Parrywinkle October 29, 2015

So how was your weekend, dear readers? I spent a good deal of mine on a witch hunt in the woods. Together with four other frenzied, maniacal, mud-splattered, black-draped Puritan Pilgrims right out of Salem, Massachusetts, back in the late 1600s. And all brandishing muskets, swords, knives, axes, and even a knotted noose in pursuit of a winsome witch who we were determined to hang from the highest tree!

Our clothing was daubed in dirt and soil from the forest floor. Our hair was matted with leaves. And blood ran freely from the scratches and cuts on our faces. Understandable really considering that ‘for days’ we had been charging through the bush and sleeping under the stars and personal hygiene was not our priority as we slogged through swamps in search of our ever-elusive prey.

Carrying flaming torches while running pell-mell down slippery leaf-covered slopes. Traversing oozing bogs littered with dead and dying trees that, at times, sucked the boots right off our feet. Slipping on moss-covered rocks and boulders that simply boggled the mind. One minute in bright sunshine, the next in driving rain and even the odd snow flake.

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MAGICAL MUSIC VIDEO - Oh, we were an ugly looking wild bunch to be sure. But that folks was the whole point of the exercise. For we were up in the truly awesome Kenauk Nature Park in Montebello shooting a music video together with McKinnon brothers - Ben and Sebastian - of Montreal-based Five Knights Productions fame.

Due for release next month and hauntingly beautiful, it was for an American singer out of New York by the name of Anna Madsen and the title is Palm Reader. And I have to tell you, it was a real blast. In more senses than one. In that Kenauk is a favourite spot for real-life hunters. And this is hunting season!

Here were we with dummy muskets. And there were them blasting away with real ammo in the distance. Not that we were ever in any danger, I hasten to add. As Ben, the director, and the video’s producer, Joel Martinez, had obviously cleared our shooting locations with park management and all the hunters had been alerted to our presence.

Having ‘worked’ with them both as an actor in Salvage shot in Newfoundland as part of the KIN Fables Trilogy in March last year and subsequently screened by the Hudson Film Society at Hudson Village Theatre, it was a real pleasure to be reunited with them. This time around with Sebastian playing the role of a fellow Pilgrim as opposed to working behind the camera.

Same for everyone else in the cast and crew who I met for the first time. Namely, actors Alexandre Richard, Ben Granet, Marc André Gaudreau-Pepin, and Francis Cadieux, a top model in New York with a home here in Quebec and visiting with his wife Stephanie and their pet pooch, Spot, and the lovely Lucinda ‘Lulu’ Lovering in the role of the witch. Also our supremely talented art director and make-up artist, Tamsen Rae, who back-combed my hair so that my hat would fit, and camera operators Kacim Steets and Alexi Vigneault.

Just can’t wait to see the final video. And, if you do, I’m the one with the long hair, crinkly muddy face, ferocious look, and all dressed in black with murder in my eyes. Ah, forget it. We all looked like that!

And now to other positive happenings in this fair burg of ours on the eve of Halloween when ghouls, goblins and, I trust, witches will be out trick or treating and having fun. Just as we did up in Kenauk!

For more photos, see our Facebook page.

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JAMES CAGNEY MEETS PUCK - And still on the theatre scene, Lakeshore Players is all set to stage the first show in its 51st season of community theatre. It’s Shakespeare in Hollywood, by Ken Ludwig, and it’s being presented at the Louise Chalmers Theatre at John Rennie High School from November 5 to 14.

Winner of the prestigious Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play in 2004, this comedy is sure to cast a spell on you. Set, as it is, on a fateful morning in 1934, when the Bard’s most famous fairies, Oberon and Puck, have taken a wrong turn on their way back home.

As luck would have it, they have walked onto the movie set of Max Reinhardt’s new motion picture A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After rubbing elbows with Dick Powell, James Cagney, and Louella Parsons, these Shakespearean stars bring their own brand of love triangles to this Hollywood scene.

The cast is made up of faces familiar and new to Lakeshore audiences. And the creative team behind the production is led by Corey Castle (director) and includes Lise Fortin (stage manager), Steve Gillam (set design), Alex Smith (light design), Andrés Macleod (sound design), and Jo-Ann Pine (costume design).

The dates are November 5 to 7 and 12 to 14 with showtime at 8 p.m. and November 8 and 14 with matinee at 2 p.m. at the Louise Chalmers Theatre, 501 St-Jean Blvd., Pointe Claire. For reservations, call the Box Office at (514) 631-8718. And enjoy the show!

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GORGEOUS GALA - Beginning with the simply superb and sensationally successful Hudson Village Theatre’s 23rd Annual Gala that I attended with my beautiful Sunshine and which was staged recently at the Whitlock Golf & Country Club raising over $80,000 and still counting for our little treasure by the tracks. With incredible support not only from the local community but also from individuals and companies who have come to appreciate what a significant role it plays year round.

Brilliant raffle baskets, 10 fantastic donated draws for the live auction conducted in his inimitable style by Fraser Lawrence, and the unique, incredible performance by a certain Dr. Draw playing an electric violin like you have never heard it before. And probably never will again unless you catch him at some future show.

On a personal level, and making the evening even more enjoyable, were our delightful table companions for the evening comprising not only Fraser but also his parents, Michael & Jill, Ginette Neidy, HVT executive director Kalina Skulska, Trevor & Daniel Palmer, and Norm & Maureen Decelles.

Said Kalina this week, “On behalf of the Hudson Village Theatre Board of Directors and all the volunteers who worked so hard to create this magical gala, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to its success. Enjoying a wonderful evening while helping to ensure that we will continue to play a vital role here in our community all year round.”

A big bravo one and all!

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FABULOUS FASHION SHOW - And what a fabulous fashion show it was at the Auberge Willow Inn last week when volunteers at the NOVA Boutique on Main Road not only organized but also modeled a stunning fashion show spotlighting donated clothing - including an eye-popping collection of gowns and ladies eveningwear - while raising some $3,000 for the boutique. Which, in turn, sells year round to support our NOVA Hudson team and its programs.

The boutique, incidentally, has just expanded. Having taken over space formerly rented by the driving school there. Necessitating, it goes without saying, an increase in rent. Check it out next time you are in the village, if you haven’t already. You will be amazed!

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MUSIC FOR MEALS - And still on a positive note for the benefit of the community, there’s going to be a great concert on Saturday, November 7, at 7.30 p.m. at St. James’ Anglican Church Hall for Le Pont/Bridging Food Bank featuring local musicians including Carolina Pla, Vivianne LaRiviere, John Manning, The Greenwood Singers, Bill Riley & Friends, Lianne Bridges, and the St. James' Church Choir.

It’s billed as That They May Be Fed and tickets at $20 a pop are available from the church office, also at Source Santé at 484A Main Road in Hudson in the IGA building or by calling (514) 594-2055. And hope to see you there!

And that’s a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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