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November 2011

Lady Gaga @ Toronto Public Library

November 29, 2011 | Bill V. | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Yes, believe it or not, Lady Gaga is at Toronto Public Library.  Well, to be completely accurate, the latest book on Lady Gaga, by photographer Terry Richardson, is available. 

LADY GAGA by TERRY RICHARDSON

 

The Toronto Star gave it a weak review today, likening it to an inferior version of Madonna's book Sex by photographer Steven Meisel.  Familiar with both books, I have to agree with the review - while Lady Gaga is currently an influential singer and performer, with some inspiring messages around self acceptance, this is not a great book of photographs.  Which is too bad, as Terry Richardson's earlier book, Terryworld, is a very edgy and thought provoking collection of photographs.

 

Speaking of positive influence though ....did you know that Lady Gaga recently sent a video message in support of anti bullying and tolerance to the Etobicoke School of the Arts? I think it's her messages around bullying and LGBT issues that will have a longer and more lasting impact than her recent book.

 

 

There's been quite a bit written about Lady Gaga and her style, although I think the real testament to her popularity are the number one hits, platinum CDs and downloads and the influential and much watched videos - Bad Romance has 430 million Youtube views (and is # 89 on the Youtube top 100), Alejandro has 158 million Youtube views and Born this Way over 83 million Youtube views. 

 

If you were interested in reading about her you may enjoy:

Lady Gaga  behind the fame          Poker face          Lady Gaga  critical mass fashion    

 

If you were interested in her music we have her CDs available as well as sheet music / music scores:

The fame monster      The fame  piano, vocal, guitar


 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

The Craft of Jewellery Making

November 26, 2011 | Robyn | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

Ever thought about taking up jewellery making as a hobby?

Consider some of these books as sources of inspiration:

 

              Wire art jewelry workshop + DVD step by step techniques and projects   Beautiful wire jewelry for beaders 2 wire, beads, metal, & more!   New dimensions in bead and wire jewelry unexpected combinations, unique designs

 

                             The encyclopedia of wire jewelry techniques a compendium of step-by-step techniques for making wire-based jewelry    The complete photo guide to jewelry making
     
 
Enjoy!

 

On Stage with "Topdog/Underdog" -- Performing Arts Theatre Series Fall 2011

November 26, 2011 | Wendy | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Join us Monday November 28, from 7-8 pm as guest speaker, Philip Akin, Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Company, discusses Topdog/Underdog, the play and production.

A play about identity, family, love, and "this dude who doesn't get along with his brother", Topdog/Underdog won Suzan-Lori Parks a Tony nomination and a Pulizer Prize back in 2002. "The play," wrote the New York Times Review, "vibrates with the clamor of big ideas, audaciously and exuberantly expressed".  The National Post in 2011, does not disagree: "The play is brilliantly written, in probably the best American dialogue for urban no-hopers since the David Mamet of American Buffalo." 

 

Topdogunderdog

 

Suzan-Lori Parks began writing plays during her college days at Mount Holyoke when challenged by her professor, American playwright, James Baldwin.  She credits him as a major influence along with such diverse luminaries as Adrienne Kennedy ("noted for the use of surrealism"), Wendy Wasserstein (another Mount Holyoke alumna and Pulitzer prize winner), Tennessee Williams, a writer, she says, of "theater that I liked...that people, you know, the cool people, were calling dumb theater", and Ntozake Shange (issues of race and feminism).

Suzan-Lori Parks is not just a dramatist though; she also writes screenplays, short stories, novels, and even directs.  What has particularly grabbed me about this playwright's creative determination is that from November 2002 till November 2003, she wrote a play a day, inspired by 'deities...soldiers...and what was outside her plane window', a process that resulted in her "365 days/365 plays"series.  Now that's prolific! 

 

  Blues for mister charlie  Heidi chronicles  The alexander plays  For coloured girls who have...


Philip Akin finds Topdog/Underdog "one of the most fascinating plays I’ve ever worked on". And Obsidian has mounted some of the finest plays being written. (I was lucky enough to see Ruined last year, and count it as one of the high points of my personal play-going season.) Obsidian, for those not in the know, is 'Canada's leading culturally diverse theatre company', passionately dedicated to giving both voice and visibility to Black artists, most especially nurturing those who are 'young at craft'.

 

On-stage             On-stage             On-stage

This is the fifth in our program on current Toronto theatre - On Stage Performing Arts Theatre Series - six lectures / six theatres.  They are all being held free of charge at the Toronto Reference Library - Beeton Auditorium.

  • The Normal Heart” hear guest speaker Joel Greenberg, Director and Artistic Director, Studio 180 Theatre on Monday, October 3, 7 - 8 pm.
  • "Ghosts”  hear guest speaker Paula Wing, Associate Artist, Soulpepper Theatre Company  on Monday, October 24, 7 - 8 pm.
  •  “The Children's Republic”  hear guest speaker Hannah Moscovitch, Playwright-in-Residence, Tarragon Theatre on Monday November 7, 7 - 8 pm.
  • Red” hear guest speaker Natasha Mytnowych,  Associate Director of Programming, Canadian Stage  on Monday, November 14, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Topdog/Underdog” hear guest speaker Philip Akin, Director and Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Company on Monday, November 28, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “The Penelopiad”  hear guest speaker: Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director, Nightwood Theatre on Monday, December 5, 7 - 8 pm.

  

Did you know the Performing Arts Department at the Toronto Reference Library also had:

Duke Ellington Society Celebration @ Toronto Reference Library with Jim Galloway Quartet

November 16, 2011 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Are you interested in Jazz?  Why not join us for a free evening with the Toronto Duke Ellington Society celebrating the Duke's music and featuring the Jim Galloway Quartet. It's at the Toronto Reference Library Atrium - Friday November 18th 2011 - doors open at 6:30 and the program starts at 7:00 pm.

 

Did you know the Toronto Reference Library Performing Arts Department has over 20,000 LP records including over 80 featuring Duke Ellington (in addition to listening facilities!). There are also almost 200 CDs by the Duke in the library system as a whole.

DUKE ELLINGTON Ellington At Newport

 

There are also over 30 music scores/pieces of sheet music that you can access at the Toronto Reference Library.

Duke Ellington anthology  piano, vocal, guitar            Duke Ellington  American composer

 

Duke Ellington is considered one of the great band leaders and composers of the 20th century. Interested in knowing more about him why not try some of these biographies?

Duke Ellington and his world  a biography             Music is my mistress            Duke Ellington's America   

 

If you can't join us on Friday night why not listen to some Duke Ellington - and his very interesting Swedish muse Alice Babs. 

 

or Duke Ellington live in Berlin in the 1960s

 

        



On Stage with "Red" and Mark Rothko's Artistic Passion - Performing Arts Theatre Series Fall 2011

November 10, 2011 | Iana | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

"There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend... One day the black will swallow the red." - Rothko, Scene 2, "Red" by John Logan.

Please join us on Monday November 14, from 7-8 pm, at Toronto Reference Library and hear guest speaker Natasha Mytnowych, Associate Director of Programming for Canadian Stage. She will talk about Canadian Stage new production of "Red" by John Logan, directed by Kim Collier, which can be seen at Bluma Appel Theatre from Nov 19 to Dec 17, 2011. 

"Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant and a threatening generation of new artists, celebrated 20th-century painter Mark Rothko struggles to create a masterpiece in the face of fame, fortune and commercialism." (Canadian Stage) 

 Red by John Logan

 

Red is a new play (2009) by the American playwright John Logan about the master of twentieth century abstract impressionism Mark Rothko (1903-1970). The play was first produced in December 2009 by Donmar Warehouse in London, after which its 2010 Broadway production won six Tony Awards, including Best Play. Canadian Stage, in co-production with the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, presents the Canadian premiere of Red, starring Jim Mezon as Mark Rothko and Davide Coomber as the artist's assistant Ken. Following the Toronto production, Red will tour to Vancouver and Edmonton.

 

The library has a number of  books on Mark Rothko and the abstract expressionism style.

   Mark Rothko 1903-1970 Pictures as Drama       Mark Rothko A Biography by Breslin       Essential Mark Rothko

            

 

On-stage             On-stage             On-stage

 

This is the fourth in our program on current Toronto theatre - On Stage Performing Arts Theatre Series - six lectures/six theatres. They are all being held free of charge at the Toronto Reference Library - Beeton Auditorium.

  • The Normal Heart” - hear guest speaker Joel Greenberg, Director and Artistic Director, Studio 180 Theatre on Monday, October 3, 7 - 8 pm.
  • "Ghosts” - hear guest speaker Paula Wing, Associate Artist, Soulpepper Theatre Company  on Monday, October 24, 7 - 8 pm.
  •  “The Children's Republic” - hear guest speaker Hannah Moscovitch, Playwright-in-Residence, Tarragon Theatre on Monday November 7, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Red” - hear guest speaker Natasha Mytnowych,  Associate Director of Programming, Canadian Stage  on Monday, November 14, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Topdog/Underdog” - hear guest speaker Philip Akin, Director and Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Company on Monday, November 28, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “The Penelopiad” - hear guest speaker: Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director, Nightwood Theatre on Monday, December 5, 7 - 8 pm.

 

Here is a short video of playwright John Logan at the Tony Awards 2010, while discussing his play "Red", nominated and later announced winner for best play.

 

 

Did you know the Performing Arts Department at the Toronto Reference Library also had:

 

Watch veteran actor Jim Mezon bring Mark Rothko to life at the Canadian Stage production.

 

Join the Shakespeare Readers @ Beaches Branch reading Coriolanus

November 10, 2011 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Have you ever dreamed of being a thespian?

Well, Beaches Library branch is offering a program where you can have fun reading Shakespeare aloud.  Saturday November 12 and December 10 from 2-4 pm there will be a group reading of the play CoriolanusCoriolanus is one of Shakespeare's historical plays set in ancient Rome. Participants can volunteer to read or simply listen. These are free programs and everyone is welcome

Coriolanus

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good News for Lovers of Italian Mysteries.

November 4, 2011 | John Elmslie | Comments (10) Facebook Twitter More...

In an earlier post I've praised the international bestselling novels of Andrea Camilleri. I didn't know then that Italian television (RAI) has been producing them for broadcast since 1999.

Np_montalbanoOkThese Italian-language programs are now available on DVD with English subtitles under the name Detective Montalbano. They are great fun and will thrill all lovers of Italian mysteries. The library has just bought the first six sets (three discs per set).

I must warn you that each episode is more enjoyable, more addictive than the last.

I think this is because we get to know the appealing characters better each time and look forward to meeting them all again.

Italian actor, Luca Zigaretti, is unforgetable as the brilliant, unpredictable, impulsive Salvo Montalbano. His team of detectives all have their own quirks, weaknesses and strengths. Appearances by Montalbano's resourceful, intuitive girlfriend, Livia, are always a treat.

If you're interested in the language and culture of Southern Italy take these programs as a kind of Italian-immersion. They are filmed in the Sicilian town of Ragusa with it's Baroque buildings, sunbleached squares and rugged surroundings. The art direction of the costumes and interiors is first-rate.

This well-edited broadcast-annoucement by MHz Worldview is the best online introduction I've found to these fiendishly-intricate, humorous, sentimental mysteries. Take a chance on Detective Montalbano!

 

 

On Stage with "The Children's Republic" and the Legacy of Janusz Korczak - Performing Arts Theatre Series Fall 2011

November 3, 2011 | Iana | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Please join us on Monday November 7, from 7-8 pm and hear guest speaker Hannah Moscovitch, Playwright-in-Residence at Tarragon Theatre and author of "The Children's Republic" (a co-production with Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company). She will talk about her play and the production, directed by Alisa Palmer, which can be seen at Tarragon Theatre from November 8 to December 18, 2011.

Hannah Moscovitch is a Canadian playwright and considered one of the strongest young theatre voices in the country. Hannah’s work has won multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the prestigious international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her works include East of Berlin,  Essay, The Russian Play and the newest play "The Children's Republic", which premiered in 2009 at the Geat Canadian Theatre Centre, Ottawa.

In the play Dr. Janusz Korczak, a doctor, educator and champion of children's rights who runs an orphanage in Warsaw, Poland, meets his match in a defiant boy named Israel. When war threatens the children in the orphanage, Israel gives his teacher the greatest gift of all: courage.

The King of Children
       Loving Every Child        Janusz Korczak's Children


Dr. Janusz Korczak (born Henryk Goldszmit, 1878-1942) was a Polish-Jewish author, pediatrician and educator. In August 1942 he was forced to gather the nearly 200 orphans under his care in the Warsaw Ghetto. Refusing offers for his own safety, he accompanied them with quiet dignity to the tram that would take them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. They were taken to Treblinka extermination camp where they perished together during The Holocaust. Janusz Korczak left a legacy of humanitarian idealism and visionary thinking about children’s rights. He rose to national prominence in Poland in the pre-war years where he was lovingly called Pan Doktor (Mr. Doctor) or Stary Doktor (The Old Doctor). Korczak established orphanages where he experimented with progressive ideas and practices. In these “children’s republics” he encouraged youth to govern themselves and granted them as much independence as possible.

Janusz Korczak authored more than 20 books, including pedagogical works, children's fiction and the posthumously published Pamietnik (Ghetto Diary). The library has a number of biographies of Janusz Korczak as well as some of his works in Polish and in English translation:

Korczak's most popular children's novel and the only one translated in English is King Matt the First (Król Maciuś Pierwszy, Warsaw, 1923). I remember I loved reading it (the Bulgarian translation) as a child. Toronto Public Library has copies in Polish and in English that you can borrow.  
 
To complement Tarragon Theatre's production of "The Children's Republic" - the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre in Toronto (Spadina subway) is hosting the exhibition "Janusz Korczak and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto", which can be seen between November 3 and December 2, 2011. The exhibit is one of many events part of the annual Holocaust Education Week. Some of the programs during this largest Holocaust educational forum of its kind are hosted by branches of Toronto Public Library. These are free talks and everyone is welcome to attend. Hear the personal testimonies of Holocaust survivors who immigrated from Europe to Canada after the World War II. Perhaps during the Holocaust some of them were children at the same age as the children who were lovingly cared for by "Pan Doktor" Janusz Korczak.

 

On-stage             On-stage             On-stage

This is the third in our program on current Toronto theatre - On Stage Performing Arts Theatre Series - six lectures / six theatres.  They are all being held free of charge at the Toronto Reference Library - Beeton Auditorium.

  • The Normal Heart” hear guest speaker Joel Greenberg, Director and Artistic Director, Studio 180 Theatre on Monday, October 3, 7 - 8 pm.
  • "Ghosts”  hear guest speaker Paula Wing, Associate Artist, Soulpepper Theatre Company  on Monday, October 24, 7 - 8 pm.
  •  “The Children's Republic”  hear guest speaker Hannah Moscovitch, Playwright-in-Residence, Tarragon Theatre on Monday November 7, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Red” hear guest speaker Natasha Mytnowych,  Associate Director of Programming, Canadian Stage  on Monday, November 14, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “Topdog/Underdog” hear guest speaker Philip Akin, Director and Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Company on Monday, November 28, 7 - 8 pm.
  • “The Penelopiad”  hear guest speaker: Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director, Nightwood Theatre on Monday, December 5, 7 - 8 pm.

 

Here is a video excerpt from a previous production of "The Children's Republic," a play by Hannah Moscovitch, presented by the Great Canadian Theater Company and the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama.

 

 

Did you know the Performing Arts Department at the Toronto Reference Library also had:


 

Edith Gelbard Mon Temoignage Personel - Holocaust Education Week - Personal Testimonies

November 2, 2011 | Bill V. | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Pour célébrer la semaine de l’éducation sur l’holocauste, la bibliothèque de référence vous invite à venir assister à une conference en français par Edith Gelbard le  lundi 7 Novembre de 13h30 à 15h dans la salle Beeton.

In honor of Holocaust Education Week (HEW) join us for a free public lecture by Edith Gelbard at the Toronto Reference Library  on Monday November 7, 1:30 -3:00 pm, in the Beeton Auditorium.  The talk is in French and is open to all members of the public.

 

Edith Gelbard est née à Vienne, en Autriche, en 1932. Sa famille a fui l’Autriche pour la Belgique en 1938. De la Belgique ils ont dû partir pour la France en 1942, où son père a été arrêté. Edith ne l’a jamais revu. Après avoir séjourné dans une maison pour enfants jusqu’en 1949, elle est ensuite allée à Paris pour devenir monitrice. Elle a travaillé dans une maison pour enfants juifs jusqu’en 1953. Edith a émigré au Canada en 1955 avec son mari et leur fils.

Edith est l’héroïne d’un livre, Hiding Edith, rédigé par Kathy Kacer, qui a reçu de nombreux prix de littérature pour enfants.

 

Hiding edith good


Hidden child Edith Gelbard was born in Austria in 1932. In 1938, her family fled to Belgium, then fled again to France in 1940. In 1942, her father was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and then Edith and her little brother were hidden; first in a Children’s Home, then in the countryside. She was liberated in 1945, and came to Canada in 1958.  Edith is the heroine of the children's book, Hiding Edith, by Kathy Kacer.  Kathy Kacer has also authored the well known "The Secret of Gabi's Dresser", as well as the Margit series for children.

This is one of 11 programs being held in 2011 at various Toronto Public Library branches throughout the city.  The programs are free of charge and open to all members of the public.  Local schools send classes to have the unique opportunity to hear actual survivors speak giving their personal testimonies.  In many cases the speakers, who are now quite elderly, were of the same age in the 1940s as the children and teens in the audience who are listening to them.

Holocaust Education Week, an annual event produced by the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre every November, presents diverse educational, cultural and community programs, culminating in a Kristallnacht commemoration. The largest Holocaust educational forum of its kind, Holocaust Education Week features leading voices in Holocaust and Human Rights awareness at venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding region. 

See Edith Gelbard speak on the following Youtube clip - she begins at minute 3:00.

 

 

 

Inspiring Canadian Women Artists

November 2, 2011 | Muriel | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

 

During the summer I went to see a Kathleen Munn art exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and recently I went to see Judith Snow's current exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum.  I enjoyed both vibrant art exhibitions and the efforts made by these two women to express their creativity.  They reminded me of other inspiring Canadian women artists, brimming with talent and perseverance.

I remember, when I was a teenager, admiring the work of graphic designer Heather Cooper.  She designed the Roots beaver logo in the 1970s and her work still looks fresh today.

Also as a teenager, I visited Saskatchewan, and was taken by its breathtaking landscape.  I have always appreciated the paintings of Dorothy Knowles for capturing so brilliantly Saskatchewan's natural beauty.

KathleenMunnHeatherCooper DorothyKnowles

I have always been impressed by Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, two trailblazers of Canadian sculpture.  Loring and Wyle were also renowned for encouraging other Canadian artists.  There is a park in Toronto on the northeast corner of Mount Pleasant Road and St. Clair Avenue East, which is devoted to "The Girls" and their sculpture.

Known for her realist paintings of domesticity, Newfoundland artist Mary Pratt has achieved such renown that one of her paintings, Jelly Shelf, has been featured on a postage stamp.

 

FrancesLoringFlorenceWyle                   MaryPratt

Maud Lewis was possibly the most inspiring Canadian woman artist ever, both for her charming scenes of everyday rural life in Nova Scotia and her cheerfulness in the face of adversity.

If there is one inspiring Canadian woman artist known by everyone, it is Emily Carr, who sought and found inspiration in Aboriginal people and nature.

  Maud Lewis                          EmilyCarr

On one of my trips to Manitoulin Island, I was lucky enough to meet multi-talented Aboriginal artist/actress/writer Shirley Cheechoo in her studio.  I have always admired her paintings of humorous family scenes and it was a great honour and pleasure to meet her.  Daphne Odjig is another Aboriginal artist whose joyous paintings have achieved widespread acclaim.  Amongst a host of accomplishments, she is the only Aboriginal Canadian woman artist to have had a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

ShirleyCheechoo                                      DaphneOdjig
                                     


Doris McCarthy inspired many generations both with her art teaching and her landscape paintings.  She even helped to paint the beautiful murals on display at the Dufferin/St. Clair Library.  She radiated energy and a sense of purpose when I met her, in her late eighties, at a painting workshop at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

I have had a lifelong interest in textiles, and pioneering art quilter Laurie Swim's quilts are so impressive that she was commissioned by the Toronto Transit Commission to create a quilt to commemorate the Hoggs Hollow Tragedy.  The quilt, Breaking Ground, is on permanent display at York Mills subway station.

For further reading, Independent Spirit is an excellent overview of thirty-six early Canadian women artists. 

Doris McCarthy               LaurieSwim      IndependentSpirit

Sometimes, however, the artists who inspire us the most never achieve fame or fortune, and that was true of my grandmother.  When she was a young widow, she taught herself to paint and continued to do so with joy and skill for the rest of her life.

 

 *Updated Nov 3, 11 am.

The library's blog devoted to the discovery of diverse artistic and cultural works in the library and Toronto. For more information on what the library has to offer please see our Theatre & Performing Arts page

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