I got life, brother!
A musical past its time made timeless
Yes, Canada has a musical theatre tradition. Listening to Vancouver composer Anton Lipovetsky's music during a November performance of the science-fiction stage comedy Broken Sex Doll, I was reminded of Galt MacDermot. In 1957, his fusion of 1940s pop with 1950s rock helped make a McGill University musical spoof called My Fur Lady a national phenomenon. Lacking a production centre like Broadway, Canada's musical theatre history consists of unlikely local hits, each a tribute to artistic tenacity. Premiered in Charlottetown in 1965, Norman Campbell's music for Anne of Green Gables - The Musical was in the Broadway style, while songwriter Ann Mortifee's contemporary scoring of The Ecstacy of Rita Joe (1967) reflected the work's West Coast sensibility. A decade later, John MacLachlan Gray's Billy Bishop Goes to War (1978) went from East Vancouver to Broadway. More recently, music and songs by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison for The Drowsy Chaperone (1999) made their way from Toronto to New York (and later London). Working on the margins, Canadians tend to break out with off-beat items, such as 2003's The Evil Dead, The Musical, first performed by students of Kingston's Queen's University. And, of course, MacDermot, born in Montreal on this day (December 19) in 1928, made history by scoring Broadway's first rock musical, Hair, adapted for the screen by director Milos Forman in 1979.
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Our Feature Film Fest: 5
The young and the restless
In Part 5 of a 20-part series, Reeling Back continues The Greater Vancouver Book's Feature Film Festival, with restored notes on the 17 features in the program called Youthquakes.
A magnificent seven
Celebrating the first princess's 50th
Walt Disney chose today (December 21) the shortest day of 1937, to premiere his first feature-length cartoon, a film with an ensemble of charmingly short supporting players — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Odds against lotto win
Regressively taxing poor and elderly
Gambling, the addictive behaviour that its corporate promoters call "gaming," continues to be a source of controversy in B.C. More than 30 years ago, director Tom Shandel documented the case against government encouragement of Lotomania (1980).
Whedon's flight to B.C.
My Blog; Your Guide to What's New
Of all the the picturesque coastal cities in the world, why did Joss Whedon's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fly into ours in the ninth episode of its second season? As many of my favourite television shows go into hibernation for the holidays, I'm faced with more questions.