Montreal, Quebec – CJAD’s Ken Connors

Here’s Sandra with Dave Fisher’s successor on CJAD, Ken Connors.

Ken Connors

Canada: Montreal, Quebec – CJAD’S Dan Laxer and Dave Fisher

Stan and Sandra with Dan Laxer and Dave Fisher during his retirement party at CJAD.

Dan Laxer & Dave Fisher

Canada: Montreal, Quebec – Dave Fisher’s Retirement Celebration

This weekend we celebrated the retirement of Dave Fisher after 32 years of hosting radio programs at CJAD. Seated from left to right are Dan Laxer, Dave Fisher. Tommy Schnurmaker, Barry Morgan and Aaron Rand. The usual Sunday morning Trivia Show took place in front of a live audience of CJAD staff, broadcasters and former on-air guests, who participated in answering the questions along with the radio audience.

Dave Fisher's Retirement Party