Studio Black! is an actor’s dream
Studio Black Premiere
Saturday, September 19, 2pm
Park Lane Cinema, 5657 Spring Garden Road
Helen Creighton gets all of the oral history credit in Nova Scotia, but another folklorist born the same year may yet become a household name: Arthur Fauset, an American anthropologist and civil rights activist, who travelled to Nova Scotia collecting stories from black communities in the summer of 1923.
These stories are finally being heard with a new CBC program, Studio Black!, where three local directors—Juanita Peters, Trailer Park Boys’ Cory Bowles and Jarrett Downey-Shaw—are directing TV adaptations of the stories. Peters describes the stories Fauset collected as “folktales, which present much like fairy tales. “
“It’s kind of theatre meets TV, you watch it, it feels kind of like you’ve taken a step back in time, and yet it’s kind of a modern way of storytelling,” Peters says. There’s a sort of improv feel to the stories—think something in between a Kids in the Hall sketch and a radio play. The all-black cast of actors appears in different roles each episode, sometimes jumping between multiple roles in the same episode. “It’s kind of an actor’s dream,” she explains.
The first four episodes have aired in Nova Scotia, and will screen at the Atlantic Film Festival, as well as airing nationwide this fall. Peters hopes these four episodes will create a demand for more.
The show “is unlike anything people will see on TV today,” Peters says. “We hope that there’s a future on CBC for Studio Black! and for shows like it, we want to keep our Canadian stories in the forefront.” —Laura Kenins
From The Grateful Spirits, The Robbers (CavellHolland, KateMacDonald) steal Sissa Clarissa (Koumbie) right off the streets of Weymouth. DAN CALLIS
Tuesday, September 15-Sunday, October 4, various showtimes, Fountain Hall, Neptune Theatre, 1592 Argyle Street, $27-$64
Neptune Theatre brings the tragic characters of Pip, Joe, Estella and Miss Havisham to life in this staging of Great Expectations, one of Charles Dickens’ greatest works. The 1860 coming-of-age novel was adapted by the Neptune’s own George Pothitos. Suffice to say, we have considerable hopes for this one.
B-Boyizm: Music Creates Opportunity
Thursday, September 24-Saturday, September 26, 8pm, James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Avenue, $20-$30
Yvon Soglo (B-boy Crazy Smooth) and his exceptionally energetic crew of dancers bridge the gap between the street and the stage with their latest production of “high-octane dance from the front lines.” Don’t attempt any of the moves you see at home, lest you wreck yourself.
Lawrence Hill reading
Thursday, October 1, 7pm, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, 1055 Marginal Road, free
The beloved Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes, is reading from his latest novel, The Illegal, and it’s sure to be a treat. The Globe and Mail says it is “a twisting, intricately woven yarn that spins itself out at an incredible pace. I could not put the book down. Read it, you must.”
Flamenco En Rouge
Saturday, October 3, 8pm, The Company House, 2202 Gottingen Street, $20/$25
Did you know we have a local company of flamenco dancers and musicians who are deeply committed to the intensity of flamenco dance? The group, Flamenco En Rouge, will present a special evening of flamenco with a special guest, flamenco instructor and performer Irena Dumicz. Me gustas, te adoro, te quiero.
Thursday, September 24-Sunday, October 4, various showtimes, Neptune Studio Theatre, $25/$20
Some drinking is almost universal at university—but heavy drinking is particularly Nova Scotian, with local students getting hammered at nearly double the average rate. To explore the human stories behind these statistics, LunaSea Theatre turned to Leaving Wonderland, a script inspired by the Acadia student who died of alcohol poisoning at frosh week four years ago.
Hank Williams LIVE – 1952
Friday, October 9-Sunday, October 11, various times, Fountain Hall, Neptune Theatre, 1592 Argyle Street, $25-$75
Hank Wiliams, one of the most tragic but important songwriters in the history of country music, is honoured by Saskatchewan singer and actor Joe Matheson, who will take the audience to 1952, just before Willam’s death. Matheson will perform some of Williams’ greatest hits at the peak of his career, transforming into Williams himself.
Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20, 8pm, Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, 6101 University Avenue, $67.50
Actor and comedian Billy Connolly will be in Halifax for two hilarious stops on his High Horse comedy tour. The notable Scot will be off the reigns, as always, with his frank and uncensored idiosyncratic humour that has repeatedly earned him the title of greatest stand-up comic of the century. The man is a fucking fart-joke legend. Don’t blow it.
Tuesday, October 20-Sunday, November 8, Neptune Theatre, 1592 Argyle Street, $25-$75
You might remember Rick Miller from his solo show MacHomer, which brought his Simpsons-meets-MacBeth stylings to Neptune in 2011. (People found his spot-on voices memorable enough that Miller’s name was floated as a replacement when Harry Shearer, the actual voice of Mr. Burns, was threatening to quit his TV gig.) Now Miller is back with another multi-character extravaganza, playing JFK, Elvis, Che Guevera and loads more in his romp through the Baby Boom years.
The Walrus Talks Innovation
Wednesday, October 21, 7pm, University of King’s College Alumni Hall, 6350 Coburg Road $20/$12
The Walrus, Canada’s highfalutin magazine of issues and ideas, has put together an impressive panel to chat about innovation, something Nova Scotia could definitely use more of. Among the edge-cutters are Zita Cobb, who transformed Newfoundland’s Fogo Island, and sci-fi-sounding medical researcher Shaf Keshavjee.
Fujiwara Dance Inventions: Eunoia
Thursday, October 1-Saturday October 3, 8pm, James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Avenue, $20-$30
Denise Fujiwara’s multidisciplinary production channels the spirit of Christian Bök’s extraordinary anthology of univocalic poetry, Eunoia, through dance, music, video, spoken word and unbelievable costumes. Eunoia is already garnering acclaim, being described as witty, provocative and playful.
Thursday, October 29-Sunday, November 8, various showtimes, Neptune Studio Theatre, 1592 Argyle Street, $25/$20
Written by local playwright and former MP Wendy Lill, Messenger is the story of two brothers in politics in Ottawa, set against the backdrop of behind-closed-doors discussions on global warming. The scenes shift between today and 1990, when the government was seriously considering aggressive action to fight climate change, and the political conflict manifests itself between the siblings. In reality as in this Eastern Front Theatre/HomeFirst Theatre co-production, the earth loses to a status quo of “common sense and moderation.” We won’t says how it goes for the bros.
Why Does Life Matter?
Thursday, November 5, 7pm, Atrium Room 101, Saint Mary’s University, 923 Robie Street, free
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs has a cumbersome name—its acronym is CCEPA, which is said “sahh-SEPP-ahh”—but a straightforward mission. This local tank of thinkers turns ethical quandaries of the day into engaging public discussions. Tonight’s example features Acadia University’s Dr. Anna Frammartino Wilks on the question of why life itself matters, a topic she thinks is highly relevant as continued space exploration increases the chances humans will encounter something out there.
Rendez-vous: 40 Silver Dart Dr.
Friday November 6 and Saturday November 7 at 7pm, Sunday November 8 at 2pm, ALT Hotel, 40 Silver Dart Drive, $20-$30
La 2e Porte à Gauche presents this interactive piece of dance and theatre meant to connect artists with spectators through a series of brief encounters in four bedrooms at the ALT Hotel. The performance sets out to challenge the audience’s notions of gender, relationships and intimacy. An airport hotel has never had more culture.
The Sound of Music
Friday, November 13, 7:30pm; Saturday, November 14, 1:30pm and 7:30pm; Friday November 20-Sunday November 22, 7:30pm, Spatz Theatre, 1855 Trollope Street, $32.95-39.95
Matthew Beasant’s mom worked with local high schools on their musical productions, so he grew up in that life. At age seven he was hanging out at rehearsals; later, he was helping out. Now, aged 25 and having worked on 25 musicals, he’s co-founded Broadway Atlantic theatre company with Ivano Andriani to put on big, ambitious New York-style shows in Halifax. The Sound of Music is their debut, and Beasant promises “a show-stopper.”
Wednesday, November 18-Sunday, November 22, Keith’s Brewery, 1496 Lower Water Street
Based on the anonymously-written play Arden of Faversham, and directed and adapted by Dan Bray, The Villain’s Theatre’s Arden follows Alice, a woman who hires a randy band of killers to assassinate her husband. The killers turn out to be hilariously incompetent, finding themselves in a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation.
Vinyl Cafe taping
Friday, November 20, 7:30pm, Scotiabank Centre, 1800 Argyle Street, $35-$55
Stuart MacLean is like Canada’s soft-spoken, witty uncle…with a CBC Radio show. Unravelling tales of the mundane but intensely funny and quintessentially Canadian mishaps of Dave, Morley and their children on stages across Canada for nearly 20 years, MacLean is one of Canada’s most talented storytellers. Catch him in Halifax during his Christmas Tour, with musical guest The Once.
Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid
Thursday, December 10-December 12, 8pm, James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Avenue, $20-$30
Live Art Dance ends its season with a bombshell. Canadian Emmanuel Lê Phan and Swede Elon Höglund blend hip-hop and modern dance for an explosive duet performance. The music and spoken word components of the show are homegrown, provided by The Woods and Ghettosocks.