“James Street” a musical play by Artword Theatre at The Lyric, Nov 29 to Dec 8

james_street_small_rv.jpgArtword Theatre presents its second play of the 2012-13 season, James Street.  a mad musical dash through the history of Hamilton. It runs Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, November 29, 30, December 1, 6, 7, 8 , at the Lyric Theatre, 434 King Street W., 905-527-6135. Book online: www.lyrichamilton.com. Regular prices: $19 Thursdays, $24 Fridays and Saturdays. Students/seniors $16. Children (12 and under) $10. Preview Wed, Nov 28 — all tickets $10.
Charly Chiarelli plays a modern Hamiltonian who magically encounters a famous figure from the 1840s – Paola Brown, a leader in Hamilton’s black community and Hamilton’s official town crier (played by Jeremy Shand). The two find themselves witnesses to (and sometimes participants in) a fast-forward gallop through life on James Street. They see how pioneer dentistry was done, witness George Hamilton and his cronies (Hughson and Durand) plot out the town, watch a farmer advertise for a wife “with a good back”, drop into Billy Carroll’s cigar shop and bookie joint to bet on the first Around the Bay Race, take a ride on the new Electric Railway – all depicted by Valeri Kay, Gordon OdegaardRyan Sero, and Abigail Veenstra. Mark McNeil appears onstage with guitar as a street singer, with his buddy Ron Weihs on fiddle, and of course Charly on harmonica

James Street is written and directed by Ronald Weihs. Songs are by Mark McNeil, one of Hamilton’s most inventive singer-songwriters and a well-known journalist for the Hamilton Spectator. Judith Sandiford is both producer and designer.

It’s a celebration of the contribution James Street is making to the revitalization of downtown Hamilton, and it’s lots of fun. Come and enjoy it with us.

One of the songs in the play, “Private Riley”, is featured in a special section of the Hamilton Spectator commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI – “Rileys”). (Check it out online at http://www.thespec.com/community/RHLI) There is a terrific video of Mark McNeil performing the song with the RHLI Regimental Band.

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