Entertainment Beat

A still from the short film Cliffside.
A still from the short film Cliffside.

A short movie shot in and named after the Cliffside neighbourhood has been posted online for free viewing by the filmmakers.

Cliffside was written and directed by Steven Hoffner, who was born and raised in the Scarborough neighbourhood. The short film premiered during opening night of the Scarborough Film Festival last year, held at the Fox Theatre.

“Cliffside is the area I grew up in,” he said. “To have it premiere at the Scarborough Film Festival was pretty special.”

The film is inspired by the Peter Pan mythos, with Cliffside standing in for Neverland – “but the people in this one don’t grow up, at least in a spiritual way,” said Hoffner.

The story follows donut shop worker Wendy and her drug dealing boyfriend, as Wendy is faced with a decision whether to leave the neighbourhood to pursue her dreams. While the film may not be the happiest of cinematic experiences Hoffner insists Cliffside is meant as a tribute to its namesake.

“It certainly is an ode to the area, it shaped who I am,” he said.

 

 

Beachers Jamillah Ross and Sean Fisher have collaborated on a new Christmas song they’ve released on iTunes and YouTube.

Jamillah Ross
Jamillah Ross

The multi-talented couple met while working together on a musical at Second City, and are now writing Christmas songs together with the hopes of eventually releasing a full album.

It’s All About Christmas Time is the upbeat tune that’s now on iTunes, along with a New Year’s song, (Not Just Another) New Year’s Day. The video features Ross wandering along a snowy boardwalk, and was shot by Fisher last winter the day after a storm.

Fisher provides the music backing for the songs while Ross writes the lyrics and sings. Ross is also an actor, having appeared on a number of movies and television shows including Popcultured, Orphan Black, and CBC’s upcoming Fool Canada. She has also written and starred in three Second City shows and a number of musical productions.

 

 

A Vince Guaraldi “trio-bute” band will be performing a Charlie Brown Christmas Music concert twice on Sunday, Dec. 21.

From 1 to 3 p.m., the band will perform at Grinder, 126 Main St. just south of Gerrard Street East, followed by an early evening show at Relish Bar and Grill, 2152 Danforth Ave., just east of Woodbine.

The trio features pianist Alan Zemaitis, Jesse Boxer-Meyrowitz on bass, and drummer Kyle Sullivan. The band will be joined by special guests Leandrae H. DaCosta, Leelu Thomson, and Angie Lawrence.

 

 

Beacher Michelle Monteith is one of the stars in Tarragon Theatre’s upcoming world premiere of Diane FlacksWaiting Room. Monteith has received Dora and Toronto Theatre Critics’ awards, and performed at Tarragon, Soulpepper, and the Stratford Festival.

Michelle Monteith PHOTO: Cylla von Tiedemann
Michelle Monteith
PHOTO: Cylla von Tiedemann

The play tells the story of two young parents and the stress on their relationship when they are forced to decide whether a doctor has what it takes to save their baby. Meanwhile, the doctor breaks the rules despite misgivings from his colleagues, embarking on a ground-breaking medical experiment.

Waiting Room was inspired by playwright Flacks’ own experiences in waiting rooms and intensive care units at a children’s hospital. It is directed by Richard Greenblatt, and stars Monteith, Ari Cohen, Jordan Pettle, Warona Setshwaelo, Jane Spidell, and Jenny Young.

Waiting Room opens Jan. 14 and runs until Feb. 15. Previews start on Jan. 6. Tickets are $23 to $27 for previews, and $29 to $55 for the main run, available at 416-531-1827 or online.

 

 

East End songstress Layla and friends will hold their annual Christmas concert on Friday, Dec. 19 at the Naval Club, 1910 Gerrard St. E., just west of Woodbine. Shelley Faulkner of KS Piano Studio will provide accompaniment. The evening will also feature food from caterers Edit Csoma and Lorie Ditchon.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5 or canned goods for the Daily Bread Food Bank, but please RSVP through laylamusic.info@gmail.com to reserve a spot.


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