Entertainment Beat

Neil McNeil Catholic High School presents 12 Angry Men tomorrow night.

Sixteen actors, crew members and other volunteers have collectively contributed more than 1,500 hours in preparation for the play, under the direction of Lesley Anderson, with assistance from Maria Figueroa and sets and props built by Derek Radford with the help of the stage crew.

The play runs for about 75 minutes, and begins at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The public performance is Wednesday, May 29, and tickets are $7 for adults, and $4 for students and seniors.

Beacher Peggy Mahon, normally known as an actor and singer, directs fellow actor and writer Nonnie Griffin in Marilyn … After, written by Griffin. The play, about an hour long, dramatizes a one-hour visit to earth by Marilyn Monroe 50 years after her death, with the intention of setting the record straight about her life, loves and death.

The performance will run at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31 at Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave. at the corner of Scollard. The show will be followed by tea and cookies. Admission is $20 at the door, or call 416-698-2163 to reserve seats.

The ninth annual Waterfront Blues Festival hits the Beach this weekend. The free event will take over Woodbine Park from Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2.

Dozens of acts, both local and international, will provide entertainment over the course of the weekend. There will also be award-winning barbecue, vendors and the ‘Don’t Lose the Blues’ contest, including a draw for albums and a Danelectro guitar. There is no admission charge for the Waterfront Blues Festival. For details check out waterfrontblues.ca.

Beacher John Fulford-Brown is hosting a special preview screening of his documentary Bring Her On Home – The Return of the SS Keewatin on Saturday, June 1 at the Fox.

The hour-long film is “the story of a grand old lady and the three men who saved her and brought her home.”

The SS Keewatin is a luxury passenger ship from the era of the Titanic, which sailed the Great Lakes between Port McNicoll and what is now Thunder Bay. The boat sat in a small town marina in Michigan for 45 years after being decommissioned by Canadian Pacific, and slowly became a local icon.

As far as human connections go, ‘the Kee’ couldn’t ask for more. R.J. Peterson, the American marina owner, was the first saviour of the ship. Now 87 years old, he wanted to find a home for the ship, which is where Israeli developer and Canadian history fanatic Gil Blutrich – the man who restored Toronto’s King Edward Hotel – entered the story. Blutrich was building a residential complex in Port McNicoll, and believed the ship might be the key to reviving the town’s failing economy. Eric Conroy, who worked as a waiter on the ship in its last year of service, has fond memories of the Kee, as both a former place of employment and the place he had his first kiss.

The film follows the story of the ship being moved to Port McNicoll under the supervision of honourary captain Conroy, and the unexpected trials of that journey. Between sandbars and storms, the trip is fraught with tension and emotion.

Bring Her On Home – The Return of the SS Keewatin screens Saturday, June 1 at 4 p.m. at the Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen St. E. at Beech.

Miho Hashizume
Miho Hashizume

A unique concert series called The Violin, with six concerts planned over the next year, continues with its second installment on Sunday, June 2.

Miho Hashizume, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1995, began her career with three seasons at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She studied violin with Toshiya Eto, and baroque violin with Natsumi Wakamatsu. She has performed for recordings with Bach Collegium Japan, Tokyo Bach-Mozart Ensemble, the Bach Consort (Canada), Apollo’s Fire and the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra. She is a member of the Amici String Quartet, and is a coach and former director for the Case/CIM Baroque Orchestra in Cleveland.

Hashizume is planning to play Bach’s Partita #2, Mozart’s Duo in B flat Major for violin and viola with a guest on viola, as well as some Irish fiddle tunes.

The Violin series features six violinists performing one of Bach’s six sonatas and partitas for solo violin. Two concerts are planned in the fall with Paul Meyer and Jonathan Crow, as well as Julie Wedman and Erika Raum in early 2014.

Tickets are $20, $10 for students and free for children under 12. The Violin begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Seicho-No-Ie Toronto Centre, 662 Victoria Park Ave. at Danforth. For more information email jennetcox@hotmail.com.

Bill Russell
Bill Russell

Storytellers for Children presents the Three Wishes Festival – Just For Fun/Pour Le Plaisir, with storyteller Bill Russell. Admission is $5, with group rates available.

Russell’s show, for preschool and primary grade children, runs Friday, June 7, from 10 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Russell uses mostly traditional Cajun and Creole folklore of Louisiana where he grew up. Some of his songs, such as Spider on the Floor, Biscuits in the Oven and Les Zombis (recorded by Raffi) may be familiar. His musical storytelling show gets young and old on their feet, singing and dancing.

The following day will feature a workshop for adults who work with young children. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 8, learn string games and French songs, dances and games. The cost is $25 for Storytellers For Children members and $30 for non-members.

Both events take place at Pegasus Studios, 361 Glebeholme Blvd. For more information, visit storytellersforchildren.ca, or call 416-699-9886.

The inaugural Scarborough Film Festival will run from June 4 to 9, with many screenings to be held at the Fox Theatre at Queen Street East and Beech Avenue.

A Lady In Paris kicks off the festival with an opening night gala at the Fox on Tuesday, June 4. The next night The Repentant screens, with Tasher Desh on Thursday. Friday night will feature Ali Blue Eyes. All four screenings take place at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, June 9, Placebo will screen at the Fox at 4 p.m., with A Respectable Family taking the closing night gala spot, along with the awards ceremony, starting at 7 p.m., with doors opening half an hour beforehand for each film.

The Scarborough Film Festival’s aim is to use international and multicultural film to “enhance the cultural dynamic of Scarborough and East York.” Festival Grand Prix, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Audience Choice awards will all be handed out.

For more information on the festival, visit scarboroughfilmfestival.com.

The Porchdog Choir will be rocking Lion on the Beach on Saturday, June 8 starting at 10 p.m.

The band, self-described as “a melting pot of rock and roll, country, blues, jazz, folk, rock, even pop,” is made up of guitarists Stephen Neale and John Keating, who also plays harmonica, drummer Bill Hedefine and bassist Gary Krantz.

The show at Lion on the Beach will be the Choir’s 37-song, three hour marathon session. Anyone looking for a fun night out is welcome to join ‘the Dogs’, who also promise a surprise or two.

The 14th annual Muhtadi International Drumming Festival is coming to Woodbine Park for its second year in the Beach location. The festival will feature more than 50 local and national master drummers and drum groups on two stages over two days, as well as drum clinics and workshops, food and drum vendors, licensed drinking areas, the Long and McQuade Drum Zone and a children’s area.

Performers scheduled include Alexis Von Kraven, Amadou Kienou, Baque de Babma led by Aline Morales, Beyond Sound Empijah, Green Sky Project, Impact Percussion, Maracatu Mar Aberto, Mark Kelso, Professor Trichy Sankaran, Samba Squad and Young Pete Alexander, among many others.

The festival celebrates the drum, its universality as an art form, and its presence in all cultures around the world,” and runs Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9 at Woodbine Park, at the northeast corner of Coxwell and Lakeshore. For more information visit the festival website at muhtadidrumfest.com.

BEATLES FANS take note, An Evening of Intimate Beatles Ballads is set for Saturday, June 8 at St. Aidan’s Angli- can Church.

Martin Gladstone on gui- tar and vocals and Frank Caruso on piano, with spe- cial guest Brenton Chan on cello, will perform well- known and much-loved tunes by the fab four, many of which are available on their Beatles Ballads CD. To hear some of the renditions ahead of time, search ‘Martin Glad- stone’ on cdbaby.com, or vis- it martinandfrank.com for more information.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. St. Aidan’s is at the corner of Queen Street East and Silver Birch Avenue. Tickets are $20, or $15 for students and seniors, and are available at the door. To reserve tickets in advance, email your name and the number of tickets required to martinandfrank@gmail.com. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of Glen Davis Ravine.

Beach actor Debora Joy will be appearing at the Green Door Cabaret at 7:30 p.m. on June 7 in Three Little Maids – #NotesBetween- Friends. Joy will appear with Janet Martin and Barbara Dunn-Prosser, as the three seasoned performers use classical, musical theatre and popular songs to trace out the path of their friendship and careers.

Joy has been a professional singer for 25 years, and has taught at the George Brown

Theatre School for 15 years, where she is the head of voice. She has performed in many theatre festivals and will also appear in the Toronto Fringe Festival this summer.

For more info, including how to order tickets, visit lowerossingtontheatre.com/cabaret.

The smash hit musical Cats is back in town, opening June 11 with previews beginning today, May 28. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical runs until July 28 at the Panasonic Theatre downtown, featuring an all-Canadian cast and production team.

Beacher Dave Campbell is the show’s director. He is an actor who has worked on stages across the country, as well as abroad. For the last decade he has earned his reputation as a live TV choreographer.

Campbell has worked on six seasons of Canadian Idol, two installments of the Gemini Awards, Deal or No Deal?, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Radio Free Roscoe and four seasons of YTV’s The Next Star, as well as numerous American television productions and theatre productions on multiple continents. Find out more about Campbell and his extensive work at davecampbelldirect.com.

Cats was created by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and other poems. The show began in London in 1981 and ran for 21 years, and for 18 on Broadway. The first Canadian production run began in 1985, and although the production has returned to the city many times, this current production is the first since that 1985 run featuring a fully Canadian cast.

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