Ottawa·The Weekend List

Ottawa comes alive in story and song this weekend

A monstrous opera, the "arrow songs" of a Canadian music icon and a story ripped straight from the deadlines make this weekend's cut.

A monstrous opera, a Canadian icon's 'arrow songs' and a story ripped from the headlines

New Zealander Bradley Christensen plays the misunderstood monster. (Sandra Abma/CBC)

A monstrous opera, the "arrow songs" of a Canadian music icon and a story ripped straight from the headlines make this weekend's cut.

It's alive!

Ottawa composer Andrew Ager breathes new life into Mary Shelley's classic horror story Frankenstein with a full-scale opera based on the gothic tale.

Tenor Lenard Whiting is mad scientist Victor Frankenstein, while baritone Bradley Christensen takes on the role of his towering creation.

"I play the monster as someone who is misunderstood, who is trying to find their place in the world," Christensen said. "It is Victor who is actually the monster."

  • When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Carleton Dominon-Chalmers Centre, 355 Cooper St.
  • Cost: Tickets range from $30 to $47.50 and can be purchased here.

Gordon Lightfoot's 'arrow songs'

With more than 200 melodies to choose from, it wasn't going to be easy. But the cast of the musical review Lightfoot in Song somehow managed to winnow down the Canadian songsmith's vast output to a few of their favourites. 

Lightfoot's range of material is breathtaking, both as a chronicler of Canadian history and troubadour of heartbreak.

The ensemble, made up of local actors and musicians Pierre Brault, Rachel Eugster, Robin Guy and Scott Richardson, perform and share stories of moments made memorable by the legendary musician.

"Each performer chose an arrow song, a song that just hits you in the heart," director Eleanor Crowder said.

  • Where: The Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Ave.
  • When: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $40 for adults, $36 for seniors and $24 for students and artists. Tickets can be purchased here.

Ripped from the headlines

Toronto actor Michael Ayres plays Jackie, a former child star who's looking for a role in the movie. (Andrew Alexander)

In Kat Sandler's play Bang Bang, a white author pens a book based on a real-life tragedy: the shooting of an unarmed black man by a black police officer. 

When the book is optioned for a movie, those who actually suffered through the ordeal have something to say about it.  The result is a provocative new play told with humour and plenty of fireworks. 

"I think the play is really about who tells what stories," said actor Michael Ayres, who plays a young black actor in line for a role in the upcoming film.   

Bang Bang asks the audience "if it's OK for someone to tell someone else's story, if that person doesn't get the opportunity to tell that story themselves," Ayres said.

  • Where: GCTC, 1233 Wellington St. W.
  • When: Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. The play runs until Nov. 11.
  • Cost: Tickets range from $39 to $55 and can be purchased here.

About the Author

Sandra Abma

Journalist

Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at sandra.abma@cbc.ca.