You've come a long way, baby. Seems like just yesterday that charismatic character comic Gavin Crawford was an unknown, unannounced, last-minute addition to Maggie Cassella's We're Funny That Way opening-night bash. But it's been three years since he showed up at her door with video in hand, and the rest, as they say, is history. Having taken Second City by storm, he's now poised to become a TV star in The Gavin Crawford Show on the Comedy Network, and is throwing a party to prove it.
At Alt.COMedy Lounge on Monday (June 19), Gavin & Friends will rock the Rivoli -- the friends being people who appear on the show (Jen Irwin, Nugmutter, Jo-Anna Downey, Lisa Brooke, Mary Pat Farrell, Doug Morency and Sandy Jobin-Bevans) and guests who don't (Winston Spear and Kristeen von Hagen) -- after they watch the premiere telecast. Crawford hosts, as all of his characters.
What's it like to be thrown out of your country? Does your culture stay intact? The Wild Stage: An Evening Of German Cabaret, draws on the performance style and material from Berlin cabaret of the 20s and 30s to look at a group of artists whose work -- and persons -- were soon to be rejected by an increasingly menacing government.
"We've built the show around Kurt Weill, who turned out to be an incredible artistic chameleon," says organizer and performer Alex Fallis. "His writing morphed as he travelled west, for his French songs sound like they could have been written for Piaf and his later American stuff echoes Broadway musicals."
The cabaret evening -- music, sketches, poetry by Weill and lesser-known talents -- is a funder for The Real Smile Project, a show that draws on Weill's songs to explore themes of exile, compromise and what one takes and leaves behind.
The cast of 23 features some powerhouse performers, among them John Alcorn, Allen Cole, Richard Greenblatt, Randi Helmers, Laura Hubert, Karen Randoja, Tanja Jacobs, Kelly McIntosh, John Millard and Martha Ross. Saturday (June 17) at Barcode (549 College). 530-0785.
Unable to expand in its home on Queen West, the Theatre Centre is moving. Joining forces with the dispossessed Music Gallery, the Centre is seeking a downtown home to buy and renovate.
The collaboration is a purposeful one, since both companies help germinate and then present new work at different points in its development.
As of July, the Theatre Centre temporarily locates its office and some of its events at Nightwood Theatre on St. Nicholas. On tap for its upcoming season are workshops of Semi-Precious, a piece by Gabrielle Kemeny based on a Moliere play, and Honestly (Don't Tell Anyone), an interdisciplinary show by Fiona Highet, Carol Gillis, Caroline Gillis and Martha Hancock.
Also look for the annual dance/theatre fest Body Geometry, a collaboration with Quebec's Carbone 14 called Woman As Landscape, and a remount of Learie McNicolls' award-winning Armour, which goes off to London after its Toronto run.