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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: Providence, RI – From the Loom of a Goddess: Reverberations of Guatemalan Mayan Weaving

Established in 1877 part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum’s art represents diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. Their newest featured exhibit – From the Loom of a Goddess: Reverberations of Guatemalan Mayan Weaving Costume and Textiles is presently on display.index

At the heart of Guatemalan Maya culture lies weaving. For more than 2,000 years, Maya women have woven intricate textiles on backstrap looms, and this exhibition celebrates Maya weaving today in southern New England’s thriving Guatemalan heritage community. The objects on view include textiles and garments made before 1917 and donated as a collection to the RISD Museum in 1982.RISDM 82-308-24a v_03_preview RISDM 82-308-33a v_01_preview

Displayed alongside these historic pieces are new works by Providence artist Sandra Lopez Naz and videos commissioned from local artists that show the resonance of Maya culture within contemporary conversations about activism and artistic production.

RISDM 82-308-33a v_03_previewExhibition Events:

Location: RISD Museum , 20 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903
Date: until Aug 19, 2018
Hours: Tues–Sun, 10 -5 pm, 3rd Thursday of each month, open until 9 pm
Tel: 401-454-6500
risdmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.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: Dunn, NC – Celebrating Cotton and Importantly, the Cotton Farmers

The 19th annual North Carolina Cotton Festival  takes place in Downtown Dunn on November 4, 2017. This family-fun event draws more than 10,000 people each year and is a celebration of the farmer and in particular the cotton farmer and their contributions as well as the cotton farming and harvesting heritage that plays an important role in the Dunn area.car show

November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin, allowing you to see cotton production up close and personal. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin every half hour.Quality Equipment

The event covers over 16 city blocks and offers entertainment on 2 stage featuring a variety of music, carnival rides and games, a classic car show -where over 100 antique and custom cars compete for best in show, petting zoo, Kiddie Land, Antique Tractor Show, over 125 vendors showcasing commodities like cotton, needle work, fabric, food and crafts.wilson avenue

FREE admission, lots of downtown shopping at some interesting shops, freebies and family fun for all ages.

Location: Downtown Dunn
Date: November 4, 2017
Time:10am – 4pm
Tel: 910-892-3282
nccottonfestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: dunntourism.org

US: DeLand, FL – Bacon-lovers Won’t Want to miss this Sizzling Event

The word is out pig lovers won’t want to miss this one: the  DeLand Bacon and Brew Fest. Who does not like Bacon or Beer, a match made in heaven. There will be approximately 125 food and beverage vendors, variety of live music, and the event will play homage to all things bacon with a wide variety of bacon dishes, along with bacon-related and bacon inspired contests.DeLand Bacon Fest Bacon Costume

Imagine bacon, craft beer, wineries, and lots of vendors with their products. Indulge in mouth watering bacon-y deliciousness. You could buy bacon or beer jam, bacon-stuffed pretzels, sample bacon cupcakes, and purchase chocolate covered bacon—that’s just for starters. Many of the regular market vendors spiked their production line to include bacon in some way, whether in fudge, a cheese dip, or a cinnamon roll—or in one of 14 different varieties of bacon itself. Bacon Eating Contest at 2pm.Deland Bacon Fest Bacon Eating ContestDeLand Bacon Fest Group

A portion of the proceeds will go to The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, so bring on the bacon!

 

 

Location: Earl Brown Park, 750 S Alabama Ave, DeLand, FL 32724
Date: Sat, Sept 30
Time: 1 – 7pm
Tel: 386-316-2959
baconandbrewfestdeland.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:daytonabeach.com
visitnsbfl.com

US: Richmond, VA – Yves Saint Laurent’s Fashion at Richmond’s VMFA

The excitement of the fashion runway come to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts this spring with Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style. showcasing highlights from the iconic designer’s 44-year career.Yves St Laurent 2017-06-14_14-45-42

Drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent,  and other private acquisitions, this impressive compilation offers an intimate and extensive view at the lifetime achievement of Yves Saint Laurent, one of history’s most avant-garde  and influential fashion designers.

Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent,Paris.
Photo: Guy Marineau

Featuring 100 examples of haute couture and ready-to-wear garments—some never shown publicly before—this exhibition reveals Saint Laurent’s artistic virtuoso, as well as his working technique, and the origins of his design inspiration. Witness his immersive operative process from his first sketch and fabric selection to the various stages of production and fitting before a final garment was realized.St Laurent Interior Exhibition

In addition to haute couture ensembles and ready-to-wear clothing, Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style also includes accessories, photographs, drawings, films, and video from the Fondation’s vast archive.St Laurent Tuxedo

 

Photo by David Stover © VMFA

The exhibition traces the trajectory of Saint Laurent’s style as it developed over the course of his career, beginning in 1953 with the Paper Doll Couture House that he created when he was a teenager, the exhibition is a journey from his first days at Dior in 1958, through his groundbreaking designs in the 1960s and 70s and the splendor of his final runway collection in 2002.                            

Fondation Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent, Paris. Photo: Gérard Pataa

Location:Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220
Dates: Until August 27, 2017
Hours: Daily: 10 am – 5 pm, Thu & Fri: Until 9 pm
Tel: : 804-340-1405
vmfa.museum
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitrichmondva.com

US: Dunn, NC – Watch a Working Cotton Gin

November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin so that everyone can see cotton production unfolding before them. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin and back every half hour. nc-cotton-festival

The Festival has two stages for entertainment: featured bands take the Main Stage throughout the day and festival goers also enjoy dancing and karaoke on the second stage. Highlights also include food and craft vendors, Kiddie Land, Petting Zoo and Antique Tractor Show . The event also coincides each year with the Dunn Shriner’s Car Show, where over 100 antique and custom cars compete for best in show.

Location: Downtown Dunn , NC 28334
Date: Sat Nov 5, 2016
Time: 10 – 4 pm
Tel: 910-892-3282
nccottonfestival.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
dunntourism.org

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