Monday, 30 November 2009

November Wrap

DJENNIE LAGUERRE in a scene from her one-women play, Rendez-vous Lakay. Théâtre français de Toronto. Dec. 2nd - 12th. Berkeley Street Theatre. 5 English surtiled performances.

I hope that November was as glorious for you as it was for me. Along with the record-breaking weather we had here in Toronto (first time ever with no snow), there seemed to be an abundance of things to do in this city.

The arts were blooming this month and I am glad that I was able to continue bringing you arts via the airwaves thanks to people like Golan who made a donation to TmTm and became a member of CIUT 89.5 FM. I had a chance to meet this brand new TmTm listener at our main studio in the Map Room at Hart House when he came to pick up the exclusive show prize package that he won by donating to my show (I did a TmTm Member's Only draw).

Golan is representative of many listeners who are interested in the arts but not sure where to start. The exciting thing I learned about him is that he is willing to try new things. I plan to have Golan on the show to share the experiences he will have attending the many plays in his winner's package. Golan is also hoping that he will be the grand prize winner of this e-bike, but that draw isn't until December 21st. Good luck to Golan and everyone who became a member during CIUT'S Fall Friends of 89.5 Campaign.

I attending the Opening Night of The Toxic Avenger Musical (on Halloween, of course), and it was everything that I expected: subversively funny, musically delightful, and and entertaining! Based on the cult movie of the same name, this musical is about a nerd who is transformed into a toxic superhero after being dumped in some very noxious New Jersey waste, but don't despair folks, because Toxie beats the bad guys (including a conniving mayor played by Louise Pitre) and wins the heart of his blind, librarian/authoress girlfriend.

I hope you had a chance to hear my chat with Jamie McKnight (White Dude) and Darren A. Herbert (Black Dude). As I mentioned during that broadcast, I couldn't really call it an interview since these to guys are so good at riffing off each other. The two have great chemistry despite the fact that they had never worked together previously (Jamie hails from Scarborough and Darren lives in Vancouver). As Black Dude and White Dude they play over 25 characters between them (there's only 5 cast members and close to 30 characters), making up the bulk of the New Jersey populace fleshing out this bizarre story. The Toxic Avenger Musical runs until January (hopefully longer so these guys have more of a chance to show off their talents) at the Danforth Music Hall.

Unlke Avenger, a few plays I manged to see had very limited run. Yellowman starring the extra-ordinary Ordena and a new face on the stage for me, Dean Marshall. This play by Dael Orlandersmith probes the issue of "shadism" as it relates in particular to the Gullah community of South Carolina; the theme however is a universal one to which many cultures can relate.

Don't miss the opportunity to see 3 one-act French plays at the Théâtre français de Toronto (TFT). Don't speak French? No need to worry. TFT has surtitled performances in English! Yep, so no excuses to stay home. Get out of the house and go see 3 plays in one evening: two fabulous plays by Martin-David Peters and a Haitian family-themed play by Djennie Laguerre. Peters' play The Servant (Le Domestique) is a about the servant-mistress dymanics while the provactively titled Black People are Happy (Les Noirs son heureux) will have you laughing as one couple's temperament is explored. Having first seen the English version of Rendez-vous with Home at Summerworks, I am looking forward to see the French and Creole version the play featuring writer/actress, Djennie Laguerre. Laguerre plays the role of two sisters on their way back home to Haiti for the funeral of the father they did not know. One sister sees this as a vacation while the other wonders about the relatives she barely remembers. This diverse francophone trio runs Dec. 2 - Dec. 12th. Surtiled performance dates are Dec. 3, 4, 9, and 12th so buy your tickets NOW! 416-534-6604

Photo Credit: all photos by donna g; TFT poster courtesy of Théâtre français de Toronto

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