Field Notes


Anya Nesviatylo as Regan in Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s King Lear. Photo by Aleksandr Onyschenko. (Next year they should do The Matrix, hey wa)

Kerri Breen is in ur field, taking notes.

Bent into shape
Bent, a 1979 play by Martin Sherman, is set in Nazi Germany. It follows Max, who is living with his boyfriend Rudy, but is sleeping around.

“And on the Night of the Long Knives, when Hitler decides to overthrow the SA, Max takes home the wrong guy—he ends up bringing home one of the storm troopers that’s on the hit list,” says Sandy Gow, artistic associate of C2C and director of Bent.

Then, for about two years, Max has to hide from the Nazis. Eventually he ends up in a concentration camp, where he meets Horst. Max opts for the Star of David over the pink triangle, but when the right time comes, he finds dignity in admitting that he is gay.

“Horst explains to him what it means to be gay in the camps,” Gow says.

The play, nominated for both a Pulitzer and a Tony award, has drawn attention to the experiences of gay men in Nazi Germany. It’s not purely a grim, historical experience, however.

“In all of the dark stuff of the time, there’s always humour, hey,” Gow says. “Even when they’re in the camps we see Horst usually tries to touch things from a lighter perspective.”

“I think at the heart of it, it’s really a love story,” says Jon Montes, who is playing Horst.

The play stars Phil Goodridge, who just finished up as the lead in Rocky Horror, as Max. Bent runs from April 1 to 5 at the Arts and Culture Centre Basement theatre.

Return of the King
Necessity’s sharp pinch!

The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada’s production of King Lear was supposed to grace St. John’s in late January, but because of bad weather the crew ended up getting stuck on the ferry and the show was cancelled.

But, as the cliché goes, the show must go on—even if it is a few months late getting here.

Lear is now happening on April 9 at the Arts and Culture Centre. This is the first time the tragedy, which toured the rest of Atlantic Canada last fall, has been adapted for the ballet.

Artistic Director Igor Dobrovolskiy, who choreographed and conceived Lear, says it’s not quite Shakespeare’s tragedy of the ego as we know it.

“But believe me it doesn’t lose any Shakespearian flavour or drama,” he says.

His ambitious adaptation of Lear holds dear the theme of the conflict between generations; the conflict between Lear and his triflin’ daughters.

“This major idea comes through the whole performance,” he says.

The music was composed by soviet-era Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Check out a preview of the play at atlanticballet.ca.

Insert “idle” pun here
Rest assured that the love-spreading, 11-piece reggae crew is up to something. This time, they’re in Woodstock, New York working on a record.

“[Bad Brains bassist] Darryl Jenifer is mixing our album right now 100 feet away from us,” says Mark Wilson, who sings and plays trumpet with the band. “He is awesome and the album is going to be a nice mix of our tunes with vintage equipment and microphones.”

Jenifer worked as a producer on the Bedouin Soundclash albums Sounding a Mosaic and Street Gospels.

The Idlers are also working with Grammy-winning engineer Phil Burnett. They will be back in town on Friday, March 27 to play a gig at the Rockhouse.

In the meantime, you can keep up with them on their blog at theidlers.ca or on Twitter at twitter.com/Idlers.

Summoning the fleet
The rumours are true. After a fury of successful tributes—Cohen, Springsteen, Simon—local heavyweights will honour Fleetwood Mac. “Go your own way” features Janet Cull, Natalie Noseworthy, and Dana Parsons on vocals.

The tour, based on a 2008’s sold out show, will hit up Arts and Culture Centres across the province. The St. John’s concert is on April 8.

Up to something field noteworthy? E-mail kerri@thescope.ca