As the snow begins to fall, it’s time to start planning for cozy indoor events.
Let’s be real: Canadian winters can be harsh and brutal, depending on where you live. In Montreal, I’m certainly gonna need as much indoor time as I can!
And what better way to spend your time than supporting local theatre. (In my humble opinion, at least.)
To make your life easier (and warmer), I’ve compiled a list of upcoming theatrical events around the country.
OLD STOCK: A REFUGEE LOVE STORY
This incredible play by Toronto-based playwright Hannah Moscovitch is a must-see. I had the privilege of seeing it myself at the 2020 PuSh Festival of Performing Arts in Vancouver. It was the last play I saw before the world shut down, incidentally—and it has really stuck with me.
Nova Scotia klezmer legend Ben Caplan helms the tale of a Jewish couple who flee from Romania to Canada in the early 1900s. There’s a full band on stage and the actors playing the couple also play their own instruments throughout the show.
So, it’s like the story of your own grandparents (or great-grandparents) expressed through musical theatre.
After a recent Toronto run, it’s headed next to the Chutzpah! Festival in Vancouver from Dec. 1-11.
Montreal playwright Alice Abracen tells a lesser known (true) Holocaust story of the concentration camp Theresiensdtadt, where Jews were forced to put on a propaganda performance for a visit from the Red Cross.
It’s ultimately a story of love, friendship and survival, as we follow Peter (Jonathan Silver) and Hilde (Holly Gauthier-Frankel) navigate the murky waters of being Jewish in Czechoslovakia before and after the war.
You can catch it at the Segal Centre in Montreal until Dec. 3. Check out my interview with the playwright.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
“Jacooooob! Jacob and sons!”
I have to admit, when I first saw the movie adaptation of this play as a child, I was terrified.
But, as an adult, I can appreciate the catchy tunes in this retelling of the biblical story.
The latest production hails from London, England, and is coming to the Princess of Wales Theatre for its North American premiere.
Starring Oliver Award nominated Jac Yarrow as Joseph, the London Palladium production was a huge hit overseas in 2019.
Toronto musical lovers, you can catch this Dreamcoat from Dec. 11 to Feb. 18.
Tom Stoppard’s gripping new play hasn’t quite made it to Canada yet—the Mirvish production was canceled due to COVID-19)—if you live in Nova Scotia you could see the British play on the silver screen!
The Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville will be featuring the National Theatre Live production directed by Patrick Marber on Dec. 2.
The story follows a Jewish Viennese family, over the span of 50 years, and is described as “a passionate drama of love and endurance.”
If you’re itching to see it in person, get to New York City and see Canadian actor Caissie Levy star on Broadway. (She recently talked about her role to Ellin Bessner on The CJN Daily.)
Montreal fans of musical theatre should keep tabs on the Segal Centre’s recurring event.
You can sign up to sing along to your favourite musical tune—accompanied by a live pianist, of course—or simply come to watch and indulge.
The show on Dec 10 is hosted by local emerging theatre artists Alyssa Mirarchi and Cat Preston, and is dubbed “Disco Inferno.” Get ready to hear some Mamma Mia!
To sign up as a performer, or buy tickets to the event, check out the Segal Centre’s website.
Ilana Zackon can be reached at ilanawritesthings[@]gmail.com and found on Facebook and Instagram.
HEAR what else she has to say every week on Bonjour Chai