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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Sights & Sounds

undercurrents: Un Cabaret Trendy-Trash

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Image from undercurrentsfestival.ca.Image from undercurrentsfestival.ca.

Le Cabaret Trendy-Trash is an interconnected series of pieces by the writers’ collective Les Poids Plume, presented in a well-rehearsed reading as a unified text by five of its members. The pieces explore what it means to be a francophone of the Ottawa-Gatineau region, or more simply, the Outaouais, because as we’re reminded, “Ottawa n’est pas Hull, Hull n’est pas Ottawa, mais l’Outouais c’est les deux cotés de la rivière.” Curiously, there’s no English way to say it, though the OOH-da-WAY does have its charms.  It is a place of... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Jerk It is a straight to the point exercise in storytelling

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Madeleine Boyes-Manseau, Tony Adams and Cory Thibert in Jerk It. Photo by Pat Bolduc.Madeleine Boyes-Manseau, Tony Adams and Cory Thibert in Jerk It. Photo by Pat Bolduc.

The concept of Jerk It: A Collection of Masturbation Stories (by Tony Adams, Madeleine Boyes-Manseau and Cory Thibert, of May Can Theatre) is a straight to the point exercise in storytelling: anonymously crowd-sourced personal stories of masturbation are read by five different performers; no sets or costumes, just unselfconscious readings of unselfconsciously written stories, a collaboration between anonymous writer and reader. Adams and Thibert acted as Masters of Ceremony and Boyes-Manseau read the final piece. Since each night will feature different stories and different readers I can’t spoil it for... | Continue reading article

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Jump into the rabbit hole with Flofferz

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From left: Jesse Alberto (House of Barons), Chelsea Vickers, Ramata Coulibaly and Domenico Tomei (House of Barons). All photos by John Aung.From left: Jesse Alberto (House of Barons), Chelsea Vickers, Ramata Coulibaly and Domenico Tomei (House of Barons). All photos by John Aung.

Flofferz knows that we live in a world that isn’t perfect and aspires to showcase this through a variety of mediums including photography, digital arts, illustration, painting and fashion. That is what makes this Ottawa production agency and magazine different. The founder and Editor in Chief of Flofferz, Ramata Coulibaly, is no stranger to being immersed in a world of perfection. Coulibaly has travelled the world modeling for various designers, shows and events where she was always having to live up to societal standards of perfection. Flofferz was created to... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Parry and a vintage bicycle Spin stories of liberation

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Left: Photo courtesy of Evalyn Perry. Right: Photo by Tanja Tiziana.Left: Photo courtesy of Evalyn Perry. Right: Photo by Tanja Tiziana.

Oh, my! What stories Evalyn Parry spins! And how she and Brad Hart tell them! With song, music, poetry, and theatre. Stories of freedom, power, emancipation and courage spanning three centuries: 19th, 20th and 21st. Stories from our past, but told with music, song and poetry of today. Told using instruments of the 20th century: Rickenbacker and Gretsch electric guitars. Plus an instrument that spans all three centuries: a bicycle updated with 21st century electronics to become a percussion instrument. But all this technology is subservient to the storytelling, starting... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ce weekend?

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Moonfruits perform at Lowertown Brewery tonight. Photo from their website, moonfruitsmusic.ca.Moonfruits perform at Lowertown Brewery tonight. Photo from their website, moonfruitsmusic.ca.

We’ve got a well rounded weekend ahead of us complete with art shows, killer music and SNL veteran cast members coming to town to entertain. Support artistic representation, local music and laugh yourself into good health all weekend long! This Friday in art we have Sacred Defiance at PDA projects. Aydin Matlabi commemorative exhibition pays respects to the fallen soldiers from the Iranian war. The portraits represent what the soldiers might have looked like in various calm, composed, and faithful poses in a bold contrast to the violence and needless... | Continue reading article

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Sabrina Fair has it all: Romance, fairytale transformations and the uber rich

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All photos courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre.All photos courtesy of Ottawa Little Theatre.

Romance, fairytale transformations and a peek into the lives of the uber rich – this show has everything you need to leave the mid-winter blahs behind. Director Venetia Lawless brings Samuel Taylor’s, romantic comedy Sabrina Fair to the Ottawa Little Theatre stage. I am consistently impressed by the talent of Ottawa’s amateur theatre community and this production is no exception. A show of this calibre doesn’t come together without a real love for the craft, something this cast and crew display in abundance. Sabrina Fair takes us to the 1950s... | Continue reading article

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Powerful performance highlights plight of immigrant women

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Rehearsal for New Country New Conflicts, a Forum Theatre play directed by Naomi Tessler and performed by clients of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa. Photo from artsoe.ca.Rehearsal for New Country New Conflicts, a Forum Theatre play directed by Naomi Tessler and performed by clients of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa. Photo from artsoe.ca.

Theatre, like art, is the working out of conflict, and can motivate, educate, inspire, and entertain. It can also move you to a new place, a new understanding, for the audience and performers alike. The New Country New Conflicts theatre performance put on recently by one of AOE Arts Council’s Art Place projects deals with alienation and the plight facing immigrant women in Ottawa. It explores everyday trials and tribulations newcomers to Canada face. Challenges at the employment office, in getting directions on the street and on public transit, and... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Marathon delivers less than it promises

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Merav Dagan, Ilya Domonov and Gal Shamai in Marathon. Photo by Doron Oved.Merav Dagan, Ilya Domonov and Gal Shamai in Marathon. Photo by Doron Oved.

As the undercurrents staff lets the audience into the Studio outside Arts Court Theatre, Marathon is already in progress. The audience seats itself around three runners who are circling the space. On the floor is a marker for the finish line of a marathon: 42.2 kilometres. But this is not merely a run, an athletic event. In this dance/theatre piece, the performers intersperse disparate icons of Israeli life: Hora, the celebratory folk dance; Hassidic prayer; shunning of shiksas (non-Jewish women); grenade attacks; Kibbutz communes; national service (“follow me”, “hold the... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Feckin’ Pirates is a boatload of fun

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Much Ado about Feckin' Pirates
featuring Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas. Photo by Pascal Huot.Much Ado about Feckin' Pirates featuring Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas. Photo by Pascal Huot.

If conflict be an essential element in good storytelling, then here be some fine stories indeed. Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates, the mounting of the improv piece by Richard Gélinas  and Margo MacDonald and directed by Al Connors, is as much a workshop in storytelling as it is a funny, absurd hour of improv theatre. The basic structure of the show is fairly straightforward: two bickering pirates have been banished by their captain to the crow’s nest and they have to stay there until they can learn to get along.... | Continue reading article

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Vagina Monologues – Februray 20 & 21 at Bronson Centre

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Photo courtesy of VDay Ottawa 2015.Photo courtesy of VDay Ottawa 2015.

“A muff?” says Emily Olding, when I ask her, on the coldest day of the year, what her vagina would wear if it could dress up. Emily is the co-director, with Di Golding, of VDAY Ottawa’s 2015 production of the Vagina Monologues. I am feeling winter’s dreary grip when I meet with Emily and producer Sandi Stoliar, but leave completely energized by both women’s infectious humour and passion. The Vagina Monologues is a play that tackles a somewhat delicate topic (no pun intended) in a way that is touching, funny,... | Continue reading article

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