Artword Artbar is taking a break.
Last day of programming in 2016 is Sunday December 11, for our final matinee of our hit play Scroogissimo.
First day of programming in 2017 is Friday January 27, for a big fundraiser for the Andre Bisson Band who take off on a tour to Memphis. Showtime is 8 pm.
November 1 to 13, 2016. BACK for a 2-week run at Artword Artbar, in time for you-know-which election week! Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $25.00, or 2-show deal ($18 each) Book online
MacBush, the Musical, by David L. Dawson and directed by Ronald Weihs, is a musical mash-up of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the George Bush administration.
You need to see this show! Here’s why:
“Tired of Trump, Hillary and the crew dispensing ‘Ain’t America Great’ on TV? Then go get a reality check at Artword Artbar, where Artword Theatre is offering hemlock and humour, stirred not shaken, in a bitter witches’ brew. … Sean Emberley stands out as a look-alike for the grinning George Bush. Jon-Gordon Odegaard makes an exotic Osama bin Laden. And Will Gillespie and Allan Merovitz have fun with the roles of Rumsfeld and Cheney. … Well worth seeing.” (Gary Smith, Hamilton Spectator, May 2016).
“This lively play… threads its laughs with an undeniably sinister undercurrent… Jamila B.’s vocals are a treat… she not only has good comedic timing but is eerie when she evokes Lady Macbeth.” (Allison Jones, View Magazine, May 2016)
“Mixing clever, biting political satire…, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates. … Two highlights of the show are Shavini Fernando’s portrayal of an Iraqi woman’s lament, …and Will Gillespie, as an ordinary soldier. Shand’s portrayal of Powell’s conflicts is memorable.” (Ellen Jaffe, Ont Arts Review, May 2016)
Who? Performed by seven accomplished singer-actors in the Artword Theatre Ensemble: Jamila Bello, Sean Emberley, Shavini Fernando, Will Gillespie, Allan Merovitz, Jon-Gordon Odegaard, Jay Shand.
Music direction and performance by Tim Nijenhuis, with percussion by Steve Foster.
Book and lyrics by David Laing Dawson. Music by Charles W. Humphreys.
Directed by Ronald Weihs. Design by Judith Sandiford.
Produced by Artword Theatre and Gallery on the Bay.
Ticket Prices? Wed to Sun $25 Call 905-543-8512, or book online
Tuesday Special all tickets $10 cash at door
When? November 1 to 13, 2016, Tues to Sat at 8 pm, Sun mat. at 2:30 pm
Where? Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street, firstname.lastname@example.org
What is this show about? G. Dubya and his sidekicks Dickie, Rummy, Condi and Coley sing jaunty show tunes while they plan tactics of ‘shock and awe’. Songs sung by a soldier and an Iraqi woman reveal other viewpoints. With guest appearances by ‘Saddam Hussein’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘Ahmadinejad’ as witches, who have some chilling prophecies about our now current world crisis.
Theatre Review of MacBush the Musical by Allison M. Jones, View Magazine, May 5-11, 2016
Hamilton’s Artword Artbar is a small place with a lot of heart. Its theatre ensemble has taken on the ambitious MacBush the Musical, a “mash up of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the George ‘Dubya’ Bush administration during 9/11 and the War on Iraq.”
This lively play shows there’s room for comedy despite the tragedy woven into its historical and Shakespearean material. However, it threads its laughs with pathos and an undeniably sinister undercurrent for those who recall the political landscape of pre- and post- 9/11. …
MacBush review by Gary Smith: Macbeth, Bush mashup has comic intentions with bite, The Hamilton Spectator, Tuesday May 3, 2016
Need some consciousness raising? Tired of Trump, Hillary and the crew dispensing “Ain’t America Great” on TV? Then go get a reality check at Artword Artbar, where Artword Theatre is offering hemlock and humour, stirred not shaken, in a bitter witches’ brew. That brew borrowed from Shakespeare makes George W. Bush a kind of Macbeth in a modern suit….
MacBush: the Musical – Toil, Trouble, Shock & Awe,
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe for Ontario Arts Review
Shakespeare may be dead, but his plays are alive, well, and adaptable to modern times. Hamilton author, David Laing Dawson, demonstrates this in his powerful MacBush: the Musical, directed by Ron Weihs. The play transposes the story of MacBeth to Washington D.C. and Iraq. Mixing clever, biting political satire with direct anti-war statements, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates, especially when done in the name of “good.” ….
Click on READ MORE to read all three reviews in full. Read more…
Week One (Oct 21 to 25) of the 2015 Steel City Jazz Festival is at Artword Artbar. Week Two (Oct 29 to Nov 1) is at The Pearl Company. The artist-in-residence for this year’s festival is jazz pianist Adrean Farrugia. http://steelcityjazzfest.com/
Sunday October 25, at 7 pm, $15 reg, $10 students. BOOK ONLINE.
Tjaderama: The Music of Cal Tjader, a tribute band with Randy Stirtzinger (as Cal Tjader) playing the vibraphone, John Sherwood on piano, Carlos Rodriguez on drums, Rob McBride on bass and Antonio Perez on congas. John Sherwood has played in the Tjadermania tribute band since 1980.
Cal Tjader (1925 -1982), an American known as the most successful non-Latino Latin musician, played the music of Cuba, the Caribbean, and Latin America. His main instrument was the vibraphone, but he also played percussion and piano. (photo right) http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/artists/Cal-Tjader/
Peter Malysewich: “…the premier performance of this year’s Fringe.”
The performance was totally awesome. As a Learie fan, I came prepared to enjoy it and was rewarded with even more than I expected. Held my attention from right from the beginning. But I have to give a shout out to Dale Morningstar who at times was so intense he seem to be Learie’s alter ego, with his masterful timing, that movement and sound became one. A terrific venue, a terrific beer, and a fusion of artists for the premier performance of this year’s Fringe. July 23, Peter Malysewich, audience member, posting on FB, https://www.facebook.com/groups/11108185093/
Gary Smith: “..Theatre that pricks the social conscience, stirs the imagination and releases thought. Go get transformed.”
For goodness sake, go see Learie McNicolls’ dance drama “Transformation.” This piece of theatre-cum-performance art is a highly polished, professional work that finds inspiration in McNicolls’ narrative and Ron Weihs’ inspired direction. Add Judith Sandiford’s powerful visuals with their icy tinge of realism and you have a work of art.
McNicolls moves with easy grace offering a seemingly improvised (it’s not of course) banter that gives the work energy and rhythm. Accompaniment by musician Dale Morningstar on drums, keyboard, whistle and cymbals is always perfectly in tune with what’s going on.
“Transformation” reminded me of heady nights in Greenwich Village’s once famous Café Bizarre where, during the 1960s, art was deliriously performed for audiences who savoured every moment.
This is theatre that pricks the social conscience, stirs the imagination and releases thought. Go get transformed. Performed at Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne St.
Gary Smith in The Hamilton Spectator, July 16, 2015. Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for The Hamilton Spectator for more than 35 years. He saw these Fringe shows in previews. Gary Smith reviews Transformation
Dawn Cattapan: “…Mc Nicolls’ strong mastery of dance performance and movement is especially apparent as each transformation takes place with ease and grace… a powerful and meaningful performance…”
Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing is a multi-disciplinary art piece that encompasses dance, spoken word, live music and image projections. … Transformation was first presented earlier this year and incorporates three [many] of Mc Nicolls’ poems in order to bring three distinct characters to life.
Although these characters have other interactions, Learie is able to portray every single character with ease, using his body and voice alone to capture the essence of each; from a small child passing by on a beach to a preacher as he comes to terms with a troubled childhood.
In this sense, the story itself is epic; intense emotions and opinions of family, poverty, war, love, fear, sacrifice and faith are carefully explored as the character gracefully transforms and weaves their way into and out of the changes in their life. Through it all, they continue walking forward, to face each sunrise, and the promise of a new day with unreserved enthusiasm for the promise it may hold.
Mc Nicolls’ strong mastery of dance performance and movement is especially apparent as each transformation takes place with ease and grace that reflect his professional training. No space or moment is wasted throughout the performance, as Artword Artbar is utilized perfectly in its entirety to capture each transformation, both in music, imagery and movement. Mc Nicolls and his live collaborators have carefully and consciously thought out each moment, ensuring that they contribute to a powerful and meaningful performance as the music and images move the story forward as seamlessly as its main character.
Although many may feel that contemporary dance is an art form not for them, Learie Mc Nicolls is an apt tour guide for those looking to learn more about it as he conveys his story. This type of performance is reason enough to be excited about the future of the dance and art community in Hamilton.
Dawn Cattapan is an arts management and communications professional who is currently working with Green Venture. The former Executive Director of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and Education Manager for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, she is particularly interested in the potential of the Hamilton arts community. In her spare time, Dawn is an active yogi, burrito aficionado and can be found on Twitter @dcattapan. July 17, 2015: http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/2880/transformation:_a_journey_of_the_souls_healing
Robin Pittis: “… masterpiece of poetic theatre, … a feat of mature creative artistry…”
Transformation: An avant garde dancer teams up with a musician and visual artist to create this challenging masterpiece of poetic theatre. Learie McNicolls is an accomplished and award-winning modern dancer, and he draws on richly personal material of growing up in Trinidad for his poems. Themes of innocence, violence, and faith swirl between Judith Sandiford’s imagery, Dale Morningstar’s creative sound scape, McNicolls’ lithe and free movement, and his vocal commitment to the text. This is a feat of mature creative artistry connoisseurs won’t want to miss. [R.P.] Robin Pittis, View Magazine, July 23, 2015
Saturday February 28, 2015, at 8 pm, $10 (call 905-543-8512 to reserve). The Allen Family Reunion is a five-piece bluegrass and folk band from London, Ontario. The original Allen Family Reunion, four members of the Allen family, brought their bluegrass music to many festivals in the early ’80s. Today, the band has reunited three of the original members, siblings John, Joe and Julie plus two of the next generation.
Band members are: John P. Allen on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, vocals; his daughter Beverly Allen on autoharp and vocals; Joe Allen on banjo and trumpet; Julie Allen on string bass and vocals; and her son Paul Hickling on guitar and vocals.
John P. Allen is a country, rock and bluegrass fiddler, was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame group Prairie Oyster, winning six Juno awards. John has played with a long list of Canadian music icons over the past 40 years, including rock band Great Speckled Bird in the 1970s, bluegrass bands the Good Brothers, Big Redd Ford, the Dixie Flyers, and Tommy Hunter’s band. In 2005 Allen recorded a CD, “The Canadian Violin”, demonstrating various styles of fiddle playing in Canada
“I’ve heard the Allen Family Reunion both live and on CD and they are a joy to listen to.” Sylvia Tyson
Video by Adam Carter from his footage of our 2013 production, to the tune of “Eh Cumpari”. Performed by Charly Chiarelli, Pamela Gardner, Paula Grove, Valeri Kay, Gordon Odegaard, Jeremy Shand. An Artword Theatre Production directed by Ronald Weihs, script by Ryan Sero and Charly Chiarelli, design by Judith Sandiford.
Artword Artbar has been nominated for two Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Awards: Live Jazz Club and Live Music Bar/Lounge. If you think we are deserving, then vote. You can only vote once in each category.
To vote, go on the special Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Awards voting site.
To help you figure out how to vote, we’ve created a one-page Quick Guide.
TRUMPET ROMANCE: A WILD JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF MUSIC
Review by Channah Cohen in View http://www.viewmag.com/42847-Hamilton+Fringe+Festival+2014+Reviews.htm
In Trumpet Romance, currently playing at Artword Theatre, Stuart Laughton, trumpet player and musician extraordinaire, takes his audience on what he affectionately calls “a wild journey in search of music.” Using narration, musical instruments (trumpets, guitar, harmonica), and a series of projected images, Laughton does, in fact, take us on a journey that is not only entertaining and filled with gentle self–irony and humour. It is also profoundly moving and ultimately challenges us to look beyond the obvious in music and to experience its very essence. The journey itself is well crafted (by Laughton and Weihs), starting with what becomes ultimately a question: “Bon Vivant.” What, indeed, is a “bon vivant”?
In Laughton’s case, he falls in love with the trumpet as a child, exploring the possibilities of the sound he—and the instrument––can make. Playing music becomes his life, leading to a distinguished career on the concert stage, but the world of concert halls, where the beauty of music can triumph (we witness a gorgeous moment in La Scala), that beauty can also become undermined by human pride, self–interest. Besides, music is not simply an ornament for the life of the “bon vivant,” not a cultural indulgence. Instead, as Louis Armstrong said about jazz: “You can even live by it.” Classical, blues, jazz, rock, experimental—music is not simply to be consumed but to enter into. And so we accompany Laughton to Murray Schafer’s Patria Project in the Haliburton wilds and we listen and watch as music finds its echo among the trees, in the air, in the life force that transcends everything. For that is what “Bon Vivant” means.
Trumpet Romance is an extraordinary experience: beautifully put together, performed, and not to be missed.(CC
Gary Smith in The Hamilton Spectator
“The man has stories to tell, and he tells them in his hour-long Trumpet Romance: a wild journey in search of music…. The stories are told with affection and candour, punctuated by some glorious trumpet sounds…. Ron Weihs’ direction never gets in the way of Laughton’s honesty.”
Gary Smith of The Hamilton Spectator reviews Artword Theatre’s Trumpet Romance, at BYOV Artword Artbar.
Also reviewed is Rise of the the Prickly Pear (also at Artword Artbar), and two of the mini gallery shows around the corner on James Street. Paula Grove, a long-standing member of the Artword Theatre Ensemble who appeared recently in “James Street” and “Scroogissimo”, get a warm accolade from Gary for her show There Was and There Was Not.