Arts & Entertainment

Keep up to date on local art, new albums, and everything entertainment-related.

The Bald Soprano has some playgoers scratching their heads

Director Julien Naggar’s production of The Bald Soprano transports the audience into an absurd world that nonetheless seems strangely familiar. Playing this week at the TNC Theatre in Morrice Hall, The Bald Soprano brings TNC’s 2009-2010 season to a climactic finish with its parlour-room madness, reshaping expectations and challenging presumptions.

John le Carré: the spy who loved fiction

The 2010 International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal kicks off on March 18, featuring 230 films from 23 countries. Shortlisted from this group are a competitive selection of 43 films from 14 countries (including eight entries from Quebec). Buzzed films from the competitive group include Je M’Appelle Denis Gagnon, a documentary about the Quebec fashion designer who made quite an impression at Montreal Fashion Week; The Real World of Peter Gabriel, on the Genesis lead singer; and perhaps most intriguing, King of Spies: John le Carré, a documentary about the life’s work of a spy-turned-fiction writer.

Sex, violence, and more violence

Joy Fielding’s The Wild Zone begins when a personal trainer, a dishonourably discharged Afghanistan war veteran, and a Princeton philosophy Ph.D. walk into a bar and make a bet over who can sleep with the pretty, quiet girl alone with her martini. Suzy Bigelow, naturally, has secrets and an agenda of her own, and she leads them all on a wild and deadly ride which, though two-dimensional, is remarkably compelling.

The White Stripes trade stage lights for Northern lights

Jack White is a busy guy. Playing in three successful bands (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather), taking on small roles in feature films, and running a production company in Tennessee doesn’t seem to be enough. White claims he likes to make things difficult for himself, so within a single year he signed on for two documentary films; It Might Get Loud was released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008, and Emmett Malloy’s The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights – filmed during the band’s tour across Canada in 2007 – premiered there last year.

CD REVIEWS: Zeus: Say Us

Zeus’ debut album Say Us may want to make you skip spring altogether: it’s got summer written all over it. Getting their start as Jason Collett’s backing band, the men of Zeus have crafted an album of hooks, harmonies, and good ol’ fashioned rock. And I mean ol’ fashioned when I say it; almost everything from the guitar tones to the aforementioned harmonies have a strong retro vibe that recall the best of the sixties.

POP RHETORIC: An in-credible end

The music at the Winter Olympics was terrible. It was painfully obvious that the majority of televised performances were lip-synched, and that god-awful theme song “I Believe” was so sappy I could’ve poured it on my pancakes. But without a doubt the most disappointing and flat-out embarassing moment of these Olympics for fans of Canadian music was the closing ceremonies.

CD REVIEWS: Ellie Goulding: Lights

Ever since listening to her hauntingly beautiful, Imogen Heap-esque cover of Bon Iver’s “Wolves,” I’ve been hooked on British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and eagerly anticipating her debut LP, Lights. After her first single “Under the Sheets” became an instant hit on British radio, the London it-girl has garnered a massive wave of hype and been labeled one of this year’s hottest new artists.