Don’t smoke the red weed! CKLW offers a pre-Halloween fright fest

 

On Monday, October 30 at 9 p.m., CKLW-AM (800) will play trick-or-treat in a live broadcast of War of the Worlds, the H.G Wells science-fiction classic.
The original radio adaptation by Orson Welles in 1938 was presented as a news flash and sent shock waves throughout the United States. Scores of listeners panicked, thinking a Martian horde had actually invaded and were sucking people’s blood.
The CKLW production is the work of Windsor’s adventurous Sho Art, Spirit and Performance space on Monmouth Rd. It has been directed by Matt Maenpaa, and features several local theatre people, including Patty Handysides, Bob Steele, Jeff Bastien, and Peter Hrastovec.
For $100, you can view the performance at 628 Monmouth, then take in an after-party at Vermouth Lounge. Blood cocktails are strictly optional.
Call 226-345-7104.

 

A nod from Variety

Windsor International Film Festival (Oct. 30-Nov. 5) has been recognized, if in a small way, by the world’s most important entertainment newspaper, Variety.

In a recent issue, Variety reported that WIFF will present a lifetime achievement award to Hollywood actress, Lois Smith, on Saturday, Nov. 4. This is the second such award handed out by WIFF – the first, in 2014, honoured Canadian-born director Norman Jewison.

Smith’s career spans more than six decades, starting with East of Eden in 1955. She later appeared in such major hits as Five Easy Pieces (1970), Twister (1996), and Minority Report (2002). Her latest is this year’s Marjorie Prime, which will be screened Nov. 4 along with the award presentation.

For a complete list of titles and times, go to windsorfilmfestival.com.

 

Mr. Chill’s gold standard

Kelly Hoppe, aka Mr. Chill, brings his harmonica to the Capitol Theatre stage, Oct. 28 and 29, in a performance of Canadian classic songs by guest artist Heather Bambrick and the Windsor Symphony at the second Toldo Pops concerts of 2017-2018.
Listen for Hoppe’s skills, accompanied by WSO’s Peter Wiebe on guitar, in a rendition of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold. Tickets at boxoffice@windsorsymphony.com , 519-973-1238.

 

Remembrance Day

Windsor Classic Chorale (windsorclassichorale.org) will perform Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man mass at a pair of Remembrance Day concerts, Nov. 10 at All Saints’ Church in Windsor, and Nov. 11 at St. Andrew’s Church in Chatham.
Bruce Kotowich is the WCC conductor. The choir is celebrating its 40th anniversary this season.

 

The Dears return

For nearly six years, they were The Dears departed.
Now the Montreal indie band, slimmed down to a duo, has resurrected itself and will play Windsor’s Phog Lounge, Nov. 17. Tickets $15 advance, $20 at the door (phoglounge.com).
The Dears were among the first of several remarkably innovative independent acts to emerge from Montreal’s music scene in the 1990s. They helped lay the foundation for acts like Arcade Fire, Patrick Watson, The Stills, and Stars.
Despite releasing a promising debut, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, in 2000, it would take another three years to follow it up with No Cities Left. Three more years went by before Gang of Losers came out.
Finally, after a revolving-door of 17 members since 1995, husband-and-wife team, Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak, bounced back in 2015 with Times Infinity, Volume One. They released Times Infinity, Volume Two, this year, and are returning to native soil in November after a tour of Europe and the U.K.

Danielle Wade goes head-to-head with 76 trombones

 

LaSalle’s Danielle Wade has scored a major role at next season’s Stratford Festival.

She’ll play Marion Paroo, “Marion the Librarian,” in The Music Man.

Wade, you’ll recall, won a national CBC-TV contest in 2012 to play Dorothy in the Toronto and national
touring company of The Wizard of Oz.

It’s a full season production, running from April 17 to November 3, 2018.

Marion is the main love interest in the show for the music man himself, Harold Hill. Portraying the title
character, and, like Wade, making his Stratford debut, is American song-and-dance performer, Daren A.
Herbert.

Tickets go on sale in the new year at stratfordfestival.ca.

 

Malone on the case

Abandoned is the title of John Schlarbaum’s second instalment in his mystery series featuring
investigative reporter, Jennifer Malone. It opens with an actual encounter Schlarbaum experienced in
his work as a patient transporter.

He was taking an elderly patient to hospital when she turned to him and pleaded, “Don’t let them kill
me!”

Happy to report she survived. And Schlarbaum had the first line of his new novel, the follow-up to the
first Malone book, A Memorable Murder, in 2011.

He hopes to have the 280-page thriller out by mid-November. But that may depend on the success of a
Kickstarter campaign through October 19 to help defray printing costs. (http://kck.st/2ylH5pK.)

“I’m not asking people just to donate,” said Schlarbaum. “The campaign is actually a way to pre-order
the book.”

For a pledge of $15, you get an e-book; for $20, a copy of the paperback. He has already reached more
than half his goal of $3,000.

While much of the action of the book takes place in a newsroom where his heroine meticulously tracks
down clues, Schlarbaum relied heavily on his own expertise as a private investigator. He still does
occasional work as a P.I., in fact.

For more about the author and his other series, featuring private eye Mike Cassidy, go to
johnschlarbaum.com.

 

Bach in business

Six of Windsor Symphony’s foremost musicians are collaborating on a program of music by the Bach
family, Oct. 21 and 22. The concerts are part of two WSO series — Classics in the County at Leamington’s
United Mennonite Church on Oct. 21; and Intimate Classics at The Heritage Auditorium, formerly
Assumption Chapel, at the University of Windsor on Oct. 22.

Robert Franz will conduct a chamber group consisting of Konstantin Popovic on violin, Jean-Francois
Rompre on flute, Jeffrey Walker on harpsichord, Roman Kosarev on viola, and Nick Penny on viola.

Two of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Nos. 5 and 6, will be accompanied by three works by his sons,
C.P.E. Bach. W.F. Bach and J.C. Bach. Check out windsorsymphony.com for times and ticket prices.

 

Bookmark this one

BookFest Windsor 2017 returns Oct. 20-22 at the Capitol Theatre and various satellite locations nearby.
Peter Goddard, onetime pop critic at The Toronto Star, brings his latest book about Glenn Gould, The
Great Gould, to the Phog Lounge, next-door to the Capitol, on Friday, Oct. 20, at 8:30 p.m.

He will be accompanied in a panel discussion by Warren Kinsella, whose latest is Recipe for Hate, a
provocatively titled study of punk music.

On Sunday, Oct 22, at 11 a.m., the always-popular and always-sold out Books and Brunch event features
former CBC-TV journalist and novelist Linden MacIntyre and novelist and short story writer Elise Levine
in a conversation about fiction writing.

There are plenty of other attractions in between. Go to bookfestwindsor.com for all the details.

 

Ford City through a poet’s eyes

Marty Gervais has written often and lovingly about his hometown. His latest, Five Days Walking Five

Towns, takes an eye-level look at the five former municipalities that make up amalgamated Windsor.

Over the years, Gervais has developed a special affection for the gritty, workaday ambience of Ford City
and its main drag, Drouillard Road.

Here’s a passage from the book to whet your appetite:

“Directly across from (Brown’s Breaktime Lounge) is a tiny shop that has a For Sale sign tucked in the
window.

“This was the Corner Lunch Bar for years. The borsch soup there was legendary. Sadly, the place closed
like much else. The street is a veritable graveyard of past businesses. In the 1940s and 1950s, you could
live in the neighbourhood, and never have to leave.”

Five Days Walking Five Towns, published by Biblioasis, sells for $24.95 at local bookstores.

A gift for the ages: Weingarden donation sets up a bright future for WSO

It was called an Ode to Canada, but the opening concert of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s 70th season at the Capitol Theatre on Sept. 23 was an ode to this city’s enduring love affair with cultural excellence.

There was the revelatory performance of perhaps the greatest symphonic work ever written, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Ode to Joy. There was the Windsor Symphony Chorus pulling out all the stops in the finale. There were four international soloists, a children’s choir from area schools, the launch of a book by regional poets, and a newly commissioned work by Toronto’s Jordan Pal.

But, if all that wasn’t enough, there was a dazzling gift from two of the city’s great patrons of the arts.

Madelyn and Arthur Weingarden have provided funding for a Steinway concert grand piano. The instrument can cost upwards of US$250,000. But the gift is worth far more than that given the legacy it will instantly create and the opportunity to attract some of the world’s top soloists in all fields of music. The company’s website (admittedly not the least biased of sources) states that 98 per cent of the “giants” in the classics, jazz and pop prefer to play on a Steinway.

If you buy it, they will come.

Peter Hrastovec, a former WSO board president, responded this way to a remark about how long this community has waited for a professional-grade piano: “Years? Decades is more like it.”

Seven decades, to be precise. Hopefully, the orchestra takes delivery of its new prize possession by Nov. 18, when one of Canada’s supreme soloists, Alain Lefevre, brings his Canada 150 Project to the Capitol.

Sept. 23 was a sellout, and for good reason. The opening pops weekend, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, of the music of Star Wars was also sold out. The WSO is batting 1.000!

The launch of Black Moss Press’ Because We Have All Lived Here was further cause for celebration. Local actors Tracey Atin (Korda Productions) and Timothy Maitland read excerpts from the poems of Carlinda D’Alimonte, Marty Gervais, Peter Hrastovec, D.A. Lockhart, Dorothy Mahoney, Mary Ann Mulhern, and Vanessa Shields. The readings were inserted between movements in Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Haydn, a unique and effective forum devised by WSO conductor Robert Franz.

Franz began his fourth season at the helm, and the future looks bright under his leadership.

As October moves forward, we have promising Classics in the County and Intimate Classics concerts in store on Oct. 21 and 22. It’s titled Bach & Sons and features section leaders from the orchestra and guests in performances of J.S. Bach and his sons. I’ve always believed a day without Bach is a day without sunshine. Here’s a chance to load up for those rainy days.

The concerts are at Leamington’s United Mennonite Church on Oct. 21, and the Heritage Auditorium (formerly Assumption Chapel) in the University of Windsor on Oct. 22. Check out windsorsymphony.com for tickets.

If you’re interested in the book of poetry, which celebrates Windsor’s 125th anniversary, go to blackmosspress.com, or visit Windsor’s premier bookstore, Biblioasis, 1520 Wyandotte St. E. (biblioasis.com). While there, pick up a copy of Marty Gervais’ latest tribute to his hometown, Five Days Walking Five Towns, published by Biblioasis. It will have its official launch at the store on Nov. 17.

Speaking of books, the 13th Bookfest Windsor, subtitled The Next 150 (a reference to Canada’s birthday year), takes place at the Capitol Theatre, Oct. 20-22. Website: bookfestwindsor.com.

That will be followed on Oct. 30-Nov. 5 by the Windsor International Film Festival. Website: windsorfilmfestival.com.

I’ll have more to say in this space about both those events in the coming weeks.

It has been fun getting back in the saddle. The blog will evolve over time and contain elements of my old Artbeat column in The Windsor Star, as well as my reviews and interviews. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!