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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

 

US: Richmond, VA – Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue, a Richmond Tradition Since 1992

Can you Handle 2017-09-25_11-23-48Some men are driven by a need for fame. Some men seek glory. Buz has always sought out the perfect barbecue. Not that par-boiled, mass-produced, liquid-smoke injected kind, either. Nothing but real barbecue will do. Food 2017-09-25_11-02-51

It took a NYC guy to literally work his way thru kitchens in BBQ havens in Texas, Kansas City, Memphis and Lexington KY, and then merge all that expertise with Ned’s 150- year old family recipe to perfect the art of the pit and his own scrumptious BBQ.

BuznNedsFor the past 25 years, his ribs (baby back, spare or beef) have been a hit, there’s hearty Brunswick stew (chock full of corn, string beans, carrots, and potatoes), killer chili, Sandra’s favorite: beef brisket, and you-could-eat-alone sides of chunky smokey baked beans, cukes & onions, sweet potato fries and, of course, hush puppies. Wash ‘em down with root beer and Cheerwine. 

On the last Monday of every month Buz and Ned’s is featuring Pig Pickin’ Mondays  at their 8205 West Broad St. location only. The traditional, down-home, country PIG PICKIN’ starts at 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. (or earlier , ’til they run out of pig). It’s a first-come, first-serve, all-you-can-eat meal featuring an amazing 100% wood barbecued whole pig cooked slowly using only freshly-cut hickory log, served with Buz and Ned’s barbecue sauce on the side. The buffet will also include: hush puppies, freshly shredded cole slaw, sandwich rolls, three bean baked beans, sour cream red skinned potato salad and freshly-brewed iced tea.Instagram BuznNeds

With a whole-hog knowledge of ‘cue, meat-eaters will agree that Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue is a Southern authority on smoke. Go on in and eat like a local.Sign 2017-09-25_9-56-12

Boulevard Location: 1119 North Blvd., Richmond, VA 23230 (Directions)
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11am-9pm · Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm
Tel: 804-355-6055
West Broad Street Location: 8205 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23294 (Directions)
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11am-10pm · Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm
Tel: 804-346-4227
buzandneds.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitrichmondva.com