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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: 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: Orono, ME – Local Family Restaurant with Great Food, Great Prices…a Great Time

College students know pizza; a staple for them while living on or off campus. Over the years, this landmark for pizza in Maine, Pat’s Pizza,  has become a favorite of University of Maine students offering delicious and affordable pizzas that won’t disappoint. In fact, with deep roots in the community, it has been said that an education at the University is not complete without a Pat’s Pizza.Pizza2017-11-15_15-11-52

Opened in 1931, and still churning out 700 pizzas a night, this 2nd generation family business (now with 19 locations) is famous in Maine. Step into over 50 years of history with this old time pizzeria, at their original location, with its original Formica counters and slate foot rests.

The thin, soft, light crust melts in your mouth, and the toppings are put on evenly so that there’s a taste in every bite. Made with freshest ingredients, 35 toppings like: specially made pepperoni, pine nuts, hot dog, kielbasa, zesty olives or eggplant, there is a pizza just for you! They even make gluten-free pizzas or double -dough pizzas.

The Pat’s Combo is the most popular pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, and Cotto salami on it. Not to mention the mouth-watering calzones, spaghetti and meatballs, sub sandwiches, wraps, salads and a Maine favorite red skin hot dogs too. Wash it down with Pat’s own brand of sodas: strawberry, root beer, orange, grape, cream or Stan and Sandra’s favorite – raspberry Lime Rickey, or try the local Moxie brand, made in Maine.

Buon appetito!

Location: 11 Mill Street, Orono, ME 04473
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 12am, Sat-Sun 7am – 1am
Tel: 207-866-2111
patspizzaorono.com/
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitbangormaine.com

US: Newark, DE – Courtyard Newark/Univ of Delaware is Pet, Disability and Ice Cream Friendly

This is a special Courtyard, located on the grounds of the University of Delaware, so you can take advantage of University fun. Check to see if you can catch a game or something exciting going on on the campus. The hotel works closely with the University Hospitality Program, helping to teach future hoteliers, and has always employed hearing-impaired staff. It’s not only disability friendly, it is pet friendly too – including small pet yard outside.courtyard-newark-outside

There is good reason why this hotel is the winner of numerous Trip Advisor and Marriott awards for excellence in guest service, as evaluated by direct guest feedback. With over 250 years of hospitality experience on the management team, Bill Sullivan and his award winning crew do an amazing job exceeding your expectations.

Enjoy modern accommodations, state-of-the-art technology, and impeccable service at the  four-story, 126-room Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware. The hotel offers all of the comforts of home for your visit – whether you’re in the area for business, or to visit the campus of the University of Delaware. Make yourself at home in the spacious, pleasingly designed rooms and suites, equipped with a well-lit work desk and ergonomic chair, free high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and comfy pillowtop mattresses.bedroom-courtyard-newark2

For an interesting dining experience, ask them about the unique student restaurant on the campus – and the student ice cream parlor too. It is truly farm-to-table, since other students learning about the dairy industry care for the cows, milk them and prepare the cream for the ice cream.  Sample healthy American fare and award-winning crab cakes at The Bistro, which also serves Starbucks® coffee. Squeeze in a workout in the fully-equipped fitness center, or take a swim in the indoor pool. Book today, this hotel won’t disappoint!

Location: Courtyard Newark: 400 David Hollowell Dr., Newark, DE 19711 (GPS use 200 New London Rd)
Tel: 302-737-0900
udel.edu/hotel
For Regional Restaurants & Accommodations: go-delaware.com/Newark-Delaware

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
portsmouthfairyhousetour.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com

Germany: Munich – White Rose Nazi Resistors

From June 1942 to February 1943, Munich was the center of the White Rose, a student resistance movement WhiteRosewhich was known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign. The group was in active opposition to dictator Adolf  Hitler’s regime. Six well-known members were arrested and be-headed following a distribution of leaflets in Munich University by Hans and Sophie Scholl.

You can see the black granite monument to the White Rose Movement in the Hofgarten. Their words carved on it say that every human being has the right to live in freedom of their faith and welfare.

www.muenchen.de/int/en/tourism.html