Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lots to see in do in Niagara this weekend!

It may be the dead of winter and the cold weather may seem to never want to end, but that should not deter you from getting out of your comfort zone indoors and partake of some great theatre and musical performances this weekend.  I've rounded up a few examples of why you should not stay home the next few days.

First off, Friday evening local jazz singer extraordinaire Sarah Jerrom and her musical friends will be performing The Yeats Project, blending elements of jazz and classical music and presenting the words of W.B. Yeats in a totally new way.

I first met Sarah when she was finally breaking into the local jazz scene while performing at Laura Secord Secondary School on a cold March night several years ago.  I always remembered the raw talent and potential for growth on display that night long ago and it's nice to see an exciting new musical project come out of that young musical mind so many years later.

Sarah sent me an email earlier this week describing The Yeats Project as original musical settings of eleven poems by acclaimed poet W.B. Yeats, orchestrated and arranged by Sarah herself for what she describes as an "unorthodox" 9-piece instrumentation.  Along with Sarah on vocals, the musical accompaniment includes violin, viola, cello, double bass, bass clarinet, flugelhorn, piano and drums.

Jerrom describes the sound as a blend of classical, jazz and improvised music, with a lot of experimentation with sound textures and pushing musical boundaries, all in the name of showcasing Yeats' words.  Sarah points out the nine musicians and the conductor are all from the Toronto area, and in fact they will be accompanying her in Toronto in the next few weeks following the St. Catharines performance this Friday night.

This will be the first of two shows to be recorded live for her second CD, and in fact she's currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Kapipal to raise funds for the project.  Just search Sarah Jerrom on Facebook and you'll find the campaign page should you wish to donate.

The Toronto date will be March 11th, by the way, at the Array Space.

Tickets to The Yeats Project in St. Catharines, part of the ENCORE! professional concert series presented by The Department of Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts at Brock University, are available through the Centre for the Arts box office by calling 905-688-5550, ext. 3257, or by going to

The performance is tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at Brock and should be a great show.

Meantime, Essential Collective Theatre has a new show that continues until this Sunday at the Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre in downtown St. Catharines.  Entitled Wings of Wax, the play was written by Lindsay Price and is directed by ECT Artistic Director Monica Default.  It's a fun play, just perfect for taking your mind off the long winter we've been experiencing, and stars Joshua Stodart and Emma Mackenzie Hillier.

Performances continue Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm and there is a Sunday matinee at 2 pm that is Pay-What-You-Can.  Tickets should be available at the door for any of the remaining performances.

Also Saturday evening, Suitcase in Point Theatre Company presents their annual fundraiser, Big Time Speakeasy from 7 pm until whenever.  They say until late, whatever that means...

Entertainment will be provided by Juliet Dunn and Ian Greene, Violet Canibelle and Suitcase in Point Theatre, and there will be a dance party with D. J. Dave Stiles.  Of course, being a fundraiser, there will also be Silent Auction items to bid on for everything from massages and artisan gifts to theatre tickets, hotel packages and more.

Tickets are available online at or you can pick them up at the door.  And the door in question is located at the Oddfellows Lodge at 36 James Street in downtown St. Catharines.  Although it takes place on the second floor, it is wheelchair accessible, by the way,

Chorus Niagara presents the third concert of their current season Saturday night at 7:30 at Calvary Church in north St. Catharines, entitled Life Eternal.  The performance pairs two Requiems composed nearly 200 years apart:  Mozart's and John Rutter's.  Mozart's was his last composition, of course, and the stories surrounding it are now legendary thanks to the movie and stage play Amadeus.  Rutter's is part of the composer's continuing legacy of great choral works, this one carrying a message of hope and comfort.

Tickets to the performance should be available Saturday night at the door, or in advance from any choir member or by calling the Brock Centre for the Arts box office at 905-688-5550, ext. 3257.  You can also order them online by going to

Finally, the Niagara Symphony presents their second "Next Gen" concert for families on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at the Centre for the Arts at Brock University.  It features NSO Associate Conductor Laura Thomas leading the orchestra in a performance of Camille Saint-Saens' immortal Carnival of the Animals as well as Compose Yourself!

Again, tickets should be available through the Brock box office by calling 905-688-5550, ext. 3257 or  you can pick them up at the door on Sunday afternoon.

There you go, lots to see and do this weekend, and once you are done it will be March and that means spring is only three weeks away...we hope!

Enjoy the weekend!

February 26th, 2015.

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