SCUGOG: The Port Perry Patchers will present a fresh batch of quilts and quilted items on Saturday, Nov. 1 - with the grand opening of a new exhibit ‘Tradition Meets Modern’ put together by the guild.
From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., drop by the Scugog Council for the Arts office, located inside 181 Perry St. right next to the municipal office, to meet the artists behind these beatiful pieces of hand-stitched art.
“We are proposing to expand on the theme ‘Tradition Meets Modern - Celebrating 25 Years’ with the show,” said Robin Bonkowsi of The Port Perry Patchers. “The show will present a journey of how our craft has been transformed from quilting built on centuries of tradition through to the exciting new challenges of being part of a broader Fibre Arts community using mixed media, contemporary thread painting and other modern techniques.”
Art patrons and quilters alike are invited to join the Port Perry Patchers Guild in the anniversary celebrations of 25 years in this community.
The Port Perry Patchers are a quilting guild based out of Port Perry, which has actively served the needs of its members and the Durham community for 25 years.
According to Ms. Bonkowski, the objectives of the Port Perry Patchers are ‘to meet and enjoy the exchange of ideas with fellow quilters.’ The group also strives to bring qualified experts and speakers in these fields for seminars and workshops.
The Port Perry Patchers meet every third Monday evening at 7 p.m., inside Hope Christian Reform Church, 14480 Old Simcoe Rd., in Port Perry. Interested quilters and newcomers are invited to join at any time, by simply contacting a member and filling out a registration form, and paying either an $8 guest fee or $35 annual fee.
Please visit www.portperrypatchers.ca to get in touch with the group, or to learn more.
NORTH DURHAM: Petissimo, the annual benefit concert in support of the New Animal Shelter for Uxbridge-Scugog (NASUS) is returning for its second elegant evening of music, fine wine, and fine company.
Event organizers Glen Kowarsky and Joanne O’Neil are gearing up for Petissimo 2015 - aiming to surpass last year’s mark of $7,000 raised for the Shelter. Once again, this will be a unique an elegant evening filled with a mix of musical genres, including Jazz, Big Band, Opera, Classical, and Latin / Flamenco Guitar.
Petissimo will once again be taking place at Port Perry’s Town Hall 1873, located at the corner of Simcoe St. and Queen St., on Saturday, June 6, 2015.
According to Mr. Kowarsky, who will also be bringing his powerful opera singing to the stage, Petissimo is in need of volunteers for the concert’s organizational committee.
This group will plan every aspect of the evening, including the venue set up and signage, marketing and promotion, social media, ticket sales, arrangements with local restaurants, reception planning, and sponsorship.
The committee will meet in person and via conference call on a regular basis, beginning every two weeks, moving towards weekly meetings as the event date approaches.
For further information, visit Petissimo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Petissimo/1397774733824415, or contact Mr. Kowarsky and Ms. O’Neil by e-mail at Petissimo@dogsatcamp.com.
Special to The Standard
SCUGOG: The Borelians current offering at Town Hall 1873, The Drawer Boy, earned the playwright Michael Healey the 1999 Governor General’s Award for Drama. It’s easy to see why. Its three characters compel our attention at the outset and, without letting up, draw us ever more deeply into their story right to the end.
Set on a farm in Clinton, Ontario in 1972, the play opens when Miles, a young actor with Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, arrives at the farm of two bachelor brothers, Angus and Morgan. Miles’s goal is to learn about farm life for the play he is writing. What he learns goes far beyond that. Miles uncovers, bit by bit, the nature of the bond between these two men and the events of thirty years previous that still rule their lives.
The dominant theme in the Drawer Boy is, broadly, truth. For Miles it is simple. As an actor, truth informs the reality of his performance and inspires awareness in his audience. For the brothers Angus and Morgan it is much more complicated. The truth of their common memory has powerful effects on the deeper reality of their relationship.
Bring a farmer friend to this play if you know one. He or she will be happy to see their reality accurately presented on stage. One scene has the brothers enumerating the financial facts of farming. The dollar figures are frankly shocking -- for more reasons than their age.
There are wonderful comedic moments in the Drawer Boy. Morgan can’t resist having some fun at the expense of Miles and his ignorance of farming. Angus’s discovery of theatre, and the levels of reality involved when an actor portrays a real person on stage, is delightful. And playwright Healey is lampooning actors when he shows Miles struggling to understand and portray the inner life of a cow. Feel free to laugh out loud.
The Drawer Boy is based on an actual historic event. In the 70s, actors from Theatre Passe Muraille lived and worked for a summer on farms in Clinton to gather material for their collective documentary play The Farm Show. The first performance of a successful rural tour was in Ray Bird’s barn, a reference you will hear in the announcer’s opening address to the audience.
The actors have done their research to capture the essence of their characters: Kyle Dickie as Miles, the innocent but naïve actor; David Geene as Morgan with an outward crustiness that hides a deeply caring heart; and John Lunman with his stunning portrayal of Angus, a seemingly simple man with a complex mix of mental deficits and assets. This is John’s first appearance with the Borelians.
The set of The Drawer Boy deserves a special mention. The audience peeks through a deconstructed exterior wall into the kitchen of a farmhouse. The inside walls are a metaphor for Morgan and Angus’s memories -- partially peeled back in places, revealing the beams and even the wiring within. Set decorators Jan and Wally Taylor have given us an accurate and unromantic portrait of a well-used farm kitchen in the early 1970s with its motley collection of furnishings from the prior decade. Completing our immersion into 1972 is an all-Neil Young soundscape created by Michael Serres.
The Drawer Boy opened last week but tickets are still available for this weekend -- Thursday through Saturday evenings, plus a Saturday matinee. Friday night attendees get the added experience of an expert adjudication after the show. For tickets, call the Town Hall 1873 box office at 905-985-8181, or visit www.townhall1873.ca.
BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: See what’s growing in the Kent Farndale Gallery next month!
Local watercolour artist Pamela Meacher is excited to present a solo art show featuring gorgeously detailed renditions of flowers, fairies, plants, leaves and all-manner of beautiful flora and fauna.
Titled ‘Radical Botanicals and More’ Ms. Meacher’s show will feature recent works, alongside her classic illustrations.
Regarding her latest work ‘The Resting Post’ Ms. Meacher said, “I’m taking a step back into my painting methods from 15 years ago - incorporating my tight and detailed style, within some of the more loose and open illustrations.”
Come and meet Ms. Meacher, her flowers, and her fairies during the grand opening reception at 2 p.m. on Nov. 1, taking place at the Kent Farndale Gallery inside the Scugog Memorial Public Library, 231 Water St.
A master painter and author, Ms. Meacher was exposed to the profound mysteries and beauty of the natural world as a child growing up in England.
Ms. Meacher’s botanical watercolours often include birds, butterflies and woodland sprites, which harkens back to the Victorian Arts and Crafts movement.
A board member for 10 years and one of the founding members of the Canadian Wildflower Society, she is also a member in good standing with The Botanical Artists of Canada.
Presently, Pamela is Vice President of The Scugog Council for the Arts and past Vice-Chair of the Public Arts Acquisitions Committee.
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
By JOHN FOOTE
Denzel Washington is such a powerful actor he can make anything worth watching... well almost.
The two time Oscar winner has enjoyed a tremendous career since leaving the hit TV show St. Elsewhere in the eighties and being cast as South African activist Steve Biko, which earned him an Oscar nomination in the film Cry Freedom (1987). In the years since he has won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor for Glory (1989) and Best Actor for Training Day (2001). Three other nominations have come for his career best performance in Malcolm X (1992). With an intelligence that radiates off the screen, Washington has worked hard to become one of the screen’s finest actors, admired by both audiences and critics. He is one of those actors who can say volumes without speaking, allowing his eyes to do the talking.
Through the 2000’s after portraying the vicious crooked cop in Training Day (2001) he was cast in a handful of films in which he was a kick ass bad ass, most notably as the tough bodyguard relentless stalking the kidnappers of the little girl he guards in Man on Fire (2005). However it seemed that those roles did not challenge the actor after seeing him do it once. I hoped he might get back into doing important work.
Instead we have The Equalizer, an entertaining enough film, but one that once again sees him in badass form.
It’s not that he is not fun to watch snatching a gun from the hands of the man holding it on him, or gazing around the room sizing up his enemies, just knowing he has them over a barrel, it is that the film gives him so little back.
Robert MacCall (Washington) is a deadly ex CIA operative who cut a deal to allow himself to live a normal life, he works in a Home Depot sort of place, and leads a lonely life, reading books one after another in a small diner. Sitting in the same place at the same time each night, he has pledged to read one hundred great books, picking up where his late wife off, so in a sense they are doing it together. It is there he encounters a young hooker portrayed by Chloe Grace Morentz who will alter the course of his life. They become friends, they chat, and he sees the men she works for. When she is terribly beaten, he gets involved and when he gets involved I mean he kicks some serious ass, drawing the wrath of the vicious Russian mob. Enforcers arrive from Moscow with so little regard for human life it is frightening, and they go after Washington and everyone he cares for.
What they do not count on is the fact this is a man trained in warfare up close and personal.
Teddy (Marton Csokas) is terrifying as the ice cold assassin sent to terminate Washington from Moscow. Quietly lethal his presence frightens even the toughest of cops who encounter him. He looks at the young hookers as insects he can squash with his shoe, not as people, and eliminates anyone who stands in his way.
We know of course where this is all headed, to a great and nasty climax in the Home Depot-like store where MacCall works.
One of the many issues I had with the film was the fact the director seems to set up fights for the sole purpose of finding more and more interesting ways to kill people with various objects and tools, such as a corkscrew and nail gun. When we see MacCall walk to a display case and take a mallet out, we know what is coming. Is this what films like Saw (2008) have brought to the screen? I hope not.
There are no real characters to play as written but the actors are so immensely gifted they manage to create something out of what they have been given. Washington stalks the screen like a panther, ever watchful, taking everything in when he enters a room. Csokas is frightening, and though woefully miscast, Morentz does well in her scenes with Washington.
Based on the TV series of the 90’s with Edward Woodward, it appears they are going for a new franchise of films. God I hope not.
Artist Eddie Le Page, pictured along with Kent Farndale and Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew, celebrated First Nations art on Saturday, Oct. 4 - during the opening of the ‘Focus on First Nations’ exhibit at the SCA Gallery, inside 181 Perry St. in Port Perry. The exhibit displays the work of seven First Nations artists, and will remain until Oct. 25 - further information can be found at www.ScugogArts.ca. Photo credit: BENJAMIN PRIEBE / The Standard
ALL THAT JAZZ (1979)
Directed by Bob Fosse
On Blu Ray
Though he made just five films in his extraordinary career, Bob Fosse left a mark on modern cinema that will never be equalled or forgotten. His films all dealt, in one way or another with the foibles of show business, the ins and outs, the highs and the lows, and the horrors. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for his searing musical Cabaret (1972) arguably the greatest musical ever made, and was nominated two other times for Lenny (1974) his powerful black and white film about beat comic Lenny Bruce and for this autobiographical work which deal honestly and openly with the incidents surrounding his massive heart attack while directing a major Broadway show and editing Lenny (1974).
Known as a famous serial womanizer, sleeping with everyone and anyone who interested him, addicted to drugs that kept him awake, others to help him sleep, alcohol, cigarettes and fame, Fosse was a genius. His signature dance style is on display in this film, along with his bold and brash directing style which challenged audiences for twenty years.
Roy Scheider portrays Joe Gideon, a famous and powerful director who is as beloved on Broadway as he is in Hollywood for his work. He begins each day with a pill, a cigarette, a shower and looks in the mirror and states, “It’s showtime” sometimes not getting the words out with his hacking cough. As we move through the film his colour changes from terrible to a sickly grey, and he can barely get the words out. His eyes are constantly bloodshot, he moves slowly, yet when he enters the theatre to work, he is alert and alive, only truly alive it seems when he is working. He makes stupid mistakes as a partner and a father, as everyone around him knows who he is sleeping with, or who he will sleep with next. Yet they love him, and he knows his ability to get away with nearly anything has served him well.
The story is told in flashback as we watch and listen to Joe speaking to a beautiful blonde who we come to realize is death (Jessica Lange), dressed entirely in white like a bride. Oddly whatever Joe is addicted too seems to be white, from his pills to his cigarettes to the glare of the bright lights.
As he directs the play we get a sense of the genius of what Fosse was, turning in a bland pop tune into a raging sexual dance number that all but burns a hole in the screen. That was Fosse, and Fosse is Gideon.
Imagine the courage it took Fosse to make a film in which he is portrayed warts and all, seen for what he truly was, the good and the bad.
The film gives an honest and unflinching look at life as a Broadway dancer, the cattle call which opens the film is now a legendary sequence, and the rejection seen on the faces is hurtful as dancer after dancer is turned away. The rehearsals are the same, as Gideon stalks the room like a panther, looking for the right move, watching the mirrors for a body movement that strikes him as right, over and over and over. I am not sure a better film on the creation of a play has ever been made.
Richard Dreyfuss was originally cast as Gideon but backed out of the project terrified he could not do justice to the role, so Scheider stepped in to give the best performance of his career. Best known perhaps as the sheriff in Jaws (1975) he was simply superb as Gideon, displaying dance and singing talents we did not know he had, and the true courage of a great actor, giving himself over to the role in every way.
Jessica Lange is ethereal and haunting as Death, her penetrating gaze never looking away from Joe slowly seducing him towards her. The image of her at the end of the tunnel as Joe moves towards her is both sexual and terrifying, because to give in to her is to give up on life.
All That Jazz was nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Film, Director and Actor and took home four for its Art Direction, Costumes, Score and Editing.
Fosse’s last film was Star 80 (1983), the harrowing story of Dorothy Stratten, who landed in LA a fresh faced Canadian looking for some fame and was murdered by her estranged husband after finding that fame as Playmate of the Year. In that dark film, the darkest of Fosse’s career, Eric Roberts gave a stunning performance which he credited entirely to Fosse.
“He loves actors and gives us the room to create”, said Roberts.
Which was why is was so revered by the actors who worked with him.
Criterion has done a masterful job restoring the film to its original glory and allowing a new generation of audiences to see the genius that was in a word... Fosse.
Bill Burns, an Oshawa based landscape artist, took part in the Uxbridge Historical Centre’s ‘En Plein Air’ artist exhibit on Saturday, September 27. Mr. Burns was joined by several other open air painters, who spread themselves across the museum grounds and spent an entire day painting and chatting with patrons. Photo credit: BENJAMIN PRIEBE / The Standard