Little Shop of Horrors – A Deviously Delicious Musical in CSL

Leave a comment

Looking for a fun and entertaining outing this weekend? Don’t want to go downtown? Want free parking too? Then head over to the Harold Greenspon Auditorium at Cote Saint-Luc City Hall for “A wonderful twisted and vibrant Broadway-quality horro-comedy musical”.

The CSL Dramatic Society is back for another wildly entertaining show until June 25.

Little Shop of Horrors is a horror comedy rock musical, by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The musical is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film The Little Shop of Horrors. The music, composed by Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown, includes several well-known tunes, including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown)”, “Somewhere That’s Green”, and “Suddenly, Seymour”.

The musical premiered Off-Off-Broadway in 1982 before moving to the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway, where it had a five-year run. It later received numerous productions in the U.S. and abroad, and a subsequent Broadway production. Because of its small cast and relatively simple orchestrations, it has become popular with community theatre, school and other amateur groups.[1] The musical was also made into a 1986 film of the same name, directed by Frank Oz.

 

“Dazzling! Musically delightful and wickedly funny.”
– Pat Donnelly, Arts Writer

“A deviously delicious musical.”
– Stuart Nulman, Montreal Times

“A wonderful twisted and vibrant Broadway-quality
horro-comedy musical.”

– Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

Directed by Anisa Cameron and produced by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, the CSL version is hilarious with an all-local, amateur troupe that is so ridiculously talented that this show could easily be Off-Broadway. In fact, I’m thinking of proposing that we change the name of Cavendish Blvd. to Broadway so that every show that Cameron and Brownstein put together is Off-Broadway!

Brownstein stars as the nerdy aging shop owner ready to throw in the towel on his failing florist outlet until his nerdy n’er-do-well sales boy, the nerdy Seymour (Benjamin Warner) comes along with his wacky plant creation that turns everything around. The singers and dancers are as outstanding as their past amazing performances. Hampstead actor Brandon Schwartz is back from his performing arts studies in Toronto for an appearance.

Photo Diane Dupuis

Justin Johnson – Skip Snip and Shaun Nishmas – Mr. Bernstein are back with the CSLDS. Justin previously played Seaweed in Hairspray, while Shaun is a long-time veteran, having performed in Our Town, Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can, and many others.

Sam Boucher, Patrick Park and Brandon Schwartz – are the three Doo-Wops and all return to the Greenspon stage. Sam has been seen in Hairspray and The Producers, while Patrick recently starred as Lionel in Fancy Nancy. Brandon Schwartz has previously played Link Larkin in Hairspray and Frank Abagnale, Jr. in Catch Me If You Can.

Photo Diane Dupuis

The list of talented and creative entertainers goes and and can be found on the CSLDS Facebook page.

Tickets are inexpensive and seats are still available for the last week of this 20 show run.

The kids have finished their last exams? Treat them to a family-funny theatrical performance. Looking for that last minute Father’s Day Gift? Wow him with high-level entertainment right around the corner. Click here for tickets and information.

 

 

Read more:

Montreal Gazette

Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society to stage Little Shop of Horrors

Leave a comment

The award-winning Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society is once again demonstrating how diverse its offerings are, this time by presenting the horror-comedy rock-musical Little Shop of Horrors from June 8 to 25 at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium, 5801 Cavendish Blvd. in Côte St. Luc.

The CSLDS’s other productions have ranged from ensemble comedies to classic Broadway musicals to straight drama.

Little Shop of Horrors is the story of a plant named Audrey II that offers fame and fortune to a meek floral assistant, in exchange for blood. It was first an ultra-low budget horror black comedy movie in 1960 featuring a young Jack Nicholson.

It became an off-Broadway musical in the early 1980s, then a high-budget 1986 Frank Oz-directed movie musical with Rick Moranis and the voice of Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs as the killer plant, and then a full Broadway musical. The music is by Alan Menken and the book is by Howard Ashman.

The CSLDS’s artistic director Anisa Cameron directs again, and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein is producing and has a role in the musical as well.

Cameron said she has wanted to direct Little Shop of Horrors for a long time. She first saw the 1986 movie at the age of nine, and was captivated by its music, cast and script.

“Like all of our shows, I had to wait for the right people to come into my life to be able to produce the show,” she told The Suburban. “I have my amazing production team back —David Terriault, my musical director; Alexia Gourd, my choreographer; and Mitchell Brownstein, the most amazing producer ever.” A five-piece band will be playing the music.

Brownstein says the show, with its cast, special effects, and set design, will be very special.

“It’s going to be very exciting, visually,” he adds. “It’s a little different from what people have seen before in Côte St. Luc, a satire of all the horror movies of the past put into a musical — every song is really fun. I think it will have island-wide appeal.”

Tickets are available online at CSLDramaticSociety.com, or in person at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library (5851 Cavendish Blvd) or the Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave).

Our unusual Town

Leave a comment

our-town_drama
The CSL Dramatic Society kicked off its 2017 season with an unconventional play called Our Town by Thornton Wilder this week.
Our Town is a serious introspective, a commentary on American society in the early 1900’s. But as CSL Mayor Mitchell Brownstein explained in his warm, welcoming remarks it could very well have been about CSL in the early 20th century. Or 21st.
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein plays Dr. Gibbs, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein plays Dr. Gibbs, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Our Town is about people. More specifically, it’s about the people who make up a community; a small tight-knit and caring community. While based in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire 100 plus years ago, it might as well have taken place last week in CSL. “This is our first drama and comes with a timeless message of the importance of appreciating every moment of life,” Mayor Brownstein said. “Written in 1938, it remains relevant for all time as an attempt to find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily lives.”
It’s about neighbours and neighbourhoods. It’s about the corner store. The local doctor. The school down the block. The church nearby. It’s about the kindness of the milkman and the informative paper boy. It’s about the cop walking his beat and the local drunk and his silly antics. It’s about boys and girls and puppy love, right next door. Everyone knows everyone and about everyone’s business. If that’s not CSL…?
Ben Warner and Tori Gazin as young and in love, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Ben Warner and Tori Gazin as young and in love, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Our Town is simple on the surface.

The stage is barren and props are few. The stage writer wants you to focus on the faces and movements of the actors, and the relationship between each of them.

What struck me most was the sincerity of each actor. The beauty and smile on Emily (Tori Gazin) was enormous. The wonderment and tears in the eyes of her love-struck neighbour George (Ben Warner) was powerful.
Shaun Nishmas, Jordana Kujavsky and Linda Babins, Cemetery scene, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Shaun Nishmas, Jordana Kujavsky and Linda Babins, in the haunting cemetery scene, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Mitchell Brownstein puts on his best performance yet with a strong persona as Doctor Gibbs, the philosophical yet practical leader of family and patients. Daughter Rebecca Gibbs (Ori Fox) has a bubbly, youthful role and sings with an angelic voice.
Director Anisa Cameron has proven her versatility in skillfully adapting this 1930’s play for the local stage, and for turning something old into something new.
Funeral scene, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Funeral scene, Our Town, Jan. 2017

Mrs. Gibbs (Linda Babins) and Mrs. Webb (Karen Pellat-Caron) are strong, supporting characters. The bumbling Simon Stimpson (Shaun Nishmas) is lovable and pitiful at once and co-narraraters Herbert Brownstein and Sam Melnick deserve a special mention for tying it all together playing multiple characters. Newspaper publisher, Mr. Webb (Matthew Mckeown) returns to the CSL stage in another powerful performance.
The Dramatic Society dedicated the performance to the memory of their dear friend and fellow actor, Seymour David, who tragically passed away last week.
It looks like the CSL Dramatic Society is off to an unusual year, and that bodes well for their local audiences. Five more shows run through this Sunday with ticket sales going strong. Local English theatre is rare in our parts. Take advantage of the excellent talent and free parking just a short walk or drive from home, right here in Our Town.

Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society to present Our Town in January 2017

Leave a comment

our-town_dramaThe Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society will present Thornton Wilder’s Our Town from January 24 to 29, 2017 at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium.

Thornton Wilder’s iconic play explores life in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners. Through the everyday lives of the townspeople, audiences experience the joys and heartache of growing up, falling in love, getting married, and losing loved ones. Traditionally presented with no set and few props, Our Town is heartwarming, profound, and sure to move audiences with its timeless exploration of love and mortality.

Our Town is the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society’s first drama, following the enormous success of musicals Catch Me If You Can, and the META-winning Hairspray the Musical, as well as several comedies, including Office Hours and Bedtime Stories. Recently, the Dramatic Society won their second Montreal English Theatre Award, for The Producers, their collaboration with the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre and the Segal Centre for Performing Arts.

“I’ve chosen Thornton Wilder’s masterpiece, Our Town, as our first venture into drama because this beautiful, seemingly simple play is about everything that matters,” said artistic director Anisa Cameron. “Grover’s Corners is our town, mine and yours, and everyone else who has ever lived or will ever live and is beholden to the rules of mortality. Our Town requires us to reflect on our own existence and calls us to appreciate every precious moment we spend our breath on.”

The cast of 18 features many returning Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society members, along with performers joining the troupe for the first time. Montreal actor and producer Ben Warner takes on the role of George Gibbs, having previously starred as Danny Zuko in the CSLDS’s production of Grease. Emily Webb is brought to life by Tori Gazin (Haven’t Got a Clue).

The play is narrated by two metatheatrical Stage Managers, played by Sam Melnick, and Dollard-Des-Ormeaux city councillor Herb Brownstein.

Also featured are Matthew McKeown (Catch Me If You Can), Karyn Pellat-Caron (The Producers), Linda Babins (Fiddler on the Roof), and Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who is also the play’s producer.

“We are very excited to be presenting our first drama,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who founded the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society alongside Anisa Cameron in 2011. “Our Town, which was written in 1938, remains relevant for all time as an attempt to find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily life.”

Tickets are available online at CSLDramaticSociety.com, or in person at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library or the Aquatic and Community Centre. General admission is $25, and students and seniors pay $20. Tickets are $20 for the preview performance on January 24.

The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is a community theatre initiative that began in the summer of 2011 in partnership with the City of Côte Saint-Luc. The goal of the society is to bring together actors, writers, musicians and other artistically minded community members to produce theatrical works in an inclusive environment where emphasis is placed on team work and camaraderie.

August Council meeting rap up – Free Press

Leave a comment

August 8 city council meeting highlights:
Gilfix learns there’s little the city can do
about pesky, yard-squatting wildlife

by Isaac Olson – Free Press

At the start of the August 8 Côte St. Luc
council meeting, Brian Gilfix learned
there’s little the city can do about pesky
skunks, groundhogs or squirrels because
provincial law severely limits the amount
people can intervene in the lives of wild
animals.

Gilfix said he wanted to bring to the
council’s attention the increase of skunks,
groundhogs and squirrels in the area.

“There is quite a proliferation of these
animals in the area,” he said, noting he
has discussed the issue with pest control
companies and neighbours. These types
of animals can be a hazard as they can
carry diseases like rabies, tear up gardens
and chew through power lines, he added.
“I’m just wondering what the city can do?”

Councillor Dida Berku told Gilfix there
is little the city can do because of provincial
law. The councillor reiterated what is on
the city’s website – residents can contact
the Montreal SPCA to report wild animals,
but not much can be done as animals cannot
be caged unless they are trapped in a
ceiling, roof, shed or enclosed balcony
area. Even then, the animals are released
in the area, most often on the property,
and then residents are encouraged to repair
whatever route the animal used to get
trapped.

Councillor Glenn Nashen said the animals
just return to the property, he said,
and moving them a limited distance
doesn’t get rid of them. Nashen said he
has had a skunk on his property for the
last three year and he has explored all of
his option, but he’s discovered that he is
virtually “powerless” when it comes to getting
rid of the animal. The SPCA can, the
site notes, recommend techniques and
products to deter these animals, but animals
are only removed if they are sick or
injured.

Brownstein touts upcoming play

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, a staunch
supporter of and participant in the Côte
St. Luc Dramatic Society, touted the
group’s upcoming presentation of Florida,
an original musical parody slated to hit
the stage later this month. The play will
be put on at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium
on August 25, 27 and 28.

According to the Dramatic Society’s website,
the play “is written and directed by
Ari Sterlin. Inspired by the award-winning
Chicago, Florida features 15 seniors from
Côte St. Luc and tons of fun and exciting
song and dance numbers.”

Senior drop-in centre coming to the ACC

The council approved a partnership
agreement between the Cummings Centre
and the city to provide a senior drop-in
centre in a fully renovated room with an
accessible bathroom in the Aquatic Community
Centre.

The city, said Brownstein, spent about
$10,000 on creating a space for this program,
which caters to seniors with health
problems such as dementia and Alz –
heimer’s. The service gives caregivers a
break, he noted, as they can leave the
seniors in the care of professionals.

The drop-in centre will replace that
which was closed earlier this year after
government funding was pulled.

Excavation draft by-law approved

The council approved a draft by-law that
prohibits the excavation of any lot or land
without written permission issued by the
city’s director. It also requires that completely
opaque construction fencing be
erected around excavation sites.

New chairs

Côte St. Luc’s city hall has all-new, contemporary
seating. The chairs were installed
over the summer in both city hall
and the Harold Greenspon Auditorium,
said Brownstein, noting the more comfortable
seating may encourage more attendance
of council meetings.

 

 

Free Press | Aug. 16, 2016 | Click to enlarge

Free Press | Aug. 16, 2016 | Click to enlarge

“Florida” hits the stage in Cote Saint-Luc

Leave a comment

Florida CSLDS 2016

The latest musical parody swept into Cote Saint-Luc last night at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium in CSL City Hall as the CSL Dramatic Society presented Ari Sterlin’s “Florida”, a take-off on the Broadway musical hit production of Chicago.

Star of stage and council meetings, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, opened the show saying, “Providing members of our community with the ability to exercise their passions while bringing arts and culture to the community is a core value and fundamental reason for which the City of Cote Saint-Luc decided to establish a Dramatic Society. Actors and audiences benefit alike creating a better quality of life for all to enjoy.”

The chorus of Florida, a Seniors Summerworks Production

The chorus of Florida, a Seniors Summerworks Production

The fast-paced humour, dancing and singing highlights the talents of many returning local actors. Notably, senior performers Judy Kenigsberg (Roxie Hartkovitch), Hannah Scheffren (Velma Cohen) and Councillor Sam Goldbloom (Moe Sunshine) kibbitz and cajole in a fun-loving way as youngster Jordana Kujavsky (Mama Moses) returns to the CSL stage and wows the crowd with dimples and gusto.

Hannah Scheffren (left) and Judy Kenigsberg, and all the jazz

Hannah Scheffren (left) and Judy Kenigsberg, and all the jazz

 

Rookie CSLDS actor Louis Schiff (Amos) does a funny solo number, Cellophane Rabbi, while another first-timer Dan Sterlin puts on an impressive sleaze-bucket lawyer performance as Billy Schwartz.

Based in Cemetery Village in South Florida the parody pokes fun at Bubbies and Zaides. Florida tells the story of a past-her-prime vaudeville star and a new hopeful on the scene who will find themselves locked up together in Florida’s finest penitentiary after having committed horrible crimes toward their men. Ari Sterlin does a fine job at  writing, directing and choreographing this spoof production.

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor "Moe Sunshine" Sam Goldbloom

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor “Moe Sunshine” Sam Goldbloom

This show is a Senior Summerworks Production pairing senior citizens with emerging young artists. The artistic director is none other than the incomparable, talented and energetic Anisa Cameron.

If you wait you’ll miss it so go get your tickets before it’s too late. Last night’s opening performance was sold out. There are just four performances this weekend: two afternoon matinees and two evening shows, this Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 27 and 28). Visit www.CSLDramaticSociety.com for details or get your tickets at the Aquatic and Community Centre or the Public Library.

CSL Mayor on first 100 days in office

Leave a comment

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein gives a quick update on his first 100 days in office and on latest developments on Fleet Road, Cavendish extension, CP Rail, city events and staying in close contact with constituents.

Older Entries