The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Video Cabaret presents THE GREAT WAR

In the same week that "Spiderman" is playing to its first audiences in New York, "The Great War" , one of a series of seven plays chronicling the history of Canada,  is ending its run in Toronto.
And it is as unique as the Julie Taymor million million dollar extravaganza that is bashing Broadway  audiences senseless with flying and noise and special effects.... and leaving them to imagine NOTHING.

The brilliant cast of seven portrays countless characters, dressed wildly in clothes made from bottle tops and old furnishing fabrics and  magically whipped on and off; beards, wig , hats and props changed in a silent flash. In the amazing black box with its clever series of stepped areas there are no sets. Only a series of wonderfully placed spotlights that the characters walk in and out of in a faultless dance. And because the total blackouts are SO complete the mind's eye is left with hilarious or shocking images to contemplate.  The horror of the 1914-18 madness is expressed even more graphically and poetically than the Joan Littlewood revue, "Oh, What a Lovely War!" in the 60's.
The sound track is brilliant....from gun shots to match strikes.... which the cast knows backwards and mimes impeccably, making the imagination work even more.  Give me this $15 ticket over the $140 they are charging  to watch unrecognisable human puppets flung about at the end of a rope.
The director/writer is Michael Hollingsworth.
I would love to try a mounting a production like this in Australia when we return.  tt

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Almost there

Posted by PicasaThere is a light at the end of the tunnel. I think a matter of days now. Then I can start the next one!

Leaving One's Mark

Some leave their hearts in San Francisco. Sheldon leaves his clodhopping impressions on the corner of Wellington and Blue Jays Way. The road crew had left their warning cones so that no one would mar their pristine work and were sitting in their heated truck cabin waiting to drive on to the the next 8 hour paint job when Sheldon walks into the no go zone, leaves his mark and then catches the eye of one savagely incredulous council employee.  Doing a 180 turn and pretending he meant to go the other way probably didn't fool anybody. It also took him four blocks out of his way.

Posted by PicasaGraumans Chinese it aint

Emental Christmas

This is the foyer of our apartment

This hand  on the concierge desk grabs you by the back of the neck if there are any messages for or complaints against you.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Toronto Arts Centre

This is the venue for the Rodgers show that Sheldon dragged me to tonight.  It was quite a hike on the train..almost as far as Sydney to Paramatta..  the venue was upmarket Seymour Centre with soul.

When we got to North York we went as usual through warm but empty public buildings from the station to the venue.  In a square was this ice rink.  Photographing the skaters going past was as difficult as trying to catch a wave. Especially when you know you might miss the last train . That's why there's so much ice!!

The Sweetest Sounds

A Century of Song! For one night only at the Toronto Centre For the Arts! The music of Richard Rodgers, his daughter Mary Rodgers and her son Adam Guettel! Well, Sheldy is a devoted fan of all three so TT was dragged screaming from his needlepoint out into the chill of Sunday evening and it was indeed the most wonderful musical feast. Scripted by and starring the charming Adrian Marchuk (an ex-Frankie Valli in JERSEY BOYS)
 and accompanied on grand piano by the indefatigable and versatile David Atkinson,
 the first half began in 1925 with the earliest Rodgers & Hart collaborations. Mr. Marchuk narrated their story interspersed with his crystalline renditions of "Manhattan", "Blue Room", "You Took Advantage of Me", "My Heart Stood Still", "Isn't it Romantic?" and "Ten Cents a Dance" before being joined by Sara Farb (and she is farbulous so remember the name)
for "On Your Toes", "Lady is a Tramp", "I Wish I Were in Love Again", "My Funny Valentine" and "Johnny One Note". A selection from PAL JOEY saw poor Larry Hart off to his early demise, the introduction of new lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II and a spine tingling rendition of the title song from OKLAHOMA! which served as our introduction to the other two talented cast members, soprano Toni Macrae

and the even more crystalline-voiced Jeigh Madjus
who is apparently well known for his (as yet unsuccessful) on-line audition videos for GLEE. Hang in there, Jeigh!  Act Two continued with the Rodgers & Hammerstein collaboration (oddly, nothing at all from THE KING & I) until Oscar hopped off the twig after scratching out "Edelweiss" and we were left to swoon to a glorious quartet of "The Sweetest Sounds" from NO STRINGS which Mr. Rodgers wrote all on his ownsome. Then it was time for a couple of tunes from one of Sheldy's all-time faves, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS which our compere Mr. Marchuk shockingly announced had both words and music by Mary Rodgers. (Ms. Rodgers did indeed supply the wonderful melodies but I'm sure the marvellous lyricist Marshall Barer sat bolt upright in his grave.) Jeigh Madjus brought down the house with Carol Burnett's clarion call belter "I'm Shy" which Sara Farb then topped with an expertly comic reading of "The Boy From..." from THE MAD SHOW (Music by Ms. Rodgers and lyric by a certain Mr. Sondheim). The last half of the evening was devoted to the youngest genius of the dynasty, Adam Guettel, whose music seemed to suit the team's voices best of all. It was interesting to note that the older members of the audience became restive as the melodies from FLOYD COLLINS and MYTHS AND HYMNS became progressively more challenging but the performances were flawless and made us want to reinvestigate both these underappreciated scores (certainly underappreciated in Australia; we were surprised to learn that FLOYD was one of the most produced shows of the '90s in the U.S.) Three songs from the sublime LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA brought the performance to a close and a well-earned enthusiastic standing O  from young and old alike. Well, mostly young; the old sat with their fingers in their ears looking cross but they did enjoy the bits they knew. Well done everyone, particularly Mr. Atkinson at the piano whose fingers must now be tiny red nubbly stubs.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lake Ontario after Toronto's first snow

It snowed for the first time this morning and it looked like Sheldon was going to turn into Good King Wenceslas trudging through drifts to get to his matinee.  But it came and went very quickly and the sun burst out. So my Artist's Date was a tram ride to Lake Ontario at The Beach to take some pics.  Some little patches lay on the sand.  And I made friends with a beautiful and huge dog.  His brother looked like he wanted to eat me.    tt

This house is on a corner of the boardwalk. You can see the lake in the distance

It  would seem that I had the beach to myself but in fact it was quite busy with walkers and even sun sitters.

There's the snow in the shadow of the drift wood

 This was Mr Scary

They were in ecstasy

Well Balmy has two meanings

Friday, November 26, 2010

One Of a Kind Art Fair

We went to this art expo today in a huge hall. Walked and trammed in the freezing weather. Snow is expected imminently.   The event happens annually.

We must be on the taste wave length because one of our favourites was inducted into the hall of fame.

Rudy Kehkla's wire sculptures are exquisite.

My personal favourite was an artist called Katie Jung (
She commissions fantasy and dream pieces for her clients as well as small decorative pieces.
Here she is in front of her latest works and below that the little hanging I bought.

I did sneak a couple of pics before I was halted by a touchy glassblower . Ever been hissed at by a touchy glass blower?  One I did get  below is of a very clever craftswoman who turns old books and sheet music into reticules. I wonder if she read the guts before tossing them in the recycling

There were stalls flogging the usual soaps,scarves, chocolates et al. We got our Christmas pud, a Cranberry sensation which is now in the freeezer. It might not stay there til Dec 25.

 Sheldon managed to get a couple of really splendid birthday gifts..One a week in the cast on average and I got something which I cannot reveal cos Sheldon reads these posts !   xx  tt

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today the Mirvish Company kindly invited us to join the Priscilla Company to a special Thanksgiving luncheon  at
And he wasn't but lots of jolly people were
Ass Conductor (in-joke) Jeff and Sarah

Josh, Nathan, Bryan, Nick and Kyle
Jeff, Sheldon, Gavin, Sarah and David.
The company and the food were wonderful but remember





Thanks Tammie and Mr Mirvish!!