Music for the Soul: Beach Jazz and Reflection continues its winter sessions with a performance by Lara Solnicki, Feb. 2, at 4:30 p.m. at St. Aidan’s Church, Queen and Silver Birch.
Solnicki is a contemporary jazz singer, composer and poet whose musical talents have led her from classical music to opera, from jazz to improvised new music. She has her BA from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her debut CD, A Meadow in December, has received critical acclaim, and she is wrapping up recording of her much-anticipated follow-up. For more information visit Lara’s website at larasolnicki.com
Joining Solnicki is jazz pianist/keyboard artist Mark Kieswetter and bassist George Koller. There is no cover charge for the Music for the Soul concerts, but a free-will offering will be taken up. These concerts are an excellent way to wrap up a busy Saturday afternoon, or a chance to get out of the house on a dark winter’s day. It’s 45 minutes of superb music in a beautiful, welcoming setting. Sponsored by Beach United Church, the concerts are held in St. Aidan’s while Beach United is under renovations. For more information call Beach United Church at 416-691-8082, or visit beachunitedchurch.com.
Iconic Beach actress Nonnie Griffin will reprise her acclaimed one-woman play, Sister Annunciata’s Secret, 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 5, at the Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave.
Directed by Peggy Mahon, Sister Annunciata’s Secret is based on a true story of a young piano student who fell in love with his teacher, a 30-year-old nun. Griffin was invited to perform the play at this past summer’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
This performance of Sister Annunciata’s Secret is a benefit to raise funds for the KAMI Foundation for Haiti, a Canadian charity which promotes the use of locally-built cooking stoves to help improve the lives of Haitian women. The stoves run on kerosene, an inexpensive fuel that can help reduce the cutting down of trees. Visit the website at kamifoundationforhaiti.org for more information.
Tickets for Sister Annunciata’s Secret are $20 and are available at the door.
Members of the staff at the Toronto Catholic District School Board are presenting Dearly Beloved, Feb. 7 to 9, in the theatre of St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School, 49 Felstead Ave. (just west of Monarch Park, near Greenwood and Danforth).
A Southern wedding goes hilariously off-course in this fast-paced comedy about love, marriage, sisterhood, gospel music and 300 pounds of good ol’ Texas barbecue.
The Futrelle sisters – Frankie, Honey Raye and Twink – are throwing a wedding. Twink’s desperate attempts to get her boyfriend of 15 1/2 years down the aisle, Frankie’s ongoing conversations with their dead mother, and Honey Raye’s tendency to race to the altar at every opportunity have kept the townsfolk’ tongues wagging for years.
But on the day of the nuptials, word reaches the sisters that the bride and her fiancé have fled town and eloped. The sisters ultimately pull together to keep the unsuspecting guests in the pews while a highway patrolman races off to track down the runaway bride and groom. You’ll laugh all the way down the aisle!
Dearly Beloved is written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten and is produced by TCDSB Staff Arts, created to promote the arts and arts education through performance opportunities.
Tickets for Dearly Beloved are $20, and are available by calling 416-222-8282, ext. 2787. For more information visit tcdsb.org.
Scarborough Music Theatre presents Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Feb. 7-10, 14-17, and 21-23, at the Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. at Markham.
The macabre Victorian tale of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who murders his customers and, with the aid of his neighbour Mrs. Lovett, bakes them into meat pies, first appeared in 1846. It was made into a stage play, several silent films, as well as a ballet. The musical, by Stephen Sondheim, was first performed in 1979. It changed the name of the lead character to Benjamin Barker, and introduced the character Judge Turpin as the subject of Barker’s revenge. A film version of it, directed by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp, was made in 2007.
The Scarborough Music Theatre production stars Andrew Mitchell as Sweeney Todd, Laurie Hurst as Mrs. Lovett and Jason Silzer as Judge Turpin. It is directed by Michael Jones, with choreography by Dot Routledge.
Tickets for Sweeney Todd are $25 for adults and $21 for seniors and students with group rates available. They are available by calling the box office at 416-267-9292, or online at theatrescarborough.com. Evening performances are at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Feb. 10, 17 and 23. For more information on this and other upcoming productions visit theatrescarborough.com.
The 4 Men bring their enthusiastic singing, and excellent harmonies to Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd., Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
With a program of material that ranges from Broadway tunes to barbershop choruses to The 4 Lads, The 4 Men draw from a rich musical tradition. The 4 Men are: Mervin Fick, a professional choral conductor (Toronto Beach Chorale); Brian McIntosh, an ordained minister; George Kopulos, a retired chemical engineer; and Rudy De Paoli, a corporate executive with a passion for studying the evolution of spirituality. The group’s motto is ‘Voices united for a caring world’. They are hoping to record a CD soon from which they will use proceeds from sales to raise money for United Church programs.
Tickets for The 4 Men are $20 for adults, and $10 for youth age 7 to 18. They are available at the door, or by calling 416-722-0577.
Hélène Nicole Richard moved to Toronto from her native Montreal in 1999 to pursue a career in the performing arts. The bilingual singer-songwriter was soon asked to be a substitute teacher in the city’s French language schools. It was while doing that that she realized she could offer more authentic French cultural experiences to her students, and she began writing and performing her own shows. Since then the Beach resident has performed across the country, and will mark her 1,000th performance this coming October.
Richard’s shows include Do ré mi, a show about the elements of music; La Danse, which taught drama and dance; Gotta Love That French, a popular show designed to instill a love of French in students; and the most recent I Am Bilingual which she performed in more than 125 regional schools.
Hélène is inviting people in this area to help celebrate her upcoming milestone with a special Family Day Wine and Cheese, Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the new French Club, 1437 Kingston Rd.
For more information call 416-759-7397, or visit Richard’s website online at helenenicole.com/activityclub.