Thursday, November 18, 2010

News & Notes on the arts in Niagara

Just the other day I posted a reminder about Lyndesfarne Theatre Projects' latest production of Shakespeare's Villains, which stars Ric Reid and runs through this weekend at the Sullivan-Mahoney Courthouse Theatre in downtown St. Catharines. I suggest again if you have not seen the show, make tracks to the theatre before the end of the weekend as you will not be dissapointed!

Hot on the heals of that news is the latest release just out from Lyndesfarne, announcing their winter production will be the Tony award-winning play The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow, adapted from the novel by John Buchan and the film by Alfred Hitchcock. The play will star Lorne Kennedy and Jenny L. Wright from the Shaw Festival, along with John Osbaldeston and Jason Cadieux. The release states it is a "smart and fast-paced comedic thriller that sees four performers spinning through over 150 characters and a mysterious storyline - a seductive woman, a missing finger and accusations of espionage." Once again the director will by Kelly Daniels, Artistic Director for Lyndesfarne, who calls the play "a theatrical feast of sight and sound." More details will follow on this production but the play opens on March 10th at the Courthouse Theatre, so that will be something to look forward to come the new year.

In the more immediate future, we have a couple of important musical concerts coming up this Saturday afternoon, so you'll have to choose your favourite if either or both of these interest you, which I hope they will. First off, the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre will present 'Hear Freedom's Ring', a celebration of southern Ontario's history in a musical journey along the Underground Railroad, with tenor Michael Toby Saturday afternoon at 2 pm. During the performance visitors will discover the hidden meanings behind some of the world's most beloved spirituals. Having hosted concerts annually with Choralis Camerata on this same theme, I can say some of the hidden meanings in the lyrics is really quite astounding.

The concert takes place at the St. Catharines Museum, Welland Canals Interactive Centre at Lock 3 along the Welland Canal and tickets are only $ 20; you can call 905-684-8880 or simply pick them up at the door.

Also on Saturday at 1:30, and this is one I have a particular interest in myself, the St. Cathairnes General Hospital Foundation will be hosting a 25th anniversary Christmas Concert at the Bethany Commuty Church in St. Catharines. The concert will feature the popular Chorus Niagara, all 100 voices strong, along with special guest artist, singer Michael Burgess. You'll certainly remember Michael from his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. There will be other musical acts taking part, including the Niagara Star Singers
as well on Saturday afternoon, and I am happy to report I have been asked to emcee the event, which I am all too happy to do.

The proceeds from the concert will be directed toward the 2010 Tree of Lights Campaign, one of the most successful fundraising initiatives for the Foundation, raising a remarkable 1.3 million over 24 years. The money is much needed and well spent: funds have been used to purchase urgently needed patient care equipment for departments including the Operating Room, Emergency Room, Critical Care and Paediatrics at the St. Catharines General Site. Specifically, funds from the 2010 campaign will be directed toward urgently needed electric beds for the SCGH site.

The afternoon promises to be a perfect kickoff to the holiday season, and with tickets only $ 20, how can you refuse? Students & seniors are only $ 15, and children 12 and under get in for only $ 10. If you don't have your tickets yet, call 905-323-3863 or go to

I have spent a lot of time at the SCGH over the years, first with my mother passing away in 2000, my father passing away in 2009, and me in Emergency three times in that same year, so I know intimately what is needed now at the hospital, and we all hope you'll help out by coming out to the concert Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:30.

November 18th, 2010.

1 comment:

David L Rattigan said...

Great news about The 39 Steps. I saw the London (England) production and the show is a real hoot, so I'll certainly try and catch it in St Catharines.