by Irena Syrokomla
Lake Nora Arms
at Theatre & Company
The final production for the 2004-2005 season at Theatre
& Company in downtown Kitchener. is the world premiere of a musical
based on a book of poems by Michael Redhill and adapted for stage by Jane
Miller. It has no plot. This one-act performance is a journey through memory
of summers in the cottage country hotel, Lake Nora Arms,-- presumably on
Lake Nora, somewhere in Ontario,- : the lake, the loons, the water,
wind, the melodies of the air on hot summer nights. The group of actors was
selected for their musical ability to sing a capella, without any
instrumental accompaniment, just carrying
on the melodies and tunes from one to the other. The stage set is sparse,
the lighting adds to the atmosphere. The actors in their washed out weekend
gear wander about, play with a bucket of water, hum the tunes, creating the
unmistakable atmosphere of cottage life.
'Lake Nora Arms is a very unusual play and I don’t
expect it would appeal to an audience looking for merely entertainment.
However, the audience on the night of my attendance was sitting fascinated,
listening to the songs about water, the lake, young loves and night
swimmers. It brought memories of cottage life and summer weekends in
Ontario, the calmness of the lake, the sound of the loons in the night. The
comment from several individuals was "it made me remember" and "I keep
thinking about the play". Obviously, it is another innovative production
directed by Stuart Scadron-Wattles with the enthusiastic participation of
Jane Miller and Brian Quirt. The music is so memorable it would be
worthwhile to have it available on CDs.
Theatre & Company – coming season for September 2005 – June
The brochures for the coming season are available and the
program is again very promising.
The season opens in October- November with two productions
played simultaneously Educating Rita and Oleanna.
Both are dealing with the issue of sexually tinted relationships between
teacher and female students: the same cast, the same set, and two different
perspectives. It will be possible to even see both of them on the same day
The Christmas play The Gift of the Magi,
planned for the full month of December, is a sweet romantic story, sure to
put you in a happy holiday mood.
In February 2006 Ten Times Two is a romantic
comedy, the story of a bad guy falling in love. Unfortunately
the lady dies and the bad guy is cursed with immortality and repetitive
encounters with the dead woman reappearing in different guises. The initial
love takes place in 1399, so the reappearances over several centuries,
promises a variety of costumes and styles. It sounds like fun.
The Ends of the Earth scheduled for March and April
2006 is another unusual play exploring paranoia, nature of identity and
promising – as the summary in the brochure says – " a frantic, wild and
thought-provoking comic ride". We will see about that.
The last play is Marion Bridge, a Canadian
setting, as three sisters return to Cape Breton to attend their dying
mother. The sisters have chosen different life-paths: one is an
actress/waitress from Toronto, another is a nun and the third one still
lives at home. It presents some psychological explorations of siblings’
rivalry, old unfinished business and current comparisons. It is listed as a
sharp comedy. It will open in May 2006 to run till mid June.
Subscriptions are available and so is the brochure
describing the coming season’s programs.
Theatre & Company is a highly recommended quality
theatre; right in downtown Kitchener with easy parking available, box office
number is 519-517-0928 the web site
I hope I will have the pleasure of commenting on these
productions and achievements of the Director.
KWS Pops – By Request – Centre in the Square
celebrating K-W Symphony Volunteers.
This was the last of the Pops Series, conducted by Brian
Jackson, the hall filled with subscribers, concertgoers and volunteers. When
they were called to stand up – it was amazing how many of them were in the
audience. Thanks for your time and your participation, the community
The program for this concert was the result of about 25
requests for favorite music (why so few?) pieces: a march from
Aida, Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago, two compositions of
Rimsky-Korsakov, Johann Strauss Jr.’s Voices for Spring and the
selection from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin, among others. Brian
Jackson charmed the audience, as usual, and expressed his surprise that no
one requested a song of Andrew Lloyd Weber. It was indeed a bit of surprise.
The concert was magnificent, the audience sang and clapped
along with the orchestra, a number of individual musicians were featured as
soloists and Flight of the Bumble Bee – supposedly with almost no rehearsal
– was met with laughter and an ovation. It was a beautiful evening,
beautiful melodies, unfortunately next year there are no plans for a "By
Request" concert. And I was just getting ready to send my personal choices!
Programs for the next season are available, and regular
subscribers are invited to renew, and of course the general public is urged
to plan for the evenings and offer their support. The phone number for the
box office is 519-745-4711, the web site
Grand River Baroque Festival at the Buelhow Barn in
The Baroque Festival is planned this year for the
weekend preceding the long weekend at the beginning of July, so this time
the cottage may be enjoyed without guilt feelings. The location is, as in
previous years, at the south end of Trussler Road near 401 in the Buelhow’s
country barn. The opening concert on Friday evening June 24 at 7:30 is all
Bach with great vocalists Laura Pudwell, Joseph Schnurr and Daniel Lichti.
They have participated in the Festival before and their voices are really of
world class. Of course, there will be a post-concert reception. The concerts
for Saturday feature Vivaldi, Rameau and Boismortier, among several others.
On Sunday there will be a Baroque Coffee House and a final concert of St.
Mathew Passion in the afternoon. Period instruments will be featured.
Julie Baumgartel and Jim Mason played at the free concert at
the CIGI event in Waterloo on May 2nd when the programs for the
festival were distributed. As Artistic Directors of the Festival, they look
forward to another great occasion playing for chamber music lovers. We are
very fortunate to have so many musical events of such calibre in the area.
Don’t miss it.
The flyers are widely available in the area, also available
by mail if you call 1-800-265-8977 or by web site
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Galley – the Quilt Exhibition
The current quilt exhibition at the KW Art Gallery (located
inside The Centre in the Square building) is part of a regional quilt
festival. The quilts have come a long way from the traditional home industry
of bedspreads or embroidered vests and are indeed in the category of art.
Presented at the KW Art Gallery are 73 selected quilts of different sizes
originating in a tradition of handcrafts, eventually bridging it to actual
intricate art creations.
This year the theme is Airborne inviting the artists
into the natural outdoors environment, incorporating the elements of flight,
sometimes folklore or historical elements. A number of the presented quilts
have motives of birds, butterflies, leaves or plants. Several pieces show
such as dancers, some are pure abstracts. The colours selections, the
technique – it is such an opportunity to see the quilt selection.
There were at least two large reviews in "The Record" with
photographs and this promoted the Gallery as a popular viewing event for
visitors. The exhibition will continue till June 16th and is open
to the public every day. For more information you may call 519-579-5860 or
visit www.kwag.on.ca. This is an
opportunity to see something so unusual right here in our community. Enjoy!