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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Catch the colours, catch the arts

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Fiddler on the Roof plays to a full house at the Stratford Festival.

Summer may be over, but Toronto’s arts continue to shine, just like fall’s brilliant colours. One can still catch the two world famous festivals outside the city.  The drive to these festivals is now twice as exciting, because of the stunning colours that enrich the landscape at this time.

Toronto’s many kosher dining facilities, and community events, make it a good destination for meeting people, especially in the fall, when everyone is back in town.

Both the Stratford and Shaw festivals continue until the end of October.  The Shaw is running an excellent production of Guys and Dolls, Our Betters and Enchanted April.

At Stratford Fiddler on the Roof is playing to a full house constantly, and has extended its run with several extra performances. This festival is also showing Othello, Mary Stuart and Romeo and Juliet.

One of the delights of attending the Stratford Festival this fall is the service of a luxury bus, at a truly nominal cost, that takes people from Toronto’s downtown right to the theatre’s entrance.

Aside from the Stratford and Shaw Festivals there are many plays running in the city this fall. The Mirvish Theatre group, celebrating 50 years of theatre presentations, is showing Les Miserables at its Princess of Wales Theatre.  Aladdin, the new musical, begins its run on Nov. 1, until January, at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. 

The play Once, the winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards, opens on Nov. 26  at the Mirvish group’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, which is now showing I Love Lucy, Live on Stage.  Mirvish’s Panasonic Theatre is bringing God of Carnage from Nov.  22 through Dec. 15.

The Soulpepper Theatre Company presents The Norman Conquests, until Nov. 16.

The Harold Green Jewish Theatre will show There’s No Business Like Irving Berlin, on Nov. 3, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.  Teatron Toronto Jewish Theatre is showing The Chosen, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Nov. 13 to 24.

For music, the Koffler Centre of the Arts has two fine programs this fall.  Music She Wrote: A Tribute to Canadian Woman Composers, with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra, is scheduled for Nov. 24, at the Music Gallery.  Tango & Rio Klezmer are two films on Jewish immigrants who forever changed regional music in Argentina (Dec. 8, at the Miles Nadal JCC.) 

The Ger Mandolin Orchestra, an international group, re-creating the pre-war Jewish mandolin orchestra of Gora Kalwaria, Poland, will perform on Nov. 7, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Opera Atelier presents Mozart’s Abduction From The Seraglio, until Nov. 2, at the Elgin Theatre.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra brings pianist Emanuel Ax, Nov. 6 and 7, playing Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2.  The Symphony has scheduled music by Beethoven and Strauss for Nov. 20 and 23, and music by Mahler on Nov. 27 and 28.

Pinchas Zuckerman will play music by Mozart and Shostakovich on Nov. 30.  An all-Tchaikovsky program is planned for Dec. 6 and 7.

Toronto’s Holocaust Education Week is scheduled this year for Nov. 3 to 9.  Aside from numerous lectures, at different venues,  there will be a large number of films, concerts, exhibits and other programs to engage the community during this special week.

Among the concerts, Letter from Bozena (at the Kiever Congregation, Nov. 10) is a song cycle by composer Charles Heller based on his grandmother’s letters to her son written in l939-l940.

Among the exhibits, Precious Legacy celebrates the lives that survivors have built after the Holocaust. This is an ongoing exhibit that starts Nov. 1, at the Baycrest Health Sciences Centre.

There will be over a dozen films to view at different locations during Holocaust Education Week, most of which will have free admission.

One film that is not to be missed (free admission) is No Place On Earth, the true story of one extended family, who survived the Holocaust inside one of the world’s largest caves, in Galicia.

Having spent l8 months in that cave, longer than any human has ever survived in such a place, their ordeal has also earned them a place in the annals of science. Their story was covered extensively by the National Geographic magazine. 

For exhibits, Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World offers the public a rare chance to view more than 170 artifacts from the cradle of civilization (until January).  The Art of the Everyday, one of the rarest collections of French faience pottery in North America can be seen at the Gardiner Museum, until January.

Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture, at the Bata Shoe Museum, is an exhibit about the history of sneakers, over the past l50 years.  On view are over 120 pairs of sneakers.

Artist Josh Silburt’s World War II political cartoons, and landscape paintings, are on exhibit at the Art-Square Gallery until Nov. 4.

The Great Upheaval, Modern Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, opens Nov. 30.  It features works by Cezanne, Chagall, Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse and Modigliani.

On the first Thursday of every month the Art Gallery of Ontario hosts a party, after closing, when the galleries are filled with live music, performances, talks, and much more.

 All the above suggestions in the arts are only a very small sampling of what Toronto offers during this fall season.

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