SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival returns to the city from May 27 to 31, with a mix of concerts, workshops, mentoring sessions, and an interactive musical art installation.
Co-managed by Beacher Pat Silver, the festival, in its fourth year, will showcase the best in a capella music at several venues. More than 50 performances and workshops are scheduled for this year’s festival.
Highlights include Grammy-winning gospel sextet Take 6; O Canada: Our Nation’s Greatest Hits, including collaborations between David Clayton-Thomas and Quartette (featuring Sylvia Tyson) and Toronto a cappella groups Cadence and Countermeasure, both featuring Beach members; Finnish ensemble Rajaton; Estonian National Male Choir R.A.M. Koor; and Jubilate Deo, four of Toronto’s finest church choirs singing sacred choral music. There will also be free outdoor shows in the Distillery District on Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31.
Beach singer-songwriter and well-known guitar teacher Davidson Yeager’s EP Hey Mary Hey is out at the end of the month, and to celebrate, Yeager will hold a CD release show at Kingston Road United Church on May 29.
Yeager has spent a lifetime in music, beginning with singing with his mother and learning drum skills from his grandfather. That led to piano lessons and, in his teenage years, guitar and bands. He entered the jazz program at Humber College and played everything from solo jazz guitar gigs to covers to original rock in downtown clubs.
Yeager’s five-song disc features his earnest singing and layered harmonies, atop solid pop backing tracks and garnished with his skilled, but restrained guitar playing. He handles all the instruments except drums. The album is dedicated to, and features cover art by, Yeager’s wife Mary.
The album release show for Hey Mary Hey takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 29 at Kingston Road United Church, 975 Kingston Rd. Tickets are $15 or $25 for two at the door, or $12 for singles and $20 for pairs in advance. Order tickets or preview tracks at davidsonyeager.com.
Malvern Collegiate Institute presents its dramatic production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Under the guidance of teacher Erich Lehrer, the student production tells the classic story, written by Ken Kesey and made famous by Jack Nicholson’s legendary performance in the 1975 film. A group of about 30 students are involved in putting on the play.
The Malvern production is directed by Grade 12 student Maxim Bortnowski, and stars fellow seniors Braden Ream-Neal as R.P. McMurphy, Hannah Rushton as Nurse Ratched, and Will McLean as Chief Bromden. Grade 12 students Austin Lepper-Walker and Annie Brennand are the producers.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest runs Friday, May 29 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 30 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission is $7 and the public is invited to come out and take in the show.
Beacher Trevor Jablonowski is producing the Canadian premiere of Neil LaBute’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. (Readers may recall Jablonowski from his involvement with the Shakespeare at Play iPad app.)
The Tony and Olivier Award-winning LaBute takes Strindberg’s Miss Julie from late 19th century Sweden and transplants the story to a wealthy Long Island estate on the night of Labour Day in 1929, just before the stock market crash and ensuing depression. The story is one of “social mobility and personal ambitions, set in a time of optimism and financial uncertainty.”
Tim Chisholm directs, with Rafaela Lewis as Julie, Dan Mousseau as John, and Jade O’Keeffe as Kristine. The show is co-produced by Lewis and Jablonowski.
Miss Julie runs from May 20 to 24, with seven performances scheduled, at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, 79 St. George St. Tickets are $20, available at martharoseproductions.com.
Jazzy Sundays at Morgans on the Danforth, 1282 Danforth Ave., just east of the Greenwood subway station. On Sunday, May 24, hear Laura Hubert, Brendan Davis and Reg Schwager. Lisa Particelli’s ‘Girls Night Out’ jazz jam – where gentlemen are welcome too – returns on Sunday, May 31. Jazzy Sundays run from 2 to 5 p.m. with no cover charge.
Live at the Salty Dog Bar & Grill, 1980 Queen St. E., jazz drummer Greg Pilo brings together a different quartet every Tuesday night from 7 to 10 p.m. with no cover charge. Tonight, Tuesday, May 19, Pilo will be joined by Alison Young on saxophone, Stacie McGregor on piano, and Neil Swainson on bass. On Tuesday, May 26, Shawn Nyquist will play saxophone, with Eric Boucher on piano and Ross MacIntyre on bass.