February-March 2001

Charly Chiarelli brings the Sicilian-Canadian experience to life

Charly Chiarelli, master storyteller and harmonica virtuoso, is coming back to Artword Theatre this season - this time with two shows! Cu'Fu?, hilarious and touching stories about growing up Sicilian in Hamilton, Ontario, runs from February 8 to March 4, 2001. In April, Artword presents the world premiere of Mangiacake!, directed by Ronald Weihs, running from April 5 to 29.

Charly Chiarelli
Charly Chiarelli is unquestionably Artword's most popular performer. A familiar figure for years in Toronto's storytelling community, he had been telling stories of his weird and wonderful family in the north end of Hamilton, home to 10,000 Sicilians, all from the same town, Racalmuto! And back in Racalmuto there were only 8,000 left!
In 1995, for Artword's Festival of the Human Voice, he put the stories together into a one-hour version of Cu'Fu?, punctuated by original songs and his mean blues harmonica playing. (In those days, Artword was a tiny 60-seat theatre on the second floor of the building just north of where it is now.) At the first show, the audience went wild.
Artword's artistic director, Ronald Weihs, worked with him to help shape and stage the material, and the show returned in 1996, first for a 3-week run and back for an extended run that fall. And - largely by word of mouth - people found their way in ever-greater numbers up Artword's rickety stairs, until Charly was playing to packed houses every night. Charly toured across Canada, and brought the show to Artword again in 1999, this time to Artword's new 150-seat theatre.
Cu'Fu? caught the eye of Paul Gratton and Harvey Glatt, who with Denis Beauchamp of UBWired, turned it into a one-hour special for Bravo Television. The shrink-wrapped version is on sale at Indigo Books and other outlets. Charly is currently on the cover of the Italian Theatre edition of the Canadian Theatre Review.
A lot of people have been waiting for Charly's second show. In Mangiacake! Charly comes to terms with his Canadian identity, and goes back to Italy to find his roots, only to discover that he too is - a mangiacake! "Mangiacake", for anyone who hasn't seen Cu'fu?, means "cake eaters". It's what Italians call non-Italians (when they're being nice).
Mangiacake! was showcased in September in Hamilton, at the Ontario Workers' Arts and Heritage Centre. The auditorium was packed with Charly's old neighbours, most of whom had seen Cu'fu. They loved it. So will you.

What the critics say about Cu'Fu
"Chiarelli's charm is a strength of the show, as is his mean blues harmonica playing." Now Magazine

"One-man show is funny, touching and eloquent - Charly Chiarelli is a master storyteller with boundless energy." Kingston Whig Standard
"…deserves all its glowing reports. This is a wonderful evening full of warmth, laughter and sadness…" Kingston This Week
"…achingly tender…deliriously funny" Hamilton Spectator
"Cu'Fu is what's good for you…it resonates." National Post
"…hilarious reminiscences of growing up in the 1950s with immigrant parents." Toronto Star

Specials for Cu'Fu and Mangiacake
Big discounts for big groups!
Call us
416-408-1146 (admin)
416-366-7723 (box office)

Bricks do tricks -- March Break treat!

March Break special for kids of all ages. See bricks do tricks in the silliest show on earth!
Tuesday to Sunday, March 13 to 18 at 1:30 pm $10
Puppetmaking workshop at 2:30 $10 / $5

Brick Bros. Circus
Puppetmongers David Powell and Ann Powell bring their circus troupe of highly trained common bricks, in incredible acts of derring-do. See the Terrifying Wild Brick, the Unbelievable Brick Contortionist, and many more. Live music by David Anderson adds to the circus atmosphere. Bring a common brick dressed as Brickney Spears for $2 off a show ticket (one per family). Preregister for uppetmaking workshop at 2:30 for ages 5-12. $10 for first child in family, $5 for each additional child.

A dancer, a pianist, a piano
One of our favourite dancer/choreographers and co-founder of Damn Straight, Eryn Dace Trudell surfaces briefly for a three-day inspirited engagement with singer/songwriter and piano player extraordinaire Boo Watson. The baby grand piano of Artword is the enigmatic third party to this special occasion. Eryn will perform Slinky Listening to Wall - Listening Piece #1 (duet with grand piano) and Listening Piece #2 (solo with aluminum pipes). Boo will play. With and without Eryn. Together they set the score for theophany, performing improvisations in dance and music. March 15-17 at 8:30 pm. $15, s/s $12.

Paintings by Réjeanne Lizotte
Quebec artist Réjeanne Lizotte returns to Artword Gallery February l6 - March l8 with a new series of paintings and drawings. These acrylic paintings on canvas and mixed media drawings on paper are part of an on-going series "Les Lieux sympathiques".
An extensive traveler, Ms Lizotte absorbs the nuances of new situations. In her work she expresses her memory of the ambiance, architecture and impressions of places she felt connected to. Sometimes in the past, sometimes in the present, sometimes alone, sometimes in a crowd, sometimes to create, sometimes to distract, she revisits with emotion these places that are part of the intimate scenario of her life. In her paintings Réjeanne explores urban rhythms, mood and emotion, colour and light. Opening reception: Friday, Feb l6, 4 pm to 7 pm; Gallery hours: Tues-Sat, 1 pm to 6 pm.

Pleasure Dome's Blueprint Project
Nine artists selected for Pleasure Dome's The Blueprint Project unveil their speculations on what role moving images might play in the new century -- nine newly completed film/ video/cd-rom works by Roberto Ariganello, Judith Doyle, Jeremy Drummond, Linda Feesey, Helen Hill, Robert Lee, Maija Martin, Andrew J. Paterson and Ho Tam. They include a survival guide to the 21st century; a treaty on the omnipresence of surveillance and the reality of homelessness in our nuclear world; and a reflection on China's influence in the new global politic. A Blueprint for Moving Images in the 21st Century
Saturday, March 10, 8 & 10 pm; Sunday, March 11, 6 & 9 pm; Artists Talk Sunday 7:30 - 8:30

Woman as Landscape

March 19 to Apr 1
from Montreal
Woman as Landscape / Femme Comme Paysage
A performance collaboration between dancer/ choreographer Lin Snelling and photographer/composer Michael Reinhart.
This wonderful production originated at the Theatre Centre. Since they are temporarily without a performance space, they have come to us. Thanks David Duclos

Lin Snelling, photo: Michael Reinhart