This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

I have not seen Urinetown before, but I know something about the Tony Award winning play. Heck, just about everybody knows something about the play. But, did you know Mariposa Arts Theater is doing it? It opens Thursday night at the Opera House and runs to November 17.

There are some things you hear as a kid that stick in the mind, like “you are in town?” and it sets off a giggling fit. I don’t know for sure whether the playwright, Greg Kotis, had that in mind when he named the play, or came up with the premise, but I’ll bet it was at least the second thing he thought of after coming up with the name.

It’s musical satire. The premise is, water is in short supply because of a drought lasting 20 years. One of the water conserving measures imposed on the population was outlawing toilets. Of course business has a solution, and one company owns all the pay toilets, which by law you have to use, no bushes or off you go to the penal colony (I’m sure that’s a double entendre too).

Nice guy Ian Munday plays the villain. Chris Newton plays the politician in cahoots. I’m not going to say the politician has a drinking problem, but with Chris playing the part, I’ll put some money on ir too.

MAT’s Urinetown, Josh Halbot and Olivia Everett

Josh Halbot and Olivia Everett are the leads. Josh was last seen in St. Paul’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he did the Calypso number, very well. Olivia was Velma in MAT’s Chicago. Natasha Paquin plays the corporate henchman, make that town warden, Penelope Pennywise.

It’s at the Opera House and you can get tickets online. You can also get tickets for Derek Edwards’s performance November 22 and the 50th anniversary tour stop for the Downchild Blues Band November 23.

The Winner Is

The Orillia & District Arts Council and OMAH Orillia Regional Arts & Heritage Awards nominations are in, now all they have to do is pick recipients. We’ll all find out who they are November 27 at the awards presentation at the Geneva.

The folks on the committee are pretty good about not giving up who the winners are. I’m the emcee for the night, 2nd time around, and they don’t even tell me. Last year’s awards night had 140 people on hand and there should be more people attending this year because it’s a great night of entertainment. The Little Big Band will be playing, the bar will be open and the lame one-liners out in full force (which is why the bar is open). The doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Can Speak English With 8 Different Accents

The folks at the Leacock Museum have figured out organizing events around dress up themes works. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the summer or any other time of year. Now they have Live and Let Dine.

Some of you get that, some you saw the words and it twigged a memory cell or two. Then again, there’s probably one or two who can’t even relate to Live and Let Die – James Bond.  They take these themed events seriously at the museum and there will be team building exercises, games, brain teasers, and a Bond themed meal. Tickets are $75 for the November 22 affair and you can call the museum, 705-329-1908, to get them.

Also happening at the Leacock Museum is Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times. Its a night of storytelling with authors Kyo Maclear, Catriona Sandilands and others November 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. It’s free and you can find out more and register here.

The Shorts

Irish Mythen at the 2017 Mariposa Folk Festival

*  One of the best performances I’ve seen in Orillia was done by Irish Mythen. Make that performances because I’ve seen her a few times. It doesn’t matter if you know her music or not, you’ll come away from her gig at St. Paul’s Centre Friday night thinking it was the best thing you’ve seen too. Get tickets here.  

*  The choirs of St. Paul’s, St. Andrew’s, St. James’ and Guardian Angels and the Cellar Singers are performing John Rutter’s Requiem Sunday at St. Paul’s Centre at 3 p.m. Blair Bailey is conducting and admission is by freewill offering. It’s a fundraiser for Hospice Orillia. The Cellar Singers’s next concert is December 14 at St. James’ featuring Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Conrad Susa’s Christmas in the Southwest and you can get tickets online or at the door.

*  I’ve been mentioning the the 6th Annual Ugly Sweater Bowling Party  for a few weeks and organizer Derick Lehmann sent me  a note to say the first two blocks of time at Orillia Bowl are sold out – quicker than last year. The third time block from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. is now on and Bleeker is going to be playing, bowling and their instruments. The event happens Dec. 13 and when I said tickets go fast, I meant it.

*  The Straight Goods and guests are having a benefit concert for the Comfie Cat Shelter Nov. 17 at Lake Country Grill. It’s from 1 to 4 p.m. and cash and/or cat food is appreciated. Steph Dunn in Nov. 13; Charlotte and the Dirty Cowboys play Nov. 16

*  The Sean Patrick Trio with Bryan McPherson and Meredith Moon have a benefit concert Nov. 16 at OMAH with proceeds going to Green Haven Shelter for Women. Tickets are $10 and you can get them at Alleycats or online.

VK and the Legends of the Deep are playing a gig at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto Nov. 30. Bonus, Reay is opening. You can get tickets online. Reay also has a gig Nov. 23 at the Bracebridge Hall.

*  The theme for next year’s Streets Alive art project downtown is a cool little contraption called the Hippie Van. All the details and application forms are at OMAH. Why vans? It fits with next year’s 60th Mariposa Folk Festival. You have to have your application in by Nov. 15.

The Guardian For Spirit by P Stranks

*  The Orillia Museum of Art and History has the opening for the annual Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. This is always a big night at the museum. Also see Industrial Legacy: A History of Dorr-Oliver-Long  and Ingrid Mayrhofer’s After Krieghoff. OMAH is partnering with Lee Contemporary for a November exhibit called It’s Revealing, featuring work from the Life Drawing class, which will be sold by silent auction. It opens Sunday at 1 p.m. Lee will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 4 p.m. for this exhibit.

*  Peter Street Fine Arts is having their annual 6×6 show in December and January. Anyone can participate by picking up two boards ($15), do your thing and bringing them back to be in the show. This long-running show is great for others to pick up a small, reasonably priced, one of a kind gift…  Hibernation Arts is opening its Art for Earth show on display; Nov. 12 they have Instagram for Artists workshop with Mehreen Shahid at 7 p.m.; the monthly Gallery Concert is with Michael Martyn Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. and with Andrew Woodill doing a second one Nov. 28… a number of galleries are participating in a Holiday Art Hop Nov. 22-24… need a poppy? Get one made by Christina Hartwick at Art and Home Studio  for $15 and half the money goes to the legion.

*  Coming up… the Brownstone has Evangeline Gentle in Friday night… the Hog ‘N Penny has trivia night with Bill Dunlop every Thursday evening; Charlotte Unplugged is in Friday night; Jakob Pearce is in Saturday… Jakob Pearce plays every Thursday evening at Kensingtons…  Lance Anderson has a matinee of his Last Waltz show happening Nov. 15 at Peter’s Players… MAT’s next film night at the Galaxy is Nov. 20 with Maiden at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Galaxy… the Geneva has the Tangents in Nov. 16 for an EP release party, with guests 30 Going on 13, Four Nature Homes and A New High; Nov. 9 the Geneva hosts the Sunshine Initiative’s Repair Café from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. … the Hawkestone Singer’s Christmas Concert is Dec. 14 at the Hawkestone Community Hall; call 705-503-2833 for tickets… Jubilee Chorale’s Christmas concert is Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m. at Westmount United Church… Tickets for the 2020 Roots North Music Festival Apr. 23 – 25 are on sale now.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; MAT Photos by Deb Halbot)

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