With a new sea­son comes an­other wide as­sort­ment of en­ter­tain­ment

The Registry The­atre launches its 2017-18 calendar, of­fer­ing up an eclec­tic mix to ap­peal to many tastes

The Woolwich Observer - - THE ARTS - STEVE KANNON

EVERY NEW SEA­SON BRINGS an eclec­tic mix of en­ter­tain­ment to the stage of the Registry The­atre. This year’s lineup, an­nounced pub­li­cally Thurs­day, is no ex­cep­tion.

The range is in­dica­tive of the lit­tle venue’s man­date to sup­port the arts and serve a wide, di­verse au­di­ence, says pro­gram direc­tor Lawrence McNaught. That blend has be­come the hall­mark of the Kitch­ener per­for­mance space.

The One Night Only series, for in­stance, is in­dica­tive of the mix put to­gether by McNaught. The series opens Novem­ber 3 and 4 with the ever-pop­u­lar Kevin Rames­sar Group con­tin­u­ing the tra­di­tion of mu­si­cal trib­utes. This time around, it’s Canada’s Singers - Canada’s Songs, a fo­cus on Canada’s bright­est lights in the sesqui­cen­ten­nial year. They’ll play songs of artists from Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Co­hen to Gor­don Lightfoot, Sarah McLach­lan and Bruce Cock­burn.

“It’ll be great to have him back. Kevin is a lo­cal favourite – he al­ways puts on a pop­u­lar show. It’s his 10th con­sec­u­tive year at the Registry,” says McNaught of the con­certs.

Next in the series are the Sul­tans of String, who’s De­cem­ber 1 per­for­mance will have a hol­i­day fo­cus, the world­beat group hold­ing its world pre­miere CD re­lease con­cert for its new Christ­mas al­bum.

It’s world-mu­sic ver­sions of some Christ­mas chest­nuts such as the Lit­tle Drum­mer Boy, The Huron Carol and Feliz Navi­dad. The quin­tet will be joined by spe­cial guest vo­cal­ist Re­becca Camp­bell. Jump­ing ahead to April 21, the series fea­tures Ale­jan­dra Rib­era whose mu­si­cal mo­saic of English, Span­ish and French def­i­nitely fit the eclec­tic bill. “She’s orig­i­nally from Mon­treal, and she’s be­com­ing pop­u­lar in Europe, but she’s to­tally un­known here. Those who come out for the show are go­ing to hear an ab­so­lutely wonderful show – she’s a beau­ti­ful song­writer with a lovely voice,” says McNaught of Rib­era. Switch­ing gears from an emerg­ing tal­ent to one who’s well es­tab­lished, the Registry presents Jackie Richard­son, Canada’s reign­ing queen of jazz, gospel, soul and blues on May 26. Fa­mil­iar for more than her voice, Richard­son is a vet­eran of many tele­vi­sion and movie per­for­mances.

She wowed the Registry au­di­ence with her pre­vi­ous show three years ago, so McNaught ex­pects peo­ple will be ea­ger to catch her re­turn.

“She’s a wonderful stage pres­ence. When I say her 2014 con­cert here was leg­endary, it’s not hyper­bole. She put on an ab­so­lutely spec­tac­u­lar evening.”

Along with the one-off con­certs, the year’s sched­ule in­cludes a range of series, from jazz and clas­si­cal to dance and com­edy.

Among the of­fer­ings in the Clas­sics at the Registry series are the fit­tingly named Registry Quar­tet per­form­ing a show dubbed Bloom­ing Brahms and Mag­i­cal Mozart on February 18. Led by WLU pro­fes­sor Paul Pul­ford on the cello, the con­cert will fea­ture a Brahms quar­tet, plus a Mozart quin­tet with a spe­cial guest vi­ola.

And keep­ing with the spirit of firsts, The Spring­dale Trio’s New Mu­sic in Canada show on March 11 will see the pre­miere of a new suite by pop­u­lar pi­anist Boyd McDon­ald, the beauty of the west in a sonata by Mur­ray Adaskin, Ten Minia­tures by Owen

Un­der­hill, and a beau­ti­ful bal­lad by Gor­don Lightfoot. McDon­ald will be joined by Wendy Wa­gler on flute and Ben Bolt-Martin on cello.

The Jazz series kicks off with lo­cal favourite Larry Lar­son and his Jazz Guys. Their show February 23 is part of the Jazz Fes­ti­val Week­end, to be fol­lowed on February 24 by the Pen­derecki String Quar­tet’s Jerzy Ka­planek do­ing a Jazz Vi­o­lin Trib­ute to such in­no­va­tors as Stéphane Grap­pelli and Jean-Luc Ponty.

“I’ve been talk­ing with Jerzy for a cou­ple of years about do­ing this kind of con­cert. He’s got the clas­si­cal stuff, but he’s got a real feel for the jazz,” says McNaught.

Joni Nehrita and Mary Cather­ine Paz­zano team up for Women Mu­sic Rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, pre­sent­ing songs from the likes of Ella Fitzger­ald, Judy Gar­land, Joni Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan, Bar­bra Streisand and Ca­role King on March 9.

Jane Bun­net & The Spir­its of Ha­vana re­turn to the venue April 20 for their 25th an­niver­sary con­cert. Bun­nett on the sax and flute and Hi­lario Du­ran on the pi­ano prom­ise a night of spir­ited Afro-Cuban sounds.

Some tra­di­tional jazz will be on tap May 4 when the Dave Wif­fen Quar­tet presents the pi­o­neer­ing mu­sic of John Coltrane, sam­pling from Lush Life, Blue Train, Gi­ant Steps, My Favourite Things, A Love Supreme and oth­ers.

Old-school in your view­ing of silent films? The VOC Silent Film Har­monic pro­vides live ac­com­pa­ni­ment to clas­sic films. For the up­com­ing sea­son, clas­sic is very much the fo­cus: The Pas­sion of Joan of Arc from 1928 (Novem­ber 2), Faust from 1926 (March 8) and Me­trop­o­lis, the epic 1927 film from Fritz Lang (May 3).

Dubbed the Lo­cal He­roes series, this three-con­cert seg­ment fea­tures lo­cal play­ers in­ter­pret­ing some favourites.

The Dan Bea­cock Group presents the Three Kings of the Blues – Fred­die, Al­bert and B.B. – on Oc­to­ber 20.

Ben­jamin Rollo Presents Great Cana­dian singer­song­writ­ers – Vol. 2 on February 2. And March 3 will see Matt Wei­dinger Plays Van Mor­ri­son.

“He’s go­ing to try to recre­ate that pe­riod when Van was tour­ing with a nine- or ten-piece band, in­clud­ing strings,” says McNaught of the third con­cert. “It’s go­ing to be a fun show.”

Round­ing out the year’s calendar is a mix of of­fer­ings, from live the­atre to dance and even a “Group Karaoke” fea­tur­ing a host of lo­cal mu­si­cians. Oh, and some blue­grass, with a series that will fea­ture the re­turn of the Kruger Brothers, among oth­ers. And add to that mix the Folk Night at the Registry, as out­lined in last week’s edi­tion. Plus more.

Hav­ing just launched this sea­son, the Registry’s 17th, McNaught will have an eye on the next one.

For more de­tails about these and other shows in the 2017-2018 sea­son, visit www.reg­istrythe­atre.com.


The Sul­tans of String will be per­form­ing at the Registry The­atre as part of the One Night Only series, the De­cem­ber date mean­ing there’ll be a hol­i­day fo­cus on their mu­si­cal of­fer­ings. The lineup for the new sea­son was launched Thurs­day.

Ale­jan­dra Rib­era

Jane Bun­nett

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