Saturday, March 13, 2010

News and Notes around Niagara this weekend

My apologies for not writing my mid-week entry this week, but it is that time of year again when you have to get things ready for the accountant, and ultimately, the government. So by the end of the day all this week, I was too tired and too numb above the neck-line to even contemplate what to write, so I will make up for it today with both entries combined into one.

I received an email from my good friend Anne Deyme over at Rysons United Studios of Music on Court Street in downtown St. Catharines. You may remember back in January I wrote of the untimely death of her husband, Don, who suffered a massive heart attack. Don was, as Anne would say, the one who did all the repairs for the schools and many private customers throughout the region. When he died, the void had to be filled somehow, if the shop was to continue operating.

I am happy to report Anne has hired two technicians for in-store repairs: Jamie Clarke who is 44 and a graduate for brass and woodwind repairs and has run his own business for fifteen years; and Torry Doyle and David Tufford team up to do the repairs on guitars and anything else electronic.

Anne points out schools, especially during March break, will be happy to know they are up and running again, and they can work on your instruments while the children are off on break. Rysons even offers same day service so schools don't have to wait, even though March break is a busy time traditionally with all the music camps up and running in the region.

So, don't despair if your beloved musical instrument is in need of repairs; Don may be gone but not soon forgetton, and others have taken up the gauntlet and will run with it, carrying the Rysons banner with them as they go!

Now, the other item of interest is the spring show for Garden City Productions, our premiere community theatre group here in St. Catharines. GCP is presenting "The Fantasticks" by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, directed by St. Catharines' own Di Nyland-Proctor.

The Fantasticks is one of those musicals everyone has heard about, but I suspect not that many have had the opportunity to see; I know I have been familiar with it for decades but have never caught a performance anywhere until now. I am looking forward to finally seeing it when it opens tonight at the Mandeville Theatre at Ridley College.

If the title doesn't ring a bell, think of the song "Try to Remember" which was everywhere in the late 60s. This is the one big song from the show; however, the musical holds the distinction of being the longest-running and most successful musical to date, and that's something when you consider some of the other long-running musicals of the past, including "Sound of Music" and "Cats" for example.

The Fantasticks is a 1960s allegorical musical that hints at Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet insofar as two children from two different families fall in love; in this case, the respective parents are encouraging them to do so rather than discourage them. Beyond that, you'll have to see the play!

The Fantasticks runs at the Mandeville Theatre at Ridley until March 28th, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. For tickets call the Brock Centre for the Arts box office at 905-688-5550, ext. 3257 or pick them up at the show.

See you there!

March 13th, 2010.

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