Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fall-ing for the arts

Presenting this season's 10 must-see cultural events

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Local arts companies and cultural organizations follow a different calendar than the rest of Winnipeggers.

Jan. 1 isn't the beginning of the year for artistic directors and executive producers and their staffs. It's more like Oct. 1, when they roll out their new lineups of plays, exhibits, concerts, stage spectacles and dance recitals.

This is the time of year for fresh starts, rejuvenation and a chance to toot your own horn if, like the venerable Winnipeg Art Gallery, you are celebrating 100 years of existence. Prairie Theatre Exchange, Manitoba Opera and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra are all turning a frisky 40.

With our summer slumber over, the serious season is here with a forecast that every arts offering will be a winner. To help you cut through the heaps of hype we have scoured the Winnipeg artscape and judged these 10 events must-sees this season, in chronological order.

 

1. Winnipeg Now -- Winnipeg Art Gallery (Sept. 29-Dec. 30): This city is considered a hot spot for visual art in Canada and this exhibit will show the reason why by bringing home works of 13 of its acclaimed exports, including Marcel Dzama, Sarah Anne Johnson, Guy Maddin and Daniel Barrow. It's a homecoming not to be missed.

 

2. Malcolm Gladwell -- Winnipeg Convention Centre (Oct. 10): This is a rare chance to hear one of the most sought-after speakers anywhere. The Canadian author of four bestselling novels, including Outliers and The Tipping Point, was named by Time magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people.

 

3. Twyla Tharp's The Princess and the Goblin -- Royal Winnipeg Ballet (Oct. 17-21): The RWB-Atlanta Ballet collaboration premiered in Georgia last February and was called "enchanting and funny" by the New York Times. Tharp, the Tony and Emmy Award-winning choreographer, has for the first time incorporated an ensemble of children to back star dancers Paloma Herrera and John Selya.

 

4. Potted Potter -- Manitoba Theatre for Young People (Nov. 7-11): All seven Harry Potter books, totalling 4,195 pages, synthesized into a riotous 70 minutes is a must-see for young and old fans of J.K. Rowling's stories about the boy wizard and he who must not be named. The two-man parody by English comedians Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner has been lauded around the globe.

 

5. Mahler: Symphony No. 7 in E Minor -- Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Nov. 16 and 17): Mahler's early 20th-century depiction of the journey from dusk to dawn has never been performed in Winnipeg before and will require the orchestra to bulk up to 80-85 members as well as add tenor horn, mandolin and cowbells to the instrument list.

 

6. How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular -- MTS Centre (Nov. 22-25): See a fire-breathing dragon with a 15-metre wingspan overhead in a live version of the beloved animated 2010 film. Huge puppets join a cast of 20 actors to tell the story of Hiccup, a teenage Viking, and Toothless, a dragon he befriends.

 

7. Living in Space -- Manitoba Museum (Dec. 20-April 28, 2013): Experience weightlessness like the astronauts aboard the International Space Station in the museum's science gallery. Learn about the rigours of daily life in space, how they entertain themselves and tackle such basics as personal hygiene, eating and sleeping.

 

8. Gone With the Wind -- Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Jan.10-Feb. 2, 2013): RMTC frankly doesn't give a damn that all previous attempts at presenting a successful stage version of Margaret Mitchell's iconic book have failed miserably. The $1.1-million project is built around Niki Landau's adaptation, the visual ingenuity of 14-time Tony Award-nominated set designer John Lee Beatty and Stratford Festival luminaries Tom McCamus and Bethany Jilliard, playing Rhett and Scarlett.

 

9. This is War -- Prairie Theatre Exchange (Feb. 21-March 10, 2013): Winnipeggers get the first look at the latest from Toronto's Hannah Moscovitch, one of Canada's finest young playwrights, who is tackling the rare stage subject of Canadian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

 

10. Only in Canada -- Winnipeg Art Gallery (May 10-Aug. 11, 2013): The WAG's centennial celebrations climax with the presentation of 100 masterworks -- one for each year of the gallery's existence -- loaned by 26 museums across Canada. It's a rare opportunity to see major paintings by Rembrandt, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh, Tom Thomson and Lawren Harris, as well as sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder.

kevin.prokosh@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 29, 2012 G1

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