By John Swartz
Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. the first look at the St. Paul’s Centre production of The Music Man happens. While the balance of performances are reserved seating, Monday’s are not – and admission is pay what you can.
Wednesday, a five day run starts with evening shows and matinees on Saturday and Sunday. There is a dinner before the show Thursday, Friday and Saturday, if you’d like. If you want to eat and seat you have to get your tickets at the church office Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. I don’t think it would be a good idea to try and get dinner tickets on Thursday for Thursday evening. You get show only tickets online.
Last week I said there were about 50 on stage when I was at a rehearsal. Either I can’t estimate, or people were missing, because I got a look at the program and there are 67 people in the cast (counting the band).
Gospel and Blues
There isn’t much room left to get the February Blues cure. The 12th annual Mariposa Folk Festival Gospel and Blues concert February 3 has, as of Friday morning, only a dozen tickets for the main floor, and 150 in the balcony.
Ticket sales have picked up this week. That’s because every year Lance Anderson has a different and fantastic line up musicians to help him out on stage. The show he puts together is always entertaining. Great tunes, done greatly.
This year multiple Maple Blues Award winner Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, Prakash John (Alice Copper, Parliament and Funkadelic), Jordan John (Johnny Reid, Colin James, Jeff Healey, Burton Cummings) and Michael Shand (Molly Johnson, Matt Dusk) will be the cast of characters.
Getting Off The Bus
Last week David Garibaldi announced he was retiring from Tower of Power. This was news I didn’t want to see. He is the original drummer, and had a broken run with the band totaling 34 years of the band’s 56. He did have a 25 year streak from 1999 to last week.
I got to see him play several times. I remember the first time I heard Squibb Cakes in 1974. Intro aside, it was like a curtain opened for me. Sure, I wanted to drum like Buddy Rich (and any drummers who say that was never a goal is not being honest), but have a band like the Beatles (Ringo was the very first drummer I mimicked, and I have found speaking with tons of other famous, infamous, and other wise great drummers, I was not alone), but what David was doing in that song illustrated to me how the drums can fit into and colour a song in a way that was not standard and unheard of before.
Every time I sit at a set of drums there’s a bit of David Garibaldi coming through (and Buddy of course). And you hear a bit of him in just about every recording you have or like because most of the name drummers, after saying the obligatory Buddy/Ringo/Neil triad of influences has said something like, ‘But that David Garibaldi.’
I’m bummed out I likely won’t get to ever see him perform again, but the bright spot is there will still be the music. David said, even though he’s taking himself off the road (the band did 150 gigs a year), he’ll still be making music. I hope that means recording with Tower of Power and someone else doing the road work). In fact, he did say in his announcement the band just finished recording their next album.
This is shades of Neil Peart, who also retired from touring. While other kinds of musicians of any type in any band can usually keep going strong into their late 70s, or longer, aside from those who are strictly jazz drummers, it is the drummers who are first to realize it’s time. At 77, David has exceeded his best before date and earned it, the drumming community wants the best for him, even it means we drummers are all saddened.
- The Roots North music Festival now has 50% of their main stage (St. Paul’s Centre) lineup in place with the addition of Julian Taylor to the list which includes Begonia and the Red Hill Valleys. You can get tickets online for the April festival.
- The Opera House as a few great events happening soon. Jan. 27 the Mudmen have a concert. If you’re a hockey fan, you’ve heard their music… Jan. 28 Will Davis And Chris Robinson play the next installment of the Orillia Concert Association season; it’s at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, but you can get tickets online through the Opera House… The same is true for A Leacock Love Story: Valentine’s Tour, which obviously is at the Leacock Museum… Mariposa Arts Theatre has The Play That Goes Wrong starting a two week Run Feb. 8.
- The Leacock Medal for Humour’s annual student humourous writing competition submission period is on now and closes April 15. Ontario students are eligible to enter and the top prize is $1,500, with two $750 runners up prizes. You can find out details online. Winners get to read their stories at the annual Meet The Authors night June 21.
- The City lost current member of the heritage committee, John Bell. His involvement with committee spanned several terms, off and on, over the years and began back in the 1970s with an effort to save the old City Hall which stood next to the Opera House. John Bell died Jan. 4.
- The Mariposa Folk festival isn’t until July, but the annual audition concert is in April and it’s now time for musicians to get their applications in. Find out more how to submit material online. They also have tickets on sale now for their next off-season concert March 9 with Boreal (Katherine Wheatley, Tannis Slimmon, Angie Nussey) at St. Paul’s Centre.
- The Orillia Museum of Art and History Has a grand opening for three exhibits Jan. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m.; they are Grant’s Legacy: Capturing Orillia’s History on Film, Sybil: Connections, Fibre Artists and Seeing Beyond – a solo exhibit by Robyn Rennie; they’ll always show you the jail, or at least the permanent exhibit in the jail, The Orillia Police And The Sir Sam Steele Memorial Building… St. Paul’s Centre has the Call to Action 83 Art Project in the Ogimaa Miskwaaki Gallery… Hibernation Arts January guest artist is Renee van der Putten and has an open house Jan. 20 from noon to 3 p.m. to show off new art and new artists represented at the gallery.
- OMAH also has their annual gala fundraiser happening Jan. 27 at Hawkridge Golf Club.. The guest speaker is Mark Bourrie. He’s a lawyer, former journalist and author of Big Men Fear Me, which is a biography of Globe and Mail founder George McCullagh. Bourrie was most recently the lawyer defending Ottawa Life Magazine in a lawsuit brought by Ottawa Police Services chief Peter Sloly over a story claiming mismanagement of the police force. You can get tickets online. On the same evening an online raffle of six pieces of art by Pam Allen, Paul Allen, Dave Beckett, Charles Pachter, Roger Kerslake and Tony Bianco ends. You can make a bid right now online.
- Couchiching Craft Brewing has The Offcuts playing Jan. 20; the Ronnie Douglas Band is in Jan. 26 and Jaclyn Kenyon plays Jan. 27… Quayle’s Brewery has Sean Murray (of Reay) and Ryan Smith in Jan. 20; Jakob Pearce plays Jan. 25; Stephan Barnard Jan. 26 and Sam Johnston Jan. 27… The Offcuts, with special guest Bernadette Connors, play a fundraiser for the Orillia Youth Centre Feb. 3 at Creative Nomad Studios; get tickets online.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Main: Part of the cast of in St. Paul’s Centre’s production of The Music Man in rehearsal.