It takes a lot of effort to present these concerts and Christmas is a good time to say thanks to our volunteers who work hard and do it with grace and good cheer, so thank you to Ada, Brian, Duncan, Evva, Fran, Jason, Jennifer, Judy, Lillian, Susan, Sytske and Topaz. Special thanks to Lucy for all her input over the years and to Tomek who has guided us in the workings of social media (Facebook, Instagram etc.).
I’ve long been a fan of Charles Dickens, in fact one of my best Christmas presents was when my husband gave me a complete set of Dickens, a gift that was facilitated by Tony Quarrington who at that time was working a couple of days a week in his friend’s book shop. For several years now it’s been Tony’s Christmas tradition to re-read a Dickens book; this year I’m joining him in this and we’re going to read “Little Dorrit”. If anyone wants to join us perhaps we’ll get together early in the New Year to discuss the book.
Dickens was a keen amateur dramatist and often staged plays (which, I’m sure he also wrote) at his home, coercing his children and guests to take part. He was also famous for his readings on his book tours when, to packed rooms, he would act out all the parts, no small feat as his books are packed with memorable characters. He would throw himself into these readings and by the end of the performance he was often in a state of collapse.
Hopefully, this won’t be the case with John Huston (www.dickensperformer.com) when he returns to Acoustic Harvest on December 8th to treat us to his reading of “A Christmas Carol”. John says:
"As usual with my Toronto appearances, The MadriGALS will perform carols from the Middle–Ages to Dickens’s day and provide musical underscoring during the performance. We’ve been performing together for over a decade and a half. This is the production that the National Post called “powerful one man theatre in the hands of a master storyteller.” (1999)
And Lillian says:
"I have seen John Huston’s brilliant, engaging and riveting production several times over the years and it continues to captivate and take audiences on a thrilling historical journey into the past; it’s sheer magic! The MadriGALS will provide their sweet harmony accompaniment and seasonal songs."
I say you shouldn’t miss this show, this is as close to seeing Mr Dickens as I could imagine and a great start to the Christmas season. If, like me, you’re a little slow getting into the spirit of the season this will give you a push in the right direction.
This show will be sponsored by Cliffside Meats, (cliffsidemeats.com) a fine local business operated by Gord Doucet since 1985. Our thanks to Gord, his sponsorship is much appreciated.
Another good way to get into the Christmas spirit could be St. Paul’s United Cookie Walk. We discovered it last year and it’s a great deal. For $12.00 you get a cake box and fill it with a wide variety of cookies baked by the members of the congregation and they were all delicious. This starts at 10.00 am on Saturday, December 8th and a word of advice, get there early. We arrived at 10:20 last year and many of the cookie platters were already empty and the whole thing was sold out by around 10:30.
Chris McKhool (www.fiddlefire.com) founding member of the Sultans of String is also well known for his childrens musical performances, in particular his show “Celebrate! Holidays of The Global Village” a show celebrating the different customs and festivities enjoyed in Canada. December 9th he’ll be at Kingston Road United Church at 2pm, the show is free for children and teens