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Canada: Choir Boy “Sings” in Montreal Before It Hits Broadway

A half century ago, a creative actor/director and immigrant (from South Africa via England), Maurice Podbrey, together with his equal half, Elsa Bolam (and Herb Auerbach and Peter Duffield) managed to knit together a theater company, Centaur, which was and is no easy feat. If that wasn’t nerve wracking enough for a person, Bolam then went on to start another successful one, Geordie Productions.

In an unintentional but perfect nod to the past, Eda Holmes, Centaur’s new artistic director, brings us Choir Boy set in a boys’ prep school while Podbrey’s first production, The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, took place in a girl’s school. The play is written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who comes with a pretty flashy CV: he’s the Chair of Yale’s School of Drama, where he is also the Playwright in Residence at the Repertory Theatre. and he was also Playwright in Residence for Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Royal Shakespeare Company – and happens to be a member of the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble. And let’s just throw in here that he wrote the story of Moonlight which won Oscars for best picture and for the writing.

The story is mostly about Pharus (played by Steven Charles), a gay student making his way through a very traditional private school. Charles commands the stage throughout, and we can’t wait to see where his star takes him (to the Broadway production?). His fellow students talk, yell, fight and sing a cappella as they share intimacies and rivalries when the old school values conflict with our modern world in rules, nepotism, faith, sexuality and school board traditions.  Tight direction by Mike Payette keeps you riveted throughout, while Lighting Designer Andrea Lundy’s magic creatively moves you around the set (loved the purple).

Floydd Ricketts, the musical director and arranger, was the right man in the right place to be able to create new arrangements of spirituals, gospel and jazz songs for a cappella harmonies.  Ricketts notes, “Even though this music comes from pain, there is also joy in it”. Dayane Ntibarikure, assistant director and choir movement facilitator, did a brilliant job of  having the actors move “slave slowly” around the scenes, adding foot stomping  to song and subtly evoking a chain gang in the shower scene.

Holmes has tweaked the play runs slightly this year by adding (less expensive) preview shows to get the performance just that more perfect for opening night. You know how much I like a deal, and Centaur offers much for FREE with behind-the-scenes info to enrich your  theater experience: Talk Back after the shows , Sunday Chat Up, Thursday Pre-Show Convo and the Saturday Salon.

How perfect that this golden Centaur season started by lifting our spirits with the power of music blended with this timely story. See Choir Boy in Montreal before you can’t get tickets on Broadway (Dec 2018)!

Location 453 St-Francois-Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: til Oct 28
www.centaurtheatre.com
Metro: Place d’Armes

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: Savannah, GA – This Three Week Festival Will Strike the Perfect Chord

Savannah VOICE Festival brings classical vocal excellence to Savannah, with over 25 performances, through a two week celebration of operas, concerts,  food and wine events, and masterclasses during the month of August.

Every year, the Festival is inspired by a theme—2018’s is “Stories Great & Small.” Offering music from opera, musical theatre and song, this year’s highlights include Verdi’s La Traviata, Menotti’s The Telephone, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Michael Ching’s comedic opera Speed Dating Tonight!

It is a celebration of the classical voice with over 25 performances, including operas, concerts, food and wine events, and masterclasses. Offering music from opera, musical theatre and song, this year’s highlights include Verdi’s La Traviata, Menotti’s The Telephone, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Michael Ching’s comedic opera Speed Dating Tonight!

The sixth annual festival, will be staged Aug. 4-26, The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort is the backdrop for many events as well as in and around Savannah in a variety of venues. This will mark the second year of the festival’s expansion to three weeks, treating patrons to several extra days of delightful musical offerings.

Through his VOICE Programs, legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes will take attendees on a lighthearted journey through memorable concerts featuring over 100 artists from 15 countries, who will share operatic stories from the past and present, and modern songs of today.

As part of the intensive programs of the Festival Season, opera industry leaders will offer the next generation of artists tools to improve their performance during hour-long mini master class sessions. The free mini master class series provides attendees with the opportunity to meet the faculty members of the VOICExperience Programs while learning more about vocal music, technique and about the “masters” themselves.

This non-stop celebration of the voice will impress the most avid fans and newcomers alike. For the complete 2018 line-up: savannahvoicefestival.org/festival-events

For Free Events: savannahvoicefestival.org/free-events

Location: Various
Dates: Aug 4 – 26, 2018
Times: Various – see schedule
Tel: 855-766-7372
savannahvoicefestival.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

US: Connecticut – June 21- Connecticut is Joining Make Music Day Around the World

The first annual Make Music Connecticut, a free, wild and wonderful mix of over 250 free outdoor musical events, will make its debut on Thursday, June 21.# Women - Ukulele 26201732312_bf1e5567e3_b

Modeled after a Parisian tradition (Fête de la Musique) that began in 1982 as a tribute to the Summer Solstice.  Each June 21st Paris is filled with musicians of all kinds performing on sidewalks, lawns, balconies, in parks, etc. for anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Drums 13914042290_1e8733da4a_bMake Music Connecticut is part of Make Music Day, a global music celebration that takes place on the summer solstice each year and brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. This year, more than 70 U.S. cities and the entire state of Connecticut will host thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.Guitars 14100592595_92d013c9e4_b

Featuring musicians of all abilities and music from any genre.  Sidewalks, parks, front porches, and public spaces throughout the region will become stages for local musicians to perform and for all to enjoy. Each region will have its own ambiance. This will be a day packed with more than 250 free musical events happening with concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks around the state.

Keyboards 13914058319_70760e6e56_bCommunity Jam Sessions, Dueling Drums, Battle of the Bands are some of the featured events. For a full schedule of events: MakeMusicCT.org

Location: Numerous locations throughout Southeastern CT
Date: June 21, 2018
Time: Various – see schedule
Tel: 860-460-5236
makemusicday.org/southeasternct

US: Annapolis, MD – A Week Long Celebration of the Arts and the Irish

Celebrating Annapolis’ Diverse Arts Scene, Annapolis Arts Week was created to bring together the area’s local artists and musicians for a week of art, food, block parties, events, music, and festivals.Plein Air Painter on Main Street(1)

The week includes major events: Paint Annapolis, a county-wide, juried, plein air competition celebrating its 15th year with 30 distinguished artists from around the globe. The artists will create 300 landscape works, highlighting the special colonial architecture, marine atmosphere, and overall energy of Annapolis. p a i n t a n n a p o l i s . o r g

Paint Annapolis features special events every day:

Sunday, June 3: Dueling Brushes – Quick Draw at Susan B Campbell Park
Monday June 4: Artist paint in Anne Arundel County
Tuesday, June 5: Paint the Bay Reception at Annapolis Maritime Museum
6-8pm
Wednesday, June 6: Artists paint in the city of Annapolis
Nocturne at dusk – Dinner Under the Stars
Thursday, June 7: Artists paint in the historic district
Art on the Avenue, Maryland Avenue, 5-7pm
Friday, June 8: Collector’s Award Reception, 6:30 – 9pm
Saturday June 9 & Sunday June 10: Reception & Sales at Circle Gallery
Mimosas & Muffins: Sunday 11am – 1pm

Here are some additional events going on throughout Annapolis Arts Week:

BagPipe Players March through Main StreetThe Annapolis Irish Festival where you can enjoy traditional Celtic music and Irish rock bands on three different stages, along with workshops and exhibits. Try some delicious Irish beef stew and other Irish favorites. Little Leprechaun Land (open on Saturday only 11am– 4pm) provides pony rides, face painting and other free activities for the kids.  June 1 & 2, 2018 at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds annapolisirishfestival.com

16th Annual First Sunday Arts Festival Shop among the creations of 130 local and regional artisans; dine at outdoor cafes; and enjoy the music of more than seven live bands. It’s a great time to explore art galleries, take a game room challenge and/or create your own artwork at shops on West Street taking place on First block of West and Calvert Streets,  Sunday, June 3 – 11am – 5pm – Admission: Free firstsundayarts.comShopping_at_the_First_Sunday_Arts_Festival.JPG

Dinner Under the Stars is a place for families and friends to come together and for couples to experience a romantic evening under the stars. Artists will paint from sundown to sunrise alongside the hundreds who come to dine, drink, and dance under the night sky. Spend Wednesday evenings dining, dancing and listening to live bands in the middle of the first block of West Street, just off Church Circle. Wednesdays, June 6, 13, 20, 27, 6pm – 10pm dinnerunderthestars.orgDinner_Under_the_Stars_with_St_Annes_and_State_House_in_background.jpg

Photo Credit: VisitAnnapolis.org & Kenneth Tom Photography

Location: Various
Date: June 1 -10, 2018
Hours: Various
Tel: 410-268-4566
annapolisartsweek.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Savannah, GA – Chalk-Art and “Living Pictures at 2018 Sidewalk Arts Festival

The paved walkways of Savannah’s scenic Forsyth Park will spring to life at the 37th annual SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival.

Watch as talented SCAD artists, alumni and high school students create colorful chalk masterpieces and compete for coveted prizes in a tradition that’s nearly as old as the university itself.Chalk Art

In addition to the sidewalk art, visitors can also see the art of tableaux vivants, or “living pictures” in which actors and models will silently depict a scene as if in a photo. Chalk distribution begins at 10am, drawing at 11am, with judging and results announced in the afternoon.

Who needs technology; discover just how much a simple piece of chalk can inspire.  Be amazed and mesmerized at the colorful chalk designs these artists produce on chalked-up squares along the sidewalks that weave through Forsyth Park.

Families are encouraged to bring their own chalk and let their little ones color on the squares that are not being used as part of the festival.

Free, fun and impressive, go out and be inspired, and maybe even draw a masterpiece of your own.

Location: Forsyth Park, Between Drayton and Whitaker streets, Savannah 31401
Date: Apr 28, 2018
Time:
Tel: 800-869-7223
scad.edu/sidewalkarts

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

US: Washington, DC – Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one the nation’s most cheerful springtime celebration. The 2018 Festival, March 20 – April 15, includes four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.Cherry Blossom kite-fest

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off kite season. Held on the grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, DC, the Blossom Kite Festival is family-friendly, free and open to the public.colorful Kiteindex

The seventh annual Blossom Kite Festival showcases the creativity of kite makers and skill of fliers from across the US and other countries through a variety of competitions and demonstrations, Rokkaku Battles and the Hot Tricks Showdown. Bring your own kites or children can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field. Kites will also be available for purchase onsite.coloringNCBF17-1378-768x511

Photo Credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival

2018 Activity Schedule:

Competition and Demonstration Field

Kick-Off Parade…………………………….…………………………..10:00 AM
Kite Ballets & Demos…………………………………………….10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Adult Kite Makers Competition……………………………….11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Wind Jammers and Wings Over Washington…………….12:00 – 12:30 PM
Demonstrations…………………………………………………….……12:30 – 1:30 PM
Hot Tricks Showdown…………………………………………….1:30 – 2:30 PM
Rokkaku Battle………………………………………………………2:45 – 3:30 PM
Wind Jammers and Wings Over Washington………………3:30 – 4:00 PM
Kite Arch and Awards……………………………………………..4:00 – 4:30 PM

Family Field

Practice Fly for Youth Kite Makers……………………………10:30 – 11:00 A
Youth Kite Makers Competition……………………………….11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Youth Kite Makers Awards………………………………………12:00 – 12:30 PM
Blossom Build-off Competition………………………………..12:30 – 1:45 PMBol Races………………………………………………………………2:00 – 4:30 PM

Location: Grounds of the Washington Monument, near 17th St NW and Constitution Ave., Washington, DC 20006
Date: Sat., March 31st, 2018 (Rain Date: Sun., April 1st, 2018)
Time: 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Tel: 877-442-5666
nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

US: Lumberton, NC – Chili, Music & Exercise: Two Days of Fun in Lumberton

Rumba on the Lumber 2018, a festival of food, movement, music and the arts, consisting of two days of events in historic downtown Lumberton with over 4000 people in  attendance.Rumba cookoff DSCF2416 (2)

Many wonderful annual events will once again be front and center, including: The Rumba on the Lumber Festival with live music, vendors, Rumba Cross fit Games Exhibition, and the Lumbee River EMC Free Kidzone, 5K, 10K, fun run/walk, 100K ride, 20-Mile adventure ride,  Chili Cookoff and a bicycle rodeo.Rumba Run

Many festival-goers agree, it’s all about the chili. More than two dozen teams bring their most coveted recipes. Teams prepare a minimum of 10 gallons of chili and dole out free samples of their creations. The teams will be competing for prizes including the best tasting, Spiciest Chili, Strangest ingredient and Best chili cooking outfits. Don’t miss the fun!

Saturday- Downtown Plaza/ 3rd Street:

9am Southeastern Health 5K and 10K

10-5 Lumbee River EMC KidZone activities at the Plaza

10-5 Business, Craft and Food Vendors

11am Southeastern Health Family Fun Run/Walk

11- 2 Chili Cook-Off ‘80’s music by Cassette Rewind

2- 5 Concert at the Plaza with The Carolina Soul Band

Sunday (starting site- Northeast Park):

Noon The Yamaha of Lumberton Metric Century (100K cycling ride)

1:30  The Cruzbike 20-Mile Adventure Ride

3:30  The Bicycle Shop of Fayetteville Bicycle Rodeo

Location:Downtown Lumberton,Lumberton, NC 28358
Date: March 3 -4, 2018
Times: 9 – 5
Tel: 919-889-2514
robesonroadrunners.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: lumberton-nc.com

US: Palm Beach, FL – Flagler Museum’s 2018 Whitehall Lecture Series

The 33rd Annual Whitehall Lecture Series, Heroes of the Homefront: World War I and the Faces of Wartime America, commemorates the roles of American soldiers and supporters during World War I.

Ballroom-Lecture-1200Each lecture will provide a unique range of historical perspectives, including those of political and military leadership, the Doughboys on the front lines, minority infantrymen conscripted to battle, and women on the homefront and abroad.

Heroes of the Homefront will evoke a new appreciation for America’s participation in World War I and address the ways in which American culture was changed forever because of it. When possible, a book signing with the speaker follows each lecture. All lectures start at 3:00 pm.

February 18
The Last of the Doughboys:
The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten War
by Richard Rubin
February 25
World War I:
The American Soldier Experience
by Dr. Jennifer Keene
March 4
The Second Line of Defense:
American Women and World War I
by Dr. Lynn Dumenil
March 11
Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I
and the Making of the Modern American Citizen
by Dr. Christopher Capozzola
Online visitors can experience each lecture via a free Livestream broadcast at http://flaglermuseum.us/programs/lecture-series where visitors may listen live, see the presentation and ask the lecturer questions.

Location: The Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Date: See Above
Time: 3pm
Tel: 561-655-2833
flaglermuseum.us
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thepalmbeaches.com

US: Dillon, SC – Stop and Stretch Your Legs in Dillon

If you’re getting stiff from all that driving or the kids are just suffering from cabin fever from being in the car for so long, here is your perfect solution. The City of Dillon’s Wellness Center is approximately half way between New York and Miami. Why not stop and workout the kinks of travel or walk off that lunch while enjoy their facility. IMG_0456

You are welcome to use (for FREE) the 1/2 mile lighted outdoor walking path outside the complex , which is open 24/7 and dogs on a leash are always welcome.

You can buy a day pass for a mere $5 to go inside and use the city of Dillon’s 40,000 sq ft indoor sport and fitness complex that includes state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, weight machines, a free weights room and an aerobics & dance room. At the indoor sports complex you can let the kids play basketball, volleyball, or compete in a game of  ping pong.IMG_0460

In addition they have a gym, dry sauna, locker rooms/showers, lounge, wireless internet, cable TV and trained staff.  not Take a break and take advantage of this very inviting and clean gymnasium and fitness center.

Location: 1647 Commerce Dr, Dillon, South Carolina
Hours: Mon – Fri 5:30am – 8:30pm , Sat 8am – 5pm , Sun 2 – 5pm
Tel: 843-774-5115
cityofdillonsc.us/residents/wellness_center.php
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: cityofdillonsc.us