Updated Thursday August 3, 2017 - A not-for-profit advertorial-free webpage
Welcome to my not-for-profit website highlighting some local (and not-so-local) upcoming events - from
theatre & arts to wine & food. It's a compilation of things that I have and/or am planning to attend.
As a long-time weekly columnist at the National Post (8 years of weekly columns), Globe & Mail, Toronto Life, etc.
I am pleased to share with you my views on some of these happenings.
I also appreciate your feedback - you can email me at email@example.com
Stratford Update I was knocked out by HMS Pinafore (*** out of ***)
Don't miss this truly outstanding production
along with the wonderful Laurie Murdoch
as Sir Joseph Porter!
Meanwhile at Toronto's Distillery District
It was $12+
to park BUT I was able to get $25 tickets at the box office one hour before the performance begins, which made it all worthwhile as ticket prices can soar to $60 each! I saw Part 2 - Scandal & Rebellion (rated ** out of ***) and prefered the first act focusing on Scandal. It was an entertaining, energetic, albeit somewhat clownish evening. Having seen many of the Small Huts performances in the past, this was just enough for me. I suggest that you check out the Soupepper website to see how many seats for the performance you wish to attend (as soon as possible before before heading to the box office). I brought a seating print-out with me and when I checked, many of the seats that were designated as unavailable were empty! In fact, the house was more than half empty (although the afternoon matinee was apparently sold out). Seating is limited in the smaller Michael Young Theatre - click here to see seating availability and prices VideoCabaret & Soulpepper present
Confederation & Riel and Scandal & Rebellion One on my favourites, VideoCabaret conjures the era of Confederation in four tragicomic one-act plays, presented in two parts. Starting June 9th CONFEDERATION PART I: CONFEDERATION & RIEL VideoCabaret spectacularly conjures the era of Confederation in four tragicomic one-act plays, presented in two parts. Confederation – John A. Macdonald masterminds the deal-making that leads to the fireworks on July 1, 1867. In a Montreal hotbed of anti-confederationists, Wilfrid Laurier meets Louis Riel. Riel – Macdonald plans to turn the west into one big Ontario. Riel and Métis leaders collide with surveyors, and religious radicals plot terror; Laurier is spurred to act on his multi-cultural and secular ideals. Starting June 23 CONFEDERATION PART II: SCANDAL & REBELLION: Scandal – Business barons compete to own the hottest technology – the railway lines – and Macdonald is caught trading contracts for donations. Member of Parliament Riel is prevented by fanatics from taking his seat; MP Laurier falls for his best friend’s wife. Rebellion – Riel joins with Gabriel Dumont and Big Bear whose fight for land claims is met with military action and mass starvation. With Laurier protesting, Macdonald allows the execution of Riel, and the Last Spike is hammered. check it out here
August 10-12 Portland Oregon
41st Society of Wine Educators Annual Conference
* * * * * Previous Recent Postings/Updates The Chardonnays are coming July 21st
Tony and I will be attending the Friday School of Cool
sessions and will provide you with an update.
I am also doing three productions at the SHAW Festival
- reviews will be coming.
check it out here Click here to see the list of 59 Cool Climate Chardonnay producers
25 from Ontario & 34 from around the world also make sure you see our reviews of i4C Chardonnays in the July 8 Vintages Release
Taking place at City Hall's Nathan Phillips Square
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is open to the public and free of charge. Experience and purchase original artworks from some 320 artists! I am a FAN & here is my brief Friday July 14 Bastille Day UPDATE:
Sadly this year's turnout is perhaps the lightest in memory but it's still worth a detour. Parked a
P lot under City Hall ($3 per half hour) Here is one of my favouriteToronto-based artists - Peter Barelkowski
I love his eclectic paintings
For a bite - actually a few bites, I had a Lobster Roll ($15+ with taxes)
It had a small Miss Vickies, 2 slices of dill pickle and a wedge of lemon.
When I asked for a tad more mayo none was available as the fiiling was pre-mixed. I pointed out that even the $3 hot dog stand has mayo!
For me the Buster's Sea Cove food truck is not a detour.
Wednesday June 21st Celebrate Ontario Wine Week by sipping gold, silver and bronze medal winners
of the 2017 Ontario Wine Awards in a beautiful art gallery in the Distillery District - Arta Gallery.
* * * Don't miss this very entertaining *** production of 7 Stories by Morris Panych - March 3 - 11 Updated & well directed by Rebecca Ballarin - Hart House Theatre A man stands on a seventh-storey building ledge and contemplates suicide.
Before he can get too far, he is confronted by the self-absorbed (and oftentimes absurd) people
who live inside the building. In 7 Stories, multi-award winning Canadian playwright,
Morris Panych, creates a meta-theatrical gem of a black comedy;
full of fanciful characters with a wistfully existential conclusion. Adults: $28 / Seniors: $17 / Students: $15 (front reserve seating recommended) Click here for information
* * * February 26-28, 2017
Canada's #1 Food & Beverage Trade Show This huge trade show is a must-see all foodservice profesionals from owners, chefs & sommeliers to students.
Only three days - Sunday & Monday from 10 am to 5 pm and Tuesday until 4 pm.
The show will be featuring celebrity chefs, live cooking competitions and hundreds of displays of foodservice
food and beverage products. Visitor Registrations are $50+ HST prior to February 25, 2015.
February 23-26, 2017
From collectors and curators, to gallerists and designers, to gallery dealers and
interior designers, visitors can explore and discover works of art from over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. This is a unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from artists at Toronto's favourite contemporary art fair. Artist Project celebrates its 10th year with another exciting show at the Better Living Centre. book your tickets today
Here is my review of The Audience posted opening night Monday, January 17 Rated *+ out of ***
The opening night first act seemed somewhat stiff and modestly entertaining. The second act more relaxed, more personable and certainly much better - the highlight being a 5-second sequence of two of the Queen's corgis scampering across the stage. Unfortunately, 8 people in orchestra row A (five rows from the front at $107 net per seat) left after Act 1. Fiona Reid is a splendid wonderfully expressive actress blessed with buckets of personality - I always enjoy her performances. Having said that, it's hard to compare last year's live simul-broadcast of Helen Mirren's stellar rendition of Elizabeth from London (very well deserving of the Tony award she won for Best Performance by an Actress in 2015 in New York). Overall, the play itself is very good, the parade of Prime Ministers engaging (especially Kate Hennig as Margaret Thatcher) and overall production quite good. If only I knew more about the Prime Ministers portrayed - it certainly would have made the play more engaging. However, factoring in the cost of a pair of orchestra seats $232.50. combined with high expectations, this 2 hour production was not as fulfilling as hoped for. Meanwhile, I am dismayed by the Mirvish ads that oversell this production, along with the bland uncritical review in the Toronto Star (where the Mirvish ads appear). If you must see this production, National Post readers can take advantage of a25% discount for seats for any performance -click here
For a truly insightful review see: J. Kelly Nestruck in The Globe & Mail