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The ‘Theatre’ Category

Review: Veteran raconteur hits right notes in Charly’s Piano

December 6th, 2017
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Review Veteran raconteur hits right notes in Charly’s Piano

WhatsOn Dec 5 2017 05:26 PM by Gary Smith, Hamilton Spectator

Charly Chiarelli recalls the world of 1970s Toronto in “Charly’s Piano.”

Want to go back to the early ’70s? To a time when Ian and Sylvia, Bo Diddley and Ronnie Hawkins sang at the Concord and other hallowed Toronto halls?

Coffee houses and bars were still the domain of beatniks and hippies back then. Toronto was less sophisticated than it thinks it is today. Possibilities were endless.

In 1972, Charly Chiarelli, born in Racalmuto, Sicily, but raised in Hamilton’s gritty North End, found himself wandering the streets of what was once called Hogtown.

He found an attic abode next to a Primal Scream Clinic near Kensington Market. He found a job, too, at Toronto’s prestigious Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. Called an observer, he was paid to watch patients. Memories of many of these institutionalized folk permeate his new play “Charly’s Piano.” Read more…

Theatre

THEATRE: Charly Chiarelli’s new show Charly’s Piano, Dec 7 to 16

October 31st, 2017
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December 7 to 16, 2017. Charly’s Piano, Charly Chiarelli’s heartwarming Christmas show about how he organized a fundraiser to buy a piano for the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in 1972. An Artword Theatre Production, directed by Ronald Weihs. Charly’s Piano is the true story about how Charly went to work as a psychiatric assistant at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto. The year was 1972, Toronto was full of music and hippies, and the Clarke was exploring new techniques in mental health. Charly, harmonica and all, fit right in. Pretty soon, he’s organizing a fundraiser to buy a piano for the patients to play. At first, no one signs up, but when the “Cat Lady” says she’ll sing a song, the idea takes off. Patients, doctors, nurses perform in a sell-out concert. But the story isn’t over. Charly and a patient known as “The Duchess” travel by public transit to a mansion on the outskirts of Toronto and buy the piano. And at Christmas, the piano is in the lounge, where Charly leads patients and staff (and audience) in Christmas songs and carols.
Script by Charly Chiarelli and Ronald Weihs, new songs by Charly Chiarelli on harmonica with Ronald Weihs on guitar. Produced by Judith Sandiford.

Reserve 905-543-8512 or  BUY_tix_buttonBook online.
Show times and prices:

Thurs, Fri & Sat, December 7, 8 & 9, at 8 pm, $20; Sun December 10 matinee at 3 pm, $20
Tues to Sat, December 12 to 16, at 8 pm, $20.

The Two-Show Deal: If you came out to Cu’Fu? and loved it, you are eligible for the two-show package discount. By phone only: 905-543-8512.

Event, Theatre

Charly Chiarelli’s hit show Cu’Fu? returns: Sept 28 to Oct 7

August 18th, 2017
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Thursday September 28 to Saturday October 7, 2017. Charly Chiarelli‘s classic hit show Cu’Fu? (So Who Did It?), Stories of a Sicilian Family, returns to Hamilton, for a two-week run at Artword Artbar. An Artword Theatre production written and performed by Charly Chiarelli, directed and dramaturged by Ronald Weihs.
Cu’Fu?, the show that made him famous, is Charly’s hilarious and touching tribute to his crazy Sicilian family in the North End of Hamilton. His father’s bewilderment at the automatic record changer, his mother’s uncanny ability to read faces, and the unexpected reaction of both when they discover Charly is smoking “Mario Lanza”, create a portrait that is both affectionate and achingly funny.
Show times and prices:
Opening Festitalia Special, Thurs Sept 28, at 8 pm, $20
Fri & Sat Sept 29 & 30, at 8 pm, $20. Sun Oct 1 matinee at 3 pm, $20
Tues to Sat, Oct 3 to 7, at 8 pm, $20. Final show is Sat Oct 7.

Event, Theatre

“A real gem” Review by Lyla Miklos: Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy

July 19th, 2017
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“…a truly enchanting hour showcasing some of Hughes’ moving, political, and still frighteningly relevant poetry.”

2017 HAMILTON FRINGE FESTIVAL MINI REVIEW FROM CENTRE STAGE WITH LYLA MIKLOS ON 101.5 FM THE HAWK

This Fringe show was a real gem and a pleasant surprise. Writer/Director Ronald Weihs takes us back to 1953 when Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes was summoned by infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy to speak to the Senate Committee on Investigations. Combining projected pictures from the era, jazz music, movement and two amazing actors Weihs transports his audience into both a frightening and inspiring time and place. A time and place that reminds us of the fragility of our democracies as we still so easily allow ideological demagogues to take away our collective powers.

What makes this production really sing is when Learie Mc Nicolls brings to life the words of Langston Hughes. More than once the audience would burst into spontaneous applause at the end of one his powerful recitations. Not only did his voice bounce off the walls, but his feet and body were bouncing and moving all over the stage. Mc Nicolls was utterly captivating to experience and witness in this fully realized performance. The counter point to his poignant energy was the brittle intensity that Howard Jerome brought to his role as the nefarious McCarthy. Read more…

Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, News, Theatre

“Acting powerhouse” Review by Lori Littleton, Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy

July 19th, 2017
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“top-notch actors and a unique, artful structure”

Jul 24, 2017, by Lori Littleton,  Hamilton Spectator

Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy
Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St. — July 25-27 at 9 p.m., and July 28-29 at 8:30 p.m.

Writer/ director Ronald Weihs has assembled an acting powerhouse for this 60-minute drama. Dora Award-winner Learie McNicolls is Langston Hughes, renowned poet of the Harlem Renaissance, and Howard Jerome is Joe McCarthy, a U.S. Senator known for his pursuit of anyone affiliated with Communism in the 1950s. The play is based on actual transcripts of Hughes’ testimony before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in March 1953. But this isn’t a courtroom drama and there’s no thundering climax. Instead, the play features McCarthy asking Hughes questions about his poetry. Seated, Hughes answers but then rises to narrate a poem. A skilled dancer, McNicolls artfully adds to his delivery of these poems, which punctuate issues such as workers’ rights, racism, inequality and religion. Weihs also tackles more philosophical topics such as whether a writer’s views be separated from his work. Read more…

Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, News, Theatre

Fringe 2017: Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy, an Artword Theatre producton, July 20 to 29

June 19th, 2017
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July 20 to 29, 2017. Artword Theatre participates in the 2017 Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival with a timely and sensitive piece of documentary theatre, Langston Hughes vs. Joe McCarthy, written and directed by Ronald Weihs and produced by Judith Sandiford. Dancer-choreographer-actor Learie Mc Nicolls plays the role of Langston Hughes and character actor Howard Jerome performs as The Interrogator.
Is poetry subversive? U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy thought so. On March 24, 1953, Langston Hughes, renowned poet of the Harlem Renaissance, was summoned before the Senate Committee on Investigations. Did his poems contain communist ideas? In reply, Langston Hughes tells about his personal encounters with racism in America. The script is based on the actual transcript of his testimony, interwoven with the controversial poems, and incorporating dance, music and powerful images of the era.
Running time: 60 minutes.
Tickets: $10 + one-time Fringe button:  BUY Tickets Fringe website
Showtimes: Thu July 20: 6:30pm, Fri July 21: 9:00pm, Sat July 22: 9:00pm, Sun July 23: 8:30pm, Tue July 25: 9:00pm, Wed July 26: 9:00pm, Thu July 27: 9:00pm, Fri July 28: 8:30pm, Sat July 29: 8:30pm
[The poems by Langston Hughes are used by permission granted by Harold Ober Associates Incorporated, as agents for the Estate of Langston Hughes.]

Click here for full PRESS RELEASE pdf

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Fringe 2017: Chéri, a play by Sky Gilbert, based on Colette novels. July 22-23, 28-29

June 18th, 2017
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July 22-23, 28-29, 2017. The 2017 Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival at Artword Artbar Bring-Your-Own-Venue: Chéri, a play by Sky Gilbert and Dustin Peters, based on novels of French author Colette (photo). Directed by Sky Gilbert, with Peggy Mahon as Léa, an elderly ex-courtesan who is performing a musical based on her life story. The lady becomes distracted by her pianist (Dustin Peters), who reminds her of her lover from many years ago — Chéri. The play deals with issues of aging and the true nature of love.
Running Time: 50 minutes
Tickets: $10 + one-time Fringe button:  BUY Tickets Fringe website
Showtimes: Sat July 22: 3:00pm, Sat July 22: 7:00pm, Sun July 23: 3:30pm, Fri July 28: 4:30pm, Sat July 29: 2:30pm, Sat July 29: 6:30pm

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Fringe 2017: The Lost Years by Peter Gruner, July 20 to 29

June 17th, 2017
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July 20 to 29, 2017. The 2017 Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival at Artword Artbar Bring-Your-Own-Venue: The Lost Years: a Renurg Production by Peter Gruner, directed by Al French, performed by Deb Dagenais and Peter Gruner.
Travel through The Lost Years… Having kids is crazy! You start out young and suddenly “wake up” old. Ben and Carly start off happy and naïve, but where will they be after their journey through parenthood? The Lost Years is the time spent raising children. For parents, parents-to-be, children or anyone in a long term relationship. A comedy from the creators of Minced, Laund-o-Mat at the End of the World, and Mommy’s Mask.
Running Time: 50 minutes
Tickets: $10 + one-time Fringe button:  BUY Tickets Fringe website
Showtimes: Thu July 20: 8:30pm, Fri July 21: 7:00pm, Sat July 22: 5:00pm, Sun July 23: 6:00pm, Tues July 25: 7:00pm, Wed July 26: 7:00pm, Thu July 27: 7:00pm, Fri July 28: 6:30pm, Sat July 29: 4:30pm.

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

BYOV 3 shows at Artword Artbar: Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival, July 20 to 30

June 16th, 2017
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July 20 to 30, 2017. Artword Artbar is a Bring-Your-Own-Venue for three theatre projects in the 2017 Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival. Full schedule of the Festival BUY Tickets on Fringe Festival website
The productions at Artword Artbar are:
#1: The Lost Years: a Renurg Production by Peter Gruner, directed by Al French, performed by Deb Dagenais and Peter Gruner.
#2: Cheri: by Sky Gilbert and Dustin Peters, directed by Sky Gilbert, performed by Peggy Mahon and Dustin Peters.
#3: Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy. An Artword Theatre production, written and directed by Ronald Weihs, performed by Learie Mc Nicolls and Howard Jerome.

Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

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