The 39 Steps It’s a Comedy… It’s a Thriller… It’s Super Theatre! - theHumm March 2023
The 39 Steps It’s a Comedy… It’s a Thriller… It’s Super Theatre! - theHumm March 2023
By Kieran More
Think of Studio Theatre Perth’s newest production as a butterfly, an incredibly hilarious butterfly. Why a butterfly, you may ask? No, not because it’s beautiful (though it is), but because it is the end result of an amazing metamorphosis. That metamorphosis started over a century ago as a pre-World War I spy novel by John Buchan, with a Canadian named Richard Hannay trying to save England from doom! The legendary Alfred Hitchcock took this novel, The 39 Steps, as the inspiration for his 1935 (pre-World War II) thriller of the same name. Orson Welles called the film a masterpiece!
So far so good, but you may be asking: this does not sound hilarious yet. Quite right, Hitchcock’s films are not known for being knee-slappers — although there is actually quite a lot of humour in this film. However, the real hilarity was to come 70 years later. Patrick Barlow, from the British regional theatre scene, adapted the Hitchcock script, although amazingly he changed the original story and screenplay very little. How then, you may ask, did he transform the thriller film script into a comedy/thriller hybrid?
What he did was built on an idea of two English writers to perform the whole play with four actors, two of whom played over 150 characters. While this production has increased the cast from 4–9 in the interest of fostering inclusivity in community theatre, it still has relatively few actors playing many, many parts, changing back and forth rapidly. The result is a very physically energetic fast-paced play full of hilarious mayhem — reminiscent not only of Monty Python, but, as director Carolee Mason notes, of a long history of clown culture in the theatre. The role of the clown in theatre gives the actor the ability to be, as actor Lara Klymko says, completely uninhibited. The result is liberating for actor and audience.
However, crucially, the mayhem does not detract from the thriller, nor from some serious insights as to meaning in life. You may rightfully ask: how it is possible to combine all these different elements together successfully? Having attended a rehearsal, this reporter can tell you that well-known local director and teacher Carolee Mason has managed to do so with a talented cast and crew. She refers to the play as a celebration of theatricality. While most plays ask you to suspend your disbelief, the characters in this play are clearly actors playing characters, and trying to tell the elaborate story as they go along with the basic props one might find backstage at a theatre. They creatively produce trains, bridges, cars, fog, sheep… just about anything. This requires a lot of imagination and massive amounts of energy. Josh Gallant, who plays the hero, noted you have to be fit to be in this very physical play, which has at least six chase scenes!
The production is full of iconic references, both past and present, that will give play-goers of all ages a good laugh. The play itself, and certainly this production of it, has the effect of inviting and immersing the audience into the theatrical world of the play, while they are still trying to figure out the mystery. Assistant director Janice Reid talks of the rare but exciting synergy that occurs when the comedy and thriller genres are combined successfully. The 39 Steps is a tremendously successful example of this.
In this writer’s not inconsiderable theatrical experience, The 39 Steps is close to being unique in its intertwining of genres, its side-splitting humour, and its underlying message of hope. As the author/adaptor says in his foreword, the finest comedy comes from the greatest truth. In conclusion, you owe it to yourself to see this play!
Catch The 39 Steps on March 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and April 1 at 7:30pm, and on March 26 and April 2 starting at 2pm. Tickets are $24 ($19 on opening night), with a special new youth price of $12 (for ages 17 and under). They can be purchased through Tickets Please (TicketsPlease.ca, 485–6434) or at the door on performance days.
Vaz Zastera — Glass Art by The Wonderful Wizard of Vaz - theHumm March 2023
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
Polymath or Renaissance Man — which is the better descriptor for a whirling dervish of creativity who creates stunning glass sculptures from his home on the banks of the Rideau River in Burritts Rapids? Vaz Zastera is one of the most energetic and prolific artists I have interviewed over the past quarter century as theHumm’s Intrepid Arts Reporter.
Zastera’s unique glass sculptures are the epitome of his creative endeavours. So far. They defy description. They have to be seen to......
The 39 Steps It’s a Comedy… It’s a Thriller… It’s Super Theatre! - theHumm March 2023
By Kieran More
Think of Studio Theatre Perth’s newest production as a butterfly, an incredibly hilarious butterfly. Why a butterfly, you may ask? No, not because it’s beautiful (though it is), but because it is the end result of an amazing metamorphosis. That metamorphosis started over a century ago as a pre-World War I spy novel by John Buchan, with a Canadian named Richard Hannay trying to save England from doom! The legendary Alfred Hitchcock took this novel, The 39 Steps, as the inspiration for h......
River Life — Botanical Reflections An Exhibit by Linda Hamilton - theHumm March 2023
By Heather Phaneuf
With the season changing before our eyes, what better way to orient ourselves to the burgeoning green world than through River Life — Botanical Reflections, an exhibit featuring the artistry of Linda Hamilton. The artist is inviting you to see the garden that’s in, and around, the river and the wet. This moving world is a green world — a home for plants.
Linda is a botanic artist who creates paper sculptures of flowers and foliage: “my aim is to create work that connects people with th......
Examining the First Rough Drafts of History - theHumm March 2023
By John Pigeau
Most Canadians of a certain age will have heard of the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. It was one of the most significant events in Canadian history, and one that, arguably, needs to be more widely studied.
“I believe more people should know about the strike and its results,” says author and historian Michael Dupuis.
Dupuis, an expert on the subject, will present an Author Talk at the Perth & District Union Library on March 18 based on his book The Winnipeg General Strike: ......
Union Hall’s Famous Pancake Breakfast - theHumm March 2023
By Linda Camponi
Union Hall’s famous Pancake Breakfast is returning! Once again, we are celebrating the coming of spring on Sunday, March 26, from 8am until noon.
Diners will enjoy generous portions of pancakes, ham or sausages, baked beans or blueberries, with lashings of butter and maple syrup (courtesy of Fortune Farms), accompanied by fruit juice, Equator coffee or tea. A gluten-free option is available. Prices for large and regular portions are $10 and $8. Children five and under eat for free.
This annual fundraiser is organized for the benefit of the public at large and all are welcome. Rese......
Imagining aSafer Community Women’s Conference Coming to Almonte - theHumm March 2023
By Fern Martin
Back in 1975, The Hub held a Women’s Day conference as part of International Women’s Year. The issues presented were simply to encourage and support women who wanted to do things that were considered somewhat radical for that time — such as seeking higher education, getting politically involved, and applying for jobs usually reserved for men. Kaye Crowe of the Vanier Institute of the Family launched the day with a rousing keynote speech, followed by an informative medical panel after lunch. All told......
Digging Deep in the Story Mines Folkus presents The Gravel Project with Vicki Brittle & Brock Zeman - theHumm March 2023
By Sandy Irvin
Lanark County is rich in many things. We have lots of trees. Lots of rocks. Lots of farms. Lots of good people. But what we have the most of is stories. And in a county full of stories, we’ve picked two of the best tellers.
On March 25, Folkus is turning the spotlight on homegrown talent with a special show featuring some folks who’ve been going down in the story mines for a while. We are so excited to bring The Gravel Project to the Folkus stage.
Thanks to some funding from Ontario Presen......
Celebrate at Fulton’s! - theHumm March 2023
By Shirley FultonDeugo
There are always so many life lessons we learn from those that have walked before us, like our parents and grandparents for instance. With an open heart and an open mind, there is always much to learn and take away. One life lesson I learned from my Dad sure has proven to be one of his best pieces of advice: “never be afraid of change”.
Boy oh boy have we been tested — and changed — in the last three years.
When challenging times arrived three years ago, it’s no secret that......
Backyard Beauties for MMLT - theHumm March 2023
By Glenda Jones
The third annual birdhouse auction is beginning to heat up. Backyard Beauties 2023 is now accepting entries, and organizer Barbara Carroll was delighted to see that within hours of making the announcement, several entries had already arrived. New artists have come on board with birdhouses they were inspired to create after seeing last year’s items.
The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is confident this auction will be a significant s......
Kate Weekes and Christine Graves Double Album Release Concert at Maberly Hall - theHumm March 2023
Christine Graves and Kate Weekes have appeared onstage together over the years, as solo artists and accompanying each other on voice, guitar, glockenspiel and ukulele. On March 12 at 2pm, each artist will take the Maberly Hall stage for a full set of original music, as well as the long-held tradition of making songs sound better together on a collaboration or two.
Christine Graves (right) has toured Canada and the US as a singer-songwriter and with the group Malaika. She won an Ottawa song w......
Arctic Return Expedition A Lecture by Adventurer David Reid - theHumm March 2023
Chances are, when in school, you learned about the great arctic explorers like Hudson, Frobisher Franklin and Amundsen. However, unless you are an avid student of that particular history, it’s likely you have never heard of Dr. John Rae who, according to Canadian author Ken McGoogan, has been denied his rightful place in history alongside the others.
In March 1854, Orcadian explorer John Rae set out from Naujaat (Repulse Bay) in the central Canadian Arctic. Together with Inuk William Ouligbuck and Ojibway Thomas Mistegan, Rae discovered both the final link in the first navigable North......
Solstice Concert Series - theHumm March 2023
By Lucy Carleton
A series of new celestial events is about to happen at your local library in 2023. The Friends of the Mississippi Mills Library are hosting a constellation of four concerts amidst the book stacks and the circulation desk of the Almonte Branch. The new Solstice Concert Series will mark the start of the summer season, the beginning of winter, and the spring and autumnal equinoxes (mid-March and mid-September). With a line-up of jazz, chamber, folk and kids’ shows, this series aims to satis......
Spring Fling Art Show - theHumm March 2023
Spring is the season of creation, and to celebrate, West Carleton Arts Society (WCAS) is once again presenting its Spring Fling Art Show at the Kanata Civic Art Gallery, 2500 Campeau Road, from March 6 to 19.
This year’s show will feature the works of 35 local artists in a range of media. “This is always a fun show,” says Sharon Collins, WCAS Shows Director. “We have watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings, as well as photography and mixed me......
Maple Run Tour Returns! - theHumm March 2023
The Pakenham Maple Run Tour returns on April 1 and 2 with eight fascinating tour stops and over 30 artists and artisans. A tour like no other, Maple Run is a unique blend of art, fine craft, interesting and heritage buildings and spectacular spring scenery. To top all that off, it takes place right in maple syrup country! Maple Run, a self-guided free tour, truly offers something for everyone in the family.
An incredible gathering of artists and artisans from the area, up the Valley, and across......
Fifty Years of Fortune - theHumm March 2023
By Ray and Jamie Fortune
This year marks the 50th year of operation for Fortune Farms Sugarbush. From a humble beginning with a traditional wood fired evaporator and buckets we have converted to the latest equipment — a new camp, an oil-fired evaporator, a reverse osmosis system and pipelines to collect the sap. Even the forests have changed as many of the older trees have expired, and in combination with our careful management and thinning, have been replaced with younger trees. The sugarbush does look a bit different with ......
Brooks & Bowskill - theHumm March 2023
Hot off the NAC stage on April 1, the fabulous duo of Brooks & Bowskill will play the Almonte Old Town Hall on Sunday, April 2.
Brooks & Bowskill is the partnership of Brittany Brooks and Jimmy Bowskill (Blue Rodeo, The Sheepdogs). Their music journeys between the old and the new, weaving elements of ’60s folk rock, ’70s country twang and contemporary Americana into a sound that is completely their own. Brooks & Bowskill will melt your heart with their sweet h......
Celebrate Almonte — Past and Present - theHumm March 2023
A very special Bicentennial event is being planned for March 25 from 11am to 3pm. Entitled “Celebrate Almonte”, this will be a fun way to learn about Almonte’s past and present while discovering some of the wonderful businesses that make up the current fabric of this former mill town. The event is being organized by the Almonte Bicentennial Working Group, which is made up of community volunteers.
There will be four key destinations for people to visit that day. At Levi Home Hardware ......
42 Years at cliffLAND A Presentation of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust - theHumm March 2023
The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) is pleased to announce that Howard Clifford will be the guest speaker for their Annual General Meeting of members on March 23. Mr. Clifford served as MMLT’s second President from 2010 to 2019, and since then as a member of the Emeritus Council. He has had an impressive career in mental health and child care, but his avocation has always been a love of the wilderness.
MMLT negotiated its first Conservation Easement Agreement with the Clifford Family in February 2009 on an exceptional pristine wilderness property near Flower Station, formerly ......
Sweet Maple Weekend! - theHumm March 2023
The Lanark & District Maple Syrup Producers’ Association (LDMSPA) is pleased to announce that Maple Weekend is back again this year, taking place on April 1 and 2. This year’s event will feature twelve participating maple producers in Lanark, Leeds, and Frontenac counties, and is a great way to celebrate the emergence of spring and maple syrup season.
“Maple Weekend is an ideal opportunity to visit sugarbushes and experience local maple farming,” explains LDMSPA president Jamie Fortun......
Three Shows at Sivarulrasa - theHumm March 2023
Almonte’s Sivarulrasa Gallery will feature three new exhibitions beginning in March.
Eric Walker’s Video Works 1999-2022 and Recent Print Making will run in Gallery II from March 17 to April 28. This intriguing show combines recent linocut prints by Eric Walker with 8 video works he created between 1999 and 2022 (including one co-directed with filmmaker Penny McCann). Eric Walker earned his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984. He is a Sang-Mêlé......
Studio Theatre Reaches Out to Youth - theHumm March 2023
By Kris Riendeau
Studio Theatre Perth has a long and illustrious reputation for bringing terrific live theatre and musicals to this area. Recently, Marilyn Nicholas-Dahan joined the organization and agreed to take on the role of Youth Outreach Co-Ordinator for Perth Theatre Productions. One of her first initiatives was to create affordable workshops for youth aged 10-17, which will be starting up in April. theHumm reached out to Studio Theatre to find out more about them.
theHumm: What will these workshops focus on, and who is the target audience?
Marilyn Nicholas-Dahan: The series of 11 workshops......
Learn ASL in Carleton Place! - theHumm March 2023
Local 2-Spirit Deaf ASL Instructor Sarina Elliott will lead an American Sign Language course at the Carleton Place Public Library. Queer ASL for 2SLGBTQ & Allies will take place on March 20, March 27, and April 3 from 7–8pm, and is suitable for both teens and adults. Join Sarina to learn American Sign Language and Deaf culture! This introductory class is for anyone who prefers an inclusive and welcoming space — you don’t have to be 2SLGBTQ+ to attend. This immersion cla......
Wastepaper Baskets and Winged Creatures MERA Celebrates the Work of Ankaret Dean - theHumm March 2023
For the entire month of March, the work of basketmaker Ankaret Dean will be on display at the MERA Schoolhouse. Ankaret herself will be celebrated at a special “meet the artist” event on March 4.
Ankaret Dean has been enjoying basketry since the 1970s. After graduating from the Sheridan College School of Design in 1975, she travelled extensively, teaching and exhibiting her work. Since moving to a farm in McDonalds Corners in 1991, she has been actively involved in the M......
Weaving Cultural Identities Vancouver Biennale’s Exhibit Comes to Almonte - theHumm March 2023
Weaving Cultural Identities was a prominent feature of the Vancouver Biennale 2018–2021. Bringing together diverse communities, Weaving Cultural Identities celebrates Indigenous and migrant stories and experiences. The touring exhibit will be on display at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) in Almonte until April 15, with touring support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council. Curated by Zarina Laalo, this exhibit connects Coast Salish and Muslim artists in exploring......
The Cure for Procrastination - theHumm March 2023
By Glenda Jones
“Meh, maybe tomorrow…” When the grey days of February tuck themselves tightly around my shoulders, I can easily convince myself that there’s a ton of time to get things done. That’s especially true of doing housework. If the sun isn’t angled to catch the spots I missed I can ignore them, and if I look up high I’m not going to see the dust bunnies multiplying like… well, bunnies under the furniture. Nothing is less appealing than housework.
I’d much rather be in the basement with the stove warming my workroom where I can create another birdhouse for the auction (ahem: mmlt.ca/Backyard ......
Tales from the Boat Local Dragon Boat Team Tells their Stories - theHumm March 2023
Tales from the Boat is the brainchild of longtime Arnprior resident Jeanette Grant. She was the “ideas lady” who recognized an opportunity for the members of the Prior Chest Nuts dragon boat team to tell their stories in writing, because whenever the team got together they told stories.
This volume is the result of their teamwork and a tribute to Jeanette, who passed away in August, 2021 of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). She was one of the founders of the team more than ......
Mar 5 - Dec 17 Eric Uren & Meghan Balogh
Mar 7 - 31 Mississippi Station
Mar 23 Piano Bar w/Benni Vander
Mar 23 MMLT Howard Clifford & AGM
Mar 24 BOTR: David Gogo
Mar 25 Mississippi Station
Mar 25 Folkus: Vicki Brittle / Brock Zeman
Mar 30 Mattie Leon
Mar 31 Gerald McGrath
Apr 1 Kobo Town Dinner & Show
- Vaz Zastera — Glass Art by The Wonderful Wizard of Vaz
- The 39 Steps It’s a Comedy… It’s a Thriller… It’s Super Theatre!
- River Life — Botanical Reflections An Exhibit by Linda Hamilton
- Examining the First Rough Drafts of History
- Union Hall’s Famous Pancake Breakfast
- Imagining aSafer Community Women’s Conference Coming to Almonte
- Digging Deep in the Story Mines Folkus presents The Gravel Project with Vicki Brittle & Brock Zeman
- Celebrate at Fulton’s!
- Backyard Beauties for MMLT
- Kate Weekes and Christine Graves Double Album Release Concert at Maberly Hall