Kevin Prokosh

  • Young YouTube sensation gets big-league help on debut single

    On Monday, Internet sensation Maria Aragon will launch her recording career with the release of her debut single, Nothin' But a Beat. "For my first song, I wanted something I wrote myself," says the 14-year-old Filipina, who has amassed a huge YouTube following based on her steady output of cover songs. "I made sure it was something I'd want to sing live. I wanted an upbeat song that would get my fans dancing and feeling good."
  • St. Boniface francophone theatre gives Anglos iWay to understand its plays

    Le Cercle Molière, the St. Boniface-based francophone theatre, is building a bridge across the language gap with Winnipeg's English majority. Canada's oldest continuously operating stage company is introducing English subtitles to some of its performances next month with the intention of regularly allowing Canada's two solitudes to come together to be entertained under the same roof.
  • Kim's Convenience a very funny, heartfelt family sitcom

    You can get almost anything you need at Kim’s Convenience — including the latest success story in Canadian theatre. Among the rows of snack foods, soft drinks, lottery scratch cards and magazines on Ken McKenzie’s perfect replica of a corner-store set is one very funny, heartfelt family sitcom that successfully sells a recognizable struggling-immigrant experience.
  • Maids, mummies and more

    While the leaves are falling, curtains all over the city are rising on the 2013-14 Winnipeg arts season. Over the next nine months, stages will present new works, first views of heralded international imports and fresh takes on old titles. Premières abound, especially in theatre, which will debut at least eight new works by local playwrights, all but one female.
  • One site, three artists, endless possibilities

    The idea behind the inaugural One Trunk Festival is to send teams of artists to a Winnipeg site and create individual pieces that will fit into a larger collaboration presented Sept. 8 at the West End Cultural Centre. Andraea Sartison, the artistic director of the fledgling festival, assembled three crews consisting of a musician, writer and visual artist, including the trio of sound artist Andy Rudolph, filmmaker Deco Dawson and author Melissa Steele, who were assigned to capture the essence of the Elmwood Cemetery.
  • Agony and ecstasy marked theatre season

    It's a wrap for the 2012-13 theatre season as Shakespeare in the Ruins and Rainbow Stage prepare to take it outside for the summer. It's time to look back at a year that wasn't dominated by one local company, a year that showed many can contribute to stage excellence in the city. It will be remembered for the thrill of Samantha Hill making her Broadway debut in the lead female role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and the agony of Manitoba Theatre for Young People founder Leslee Silverman being turfed so callously.
  • MTYP plays it safe

    The financially strapped Manitoba Theatre for Young People has introduced a five-show 2013-14 playbill, half the size of recent seasons. It's a dramatic downsizing for the cash-poor organization but necessary, given it is almost $2 million in debt, says newly installed artistic producer Derek Aasland.
  • Longtime love of musicals takes Asper to Broadway

    A chance meeting with the producer of the long-awaited revival of the Broadway musical Pippin led David Asper to become an investor in the $8-million production opening later this month. It was Asper's younger brother, Leonard, who bumped into producer Bruce Robert Harris (2012 Tony Award winner Clybourne Park) in Newark, N.J., earlier this year and shared a cab with him into Manhattan. When the conversation got around to Harris helping bankroll the transfer of Pippin to Broadway from a successful Boston try-out, Asper told him that David was a huge fan of the beloved Bob Fosse musical and might be interested in adding his financial support to the project.
  • Merry about Poppins

    Paula Potosky, who in the last few weeks has emerged as an actress to watch, will play the title role of Mary Poppins at Rainbow Stage this August. "I'm utterly thrilled," she said yesterday. "This is my first big lead. I feel that if there is any lead I can play this is it. It feels natural to play Mary Poppins."
  • Harried RMTC adaptation throws caution to the Wind

    Only an adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's beloved American Civil epic tome Gone With the Wind could clock in at more than three hours and ultimately feel rushed. For her new stage adaptation that premiered at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Thursday, first-time Toronto playwright Niki Landau cut characters, dropped scenes and cleaned up the 1,037-page novel's inherent racism so her play could tightly focus on the seductive, scheming and unstoppable Scarlett O'Hara. That's a winning move as actress Bethany Jillard is a beguiling Scarlett, every flirt and flounce in homage to a heroine to love or loathe. Frankly, Jillard makes us give a damn.
  • Rainbow Stage Hogg-wild about artistic director

    Ray Hogg will be welcomed to Winnipeg this week as the new artistic director of Rainbow Stage by a theatre community unhappy with the company's hiring process. The 35-year-old Toronto resident, making his first trip here since the announcement last month, will unveil the organization's 2013 playbill, but he likely won't hear the grumbling from actors, directors and designers who feel they were shut out of the search for someone to succeed the late executive producer, Ken Peter. Some are saying privately that they feel disenfranchised by the non-profit summer theatre over its failure to post the position and carry out an open search.
  • Rainbow Stage Hogg-wild about artistic director

    Ray Hogg will be welcomed to Winnipeg this week as the new artistic director of Rainbow Stage by a theatre community unhappy with the company's hiring process. The 35-year-old Toronto resident, making his first trip here since the announcement last month, will unveil the organization's 2013 playbill, but he likely won't hear the grumbling from actors, directors and designers who feel they were shut out of the search for someone to succeed the late executive producer, Ken Peter. Some are saying privately that they feel disenfranchised by the non-profit summer theatre over its failure to post the position and carry out an open search.
  • Former Barenaked Ladies singer on Strike!

    Steven Page, formerly the lead singer of Barenaked Ladies, has agreed to play the male lead in the $10-million movie version of Strike! that could begin shooting as early as next year. The Toronto-based tenor is the first to sign on to appear in the long-simmering big-screen adaptation of the Danny Schur/Rick Chafe 2005 stage musical set against the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. Page, 42, will portray Mike Sokolowski, the Ukrainian immigrant Everyman who unwittingly finds himself at the epicentre of the labour strife.
  • Plan B

    Harry Rintoul would be rolling over in his grave. The late founder of Theatre Projects Manitoba would be stunned to hear that for the first time in its 23-year history, the company is not presenting any homegrown work on its stage.
  • Dai hard

    WJT had planned to kick off its 25th-anniversary season with the local debut of Perestroika, the award-winning conclusion to Tony Kushner's epic Angels in America. The company's impressive revival last March of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches -- considered one of the great plays of the 20th century -- whet the appetite of Kushner fans for the first local production of the second half of the Tony Award-winning drama about AIDS, homosexuality and religion in 1980s New York.
  • Wake up, write, go to sleep

    It's 9 a.m. when Alexander McCall Smith cheerfully answers the telephone, content that he's already completed a full day's work that would be the envy of most writers of the world.  
  • RMTC opens season with brilliant film, TV writer's courtroom drama

    It is almost forgotten that Aaron Sorkin, one of the most powerful voices in American culture, literally began his distinguished writing career in the theatre. The prolific pen behind TV's The West Wing and The Newsroom and movies such as The Social Network and Moneyball was determined to make his mark on the American stage, following his graduation from Syracuse University with a degree in theatre in 1983. His big break was getting hired as a bartender at a Broadway theatre where, during performances of La Cage Aux Folles, he began writing A Few Good Men on cocktail napkins.
  • What the Sam Hill? She's off to Broadway

    Anyone who has been watching actress Samantha Hill perform on Winnipeg stages knew it was only a matter of time before she would be plucked for a much bigger stage elsewhere That time is now, as the 25-year-old soprano leaves Monday for Broadway where she takes over in November as the alternate Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, the longest running production in the history of the Great White Way.
  • Playwright feels like a rookie before 'big girl's theatre' debut

    The 140th premiere in the 40-year history of Prairie Theatre Exchange will be the first for Ellen Peterson. She's never had a full-length play staged before at what she calls "a big girl's theatre" and on the eve of the debut of The Brink tonight, she's feeling like a raw rookie, despite being only months away from hitting the big five-oh.
  • Red-carpet night fit for theatre queen

    Doreen Brownstone has just turned 90 and as Winnipeg's oldest working professional actor is still awaiting another casting call. The new nonagenarian was feted Friday night by about 150 friends, representing almost the entire acting community in the city. She got the limo and red-carpet treatment and then spent most of the evening seated on a throne as revellers serenaded her with songs, stories and good wishes.
  • It's still a struggle for women in theatre, onstage and off

    Almost every week it seems there is another magazine cover declaring that women are taking over the world and leaving contemporary men in their dust. A bastion of maledom that has yet to be overrun by the rise in matriarchy is theatre, where today female playwrights write as few as 30 per cent of the plays seen on our stages. Fewer than 17 per cent of all plays produced in the United States are written by females. Only 11 per cent of all plays produced on Broadway are penned by women. Those numbers especially rankle women in light of the fact that the typical theatre audience is 65-70 per cent female.
  • Aussie fringe performer has cock-eyed way of imagining things

    Anyone notice a visitor from Australia circling local landmarks that he photographs to make look like his um, down under? Jon Bennett, in from Melbourne to perform at the fringe festival, has been touring the city, hoping to add to his collection of over 300 photographs collectively called Pretending Things Are a Cock, which is also the name of his Winnipeg debut monologue/travelogue.
  • Attendance drop pushes RMTC to near-record $420,154 deficit

    The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's 2011-12 season was a royal pain in its pocket book. The province's flagship theatre recorded one of the largest deficits in its history as mainstage attendance plunged dramatically .
  • The miracle of Maria Aragon

    The global hoopla over Maria Aragon has subsided to an uneasy hush. The 11-year-old Filipina's homemade video Born This Way -- YouTube's eighth most viewed in the world last year -- has stalled short of 52 million views. Talk show guest appearances and high-profile public sightings have dwindled. That has raised the usual questions about whether her 15 minutes of fame has run out before she even reaches teenhood.
  • Move over, P.T. Barnum; see ya, Shrine

    The circus is coming! The circus is coming... along? "We're getting there," says Grant Guy, the ringmaster in the middle of a two-year development project of The Circus of Objects.

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