Entertainment

The Scarborough Players presents the third production of its historic 53rd season, The Innocent Eye Test, March 8-10, 15-18, and 22-24 at the Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd. at Markham.
Imagine you are a Canadian art dealer staying at a luxurious hotel in Tuscany when your briefcase gets accidently switched with that of a Ukrainian terrorist dealing in weapons-grade plutonium. To get yours back without getting yourself mixed up in the dirty deal – or getting yourself killed – will be tricky.
“Listen, I know nine different ways to kill a guy with a sock! You don’t want to mess with me.” A sock!? Okay, maybe this is not as deadly serious as it seems. In fact The Innocent Eye Test is a hilarious farce from the pen of playwright Michael Healey, currently writer-in-residence for Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. Directed by Marisa King, The Innocent Eye Test stars Karen Brown, Kasia Dyszkiewicz, Damien Guilde, Abbas Hussain, John Palmieri, Carter Siddall and Drew Smylie.
The Innocent Eye Test runs every evening at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on March 22. There will also be the popular Talk-Back Sessions held post-show on March 18 and 22. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the cast and crew and participate in a lively discussion.
Tickets for The Innocent Eye Test are available by calling the box office at 416-267-9292, or online at theatrescarborough.com. Parking is free, and the Scarborough Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

Cantemus Singers is presenting Viva Italia!, an expression of the Italian soul, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Aidan’s Anglican Church, Queen and Silverbirch. Directed by Michael Erdman, the Cantemus Singers are celebrating the remarkable music and poetry of renaissance Italy, performing love songs by Monteverdi, Vecchi, Gabrieli and Palestrina.
The highlight of the evening’s concert will be Allegri’s Miserere, famous for its “stratospheric soprano line, and exquisite, haunting chant.” An interesting story behind Miserere: the piece was kept secret for more than 100 years after its composition. It was only to be performed in the Sistine Chapel, and only during Holy Week at 3 a.m. as candles were being extinguished. To copy the music was to risk excommunication. However Mozart was able to transcribe the piece from memory at the age of 14 – after hearing it only once! He was responsible for bringing it to the public’s ears.
Tickets for Viva Italia! are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students, and are available at the door. Call 416-578-6602 to arrange to have tickets set aside for pickup.
The concert will be repeated March 25 at 3 p.m., at the Church of the Holy Trinity, behind the Eaton Centre. For more information visit cantemus.ca.

About a year ago we announced the invention and launch of a game designed to help children learn to read. Created by Beacher Doreen Dotto, whose own son was slow to the joys of the printed word, uKloo has found a sizeable market for a game that relies on the treasure hunt theme to teach children to read.
In June of last year we mentioned that Dotto had approached the CBC about appearing on an episode of The Dragons’ Den to see if the dragons might be interested in investing in uKloo to help carry it forward.
She was successful – in getting on the show anyway. But she was sworn to secrecy as to the outcome until the episode airs. We – and all of Canada – will find out what the dragons thought of uKloo on March 14, at 8 p.m. on CBC.
uKloo has already found distribution in more than 90 stores across Canada, and won eight awards from Canadian and U.S. toy experts. Was this the result of the Dragon’s Den appearance? Find out March 14.
For more information about uKloo visit ukloo.com. It’s interesting to note that Dotto’s son is now in university – studying English Literature.

Beach jazz artist Peggy Mahon is performing a one-woman cabaret called Split Personality, March 9 at 8 p.m., at the Green Door Cabaret, 100A Ossington Ave. in the Lower Ossington Theatre.
The program will include songs from the New Faces Revues from 1950s Broadway, to songs by Leonard Bernstein, to tunes from the cabaret scene in New York, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax. Accompanying Mahon will be Danny McErlain on piano.
Tickets to Split Personality are $25 and can be obtained by calling 416-915-6747, or visit greendoorcabaret.com.

Beach singer-songwriter Frank Wilks will be performing his popular musical I Am Not Neil Young, March 9, at 9:30 p.m., upstairs at the Black Swan, 154 Danforth, near Broadview. Joining Wilks will be sideman Don Lamoreux.
Tickets are $20 at the door. For more information visit myspace.com/iamnotneilyoung.

Toronto author and publisher – and now raconteur – Douglas Gibson will be appearing at the Beach United Speaker’s Corner, March 22, at 7:30 p.m., at Juice & Java, 2102 Queen St. E. at Wineva. Gibson will be introducing his latest book, Stories About Storytellers: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod, Pierre Trudeau and Others.
For more than 40 years Gibson has been at the forefront of Canadian literature, and has met some of this country’s greatest writers. His book – and subsequent promotional speaking engagements – are full of touching stories about these writers. Dressed in his trademark ‘publisher’s uniform’ of a navy blazer and grey flannels, Gibson  entertains audiences with his one-man show consisting of Leacock/Dickens/Twain-like reading performances It is said that Gibson “revives the lost art of the raconteur.”
Copies of Stories About Storytellers (published by Beach publisher ECW Press) will be available. For more information visit ecwpress.com.


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