The Rip-Roaring Twenties Theatre Experience in a Modern Day Musical

–By Nita Balani

Theatre lovers, the modern day musical is back with A Moveable Feast: Paris in the ‘20s! This sold out performance is currently at the Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto. For those of you who like to see the unexpected, this is a marvel in the genre of musicals, seamlessly fusing theatre, music, art, literature and narrative documentary on stage. It is a complete theatrical experience never seen before as you relive the crazy years inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s namesake book about Paris. A Moveable Feast is a memoir by American author Ernest Hemingway about his years as a struggling young expatriate journalist and writer in Paris in the 1920s.

The experience begins with narration from Hemingway’s novel: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

The musical then progresses with images, sounds and snippets, and cameos of life in the 20s – its art, culture and music of the artists of the Lost Generation. The term was coined by Gertrude Stein and popularized by Ernest Hemingway for a group of artists (like Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne) and poets and writers (including T.S Eliot, Scott F. Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound) who left the United States to take part in the free-wheeling popular culture movement in Paris and London in the 1920s. Continue reading “The Rip-Roaring Twenties Theatre Experience in a Modern Day Musical”

TIFF TOP FIVE: SPARKLE, SIZZLE & SHINE

TIFF stands with women in front of and behind the camera. In the film industry, like any other, women play different roles as actresses, film directors, film producers cinematographers, and other film industry professionals. Due to cinegoers, film lovers and the movies they champion, these past years have been incredible for women.
Some of the top films that were screened at TIFF this year, were women centric, either in lead roles or in the creative aspect.

Presenting the ‘Top 5’ films in my opinion, based on screenplay, acting, and theme.

A STAR IS BORN

Hollywood’s most enduring story of love and ambition gets a glorious reinvention in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born. Drawing deep on the pleasures audiences previously discovered in the 1937, 1954, and 1976 versions, Cooper brings the narrative right up to the present. He takes on the role of the fame-weary star himself and, for the ingénue with megawatt potential, he crafts a perfect big-screen role for Lady Gaga.
As an actor, Cooper has worked with Clint Eastwood and David O. Russell; here he shows both Eastwood’s unfussy economy and Russell’s emotional intensity. But the style is entirely his, finding its biggest moments in scenes between just two people, and stripping away any excess to showcase Gaga’s confident, honest performance. Both intimate and epic, this is a love story that hovers between the shadow of tragedy and the bright light of artists at their peak. Continue reading “TIFF TOP FIVE: SPARKLE, SIZZLE & SHINE”

Jhalki: Tale of a Tireless Sparrow

Today, One in every Seven child is a laborer. Over 200 million children between ages five and fourteen work worldwide, as some kind of laborer or the other.

Jhalki … a moving tale of lost Childhood, is a lyrical story of the search of a 9 year-old girl for her 7 year-old brother against the backdrop of bonded child labor in the carpet weaving factories of India. This compelling film takes you through a bedtime folk story and by the time you wake up, you may want to be part of a huge revolution that can impact 200 million children worldwide.

Film Jhalki: Tale of a Tireless Sparrow has just been completed and starts its International journey now, ready for Festivals, World Sales & and other movement-based collaborations. It releases in India in February 2019. It has been produced by Brahmanand S Siingh & Annand Chavan, co-produced by Vinayak Gawande & Jayesh Parekh & co-directed by Tanvi Jain.

Here’s an interview with the filmmaker, Brahmanand S Siingh:

What were the casting challenges of getting the lead child actors? How was it to cast for Kailash Satyarthi?

Jhalki had to be a firebrand 11 year old, pre-puberty girl, so that was a big challenge … To find someone who could carry the film on her fragile shoulders. Continue reading “Jhalki: Tale of a Tireless Sparrow”

BURT REYNOLDS FANS TO HOLD MEMORIAL TRIBUTE ON LONG ISLAND

 100 “Smokey and the Bandit” Trans Ams with drivers dressed like the Bandit to form parade
WESTBURY, NEW YORK (September 7, 2018) – Burt Reynolds fans on Long Island will hold a memorial tribute to the “Smokey and the Bandit” star by driving in a 100 Trans Am parade and drivers dressed in iconic “Bandit” costumes. This will be the largest Smokey and the Bandit tribute in the United States with thousands of fans attending.

The organizer of the event had reached out in the past to have the late-icon to attend New York’s largest car show. The 1977 Trans Am was one of the most popular cars of the decade amongst millions of Americans. Reynolds was a resident of New York in the 1960s.

Burt Reynolds, an iconic movie star and celebrity icon, died tragically of a cardiac arrest on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at the age of 82. Millions of Americans are mourning the legend through viewing his popular films, such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Deliverance,” from the late 1970s and ‘80s. Continue reading “BURT REYNOLDS FANS TO HOLD MEMORIAL TRIBUTE ON LONG ISLAND”

When was the last time you looked at the sky? 

Celestial documentary Cielo opens in Toronto on August 10, 2018
Canadian/Chilean Co-Production directed by Alison McAlpine
“[Cielo] has a transporting power that comes close to approximating what it must be like to actually stand in Atacama, gazing up in awe.”
– The Hollywood Reporter

Second Sight Pictures, in association with SeaFarNorth, is pleased to announce the star-laden documentary Cielo will open in Toronto on August 10, 2018 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Cielo wil be broadcast on CBC documentary in late 2018.

Written, directed by Canadian filmmaker Alison McAlpine, Cielo is a cinematic reverie on the astonishing beauty of the night sky, as experienced in the Atacama Desert, Chile. This sublime nonfiction film drifts between science and spirituality expanding the limits of our imagination. Cielo features encounters with Planet Hunters and the desert’s residents as they share their visions of the stars, mythic stories and existential queries with a contagious sense of wonder.

 Hailed as the “one travel movie every millennial should watch this year,” by Culture Trip, and a “contemplative and richly visualized astronomy doc” by American Cinematographer,  Continue reading “When was the last time you looked at the sky? “

TIFF: Festival Street promises four jam-packed days of free activities

FESTIVAL STREET TO IGNITE TORONTO WITH WOMEN’S RALLY, FREE  SCREENINGS, AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

Back for its fifth instalment, the excitement and fun of the Toronto International Film Festival  pours out from the theatres onto Festival Street and all the way up to the rooftop of TIFF Bell Lightbox. On  opening weekend, September 6 to 9, King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue will  transform into the TIFF street party.     “The excitement of Festival is something we want to share with the entire city,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic  Director of TIFF. “Festival Street is where everyone can enjoy and experience the excitement of the Festival  and its celebration of film. Free screenings, great musical performances, and the impactful Share Her Journey  Rally are just some of the highlights you can expect — and we invite everyone to join us.”

Stand up for change with TIFF on the morning of Saturday, September 8 for the Share Her Journey Rally. All  who want to see and be part of real change in the film industry are invited to join the action down on John  Street at the Slaight Music Stage at 10am. Continue reading “TIFF: Festival Street promises four jam-packed days of free activities”

Bangkok witnessed a magnificent amalgamation of Music, Fashion & Etertainment at the Spectacular IIFA Rocks 2018

  • The dynamic duo Kartik Aaryan and Ayushmann Khurrana hosted IIFA Rocks 2018
  • A never-before seen medley at IIFA Rocks 2018 by acclaimed Bollywood music director-singer Pritam along with Sreerama Chandra, Amit Mishra, Shalmali Kholgade, Antara Mitra, Nakash Aziz and Nikitha while Bollywood diva Nushrat Bharucha enthralled the audience with her energetic performance. Television starMouni Roy put on a rare stage performance.

The highly anticipated 19th Edition of NEXA IIFA Awards Styled by Myntra kick-started the celebrations in the most spectacular manner at IIFA Rocks 2018.  Transforming the magnificent Siam Niramit Theatre with a perfect mélange of glitz, glamour and star power, IIFA Rocks featured a stunning musical extravaganza, a number of surprises and entertainment all under one stage!

Captivating the audience with their dynamic chemistry, the evening witnessed the talented duo Kartik Aaryan and Ayushmann Khurrana host IIFA Rocks 2018 amidst much fanfare and revelry.

A musical spectacle befitting the largest film industry in the world, IIFA Rocks continues to be a platform to showcase musical talents from our industry in the global stage.

This year’s extravaganza saw acclaimed Bollywood music director-singer Pritam weave his magic along with talented singers; Sreerama Chandra, Amit Mishra, Shalmali Kholgade, Antara Mitra, Nakash Aziz and Nikitha as they Continue reading “Bangkok witnessed a magnificent amalgamation of Music, Fashion & Etertainment at the Spectacular IIFA Rocks 2018”

Cirque de Solieil’s ‘Corteo’ Brings a New Kind of Circus to Town!

–By Nita Balani

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ opened at The Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa for a limited engagement of six shows until Sunday June 24 and will be doing the Canadian tour with stops in Toronto (December), Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver, amongst other cities.

Thought to be inspired by the work ‘The Portrait of an Artist as a Clown (National Gallery of Canada)’, the production has enthralled 8 million people worldwide since its debut in 2005 and is now seen in a more contemporary version. It brings the circus world of tumblers, acrobats, jugglers, celestial creatures, and many more wondrous acts to life. Corteo, which means a joyous procession, is a festive parade by a clown, Mauro, who has passed on and is a celebration of his life and the people he left behind. The sets are simple yet spectacular to portray the celestial world and the one we live in as Mauro pictures his life and funeral taking place through various enthralling acts. The show depicts quiet, graceful angels taking care of Mauro and is juxtaposed with the humorous buffoonery of his friends and circus colleagues.

The spectacle is divided into several acts each of which display a different type of art or circus skill. It opens with the mastery of the acrobats on swinging chandeliers which is breathtakingly beautiful and unique. Continue reading “Cirque de Solieil’s ‘Corteo’ Brings a New Kind of Circus to Town!”

India to host European Union Film Festival

24 latest European movies from 23 European countries; Festival to traverse through 11 cities in India; Slovakian Movie Little Harbour to be the opening film for the festival
 

Putting a spotlight on the latest European cinema, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere in New Delhi on 18th June, 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years’ film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs.

The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18th June till 31st August. Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Continue reading “India to host European Union Film Festival”

#MonsterWorld Mashup Festival Brings Sofar Sounds Secret Concert to Brampton For The First Time Ever

Looking for something other than a typical night out? The #MonsterWorld Mashup Launch Party is coming to Brampton on Friday, June 1, with an exciting array of musical guests, stand-up comedians and a visual art exhibition.

Good Kind Productions is collaborating with MonstrARTity to bring the popular global movement of the Sofar Sounds secret concert series to Brampton for the first time ever, where a secret lineup of surprise musical guests will have the crowd buzzing. The evening includes stand-up performances by a number of hilarious Brampton and GTA-based comedians, as well as a curated arts exhibit featuring works by local artists, with the support of Beaux Arts Brampton. The launch party will take place at The Den at Sheridan College, located on the Davis Campus. Free parking is available at the venue, and attendees are able to enjoy classic pub fare, Beau’s beer and other drinks at the bar during the show.

An exhilarating two-day event, #MonsterWorld Mashup is ready to take over Brampton this June 1-2, 2018. “We’re excited to have great partners and diverse artists in world music, urban music, comedy, spoken word and visual arts all working together to make our city spaces exciting”, says Executive Director of MonstrARTity, Vikas Kohli. “We’re presenting unique acts who represent the changing voices and faces of the GTA. The June 1st launch party will be a unique experience for the audience with Brampton’s first-ever Sofar secret concert and side-splitting comedy acts Continue reading “#MonsterWorld Mashup Festival Brings Sofar Sounds Secret Concert to Brampton For The First Time Ever”