• James Parry

Parrywinkle March 23, 2017

Last week on this page, I kind of went off on a rant about the deplorable state of Hudson's roads and streets that are an eyesore and a potential hazard for motorists and pedestrians alike. Well this week, to give credit where credit is due, I would like to congratulate the Town on staging - together with the organizing committee and countless volunteers, of course - an absolutely marvelous St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 18. As always, just before the biggie in Montreal, and with thousands of out-of-towners and participants joining in the fun.

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PERFECT PARADE - From my perspective and that of my beautiful Sunshine, it was flawless, with over 70 floats and participating groups both big and small. Four marching bands, and perfect weather, as predicted by chief reviewing officer, Eramelinda Boquer, the weather gal on Andrew Carter's morning show on CJAD who showed up with both hands and wrists strapped up following an early morning fall on the ice just days before.

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Hudson’s Irishman of the Year 2017 Father Roland Demers met up with three local mayors and other VIPs at the Hudson Fire Station just before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday. From left to right, Robert Grimaudo (St. Lazare), Ed Prevost (Hudson), and Hans Gruenwald Jr. (Rigaud).

This year also saw sensible security barriers along certain sections of Main Road, temporary no-parking signs on streets in the immediate impacted areas, and Sanivac porta-potties seemingly everywhere. And not one negative incident of rowdiness or bad stuff to report.

In fact, walking down tranquil Main early Sunday morning, you would be hard pressed to imagine that it had even happened. But it did, and a big bravo to all who made it possible. You made Hudson proud!

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TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT - Now, have I ever mentioned in this column about the first time I donned western duds and tried out line dancing on a beach in the Caribbean? Nah, probably not. It was too embarrassing. As was my second and third attempt aboard a cruise ship somewhere in the Mediterranean in between ports of call when I tried to be an ocean liner. Ouch!

In fact, embarrassing is putting it mildly. Truth be told, it was pathetic. Everyone going right clapping hands, and yours truly going left, slapping my ankles. Everyone stepping backwards, me going forwards. Everyone… Well, you get the picture. Tell you folks, you didn't want to be there!

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GETTING IN LINE - Why am I mentioning this, you are probably asking yourself? Because I have just enrolled - at least for the first session - for an upcoming weekly line dancing class hosted by long-time practitioner and teacher, Judy Chambers, of Crazy Legs Dancers fame, that will be held on Tuesday evenings at Wyman United Memorial Church, 513 Main in Hudson through until early June.

And not just because I want to look better on the dance floor, I hasten to add. But because as I learned from Judy this week, it is also said to benefit the heart and cardiovascular system, increase lung capacity, improve balance, coordination, and flexibility, and strengthen bones and keeps joints lubricated. Oh yes, and before I forget, she also says that it improves memory and concentration, develops self-confidence, and elevates one's mood by raising endorphin levels.

Says Judy, “Line dancing is ageless, no prior experience is necessary, and it is fun for the entire family. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes, a willing attitude, and a smile.”

Ah, be still my Achy Breaky Heart. But I'm going to give it a shot anyway, endorphins kicking in or not. And if you would like to know more, just give Judy a buzz at (613) 632-3083 or e-mail her at crazylegsdanceclub@gmail.com and perhaps I'll see you on the dance floor. Well, at least for the first class, And forgive me if I bash into you or step on your toes!

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FREE FILM FOR CANADA'S BIRTHDAY - And now from dance to the silver screen. It's being billed as the world's largest one-day film festival ever with great Canadian movies showcased at over 800 screenings in cinemas, libraries, public squares, and just about anywhere you can show a film across Canada.

To be held on Wednesday, April 19, it's in honour of our nation's sesquicentennial - don't you just love that word? - and it is titled National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150). And guess what? Hudson is part of it.

I learned from Clint Ward, president of the Hudson Film Society (HFS), this week that there will be two free screenings of the critically acclaimed Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. The 1993 Canadian film about the pianist Glenn Gould, played by Colm Feore, directed by François Girard, and with a screenplay by Girard and Don McKellar which won four Genie Awards and Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) of which HFS is a member through its outreach program, Film Circuit.

PHOTO COURTESY CLINT WARD

A still from the film Thirty Two Short Films About Glen Gould being screened free at Hudson Village Theatre on April 19 in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Says Clint, “With generous funding from the Canadian government, this is an initiative of REEL Canada, which has been introducing Canadian film to high school students and new Canadians since 2005, and it is a tremendous opportunity for Canadians of all ages and backgrounds to gather and enjoy the wealth of work by our nation's storytellers.

“It was created as a new way to celebrate this great nation, embrace Canadian cinema, and have some fun. And what better way to commemorate Canada's birthday than with an innovative cultural celebration such as this which we are proud to be part of.”

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THIRTY TWO FILMS IN ONE - As for the film itself - to be screened at Hudson Village Theatre, 28 Wharf Road, April 19, at 2 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. - this does not present a single narrative, but rather a series of 32 short films. Including documentaries and interviews with people who knew him, re-creations of scenes from Gould's life, and various odd items in which animated spheres reminiscent of those in Norman McLaren's animations move to Gould's music.

The free tickets can be picked up at Pure Art Boutique, 422 Main Road, Hudson. But don't leave it too late as they are moving fast!

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BRAVO FOR BALCONVILLE - As are tickets for the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award winning two-act drama, Balconville, being staged by our very own volunteer-run community theatre group, The Hudson Players Club, playing at HVT April 6 through 16.

Considered to be Canadian playwright David Fennario's best play ever, the story takes place in Pointe-Saint-Charles, a neighbourhood of Montreal that was one of Canada's first industrial slums and it unfolds during a hot summer in which Montreal's major league baseball team, the Montreal Expos, were playing well.

PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY

Director Glen Robinson brings David Fennario’s award-winning drama Balconville to Hudson in April

Says director, Glen Robinson, “First performed at the Centaur Theatre in 1979, the play explores the socio-economic rumblings of this ethnic melting pot, including the ongoing French/English question as it was perceived at that time and it makes for riveting viewing.”

Well, we may have lost the Expos, and the language strife of the time in which the play is set is thankfully behind us, but one thing remains constant. The Hudson Players Club, founded in 1948 and the longest-running community theatre group in the Province of Quebec, is a Hudson treasure that continues to bring great productions to our region showcasing local talent that is well worth supporting. And for tickets go to hudsonplayersclub.ca

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BRILLIANT BROADWAY - And still on the theatre scene, this Friday through Sunday afternoon (March 26) is your last chance to catch the brilliant Broadway-style Into the Woods: The Musical. Directed by Philippe Gobeille and being staged in its 65th anniversary year by the Hudson Music Club at Hudson Village Theatre. Caught the show this past weekend and it's a winner folks.

An evocative, stunning set by the inimitable Jean-Claude Olivier, fabulous fashions by Gail Marchand, superb choreography on such a small stage, and a multi-faceted cast with talent and an 'esprit de corps' worthy of Off Broadway, if not Broadway itself!

For reservations call the Box Office at (450) 458-5361 and enjoy the show!

And that's a wrap!

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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