Broadway Cafe

 

Broadway Café: Curtains Up edition

Saturday Sept. 8, 2018

The Studio

Segal Centre

 

If you weren’t part of the capacity crowd you missed out on a terrific evening of music. Hosted by Tranna Wintour and the pride of Halifax Nova Scotia, Ellie MacDonald the entertainment was continuous with one artist performing while another waited in the “on deck” circle and the hosts exchanged banter in between.

 

With the accompaniment  of Chris Barillaro on the grand piano, one by one the vocalists belted out songs from Broadway musicals. The opening number, Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables set the bar pretty high for the rest of the evening, but undaunted each consecutive artist delivered their finest. Taking a break of 15 minutes after about an hour of continuous entertainment the audience agreed that breaks were not necessary and the music never stopped. There were songs from musicals that were classics and some that were from lesser known productions. One of the highlight performances of the evening for me, was from a non Broadway show. The song was beautifully performed by a lady who was a first time visitor to the Broadway Café and who had recently mourned the loss of her Mother. It was from the 1936 movie, Modern Times with Charlie Chaplain. Chaplain had written the music inspired by Puccini’s Tosca. In 1954 John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and gave the song a title; Smile. It was recorded that year by Nat King Cole.

 

At 11:30, three and a half hours after it started, it did not appear as if the end was coming soon and sadly we had to leave. I look forward to the next Broadway Café October 6.  I hope to see you there.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Mad Monk Cafe

Mad Monk Café

Madison Baptist Church

Sept. 7, 2018

 

Gerrie’s Picks

 

Another grand slam home run for deacon George on vocals and guitars, expertly accompanied by Phil Peters on bass. The playlist was chosen completely as requested by George’s wife, Gerrie. The first set, which ran approximately seventy-five minutes featured songs by Josh White, Howlin Wolf, Blind Willie Johnson and others. George’s voice was at its finest tonight. The ladies who did all the baking turned out their usual great quality of cakes and pastries. My favourites were the lemon squares and the honey cake, the latter which Gerrie pointed out was in honour of  Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year which starts next Sunday. Sadly, due to previous commitments, we had to leave during the first intermission. I know there was still lots of great music to follow.

The capacity audience will have enjoyed a great performance.

 

Till next time.

Sol

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Algonquin Resort

THE ALGONQUIN RESORT ST. ANDREWS BY-THE-SEA, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION

 184 Adolphus Street, St Andrews  E5B 1T7 Canada

 

St. Andrews by the sea, New Brunswick Canada sits on the Bay of Fundy. Mere words cannot describe the beauty of this Maritime jewel. From fine dining to eating sea food from a trailer parked in a permanent location, and everything in between. Activities include whale and dolphin watching, and at certain times of day you can walk, or even drive, on the ocean floor.  There are 25 other places where you can book accommodations in hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast places, and then there is the ultimate experience, The Algonquin Resort and Golf Course. We had the pleasure of spending eight days at the hotel. The staff were all friendly, obliging, and genuinely sincere in all facets of our visit from check in to departure. Many famous Canadian politicians as well as U.S. Presidents have stayed there.

 

As you drive up the road that leads to the main building you can’t help but see a resemblance to the hotel in the movie The Shining. Perhaps that’s because Steven King stayed there when he wrote the book and returns there on occasion. There are many stories told of supernatural experiences and happenings over the years and the hotel staff provide nightly guided tours of the areas that have been reputed to be haunted.

 

The spacious lobby, the never ending patios, the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and the fitness room provide comfort for the guests. The morning brunch buffet leaves you anxious to start the day and the evening dinner menu can be enjoyed inside in the fine dining room, or more casually in the bar or outside on the patio.

 

If you are arriving at the St. John airport there are shuttle buses to bring you to the Algonquin. Whether you enjoy golf, cycling, hiking or just relaxing try The Algonquin. You will return.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Peddlers

 

L’Original Peddlers Restaurant

7500 Boul. Newman

La Salle, PQ.

 

 

Unbelievable menu at moderate prices. I generally eat there on Sunday. They make the best crepes in Montreal bar none. I have never had a meal there that wasn’t surrounded with fruit that tasted like it just came off the vine. Family owned and operated in a setting that once was a private home. Plenty of parking. Great specials for $7.00 Monday thru Friday from 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Tell them Sol sent you.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Public Appeal

NEWS RELEASE
GATEWAY CASINOS & ENTERTAINMENT
***********************

Burnaby, BC – July 18, 2018 – Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited (“Gateway”) has signed a 23-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement (COSA) with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (“OLG”).

Gateway has purchased the assets of the Central Gaming Bundle and entered into leases for Casino Rama Resort on Chippewas of Rama First Nation’s Lands and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs in Innisfil. Gateway will take over the day-to-day operations of these sites effective today. The expansion into central Ontario represents the next exciting chapter in Gateway’s successful growth strategy and also allows for the construction of a planned new casino in the Wasaga Beach/Collingwood area.

Once again my question to the Minister of Justice/Attorney General of Canada is how are these mergers being allowed when the Criminal Code of Canada clearly states that only provincial governments can operate lottery schemes including casinos and providing that they are conducted and managed by these governments, or Crown Corporations? It is further stated in the amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada that revenue be devoted to public good, charities, or religious organizations and not to private interests.

The number of suicides resulting from pathological gamblers unable to quit, as well as all the other social costs associated with expanded gambling do not seem to matter to you or the Minister of Health. I must insist on a response in the immediate future or I will address these issues with the participation of both mainstream and social media.

Respectfully

 

Sol Boxenbaum,

 

This letter was sent to the Minister of Justice/Attorney General of Canada on July 19 and as cited in the last paragraph: I insist on response in the immediate future or I will address these issues with the participation of both mainstream and social media.

 

This is not the first time I have addressed this issue with her and the Minister of Health and they just look the other way while more people become addicted to gambling and while suicide rates are at record highs.

 

Starting tomorrow I will be writing more details on what is happening contrary to the laws in the Criminal Code of Canada with the collusion of the Ministers. I will be explaining how I can not be anti-gambling yet concerned about how and why the expansion and why impact studies need to be done. I would ask for your comments as well as your writing to your member of parliament if you agree with my points.

 

Sincerely,

Sol

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Wista

 

Wista Concert

August 14, 2018

Cote St-Luc Senior Men’s Club

 

The West Island Theatre Association (WISTA) is a non-profit community theatre company founded in 2006 that allows individuals between the ages of 17 and 29 to interact and perform in the wonderful world of musical theatre. Their main goal is to keep alive the passions of an energetic combination of singers, dancers, technicians and musicians by giving them a space to grow and develop their skills.

 

I had the pleasure of seeing them perform tonight and can only find words of praise. The group consisted of 13 females and 3 male singers and dancers. At a certain point I was thinking that it would be unfair to compare any one performer over another. To make it even more difficult we didn’t have a program to identify any soloist. Then, a female vocalist took centre stage and was covered by the rest of the cast providing harmony and background vocals, while she sang Stephen Sondheim’s “Everything’s Coming up Roses”. At that point I decided if every other performer was an A plus, this one was an A plus plus. After that the bar was raised higher and higher as each performer was featured. I Could Have Danced All Night from the musical My Fair Lady was beautifully sung and again I wish I had a program so I could compliment the artist by name. After that it was no contest as the lyrics of Andrew Lloyd Webber and the gifted voices of the performers brought the audience to their feet. The aria from Phantom of the Opera was performed as a duet, him prompting her to sing higher and her reaching notes worthy of any Broadway stage. The entire ensemble performed Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. An unbelievable evening’s entertainment and I welcome my next opportunity to see them perform.

Posted in Plays & Concerts | Leave a comment

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Perhaps the most poignant song emerging out of the mass exodus from Europe was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg. He was the youngest of four children born to Russian Jewish immigrants. His real name was Isidore Hochberg and he grew up in a Yiddish speaking, Orthodox Jewish home in New York. The music was written by Harold Arlen, a cantor’s son. His real name was Hyman Arluck and his parents were from Lithuania.

Together, Hochberg and Arluck wrote “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, which was voted the 20th century’s number one song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

In writing it, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness – framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen – and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.
Read the lyrics in their Jewish context and suddenly the words are no longer about wizards and Oz, but about Jewish survival:

*********************

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.
Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

****************

The Jews of Europe could not fly. They could not escape beyond the rainbow. Harburg was almost prescient when he talked about wanting to fly like a bluebird away from the “chimney tops”. In the post-Auschwitz era, chimney tops have taken on a whole different meaning than the one they had at the beginning of 1939.

Pink’s mom is Judith Kugel. She’s Jewish of Lithuanian background. As Pink was belting the Harburg/Arlen song from the stage at the Academy Awards, I wasn’t thinking about the movie. I was thinking about Europe’s lost Jews and the immigrants to America.

I was then struck by the irony that for two thousand years the land that the Jews heard of “once in a lullaby” was not America, but Israel. The remarkable thing would be that less than ten years after “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was first published, the exile was over and the State of Israel was reborn.

Perhaps the “dreams that you dare to dream really do come true “

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Elio Pizza

Elio Pizzeria Restaurant – Cuisine Italienne Rosemont …

https://www.eliopizzeria.ca/

Elio Pizzeria – Rosemont-Petite-Patrie Restaurant, (514) 276-5341, 351, rue Bellechasse, Montréal

 

It’s been around forever and has always been known for quality Italian food at reasonable prices. About a year ago, give or take, they renovated and became even more of a pleasurable dining experience. The menu has an amazing array of dishes and combos and the portions are generous. In fact, few people leave there without a “doggy bag”. We were no exception. Both of us ordered  Pizzaghetti combos. ($17) I had two cheese and anchovies as topping for my pizza, and Shirley had vegetarian (mushroom, olive, etc.) We both had spaghetti with meat sauce. The pizza is among the best in the city and can be had with traditional or thin crust. The dining area is comfortable and nicely air conditioned for these hot days and there is also the option of eating al fresco on the patio. The staff is super friendly especially Fil who not only served us well but also tolerated my sense of humor.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The more things change the more they stay the same.

The family of renowned piano teacher Daisy Peterson Sweeney is upset Montreal is reneging on a promise to name a street for her.

The city has now changed course, and plans to honour her with a tiny park at the corner of Guy and Paxton Sts. in the Southwest borough.

Celine Peterson, Peterson Sweeney’s niece, is not impressed.

“It really isn’t a park. That’s a very generous word for it. It looks like a dog run, this very small patch of grass,” she said. “It just shows you how the City of Montreal continues to treat their women and people of colour. That seems to be a pattern in terms of these prominent people with a very diverse background just being disregarded.”

The city said it promises to upgrade the park, which currently is named Guy-Paxton St. – after the intersection – and is used mostly by dog walkers. It also has two compost bins on site.

Mayor Valerie Plante said she doesn’t want to rename streets and parks.

“Streets already have names and to me this is not a political decision, it’s about (how) you don’t unname a street to rename a street. This is a very serious process,” she said.

 

What she really is saying is that you don’t rename a street unless it has an English name as in Dorchester, University, and had we not fought with a grass roots opposition, they would have renamed Park Avenue. They also had no problem renaming DeVimy Park.

Valerie Plante won the election only because the public had enough of Coderre. Anything seemed to be a better option. But this won’t win her a re-election. Not if we are lucky.

Posted in General, Rants & Raves | Leave a comment

Dentists be ashamed

Dentists in the province of Quebec should be ashamed for threats to pull out of the health system because they aren’t being paid enough by the tax payers. Who are they hurting? Only children and welfare recipients. Unlike medical doctors, dentists are given a license to steal. The sky is the limit and they can gouge the wealthy for implants and other surgical procedures. It’s the fact that they will be making a smaller percentage than they would like to for treating the patients of the health care system that has them threatening to close the door on those that need help but have not got the means to pay. In other professions services are sometimes provided pro bono, but apparently dentists are not satisfied with 6 figure incomes. Be ashamed. Be very ashamed. Don’t expect public support. Our support goes with the needy not the greedy.

Posted in General | Leave a comment