Entertainment Beat for Dec. 12, 2017

Cameron Francis as Pinocchio and Stuart Dowling as The Dame in A Merry Magical Pantomime. PHOTO: Rob Torr with additional digital work by Tammy Rogers

Mark Battenberg hosts his annual Winter Solstice concert, this year titled A Dream Within A Dream, on Wednesday, Dec. 20 at Kingston Road United Church.

Mark Battenberg

The composer is joined by Shakuhachi flute master Debbie Danbrook for an evening of music, verse and fellowship welcoming the Winter Solstice and the return of the sun.

“This year we are helping the youth of Attawapiskat First Nations on James Bay to realize their dream of a youth cultural centre,” writes Battenberg about this year’s charitable mission. “We are taking cash donations as well as art supplies and anything that can be used to help fulfill this goal. The girls are in need of cotton skirts that can be used to make ceremonial outfits. Pens, paper, beads, paints etc. are all in short supply, so please bring them in.”

The event also supports the Daily Bread Food Bank, with non-perishable food items accepted in lieu of admission.

“Living in the beautiful Beaches, sometimes we forget that in our own province there are young people who struggle everyday just to get the bare necessities to live,” said Battenberg.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20. Kingston Road United Church, www.kruc.ca, is located at 97 Kingston Rd.

Join longtime east-end residents Stephanie Graham and Rob Torr of Torrent Productions at the Coxwell Legion, 243 Coxwell Ave., for their second annual Merry Magical Pantomine.

This year, the festive and family-friendly production follows the story of Pinocchio, with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 1/42 transformed for the team’s 12-show run.

“We had so much fun last year we thought we would do it again,” said Graham in an email. “It gives us great joy to serve our community by bringing professional theatre to the East End at this time of year.”

Written by Caroline Smith, directed by Torr, and choreographed by Graham, the traditional panto promises “a few surprises” as well as “a fun night of laughs, sing-songs, ‘who’s behind you’s’ and ‘oh no they didn’ts.’”

Cast members include Kevin Aichele, Ryan Brown, Greg Campbell, Stuart Dowling, Cameron Francis, Cynthia Hicks, Kelsey Verzotti and Daniel Greenberg.

Opening night, Dec. 22, is sold out, but tickets for the rest of the run are available through www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2937916, by calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door. Performances run from Dec. 22 to Dec. 31 with no show on Christmas Day. Showtimes: Dec. 22, 7 p.m.; Dec. 23, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 24, 2 p.m.; Dec. 26 2 p.m.; Dec. 27, 2 p.m.; Dec. 28 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 29, 7 p.m.; Dec. 30, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 31, 2 p.m.

Greg Pilo

The house is packed on Tuesday nights at the Salty Dog Bar and Grill, 1980 Queen St. E., for a reason – Drummer Greg Pilo’s Tuesday night live jazz sessions, featuring some of the best local and visiting musicians in a welcoming, cover-free environment from 7 to 10 p.m. Grab a seat where you can, take a trip back in time – and enjoy one of the city’s best kept jazz secrets, right here in the Beach.

Tonight, Dec. 12, Pilo is joined by Bobby Brough on saxophone, Ted Quinlan on guitar and George Koller on bass.

Dec. 19, Pilo welcomes Mike Murley on saxophone, Neil Swanson on bass, and a not yet announced piano  player.

On Dec. 26, Shawn Nyquist plays sax, Lucian Gray is on guitar, Ross MacIntyre is on bass, with Pilo on drums.

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