“Wake Me” It Ain’t Over

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“Wake Me When It’s Over! The ‘12-Step Musical’ 

GRAVENHURST – The Gravenhurst Opera House presents its final theatrical production of the 2016 summer season; the award-winning “Wake Me When It’s Over…the 12-step musical”, an original comedy by Canadian stage and screenwriter Vince Grittani with music by Rosalind Mills. This comedic look at one man’s attempt to cope with change on his sixtieth birthday features Larry Herbert (Stratford’s “42nd Street”, Toronto’s ”Mamma Mia” and “Cats”) and the versatile Debbie Collins (Mirvish Production of “The Producers”), who was last seen in this year’s Opera House production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes!”

This high-energy comedy from the creator of hits “Yuppies! The Musical”, “Quiet! I’m Talking” and “Scenes From My Dock”, has been updated and features, in addition to the original, new scenes and songs like “Divorce of Course” and “I’ve Got An App For That!”

As Roger (played by Herbert) is about to celebrate his 60th birthday, he turns to Dr. Yolanda and her book “Flush, a 12-step program to happiness!” With each step Roger is confronted by a series of hilarious women from his life, past and present, all played (sometimes at the same time) by Collins. From his strap-happy grade school teacher Sister Mary of The Compassionate and Merciful Christ to the slightly wacky Margo, an Evita Peron wannabe, running for president of the condo association, Roger is forced to deal with each of these characters before moving on.

Award winning director Dayna Tekatch, who directed the 2016 season opener, “2 Across” as well as Mirvish Productions’ “Forever Plaid” in Toronto earlier this year, returns to direct and choreograph this production along with musical director Sherisse Stevens. The show opens Tuesday, September 13 and runs until September 30.

Visit www.GravenhurstOperaHouse.com to purchase tickets or call the Box Office: 705-687-5550

MUSICAL THEATRE, STAND UP COMEDY & A FILM FESTIVAL… Another exciting summer in Cottage Country

Driving the family "Up North" to the cottage.
Driving the family “Up North” to the cottage.

SCENES FROM MY DOCK” RETURNS…STILL AS FUNNY AND POIGNANT!”

The Rosseau Culture and Arts Project (R’CAP) is presenting  another exciting summer season of entertainment here in Rosseau and now in Parry Sound. We opened “Scenes From My Dock 2.0” in Rosseau and have moved our hit summer show to our new venue in Parry Sound, the Upper Brunswick Playhouse in downtown Parry Sound. NOW PLAYING UNTIL AUG 14. This is an updated version of the original and is as much of a pleaser as all our shows! And what a great cast. It stars Toronto based jazz singer Christine Aziz, Mary Kreder, Brittany Cope and Oscar Moreno. 

THE NEW BRUNSWICK GRILL AND SPORTS BAR
        THE NEW BRUNSWICK GRILL  AND SPORTS BAR
"Guests From Hell!"
                       “Guests From Hell!”
Contractor's Lament....WE CAN ALL RELATE!
Contractor’s Lament….WE CAN ALL RELATE!

We have teamed up with the newly renovated Brunswick Grill and Sports Bar , 72 James St. on the main floor (formerly Don Cherry’s) . It’s worth just going into the place to see the renovations. And the food…simply the best. Great value too. We are offering a dinner/theatre package for $60 all inclusive (tax and gratuity)

AND THIS WEEK ONLY until Aug 1, when you purchase your tickets in advance online we are giving $10 off the theatre ticket. WHAT A DEAL! That’s $50 for dinner and a PROFESSIONAL show ALL IN! Or twenty for Show Only. 

All tickets must be purchased IN ADVANCE online at www.ParrySoundILoveYou.com 

COMEDY IN COTTAGE COUNTRY

Mike Paterson and Tim Rabnett entertain at this year's "Up Against The Wall Comedy Bash" July 31 -Aug 2Part of this year’s “Destination Rosseau/P.S. I Love You”. R’CAP is presenting the return of our “UP AGAINST THE WALL” standup comedy night. This year we are expanding to two night’s in Parry Sound at the Upper Brunswick Playhouse Friday, July 31 and Sunday, Aug 2 plus Saturday, Aug 1 in Rosseauat the Memorial Hall.  Dinner/Theatre Packages are available in both venues at $65 or show only $35.

Featured this summer are two very funny guys Mike Paterson and Tim Rabnett. Both have extensive bios that include appearances at “Just For Laughs”, the Winnipeg Comedy Festival and appearances on CBC’s “The Debaters”.  These performances are sure to be a memorable experience. WARNING: Last year we sold out so get your tickets ASAP www.DestinationRosseau.com 

2nd MUSKOKA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL AUG 27-30

The films have been submitted and once again we have received entries from around the world, from comedies to dramas to animation. We are presently putting together the final programme and it will be available online at www.DestinationRosseau.com 

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ROSSEAU CULTURE AND ARTS PRESENTS A TOE-TAPPING, EXCITING AND EDUCATIONAL SUMMER OF FUN!

To celebrate our second year of “Destination Rosseau” we are expanding with “Parry Sound I Love You” (P.S. I Love comboYou) and introducing great new activities in both locations.

SUMMER CAMP – Humphrey & Parry Sound

Once again we return with week-long summer camp workshops. First, during the last week in July  (27-31) at the Humphrey Rec Centre we’re running “Get In The Act Theatre Crafts Camp”. This is a real hands-on session and kids get to experiment and make a whole bunch of cool theatre props, play with special effects and learn about other nifty backstage craft. It’s like performance science!

IMG_0442Then for that last two weeks of August we are holding “Caught In The Act Theatre Camps” at St. James United Church in Downtown Parry Sound. We have two separate camps scheduled Aug 17-21 and Aug 24-28. Lead by experienced instructors and professional actors this is a week of encouragement, development and experimentation in various stage crafts. Designed for kids 8 – 16 it’s an opportunity to find one’s inner talent. A great way to bring shy kids out of their shell and an exciting vehicle for experienced kids to show us what they’ve got.  Join in the fun.

Both camps are limited. For more information click SEND MY KID TO CAMP!

After seven years on the shelf we are bringing back our musical salute to summer and cottage life “Scenes From My Dock!”. SCENES LOGOThis year we are running the show for 4 nights only in Rosseau (JULY 15-18) at the community hall then moving it to our new space in the above renovated Brunswick Bar & Grill (Formerly Don Cherry’s) in beautiful Downtown Parry Sound. 72 James St. (JULY 21-AUG 15).  Even if you have seen the show I promise you a few surprises.  HOWEVER…the biggest change is that we are offering DINNER THEATRE in both locations. In Rosseau, the spread will be catered by our wonderful new cafe “Cottage Law”.  In Parry Sound, the new Brunswick Sports Bar and Grill will be providing the dinner upstairs in the theatre. Tickets for just the show are also available.  For both locations tickets are only $60 (everything but booze included)  or $30 show only.  FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION CLICK  SCENES FROM MY DOCK!  

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And of course we couldn’t forget the success for last year’s comedy night! This year will be even more insane as we present “UP AGAINST THE WALL! COMEDY BASH”  July 31 -Aug 2 , in Parry Sound and Rosseau, featuring comics Mike Paterson and Tim Rabnett. HIGH-LAR-I-US! But you should come if you are a prude.  We are also presenting this in a dinner setting. Tickets are $65 dinner/show and $35 for the show only.  FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION CLICK GET ME COMEDY TICKETS! 

Then what a great way to top of the summer than by attending the second annual MUSKOKA INDEPENDENT FILM e small posterFESTIVAL.  Our featured genre this year is HUMOUR from around the planet. The weekend of flicks begins with a GALA DINNER/FILMS on Aug 27 with Dini Petty who once again returns as our guest host.  Then on Friday Night, Aug 28, we take a special look at humour and horror. All day Saturday and Sunday it’s more films and lectures! One special event is “He Shoots! He Scores!” a workshop on the importance of music to a film. FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION CLICK MOVIES! MOVIES! MOVIES!

To find out our full summer schedule visit www.DestinationRosseau.com or www.ParrySoundILoveYou.com

THE AUDIT, a new comedy, OPENS JULY 8 at the Rosseau Playhouse

AUDIT POSTER

In 2008 two of my biggest sponsors went into receivership pulling me down within an inch of bankruptcy.

And now the bad news. A few months later Revenue Canada informed me that I had been selected to be audited for the years 2005 and 2006. It is still not resolved for they claim I owe them income tax on funds my biggest sponsor/partner lent us (long boring story). I did however learn that although the government tries to put on a happy “we are here to serve you” face, it is just a huge machine that tells its auditors not to come home empty handed. There is no room for compassion (although they pretend) or understanding.

I learnt a long time ago that in everything painful there is an element of humour. Isn’t that what the best humour is? Misunderstanding and fear?  So I decided to take my fear, stress and sleepless nights and turn it all into a comedy…a dark comedy.

“The Audit” is about a dentist who suddenly gives up his practise to become a standup comic, his sarcastic dog and an auditor from Canada Revenue who has managed to bury her passion in order to do her job.

Don’t worry. Taxes and the audit process are only vehicles to tell the story.

It’s a play about surviving the challenges thrown at you during your journey…divorce, finance, kids and health. The fun stuff in life. It’s about the power of passion and conviction…and the lack of. The play also attempts to answer the age old questions “What is art?” and “What is funny?”.

I have been writing “social comedy” professionally since 1985 when I wrote and directed the year-long Toronto production of “Yuppies The Musical”.  Since then I have go on to lampoon cottage life, aging, wealth, consequences of disease, marriage, divorce, golf, more divorce, exercise and the Catholic church…to mention only a few. I totally believe in writing what you know….(less time researching and more time having fun writing). “The Audit” is no exception.

This past winter I approached an old (mature) friend Sharon Sproule, an accomplished actress and for years the force behind one of the province’s best community theatres in Espanola. I asked her to find me three actors to workshop “The Audit” for a public reading. She found me a teacher, a therapist/life coach and a contract worker for Revenue Canada. (Nice).  Michael Bolvin (oops! name misspelled on poster), Jason Morrow and Theresa Laurenti  did such a great job that I asked them to be part of Destination Rosseau.  The results of their bi weekly workshops under Sharon’s direction is so impressive that I had to bump up the production value to meet their acting skills with a full set. This truly is a production that has exceeded all expectations and I am very proud of it. It’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s night or afternoon on Wednesday while in Muskoka/Parry Sound.

“The Audit” opens July 8 and runs Tues thru Sat 8:00 PM with Wed Matinee at 2:00 PM in the Rosseau Playhouse at 7 Ash St until July 19. For tickets and info visit www.destinationrosseau.com 

Bunny Returns to the Muskoka Stage! Not the Easter One, The Witty One.

ImageIt’s been eight years since Bunny has been seen up on the stage here in Muskoka. Last year she did make it to the Muskoka Lakes Association’s 2013 yearbook in an exclusive interview. And soon she’ll be seen up on the silver screen where she’ll be immortalized forever in “The Grass Widow of Muskoka”.

Since she first came to the public’s attention back in 2001 to celebrate the 100 years of the Gravenhurst Opera House, Bunny has been presented by a variety of ladies throughout the province. Some have tried to steal her but failed to capture her inner soul ending up with a caricature that lacked elegance and spirit. People have compared her to the likes of Brooke Astor  and even to the recently deceased Bunny Mellon. Yet no one comes close to her wit, her insight and her inner beauty. 

This summer actress Patricia Vanstone, who some may recall from “Road to Avonlea”, was recently on stage touring opposite Norm Foster in his play “On A First Name Basis”, and who directed the original production of “Quiet! I’m Talking”,  plays an updated and revised version of Bunny Benvington-Smythe as part of “Destination Rosseau 2014” theatrical presentations. For a limited run, July 29 to August 9, Trish shall take  audiences on a journey of Bunny’s life, much of which was spent at her Muskoka retreat, Finnigan’s Point.  WIth tales of the the rich and famous, comments on the world today and shared secrets of a personal life that most can only dream of, Bunny welcomes audience members to the launch of her book “Quiet! I’m Talking”. 

Known for her wit and humour, some of this great lady’s observations of the world are best demonstrated in her many notable quotes…

“The information highway stops at the city limits. Up here at the lake all one needs to know is what’s for dinner and is there enough booze.”

“With wealth comes great responsibility. The problem with the nouveau riche is they think blue chip stocks come with a jalapeno dip!!  

This year, for  matinee performances,  Bunny invites the public to afternoon High Tea following the show at the TWG Gallery. This is a perfect excuse to get the gang together, put on your fancy hat, observe fine art and enjoy tea and fine pastries. RSVP in advance for show and high tea,  of course. 

“Quiet! I’m Talking” at the New Rosseau Playhouse in the Agricultural Hall, Village of Rosseau, Hwy 632 & Ash St.

Tuesday, July 29 to Friday, August 1 and Tuesday, August 5th to Saturday, August 9th  8:00PM $30.00

Matinee Performances Wednesday, July 30 & August 6th $30.00  with High Tea $35.00

TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE at www.rosseaucultureandarts.com

or through the Box Office in the TWG GALLERY, 8 Hwy 632, Rosseau, ON P0C 1J0  705-224-3542

Groups over 20 call the box office.

 

 

 

 

“The Audit”, my new comedy premiering this summer, NOT the deed!

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Getting audited is no fun. Believe me, I’ve been through it. However, it did inspire me to write my new comedy, appropriately called “The Audit”. I started writing it in 2010 in response to my own experience. In fact, my original intention was revenge. I was going to expose Revenue Canada for the dirty rotten bastards they are…But the truth is everyone was really, really sweet. So helpful and quick to give advice. However, in the end it didn’t stop them from them claiming I owed money. I appealed and threw myself at the mercy of the court. Okay, there was not court. More like the mercy of the Canada Post. Correspondence was always by phone or written snail mail. Something to do with privacy issues…(I guess Heartbleed proved them correct.) 

But I digress….Oh yes, my play. So finally I finished the play and in the end the characters took me on a journey in a whole different direction. Yes, the audit procedure is still there, but only  as a vehicle.  The true story is about how a divorced dentist quit his thriving practice to become a stand-up comic. I’ve always found comedians a strange bunch. No fourth wall to hide behind. You believe what they say is actually their own words, thoughts and experience, not some character they are playing. They have terrible sex, the kids hate them and the ex-wife is a bitch. 

I study comics. I watch their body movements. I can always tell when they are talking about a subject that is not true. Those who make me laugh, really laugh are the ones telling the truth…or at least it’s based on the truth.  Most often the darker the humour the closer to the truth they speak. 

Creating the main character Ray Halliday in “The Audit” wasn’t easy. When you first see him his jokes are topical and usual, but as we the audience learn more about his dark side, so too does his humour reflect it.  He begins to ridicule his own problems. If someone else did the same jokes it would be considered bad taste. It’s the old rule that you have to be one to ridicule one, otherwise you are  racist, sexist, homophobic etc. 

The most difficult thing about writing “The Audit”, or any work that involves humour as a topic, is trying to stay funny.  I think of movies where actors play comedians. Most of the time it doesn’t work. I find even now, when watching old Seinfeld episodes, the stand up club bits are often lame. The laughter is canned and humour isn’t spontaneous. 

 

So in the end I decided to approach the whole subject as a playwright, not someone writing for a standup comic. Of course, I have inserted certain devices that I know will get laughs.  The most prominent is Zeus the wise cracking dog. Yes, we have seen it done before but I wrote this dog from the point of view of my own, Iago.This summer’s production comes out of a workshop I did in Espanola this past March under the direction of an old friend Sharon Sproule. The actors, Jason Marrow, Michael Boivin and Theresa Laurenti although they all have other careers (one even works for Revenue Canada) did such a splendid job I asked them to come and perform this summer as part of Destination Rosseau. The show runs July 8 to 19, Tuesday thru Saturday at 8:00 PM with a Wed Matinee at 2:00 PM. Tickets are available online at www.rosseaucultureandarts.com , at our box office in the TWG Gallery or by phone after May 1 at 705-224-3542.   

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Me during the workshop….

 

 

A Quaint Village Comes Alive…Exciting “Destination Rosseau 2014”

It’s been a long time in the making. Since moving from a lakeside cottage to an old farmhouse in the middle of this Front poster LOW RESquaint village, I have had this vision. I could see the Village of Rosseau was ideal for becoming an arts destination. It’s located where “Parry Sound meets Muskoka”.  This picturesque hamlet is a true hub.  Go west you find Parry Sound. East, Bracebridge. North, Huntsville. And south, Port Carling.  It’s two and a half hours north of downtown Toronto, and two hours south of Sudbury.  Within the village there are two fantastic B&B’s and  Crossroads, a very popular casual fine-dining restaurant. Within a twenty minute scenic drive there’s a variety of accommodations. Fifteen minutes south there’s The JW Marriott and Clevelands House. Take a slight detour between here and Bracebridge you’ll find Windermere House. This year we welcome the reopening of The Grand Tappatto Resort. All of these are perfect choices for both overnight stays and offer memorable dining experiences.

So the stage is set and now the Rosseau Culture and Arts Project (RCAP) is ready to deliver with Destination Rosseau 2014, an exciting festival of art, live theatre, music, film and more.

To begin, we are bringing back the award-winning  Muskoka Theatre Project’s with two great productions, here in the very village where it began twelve years ago.   The first is the premiere of a new comedy “The Audit”,  July 8 – 19,  that tells the story of  Ray, a divorced dentist who sells his practice to become a standup comic, only to have Revenue Canada audit him resulting with life altering consequences. Throw in his wise cracking dog Zeus, and it becomes a light comedy about a dark matter.   Then from July 29 – Aug 9, MTP is excited to bring back a new production of our original, award-winning “Quiet! I’m Talking”,  featuring Muskoka’s beloved Bunny Bevington-Smythe, who was featured in the 2013 Muskoka Lakes Associations yearbook. With updated material, played by Patricia Vanstone (Road to Avonlea) , Bunny is hilarious, poignant, witty and a bit naughty all rolled up in one. Soon to be a feature film “The Grass Widow of Muskoka”, don’t miss cocktails with Bunny.

Following our successful science workshops from last summer with Professor Whatz It, this year Destination Rosseau is presenting a whole week-long Science Camp for kids 8-14 from July 14 – 18. Full of hands-on experiments and demonstrations, participants explore the world of astronomy, geology, mechanics, chemistry, archaeology  and tons more.  And for those right-brained kids we are holding two Theatre Arts Camps for ages 9-14. Stage 1 “Be Scene” explores movement through the art of Neutral Mask. This is for kids of all levels, both those extroverts who are always up on stage performing  and those who might need a bit of confidence building. Stage 2 “Be Heard”, explores the voice as your instrument and then using it with movement.  Our instructors are all  professionals with years of experience.

Also for the kid in us all we are throwing a party on Saturday, July 26 called “Kinderfest”. It’s a whole day of workshops, performances, music, human gyroscopes, even 30 foot inflated animals that you can walk right inside. And then there’s the real animals like reptiles and snakes!

On Saturday, Aug 2 during the day it’s “Paint the Town Rosseau – 2″ . Artists are invited to come and capture a day in the life of our village. Then at night, in the playhouse it’s “Comedy Night in Rosseau”.  Direct from the “Just For Laughs Festival” , Derek Seguin headlines with fellow comedians DeAnne Smith and Matt Wright.

In the TWG Gallery, throughout the entire summer Destination Rosseau features “Brave Art”, three show of new art by Grace Short, Carolyn Megill, Stefan Galvanek  and Barb TenEycke .

On Aug 15 – 17 , Destination Rosseau sponsors “Voices in the Village”, three concerts; opera, Broadway and an afternoon of Jazz.

Finally, from August 28 through 30th ,  or our final event of Destination Rosseau 2014 it’s “The Muskoka Independent Film Festival”.  Join us and celebrity host, Canada’s own Dini Petty, for everything films, complete with galas, live interviews and lots of discussions.

We have something happening all summer long here in Rosseau. So buy a ticket, book a room and make you dinner reservations.  And don’t put it off too long.  Our venues are intimate and capacity is limited.  For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.rosseaucultureandarts.com