CRITIC ROBERT CUSHMAN INTERVIEWS THEATRE PROS FOR HOLY BLOSSOM STAGECRAFT
Holy Blossom Temple Stagecraft presents Backstage with Robert Cushman, a series of four evenings in which Cushman, the astute and award-winning National Post theatre critic, invites the audience to participate in conversations with some of the top theatre people in Canada.
The conversation on March 1 will be with veteran actor-director Joseph Ziegler of Soulpepper Theatre; on March 10 with Dean Gabourie, assistant artistic director of the Stratford Festival; on March 15 with Jackie Maxwell, artistic director of the Shaw Festival; and on March 24 with Matthew Jocelyn, artistic and general director of Canadian Stage.
Topics will include the careers, successes, inspirations and obstacles of these four subjects. Tickets $15 each, $50 for the series; students $12/$40. Each program begins at 7:30 p.m. 416-789-3291, ext. 511.
Nephesh Theatre Company: Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company presents the Nephesh Theatre production of One of a Kind, a tale of an Ethiopian boy who travels with his family through Ethiopia and Sudan to Jerusalem. Direct from Israel, the acclaimed play by Yossi Vassa and Shai Ben Attar is being performed here only twice. $43, $31; children $15. Jane Mallet Theatre, 27 Front St. E. Thursday Feb. 24, 1:15 and 7:30 p.m. 416-366-7723.
Focus on Artur Szyk: The Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada is co-presenter of “Artur Szyk and the Statute of Kalisz,” a program involving a film screening (Artur Szyk, Illuminator), a lecture by Prof. Piotr Wrobel, and an exhibition of Szyk’s illustrations for the statute, which was a charter of Jewish liberties issued in Kalisz in 1264. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m. $8, $10, at the door.
Calling Jewish Playwrights: The Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company is calling for submissions for In the Beginning, a Jewish playwrights festival scheduled for June at the Miles Nadal JCC. Four plays will be chosen for workshops and public staged readings. Deadline March 15, 5 p.m. www.hgjewishtheatre.com
Chai Tea Screening: Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents the 2009 Argentine film Anita, directed by Marcos Carnevale. Set in Buenos Aires, the subtitled film focuses on a young woman with Down syndrome who sets out in search of her mother after the devastating terrorist bombing of the Israelite Mutual Association in 1994. Actor Norma Aleandro gives a “stunning” performance as Anita’s mother and has been called the Meryl Streep of Argentine film. Cineplex Odeon Sheppard, 4861 Yonge St. Sunday, Feb. 20, tea 4 p.m., film 5 p.m. $15. www.tjff.com
Names in the News: It’s been 30 years since the death of American lyricist-poet E. Y. (Yip) Harburg (1896-1981), who wrote more than 600 songs including the Depression-era anthem Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? and all of the lyrics in the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. His collaborators have included Harold Arlen, Oscar Levant, Sammy Fain, Richard Rodgers, Lou Alter, Franz Waxman, Jerome Kern, Jacques Offenbach and Ann Sternberg.
Politically, Harburg embraced the ideals of democratic socialism and his songs Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? and Over the Rainbow were said to express his utopian vision for a society in which basic human rights, education and access to health services are guaranteed. Toward this end, he established the Yip Harburg Foundation, which gives annual grants to projects dealing with social and economic justice, educational opportunities and new works of political art. For details, visit www.yipharburg.org.
Names in the News II: Singer Macy Gray polled fans in a Facebook message recently about whether to cancel her concert dates in Tel Aviv this week. Although many people urged her to boycott Israel, Gray decided to go. “Dear Israel fans,” she wrote in a Twitter message. “Me and the band will be there in 20 days. Can’t wait. See you then. Peace.”
Arts in Brief
• CAMMAC @ the J is a music workshop of singing and vocal percussion, with FreePlay Duo, Suba Sankaran and Dylan Bell. $30, $25. Miles Nadal JCC, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2 to 4 p.m. 416-694-1266.
• Ephemera, an exhibition of paintings by Judy Singer, remains on view in the Jacobs Lounge Visual Arts Space, Miles Nadal JCC, through Monday, Feb. 28.
• Singers over 65 are invited to join the MNJCC seniors’ choir. Meets every Tuesday, 1 to 2:30 p.m., from Feb. 22 to June. Come Feb. 22 or March 1 for free and try it out. Everyone welcome, no experience necessary. $50 for 16 weeks. Miles Nadal JCC, 416-924-6211, ext. 133.
• View the works of Humber Institute’s creative photography grads and alumni from their 2010 journey to Israel and Jordan. Feb 14-March 23, weekdays 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Ave. W. Toronto. 416-789-7011 ext. 300. www.villachcharities.com/carrier