Selected Posts

The ‘Theatre’ Category

Scroogissimo! is delightful and charming (review by Gary Smith)

December 10th, 2018
Comments Off on Scroogissimo! is delightful and charming (review by Gary Smith)

GARY SMITH: Scroogissimo! is delightful and charming

WhatsOn December 11, 2019, 12:02 PM by Gary Smith, Special to The Hamilton Spectator

www.thespec.com/whatson-story/9075444-gary-smith-scroogissimo-is-delightful-and-charming/

It’s the best Scrooge I’ve seen all year.

With apologies to Charles Dickens, this Hamilton version of the transformation of a crusty old skinflint to a giving and caring benefactor of humanity, will make you believe in something more than ersatz holiday entertainment.

We’re in Hamilton, where Bob Cratchit (Jon-Gordon Odegaard) and his family live at 487 Barton St. Cratchit scratches out a living in the office chambers of Ebenezer Scrooge a wily old Sicilian played of course by the irrepressible Charly Chiarelli.

As in Dickens, you’ll go with those three spirits of Christmas, Past, Present and Future (Pamela Gardner, Paula Grove and Valeri Kay) as they force the grumpy old miser to confront the waste of his life. Read more…

Theatre

THEATRE: Scroogissimo is coming back! Dec 1 to 15, 2018

October 20th, 2018
Comments Off on THEATRE: Scroogissimo is coming back! Dec 1 to 15, 2018

NEWS: remaining 4 shows selling fast. Fri Dec 14 is SOLD OUT.
Friday Dec 1 to Saturday Dec 15, 2018.
Times: Wed to Sat at 8:00 pm.
Sun matinées Dec 2 & Dec 9 at 3:00 pm.
Tickets: Adults $25,  Child 14 & under $10.
To reserve call 905-543-8512. On-line ticketing no longer available.

Artword Theatre’s delightful Christmas comedy Scroogissimo returns for a fourth time to Artword Artbar. Hamilton’s North End meets Charles Dickens in a wacky script by Ryan Sero and Charly Chiarelli, directed by Ronald Weihs.
With the original cast!
Charly Chiarelli as Ebenezu Scroogie
Pamela Gardner as Christmas Past and ensemble
Paula Grove as Christmas Present and ensemble
Valeri Kay as Christmas Future, Mrs. Cratchit and ensemble
Jon-Gordon Odegaard as Bob Cratchit and ensemble
Jay Shand as Marley’s Ghost, nephew Fred and ensemble
Musical support by Alex Tomowich on piano.

A sell-out hit in 2013, 2014 and 2016, Scroogissimo features Charly Chiarelli as “Ebenezu Scroogie”, a Christmas-hating old Hamiltonian from Racalmuto, Sicily, who finds himself haunted by three ghosts of the Past, Present and Future.

Our favourite review, from the first production in 2013: “Artword Theatre is cramming a whack of seasonal fun into their tiny package of a space. Mixing local Sicilian–Canadian storyteller Charly Chiarelli and “Charly” Dickens makes a Christmas–cracker exploding with musical and comedic goodies that will make an addition to your festive season you will never forget….” Robin Pittis for View Magazine.
(The show is as much fun and even more, as we add new things in each remount.)

Event, Theatre

CANCELLED: Whoever You Are, a play reading, Tues & Wed Oct 16 & 17

September 12th, 2018
Comments Off on CANCELLED: Whoever You Are, a play reading, Tues & Wed Oct 16 & 17

CANCELLED/ Unfortunately we are not able to proceed with this planned reading. We will try again in 2019….
[Tuesday October 16 and Wednesday October 17, 2018, at 8 pm. $10/pwyc. Artword Theatre presents a reading of Whoever You Are, a play by Ronald Weihs, based on a short story by science fiction writer Judith Merril. Read more…

Event, Theatre

Reviews “The Man in the Vault” an Artword Theatre production

July 26th, 2018
Comments Off on Reviews “The Man in the Vault” an Artword Theatre production

Reviews! –“Rather than feel satisfied that the play’s wrapping up, you’ll want more.”
–“a play that had me on the edge of my seat, like an unproduced Twilight Zone episode scripted by a young John Le Carré.”
–“a very compelling script. The highlight of this show is the acting.” Click MORE for full reviews. Read more…

Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Reviews for shows in the Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival

July 24th, 2018
Comments Off on Reviews for shows in the Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival

The Fringe reviewers have been busy! Great reviews for all three shows at Artword Artbar BYOV! Here are the links we know about:

https://www.raisethehammer.org/fringe

https://www.thespec.com/whatson-story/8757842-hamilton-fringe-shakespeare-russian-conspiracies-and-three-acrobatic-witches/

Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Fringe BYOV Artword Artbar: The Man in the Vault

June 29th, 2018
Comments Off on Fringe BYOV Artword Artbar: The Man in the Vault

July 19 to 28, 2018. Part of the Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival.
The Man in the Vault
(Artword Theatre).
Performed by Mariam Bekhet, Jordan Campbell, Jason Thompson
Written and directed by Ronald Weihs
Produced and designed by Judith Sandiford
A Russian spy defects with information about Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination. James Angleton, the CIA’s legendary head of counterintelligence, is convinced he is a disinformation agent sent by the KGB. The defector is kept in a concrete vault in a secret location while interrogators try to extract the truth from the man in the vault. Based on true events in the 1960s that resonate with today’s headlines.
Drama, All Ages, Running Time: 60 minutes
Tickets: $10 (Fringe Backer Button required)  hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/

Show Times: Thursday, July 19 @ 9pm, Friday, July 20 @ 4:30pm
Saturday, July 21 @ 7pm, Sunday, July 22 @ 8pm
Tuesday, July 24 @ 9pm, Wednesday, July 25 @ 7pm
Thursday, July 26 @ 9pm, Friday, July 27 @ 5pm
Saturday, July 28 @ 6pm  (Final show)

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Fringe BYOV Artword Artbar: The Decision

June 29th, 2018
Comments Off on Fringe BYOV Artword Artbar: The Decision

July 19 to 28, 2018. Part of the Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival.
The Decision (Gallery on the Bay).
Performed by Jordan Campbell and Jason Thompson.
Written by David Laing Dawson, directed by Ronald Weihs
Produced by Marlaise Dawson, design and lighting by Judith Sandiford
Amsterdam, May 16, 1940: Two young officers in the Royal Netherlands Army meet secretly. Their orders are to report to Gestapo Headquarters in the next morning.

Drama, Parental Guidance, Strong Language. Running Time: 60 minutes
Tickets: $12 for Adults, $5 for Children under 12. (Fringe Backer Button required)
hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/

Show Times: Thursday, July 19 @ 7pm, Friday, July 20 @ 7pm
Saturday, July 21 @ 9pm, Sunday, July 22 @ 6pm
Tuesday, July 24 @ 7pm, Wednesday, July 25 @ 5pm
Thursday, July 26 @ 7pm, Friday, July 27 @ 7pm
Saturday, July 28 @ 4pm  (Final show)

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Fringe BYOV Artword Artbar: Romeo & Juliet: An Escapist Comedy

June 29th, 2018
Comments Off on Fringe BYOV Artword Artbar: Romeo & Juliet: An Escapist Comedy

July 19 to 28, 2018. Part of the Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival.
Romeo & Juliet: An Escapist Comedy (Make Art Theatre).
Performed by Tyler Brent, Natalia Bushnik, Kristian Reimer, Ryan M. Sero, Liz Kalles, Laura Welch.
Written by Ryan M. Sero, Directed by Tyler Brent.
Winner of the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2014 Hamilton Fringe! The sell-out fan favorite returns! Romeo is distraught: his girlfriend just dumped him, he can’t find meaning in the universe, he’s worried there is no God, plus he can’t even get a table at Steinman’s! Shakespeare meets Woody Allen in this comic re-imagining of the Bard’s classic tale.
Comedy, All Ages, Running Time: 60 minutes.
Tickets: $10 (Fringe Backer Button required)  hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/

Show Times: Thursday, July 19 @ 5pm, Friday, July 20 @ 9pm
Saturday, July 21 @ 5pm, Sunday, July 22 @ 4pm
Tuesday, July 24 @ 5pm, Wednesday, July 25 @ 9pm
Thursday, July 26 @ 5pm, Friday, July 27 @ 9pm
Saturday, July 28 @ 8pm (Final show)

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Theatre: Swingin’ In St. John’s, the Musical, April 3 to 15

March 2nd, 2018
Comments Off on Theatre: Swingin’ In St. John’s, the Musical, April 3 to 15

Tuesday April 3 to Sunday April 15, 2018, Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sunday matinées at 2:30 pm. Tickets Tues & Wed $15, Thur-Sun $25. Reservations call 905-543-8512 or
BUY_tix_buttonBook online

The Fringe 2017 hit musical Swingin’ In St. John’s returns for a two-week run at Artword Arbar. What if they made an Elvis movie — set in Newfoundland? It’s back and bigger than ever! More singin’! More dancin’! More swingin’! Two brand-new songs, plus the 16 original songs and two Newfoundland classics. Come get Screeched In with us!
Artword Theatre presents A Chasing Shadows Production:
Swingin’ In St. John’s.
Starring Will Gillespie, Rebecca Gilbert Millar, Leonard Cain,
introducing Mariam Bekhet, with Brian Morton as ‘Old Salty’,
and Susan Robinson as ‘The Lobster’.
Written, composed, designed & choreographed by Will Gillespie.
Paintings, props and puppets by Susan Robinson.
Video and lighting technician Judith Sandiford.

In the late 1950’s and early-to-mid 1960’s Elvis Presley starred in some 30 movies. Many of these were campy, light-hearted romps, musical romantic comedies based on what was called the “Presley Formula”: exotic locales, beautiful co-stars and fun songs that blended Rock & Roll with styles inspired by the locations and themes of each movie. What if one of these films was set in Newfoundland? “Swingin’ in St. John’s” is a new stage musical that answers that question. Read more…

Event, Theatre

New Play “Static” by Kevin Land, reading,Thurs Feb 22 at 7 pm

January 6th, 2018
Comments Off on New Play “Static” by Kevin Land, reading,Thurs Feb 22 at 7 pm

Thursday February 22, 2018, from 7 to 9 pm, free (call 905-543-8512). Reading of a new script-in-progress by playwright, screenwriter and director Kevin Land. Readers are: Deanna  Stevens, Martha Christianson, Aimee Kesler Evans, Janet Kompare Fritz, Greg Flis, Carlos Jiminez, John Land, Dean Rooney, Julian Nicholson, Paul Rivers.
Attentive listeners with an interest in theatre are welcome to attend. Seating is limited, call 905-543-8512 to reserve.
Static” is a film script about a musician who has never been able to forgive himself for his responsibility in the death of his wife and six month old baby while driving home late after a gig over 25 years ago. Having rejected music, alcohol, and human connectedness in the intervening years, Mitch, now retired as a letter carrier, rents a recording studio to put down nine songs he wrote in the ten years after the accident. There he works with a trans woman who is an intern sound engineer and in the process, the two form a bond out of the redemptive, communal, and restorative nature of music.

 

Event, Literary, Spoken Word, Special event, Theatre

Bar closed while we hold OPEN AUDITIONS, Wed Feb 21

January 5th, 2018
Comments Off on Bar closed while we hold OPEN AUDITIONS, Wed Feb 21

Wednesday February 21, 2018. Artword Artbar will be closed to the public today. We are holding OPEN AUDITIONS for several upcoming theatre projects by Gallery on the Bay and Artword Theatre. Gallery on the Bay is seeking to fill two roles for men in 20s-30s age range. Artword Theatre doing Get Acquainted auditions for a variety of possible projects, for men and women, any age. To make an appointment for an audition, email: artword@artword.net.

Event, Special event, Theatre

Review of Charly’s Piano, by Brian Morton View Magazine

December 14th, 2017
Comments Off on Review of Charly’s Piano, by Brian Morton View Magazine

“A Celebration of Spirit”
Review by Brian Morton of Charly’s Piano  in View Magazine, December 14 2017

They say it takes thirty years to become a master at something. I can confirm then, that Charly Chiarelli, the Sicilian born, North End Hamilton native, whose newest play, Charly’s Piano, opened this week at Artword Artbar, certainly has the skills to hold an audience spellbound with a yarn.

It takes a great deal of artistry; as a songwriter, an actor, a dancer, and a musician, in order to bring these poignant memories of working at Toronto’s Clarke Institute of Psychiatry circa 1972, as a patient observer, to life on stage. Chiarelli has long been compared to the late Spalding Gray, and his funny anecdotes are similar to humourist Mark Twain, in the essential humanity of his characters. I will suggest, that Canadian writer Stephen Leacock, is a more apt comparison, filtered through Charly’s experiences growing up in the rough and ready world of north end Hamilton, and the hippy ‘counter culture’ of the late 1960s.  Read more…

Theatre

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

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

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

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

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

“…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
Comments Off on “Acting powerhouse” Review by Lori Littleton, Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy

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

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

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

AWSOM Powered