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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.

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
Metro: Place d’Armes



US: Pooler GA – National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Flies High

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force – Wow, right in the middle of their combat gallery you can watch volunteers restore the fuselage of a WWII B-17 bomber. It was unnerving to find out that the aluminum is so thin that your finger can make it wiggle.img_3382

Hear first-hand stories of brave men and women who were not only pilots, but navigators, ground crew, radio operators or even POW’s from 1942-1945. You can set the stage watching a 20 min. movie depicting the perils of a World War II strategic bombing mission over Nazi Germany, where at times 60% of the flights were one way (now that’s bravery).

Find the story about Tyre C. Weaver, who was so badly wounded that he asked to be thrown from his plane to parachute into enemy territory hoping to receive medical
treatment, and of the 10-year old girl who found him.

Learn about Jacqueline Cochran who founded the women’s air force and flew every plane, and Nancy Harkness Love, who delivered planes, tested them and towed targets, and Ann Baumgartner Carl, the first woman to pilot a jet.

Peer into a MIG 21 nose section. See if you can find the dollar bill signed by Clark Gable or what tora tora tora means. There’s a museum store, and outside you can view an F-4C Phantom, MiG-17A and B47 bomber. 

Location: National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force,
175 Bourne Ave, Pooler, GA 31322
Hours: Opened Daily 9am–5pm
Tel: 912-748-8888
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: poolerchamber.com

US: Darien, GA – Car Show, Water Race, Doggie Parade and Battle Re-enactment in Darien

Fall is in the air and the Darien Fall Festival is the place to be.  Enjoy the Coastal scenery at this family- friendly event, offering tons to do; food, arts, and entertainment and taking place in the picturesque setting of  downtown Darien.

The Classic Coastal Cruisers of Darien Car Show will be on display in Vernon Square, The rescue group, HART of McIntosh, will hold its Doggie Day Parade along Broad Street where you’ll find costumed participants and their owners, kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boarders will compete along a 2.4-mile course from the Darien River Bridge to Fort King George Historic Site Be entertained by the McIntosh County Line Dancers and musical performances while Fine Arts vendors, Craft and Antique Vendors, and  Food and Drink vendors will be set up along the streets.darien-fall-fest2

Spend the day strolling the streets of historic Darien while enjoying the arts, antiques, food, and music or watching a battle re-enactment at FortKingGeorge , the Trailhead Center -Burning of Darien;  Museum will be open and there will be horseback rides for children. Ashantilly Mansion and Print Shop will be open. There will be a Lime Burn with a talk on the history of Ashantilly, and then  a historian led walking tour through historic St. Andrews Cemetery.

Diverse outdoor demonstrations including: yard and garden art, furniture and home decor, jewelry and clothing will take place on the grounds of the Old Jail Art Center during Fall Fest. Come out and celebrate the rich history and heritage of Darien.

Location: Downtown – Darien, GA 31305
Date: Nov 5, 2016
Hours: 8am – 5pm
Tel: 912-617-7299
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitdarien.com

US: Fayetteville, NC – Human Foosball Tournament Raises Money for Foundation

It’s a game that you rarely think of playing outside a five-by-two foot space. It incorporates skill, concentration and hand-eye coordination. It’s foosball, the tabletop-size game that has a household presence but with an entirely new approach.

The human version of the tabletop classic is remarkably similar to its traditional counterpart, but on a much larger scale. Teams of 6 attach themselves to fixed poles across the field and can only move to the right or left as a team, to move the ball up the field. Teams consist of 2 Forwards, 3 Mid-fielders and 1 Goalie. Watch your favorite table-top game come to life when twenty-four teams  participate in this round robin tournament taking place on the grounds of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Human Foosball

Cash prizes are awarded to the top three teams. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. The tournament raises money for the museum’s nonprofit foundation.

Location: Airborne & Special Operations Museum,100 Bragg Blvd., Fayetteville, NC 28301
Date: Sat, Oct 1,2016
Time: 9 – 5pm
Tel: 910-643-2778
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

US: Portsmouth, NH – Tour of Fairy Houses in Portsmouth

:Put on your fairy wings and get to The Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. It’s one of the largest fairy house tours around and takes place each fall in the historic South End Neighborhood of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Presently in its 12th year, the Tour will feature over 200 handcrafted fairy houses built by creative professionals, local artists, florists, garden clubs, community members, families and students and will be on display on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum , Governor John Langdon HousePrescott Park  and Peirce Island. The annual Fairy House Tour attracts more than 8,000 families and fairies each year.Fairy House

Inspired by local award-winning author and illustrator Tracy Kane’s Fairy Houses Series® of books, which popularized fairy house building worldwide and served as the original inspiration for the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. Tracy Kane will be on hand both days to greet fairy fans and sign books.

Visitors will also have the chance to see excepts from “Fairy Houses–the Ballet” performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage and see the magic of Tracy Kane’s Forest Secrets brought to life by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove. Families are also invited to build their own fairy house on Peirce Island where Basic materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own special embellishments. For a complete list of activities: portsmouthfairyhousetour.com/activities–food.html

The centerpiece of the Tour is the Artists Invitational competition. Ten select fairy houses build by imaginative connoisseurs will be judged by a panel of three judges, including Fairy Houses Series® Author/ Illustrator, Tracy Kane.

Tour Summary:

  • Ticket includes entrance to Strawbery Banke and Governor John Langdon House
  • Meet Tracy Kane, author/illustrator of the multi-award winning Fairy Houses Series® of books and video.
  • Artists Invitation
  • Excepts from “Fairy Houses–the Ballet” performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage
  • See the magic of Tracy Kane’s books brought to life by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove
  • Build your own Fairy House on Peirce Island and help create the World’s Largest Fairy Houses Village
  • The Amazing Bubble Machine
  • All within walking distance
  • FREE PARKING available at Peirce Island

Tickets and tour maps are available by the flag pole at Prescott Park, Governor John Langdon House, and on Peirce Island (by the main parking areas).

Location: various -Portsmouth, NH 03801
Date: Sat & Sun, Sept 24 & 25 2016
Time: 11am till 3pm Rain or Shine
Tel: 603-659-1300
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com

US: Miami, Florida – Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

This is the statue of Bel Vizcaya, who was not actually a real person. He was dreamed up by James Deering, who designed Vizcaya in the early 1900’s, and he stands at the entrance to the grounds.

Vizcaya Statue