Kelly Bedard

This month we were treated to two pieces that weren’t really musical theatre, nor were they strictly concerts. They were cabarets, I guess, but they were really stage-bound musical explorations of people and place by musicians who make theatre and theatre people who make music. Ryan G. Hinds’ Say Grace Sidelined for 6 months after […]

  Anya Wassenberg

The classic RnB revival gets a boost later this month with Toronto band YUKA‘s fourth release – their first on vinyl – called From the Ancients. For Yuka, the RnB/soul sound is anything but a trend. “Everyone in the band likes that kind of music,” says guitarist James Tayor. “The sound of that music is […]

  Amy Strizic

Facing the garlanded stage with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra warming up, looked down on by the Etobicoke School of the Arts Holiday Chorus, I can’t help but feel the buzz of holiday cheer. I have not had the privilege to attend the symphony since I was a child, and am enjoying the energy of Roy […]

  Elizabeth Moss

I recently had the extreme pleasure of seeing The Lone Bellow at Boston’s House of Blues, and I can’t have asked for a better way to spend a Wednesday night. The first opener of the show was Hugh Masterson, a singer-songwriter out of my very own Nashville, TN. He said at the beginning of his […]

  Kelly Bedard

Two nights in October, I did something I haven’t done in far too long- I went to the symphony. But these were not regular nights at the symphony. There was no Peter Oundjian, an uncharacteristic smell filled Roy Thomson Hall, the average age of the patrons was at least 20 years below expected and, when […]

  Elizabeth Moss

She came, she sang, and oh boy did she conquer. Frontwoman Brittany Howard led Alabama Shakes in a tour-de-force takeover of the recent Boston Calling Music Festival’s closing act. A gorgeous autumn evening with a full moon lunar eclipse perfectly complimented one of the greatest live shows I’ve ever seen in my life (look at […]

  Kelly Bedard

Performing with a symphony orchestra is a tricky thing, especially for a musical theatre performer. On a stage that likely has better acoustics than your usual proscenium, in a space traditionally occupied by concert cellists and world-class operatic sopranos, without the help of your costume or your co-stars, the story or the special effects, you […]

  Anya Wassenberg

Upcoming concerts: Performing from their 2013 CD Symphony! at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre (Nov 28) and Flato Markham Theatre (Nov 29), accompanied by the Ontario Philharmonic, conducted by Maestro Marco Parisotto. December 4, at Toronto’s Koerner Hall as Part of the Sultans and Divas concert featuring mezzo-soprano and CBC radio host Julie Nesrallah; soprano Miriam Khalil; […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Global Cabaret Festival came to an end with a rousing late-night performance from the great Jackie Richardson. I celebrated the first seven shows on my agenda in Part 1. Now that the festival is over (hopefully not forever- Global, tell us you’ll bring the festival back for year 8!), here are the rest of […]

  Kelly Bedard

I’m halfway through the 7th (and final?) Global Cabaret Festival weekend down at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Here are the highlights so far: UPDATE: Read Part 2 HERE. Best Show (so far) The American Pie Songbook I know, I’m the most predictable person in the world, but the songbook show music directed […]

  Anya Wassenberg

In the middle of film-fest-mad Toronto, the Canadian Music Café is a chic oasis at the Jazz Bistro on Victoria Street. Amidst twinkling ruby crystal chandeliers, red velvet curtains and even red trim on the Steinway, Canadian talent was there to sing for industry types in what comes as the perfect break from the street […]

  Brian Balduzzi

I am still in awe that I sat so close and watched relished the astonishing Megan Hilty in Provincetown.  My Entertainment World interviewed her this past Winter, but the joy of seeing this talented and enthralling actress and performer is much more captivating and, indeed, a Smash-hit.  Many of you may remember Hilty from the […]

  Kevin Dillon

As the smell of weed wafted through the air, the lights dimmed, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z took the stage at Gillette Stadium.  The two walked out with one of their first musical collaborations “’03 Bonnie & Clyde.”  The duo was perfectly in sync and rocked out the start to one of the most fun concerts. […]

  Kelly Bedard

Cineastas I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this Spanish-language exploration of the lives of filmmakers but what I found was a profoundly moving and wonderfully inventive piece of ensemble theatre. The cast was extraordinary in their versatility and emotional depth (Javier Lorenzo in particular pulled at my heartstrings in multiple roles) while the […]

  Theresa Perkins

Lately, I have been attending a lot of alternative theatre events. What is an alternative theatre event? It is a phrase that I created to encompass all limited run talent showcases, play readings, and musical performances. These events are often overlooked but are brilliant platforms to exhibit talent in a nontraditional way. Such events typically […]

  Nick Christophers

The place was packed with pretty girls lining the bar and guys in loose jeans nursing their beers. It was Friday night so everyone was out to let loose and take in some good old rock “n” roll. The music was blaring even from outside the famous Bitter End, the same Bitter End that hosted […]

  Mike Strizic

Old Man Luedecke Feb 18, Hugh’s Room “Who feels like a little call-and-response?” calls Chris Luedecke, AKA Old Man Luedecke, of Halifax. There is a halfhearted smattering of applause. “That’s ok,” he deadpans, “if I was holding out for a majority I would have given-up a long time ago. Banjo! The most universally hated of […]

If you could re-create your world, who would be part of your family? How would you choose to express your love for them? To what lengths would you go to protect and keep them? And what would you do if you feared losing them forever? Music helps us answer difficult questions and imagine a world […]

Chris Tsujiuchi and The Chris-terical Cabaret Crew are back for their annual Christmas festivities at Buddies in Bad Times this weekend. They’ve brought a lot of old material with them (and the departure of mainstay Vaughn Harris is sadly felt), but they’ve also got the strongest group of instrumentalists they’ve ever had… and a gospel choir. There’s one show […]

DVA marks the sophomore release for the classically trained electronic singer/songwriter Emika. I went to the DVA listening party at The Standard Hotel’s breathtaking skyline bar Le Bain in New York where Emika performed in DJ mode. When I arrived the atmosphere was casual, the music was at a volume that made for good conversation. […]

  Mike Strizic

April 30, 2013- Drake Underground “Oh man. If this is what I sound like at twenty-five, I’m gonna sound, like, ninety in a few years.” Trixie Whitley is nursing a cold that threatens to rob her of the smoky bourbon voice for which she has been rapidly gaining ground of late. And it is, emphatically, deserved ground. […]

April 22, 2013- Drake Underground After failing to talk my way into the Drake Underground, I reluctantly bought a ticket from a young enterpriser for 100% markup—and couldn’t be happier that I did. The rafters rang last Monday as yours truly bore witness to the liberation of folk music from itself. Opening the bill is Twin […]

  Mike Strizic

May 9, 2013- Kool Haus Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are one of those inimitable few acts who persist, year in and year out, relatively unchanged. Since the 2001 release of their debut, B.R.M.C., the band has continually been producing records of the same consistent quality and touring with a widely renown passion and intensity. No, their […]

  Mike Strizic

“I hope you all stick around after,” she says with a gleam in her eye, “it’s been a long week. And we’re going to party.” Chloe Charles is addressing a packed house on the upper floor of the El Mocambo on the Saturday of Canadian Music Week. She is halfway through a jubilant set, one […]

  Matt Dodge

I don’t like electronic music. You can call it house, electronica, dance, synth, trance, or whatever else you want. The point is, it’s just never been something that appeals to me. As a result, when somebody brings up Daft Punk, the two things the pop up in my head are a cartoon music video with […]

  Kelly Bedard

I went on and on about the awesomeness of The Global Cabaret Festival last year, so I’m not going to say it again. What I will say is that this year was even better with only a  few mild disappointments in a wonderful weekend of 9 shows in 2 days from October 12th to 14th. […]