Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Canadian folk and indie-rock songstress Serena Ryder will be in town Thursday, Feb. 20, to perform alongside the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as part of its special series of concerts, which over the years have highlighted Canadian artists such as k.d. lang. Rufus Wainwright and Royal Canoe.
Ryder, a six-time Juno Award-winner, has eight full-length records to her name, the most recent of which was her holiday record, 2018’s Christmas Kisses. She's best known for smash singles such as Stompa, What I Wouldn’t Do and Weak in the Knees.
This will be Ryder’s symphonic debut, says WSO executive director Trudy Schroeder. The show, which will be led by associate conductor Julian Pellicano, takes place at the Centennial Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from $25-$79, available at wso.ca.
— Erin Lebar
It’s been a quiet few weeks, but live music is set to return to Osborne Village with the grand opening of Osborne Underground on Friday, Feb. 21.
The basement venue formerly known as the Cavern kicks things off with a lineup of Indigenous artists. Rapper Ed Riley opens for award-winning R&B musician Sebastian Gaskin and Anishinaabe DJ Boogey the Beat.
"We wanted to start off with a bang," Underground booking agent and rapper Tyler Rogers, a.k.a. Charlie Fettah, said in a statement. "This venue is important to us in the indie-music scene and we wanted to set the tone for the kind of shows we’d like to see in the space, local and up-and-coming talent with diverse bills."
Hip hop, a genre Rogers says suffers from "urban bias" at traditional music venues, will be well represented at the Underground. He also plans to launch a regular comedy and industry night.
Osborne Underground is owned by Poutine King restaurateur Derek Collins, who has been renovating the space since mid-January.
Friday's show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets at $10 in advance on Eventbrite or $15 at the door.
— Eva Wasney
Nothing gets a crowd going at a concert quite like a singalong — and when it comes to singalongs, the folks at Choir! Choir! Choir! know how to rouse an audience into one beaming, boisterous chorus. On Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Burton Cummings Theatre, the musical outfit will do its best to get Winnipeggers singing along to some of this city’s most beloved musicians.
Choir! Choir! Choir! was started in Toronto in 2011 by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman as a weekly chance for those looking to sing to drop in and show off their stuff. The pair provides lyric sheets, works out vocal arrangements with those in attendance and everyone starts belting out their parts with unbridled enthusiasm.
The gathering eventually became an online phenomenon, with YouTube videos capturing crowds in full song garnering plenty of views and clicks. The duo has since toured North America, and singalongs have featured guest singers such as David Byrne, Rick Astley, Patti Smith and more.
The Feb. 22 event, dubbed These Eyes: Epic Winnipeg Singalong, will bring Goldman and Adilman to town to lead the audience singing along to fan favourites of artists including the Guess Who, Neil Young, the Weakerthans, Chantal Kreviazuk and more.
Tickets for Choir! Choir! Choir!’s show are $32.50 plus fees, and are available at Ticketmaster. Floor seats are general admission; doors open at 7 p.m. and the show gets underway at 8 p.m.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
The Canadian International Comedy Film Festival is back for an eighth annual edition with its biggest festival to date.
Presented in partnership with the Winnipeg Film Group, the festival, which runs Wednesday, Feb. 26, to Saturday, Feb. 29, is the oldest and largest Canadian film festival fully devoted to comedy. It will feature three days of cinematic laughs at Cinematheque and a gala event at the Park Theatre on Feb. 29.
The lineup features more than 30 films by Manitoba filmmakers and a selection of 100 international films devoted to comedy, including the Winnipeg première of Michael Stasko’s Boys vs Girls, starring Kevin McDonald and Colin Mochrie. Other highlights include the return engagements of Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century and the Milos Mitrovic and Fabien Velasco dark comedy Tapeworm.
The gala, which will be hosted by Winnipeg comedian Big Daddy Tazz, begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by screenings and awards at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the screenings and gala can be purchased at cicff.ca. Gala tickets are $15 plus taxes and fees.
— Frances Koncan
Commando: The Radio Play was one of those perfect little fringe finds when it premièred at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival last July.
In concept, it may have been inspired by last season's Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre show It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play.
The big difference is that adapter Cory Falvo, who also provided live sound effects for the show, perversely chose a famous action movie — the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Commando — as the template. The film cast Arnie as retired special forces colonel John Matrix, whom we find struggling with the pressures of being a single parent to his daughter, Jenny (Alyssa Milano).
When Jenny is kidnapped by mercenaries in the service of a disgraced South American politician, Matrix enlists a plucky flight attendant (Rae Dawn Chong) to help get her back, even if he has to wipe out a small army to do it.
Commando proved to be an inspired choice. You still get all the cheesy dialogue ("I like you, Sully. I'm going to kill you last") coupled with bargain-basement sound effects instead of big-budget pyrotechnics.
Who knew a small inner tube could be used to make helicopter chop?
Falvo is just 37, which means the Winnipegger was three years old when the original movie came out.
"Although I wouldn't have seen it in theatres, I grew up with Arnold movies and (TV sitcom) Who's the Boss? (which also starred Milano). So I still had nostalgia for the characters," Falvo says.
Still, that specific movie popped up by chance.
"I think I was just checking off a list of action movies I wanted to watch and fell in love with Commando," Falvo says. "About a month later while trying to plan for fringe, I decided adapting something modern into a radio play would be funny and Commando was still fresh in my mind.
"The final scene with the villain Bennett popped in my head when the pipe goes through him and releases the steam," Falvo says. "I thought it would be hilarious to rig up a tea kettle.
"From there, everything fell into place. It was my first idea and I never wavered because of how well it fit the concept."
Commando: The Radio Play features the voice talent of Cathy Herbert, Sam McLean and Will O’Donnell. It will be performed for one show only on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Tickets are $12 in advance on Eventbrite.ca, or $15 at the door.
— Randall King
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