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Volume 28 Issue 1 | September 20 - November 8, 2022

Our 28th season in print! “And Now, Back to Live Action”; a symphonic-sized listings section, compared to last season; clubs “On the move” ; FuturesStops Festival and Nuit Blanche; “Pianistic high-wire acts”; Season announcements include full-sized choral works like Mendelssohn’s Elijah; “Icons, innovators and renegades” pulling out all the stops.

Our 28th season in print! “And Now, Back to Live Action”; a symphonic-sized listings section, compared to last season; clubs “On the move” ; FuturesStops Festival and Nuit Blanche; “Pianistic high-wire acts”; Season announcements include full-sized choral works like Mendelssohn’s Elijah; “Icons, innovators and renegades” pulling out all the stops.

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MUSIC THEATRE

ARISE, by Jera Wolfe

ICONS,

INNOVATORS

AND

RENEGADES

JENNIFER PARR

BRUCE ZINGER

For the past six weeks I have been immersed, as

stage manager, in the 19th-century world of Anton

Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya – or rather, in a version of

that world seen through a contemporary Canadian lens

that illuminates a classic of the past and, in breaking it

open, offers insights that apply equally to our own times.

(The production is a new adaptation by award-winning

Canadian actor Liisa Repo-Martell, bringing together

a wonderful group of actors under the innovative and

daring direction of Chris Abraham.)

Meanwhile, next door in the

same building (Crow’s Theatre

in Toronto’s East End), a new

theatrical concert The Shape

of Home: Songs in Search of Al

Purdy is continuing to develop –

undertaking a similar journey of

turning a modern lens on an icon

of the past, in this case the “unofficial

poet laureate of Canada,”

Al Purdy. The modern lens, in

this case, is overtly musical.

Al Purdy To begin at the beginning, the

Festival Players of Prince Edward

County last year commissioned acclaimed music theatre performer

Hailey Gillis to undertake an exploratory curation of poems, letters

and musings written by Purdy, as a template for a musical exploration

of his works. Gillis took up the challenge. Focusing on Purdy’s

obsession with “where we are’” and “what it is to be alive”, she

extracted what she felt to be his most potent and provocative work.

She then recruited a potent team of fellow theatrical song-makers

and performers to bring the chosen poetry to life: Beau Dixon, Raha

JIM REEVES

Javanfar, Andrew Penner, dramaturge Marni Jackson and director/

performer Frank Cox O’Connell. The show now includes 20 original

songs interwoven with spoken text that gives context and shape to

the whole.

After its premiere production in the large Red Barn Theatre in

Prince Edward County, where performers could point almost directly

to places Purdy had known in his life, The Shape of Home is now far

from home, in an intimate studio theatre in downtown urban Toronto.

Consequently Gillis and company are continuing to develop the script

and context of the show’s songs, to help an audience not as familiar

with Purdy’s legacy feel the relationship to his words and philosophies

as they are immersed in the show’s musical versions of his

iconic poems.

St. Anne’s

Music & Drama

Society presents

Gilbert and Sullivan’s

The Sorcerer

Directed by Laura Schatz

Musical Direction by Kate Carver

Choreography by Jennie Friesen Garde

Nov 4, 10 & 11 at 7:30pm

Nov 5 & 6; 12 & 13 at 2pm

St. Anne’s Parish Hall

651 Dufferin St., Toronto

TICKETS: stannesmads.com

18 | September 20 - November 8, 2022 thewholenote.com

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