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Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire ce weekend?

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Wilderness of Manitoba. Photo courtesy of Killbeat Music.Wilderness of Manitoba. Photo courtesy of Killbeat Music.

March has begun and with it the event season begins to rev back up. People will start to release albums in the coming months, there will be garage sales galore, and everyone’s mood improves. There’s plenty of comedy, art and music coming up this weekend to kick off some March madness! Start things off by listening to awesome people candidly talk about one of their biggest professional failures with this new monthly event, now in it’s 3rd edition: Fuck Up Nights Ottawa. On Friday, Saw Gallery has By Any Means:... | Continue reading article

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Bankrupt: A sexy comedy/musical mashup at the Gladstone

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Photo by David Whiteley.Photo by David Whiteley.

Bankrupt is a very enjoyable – and slightly smutty – comedy by Ottawa playwright Stéphanie Turple.  Her 2011 French play, Banqueroute, was translated into English and workshopped in 2013, and has now been brought to The Gladstone by Plosive Productions.  It’s a dandy bedroom farce/musical mashup with some great comic moments.  Judging from the laughter during the play and the comments in the lobby afterwards, the opening night audience really enjoyed themselves. I’m not sure if the original play featured songs written by Ottawa’s superb soul/funk/blues group, The PepTides, but their lyrics... | Continue reading article

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Marat and de Sade bring a mad revolution to Ottawa

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Photo by Marianne Duval.Photo by Marianne Duval.

Post by Eric Murphy. The title says it all: The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. If the name has your head spinning, let me explain. Marat/Sade is a play within a play. In it, University of Ottawa actors play inmates who are putting on their own performance. This apparently, is the way an “enlightened” insane asylum helps its residents let off steam. The lunatics’ subject is the death of Jean-Paul Marat,... | Continue reading article

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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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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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