Tribute to the Eagles

Eagles Tribute – One of These Nights

Meanwhile, back in the tent. Friday night was the third program in an ongoing series which began with tributes to Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, and the Bee Gees. And, as always, Playground Entertainment was at its’ best. The ambiance is show worthy and the service is first class. As a follower of the original Eagles group featuring Don Henley and Glenn Frey for almost five decades, during which they have sold over 150 million albums worldwide, and won six Grammy Awards I can only praise the work performed tonight by the six talented musicians. The music was tight and the vocals were perfectly executed. Composing a playlist is not difficult as the Eagles had five number-one singles, seventeen top-forty singles, and six number-one albums. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and are the highest-selling American band in history. As anticipated, the audience was singing along with almost every song. It took no time for couples to form a dance floor in front of the stage, and then it was party time. Incidentally, I must not omit the two Playground dancers, in full plumage who embellish the scenery.

Opening for One of These Nights, continuing in Playground’s bid to promote local talent, was Less Than Four. This duo was very pleasant in their choice of songs as well as their in between songs patter, forming a nice segue to the headline performers.

The series continues next weekend on Friday night with a tribute to Shania Twain and Garth Brooks and Saturday a tribute to Elton John with special guests the Hi-Fins

Admission is free for all members of the Playground Poker Club and to get a free membership, you need to be 18 years of age and produce ID.

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The Dream Project 3.0, Montreal

October 9 – 13, 2019


2350 Dickson St.

Montreal, QC

It’s not a simple task to leave a reviewer speechless. The opening night performance of this show was incredible. A mixture of theatre based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream intermixed with original music, dance, and aerial choreography.

The Dream Project 3.0 Montreal is the 3rd phase of New York City-based Yonder Window Theatre Company who began this project 1.0 in 2017 in an art gallery in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The production then traveled to Brooklyn NY for version 2.0, in 2018 to continue its development.

In September 2019 the Company journeyed to Quebec to develop and premiere The Dream Project 3.0, Montreal, multilingual, multidisciplinary collaboration between North American artists from Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The actors/dancers/acrobats/ are unbelievable. So are the musical score, special effects, and lighting.

Driving there can be tricky but can be simplified if you use GPS instructions, and the end result makes it worthwhile. Don’t miss this one.

Yonder Window Theatre Company

THE DREAM PROJECT 3.0, Montréal– 7 performances only

October 9-13: Wed.-Sun. at 8pm; Sat. and Sun. at 3pm

Tickets: $25 Online or at the door

At Universcène 2350 Rue Dickson, Suite 230, H1N 3T1 (métro Assomption)

The full company for this final phase of the production is: Director and Creator Katie McHugh, Assistant to the Artistic Director Megan Schadler, performers Elke Van DykeNadine LouisOliver KoomsatiraCaterina PioRobine KasekaEvan RegueiraMichelle RambharoseHugo LunaMaia Ramnath and Brett Watson;Tour Manager Jeremy Blunt, Music Director Nicholas Aguilar, Assistant Music Director Antonio Millán, Scenic Design Diana Uribe,Costumes Sophie El Assaad,Lighting Robin A. Paterson, Assistant Lighting Design Amber Hood, Dramaturg Max Sklar, Stage Manager Kelsey Rae, Aerial Choreographer Anouk Vallée-Charest and Cirque Coordinator EvaTomlinson Weintraub.

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Jano Ltée

Jano  Ltée

120 St. Joseph Blvd

Lachine, QC

This afternoon Shirley and I went shopping for a new winter coat which I wanted to buy as an early birthday gift. Her birthday is on the first day of Spring, but I believe we will have Winter before that happens. I did a bit of research on Google to find a place that sells quality coats and doesn’t require going anywhere near downtown where all the streets have detours. That brought us to the above mentioned location.

It turns out to be a gigantic warehouse with a huge selection of men’s and ladies clothing, accessories, linen, and baby clothes and products. Not at downtown prices, but their warehouse venue coupled with the ability to purchase goods in volume, permits them to undersell even the big-box stores.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. We were approached by the owner immediately upon arrival and he took the time to show us where the ladies coats were and the selection was amazing.

Walking through the different departments we saw duvets and bed ensembles priced at a fraction of what you would have to pay at mainstream stores.

Parking is plentiful right at the door. One suggestion: Go there during the week. The week-ends draw huge crowds of shoppers.

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Music of Hungary

Music of Hungary
St. James United Church
October 5, 2019

Tonight I found myself amidst an audience of serious music lovers. I would estimate the crowd to be somewhere in the range of 800 to 1000 people. The venue was the pristine St. James United Church where the acoustics are second to none.

I personally am not an opera buff, but I can appreciate the quality of the performance. One fact that is certain is that one doesn’t need to understand the language to appreciate the quality of the performer.

The performers, in this case, were Sebastian Haboczki, Lyric Tenor and Melissa McCann, soprano. Haboczki is also an Artistic Director. Both have powerful voices as they perform individually, but really shine when they sing duets. Both are accompanied by Paul Digout on the piano. Mr. Digout has worked across Canada and internationally with the Yorkshire Opera workshop (Yorkshire U.K.)

Ms. McCann was accompanied as well by Istvan Lakatos a Hungarian violinist born in Budapest. He is a graduate of the Franz Liszt Music Academy of Budapest. You may have seen Mr. Lakatos with the World Symphony Orchestra in Montreal.

There was a reception hosted by the Hungarian Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Bálint Ódor, immediately following the show but sadly previous commitments did not allow me to stay.

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Music of Hungary

Tonight! Music of Hungary, Sat. Oct. 5 @St. James United Church, 7:30pm

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Move Over Vegas

Last week Playground Poker announced a series of entertainment shows, a first in Playground history.

In a heated tent, adjacent to the main building, originally intended to house extra tables for ongoing Poker tournaments a stage was added and from there the possibilities were endless.

Shirley and I attended the opening performance tonight and were more than delighted by the ambiance and the entertainment at hand. Rod Stewart and Tom Jones tributes by Forever Young and Dave LaFame were as enjoyable an evening you will find in any entertainment venue and members of Playground Poker were admitted free.

Both performers were backed up by a band featuring guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and back-up vocals. The total visual experience was first class all the way with a brilliant light show and lest I forget, two glamorous dancers, milling around the audience. Speaking of audience, NHL superstar, Larry Robinson was introduced from the stage.

Tomorrow night, Night Fever pays tribute to the Bee Gees and once again admission is free with a membership card to Playground Poker. Opening for Night Fever will be the Better Half Acoustic Duo. The duo features John Murray and Sandra Giguere, two singer-songwriters from Hudson, QC.

Throughout the rest of October, the stage will feature tributes to some of the biggest names in music: Eagles, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Elton John and a tribute to the British Invasion with the Hi-Fins.

If the upcoming shows are as well produced as tonight’s, and I have no reason to think they won’t, It’s a win/win for Playground Poker and its’ members.

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Music of Hungary

Great entertainment with profits going to a great cause.

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Un Poyo Rojo

Un Poyo Rojo

Centaur Theatre

September 24-29 2018

What words can I use to critique a show that has no spoken words? The play is performed by Luciano Rosso and Nicolas Poggi entirely in mime. The laughs abound throughout the entire performance which takes place in a gym locker room where two men vie for each other’s attention. Un Poyo Rojo has performed to sold-out audiences for over ten years in Argentina. In 2015 the show set out to conquer the rest of Latin America and Europe as it began its first world tour.

Luciano Rosso, trained in five styles of dance is a true star in his own country. Nicholas Poggi is a choreographer and performer who uses his body’s elasticity as a scenic medium and the two mesh magically throughout this pantomime as they demonstrate their prowess at dance and gymnastics.

Congratulations to the director, Hermes Gaido, a celebrated stage director, graduate of the Buenos Aires Art Academy.

I recommend this play to anyone who enjoys a good laugh.

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La Villetta

Restaurant Trattoria

La Villetta

1898 Thimens

Ville St. Laurent, QC

Sunday was Shirley’s sister’s birthday and a group of ladies organized a surprise birthday party at the above-mentioned establishment. Naturally, I accepted the invitation to be the only man in the group.

Apparently the restaurant is normally closed on Sunday, but because of some smooth-talking by Evelyn Wolfson, the owner Johnny Insogna agreed to open the doors for this special occasion. Then he called in veteran server Elizabeth who I have watched perform at the Brown Derby, Snowdon Deli, Pam Pam, Continental, and Pumperniks over several decades.

Because the doors were not locked and the windows were not covered, two men walked in unaware that there was a party in progress. Johnny, always the conscientious businessman, figured why not. He’s here, the chef is here, and Elizabeth is here so he seated the two new arrivals who ate quietly, paid their bill and left as quietly as they arrived. Johnny’s mother and business partner (who is presently vacationing abroad) ought to be proud of him.

Kudos to all concerned, the food preparation, and the service was first-class. Shirley had the Eggplant Parmesan which she savored ($17) I ordered spaghetti Carbonara ($16) which was the closest I would get to simulating bacon and eggs. (For me this party was breakfast) Probably this was one of the best tasting pastas I have eaten, and I ate to the last strand and did not need a Doggy Bag.

Shirley and I will certainly return to try other dishes on the Dinner Menu but I suspect I will have difficulty getting her off the Eggplant.

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Mad Monk Cafe

Mad Monk Café

“It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”

Madison Baptist Church

Friday Sept. 20, 2019

Another Mad Monk Café event took place this evening at 7:30 P.M. in front of, as always, a packed house. Deacon George performed a medley of songs about trains on guitar and vocals accompanied on bass by Phil Peters. Of course, along with the music came a history lesson and a lot of background on the origin of the music. They played songs written by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Roger Miller, and CCR to name but a small sample during the two sets played between 7:30 P.M. and 10:00 P.M. For those who have never been to a Mad Monk Café concert, keep an eye on this blog to be informed about future shows. Admission is always free as are the refreshments, home-baked cakes, coffee, tea, and juice. Mad Monk Café is on the corner of Madison and Monk in NDG.

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