BRAD OSWALD Ñ TV
Hammering home the make-it-right message
Can it really be a full decade since the first time an exasperated Mike Holmes ripped down a poorly constructed deck with his bare hands? Apparently, time flies when you're fixing other contractors' screw-ups. Holmes is the subject of an anniversary celebration, Behind the Overalls, that airs Tuesday, April 9 at 9 p.m. on HGTV. It'd be a good idea if the special's producers made sure they made it right.
RANDALL KING Ñ MOVIES
Bump, grind, kill
Jonathan Joffe's Calgary-lensed film Burlesque Assassins tells the tawdry tale of a crack team of strippers employing their tassel-twirling talents to battle tyranny and repression at the end of the Second World War. It should be incentive enough that the cast includes names such as Roxi Dlite, Koko LaDouce, Scarlett Martini and Kiki Kaboom but the one-time-only screening is also a fundraiser for the Winnipeg Roller Derby League. It screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Towne Cinema.
JILL WILSON / MUSIC
Folksinger Tift Merritt and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein might seem like an unlikely pairing, but on the duo's new album, Night, they create something weirdly magical. The Sony Classical disc features gorgeous, rootsy compositions by Merritt, along with songs by Leonard Cohen, Franz Schubert and Henry Purcell, tracks written for the pair by Patty Griffin and Brad Mehldau, and piano instrumentals. Merritt's voice is, as always, a wonder, but here she explores other facets of it, adapting it to the material. Among the highlights is a devastating version of Billie Holiday's Don't Explain. Hear it on YouTube: http://wfp.to/t09
MORLEY WALKER / BOOKS
Will novel about teacher earn good grades?
Literary types have high hopes for the new novel by U.S. writer Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs, due in late April. About a 40-ish elementary school teacher near Boston who becomes obsessed with one of her students and his exotic parents, The Woman Upstairs is a far cry from her last effort in 2006, The Emperor's Children, set among the chattering classes of Manhattan.
KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE
The end is near
Last chance to get tickets to Ride the Cyclone, the theatrical thrill machine headed out of town after it closes at the RMTC Warehouse April 6. The dynamic Atomic Vaudeville musical, about a doomed choir whose lives go off the rails at an amusement park, is highlighted by rousing performances by Rielle Braid, Kelly Hudson, Elliott Loran, Jameson Matthew Parker, Sarah Jane Pelzer and Kholby Wardell. Only a few seats remain.