Provocative theatre and musical interludes for the weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend? The CBC's Sandra Abma has some picks for you.

Looking for something to do this weekend? The CBC's Sandra Abma has some picks for you.

Strangers in a new land

Arabesque typically entertain at family and community gatherings. (Grace Sheng)

Seven Syrian refugees, family men who fled different parts of their war-torn homeland at different times, eventually settled in Ottawa and Gatineau and met for the first time at a local church.  

A love of traditional Syrian folk music brought them together and they began entertaining at weddings and family gatherings. They've called their ensemble Arabesque and will perform their first official concert on Saturday night.

"We are so happy together, we are like brothers now," said band leader and keyboardist Dani Najjar, who works as a pharmacist by day.

Najjar says the musicians want to share the traditions of Syrian music with a wider audience.

"Music is the international language," said Najjar. "Maybe you can't understand the lyrics, but the feeling of the music is clear."

  • Where: St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 70 James St.
  • When: Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
  • Cost; Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Children 16 and under, accompanied by adults are free. Tickets can be purchased here
  • Keyboardist Dani Najjar and singer George Salem perform Syrian folk music as part of Arabesque. 0:40

To breed or not to breed 
Matt Hertendy and Megan Carty play the couple in Lungs who are having trouble deciding if they should have a baby. (Paul Griffin)

That is the question a couple grapples with in the play Lungs. Back by popular demand, the award-winning hit from last season's fringe festival is back in the intimate Arts Court Library, which sits 50 people.

Actors Megan Carty and Matt Hertendy reprise their roles as a couple wrestling with ethical questions about bringing a child into a crazy world.

"It's a relatable story for people of all ages," said Carty.

"People were moved to tears, moved to laughter," said Carty about the summer run of the play. "It was a visceral experience sharing the story." 

  • Where: Library at Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave. 
  • When: Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Lungs runs until Jan. 20.
  • Cost: Tickets run from $12 to $20 and can be purchased here.
Actors Megan Carty and Matt Hertendy play a couple wrestling with the decision to procreate. 0:30

Son of a Bach!    
The four musicians of Infusion Baroque endeavour to keep their performances of early music engaging and informative. (Danylo Bobyk)

Montreal early music quartet Infusion Baroque presents Son of a Bach — an introduction to the extended musical family tree from Johann Sebastian Bach to his talented offspring.

Through anecdotes and historical facts and a lot of music, the players will bring the musical personalities to life.

The four musicians, who perform on historical instruments, make a point ot kicking the stuffiness out of classical music concerts by playing games, telling anecdotes and even holding spooky murder mystery nights set to music.

  • Where: Old Town Hall, 14 Bridge St., Almonte.
  • When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • Cost:  $15 for students and $35 for adults. Tickets can be purchased here.