Arts Hudson

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Calendar of Events

Regional Events

Art's Hudson

Featured Artist:
Solange Villeneuve

Featured Organization:
Village Theatre

Featured Musician:
Roger Mann

Hudson Film Society:
Film Festival

Charles Becker

Players Club:
Alice in Wonderland

Fuzzballs Studio

Featured Event:
Pirates of Penzance

Featured Website:
Radio Hudson

Featured Links

Hudson Map


Art's Hudson

Art MacDonald is the nom de plume, or possibly nom de guerre, of the people acting as editor of the Arts Hudson magazine. Art is a character in his own right, an artist and a writer, with his own email address and website. Friend him on Facebook.

Things slow down after Christmas as far as the arts are concerned but the Village Theatre Pantomime carried on into January. It even had a couple of performances of the “adult version,” which featured the donkey growing a large masculine appendage, the more attractive members of the cast stripping down to the essential for some of the dance numbers, and general lewd merriment. Many audience members were absolutely scandalized and enjoyed every minute. The picture below shows some of the cast members in the kid-friendly version. Village Theatre says this year’s Panto was both an artistic and finacial success.

Our featured artist this issue is Solange Villeneuve. Her paintings are made up of bold strokes with a stylized representation of her subjects, as you can see in the work below, titled, “Feeding.”

Solange was born in Quebec and lives in Hudson. Some of her works have bright colors and others are more sombre, with a blue-grey tinge. She says she is inspired mainly by her own imagination. You can see several examples of her work in our piece starting on page five.

After the panto, we saw Roger Mann playing at the Willow and then again at Chez Maurice in St. Lazare. Roger has been playing backup and in other people’s bands all his life but is now going to strike out more on his own. His Roger Mann Band played a sold out concert at Whitlock last year as part of the Hudson Music Festival, and last February the band played at Chez Maurice for an entertaining evening. Roger with his guitar is below and we have a short feature on Roger Mann (see index on left).

Still back in January we went to see The Film Society Opera Series, “Die Fledermaus.” The projection picture quality is flawless and the piece, which includes dialogue and is very accessible to people not knowledgeable about opera, was excellently performed and presented.

Village Theatre organized their annual HA-Larious Hudson Comedy weekend in January, and their Josh Oskrdal Children’s Series, with “When Elefant was King,” in February and “Yorgo and the World” in March are popular and a great success. We have more about the news from Village Theatre (see index on left), and details of their collaboration with the Hudson Music Club on “Oklahoma” below.

At the beginning of March, the Film Society presented their annual DocFest festival of documentaries. A stand-out was the film about Canadian painter Tom Thomson. The film portrayed his life and many of his works, as well as his mysterious death in a canoe accident in Algonquin Park in 1917.

Thomson was 39 years old and at the peak of his artistic career. His iconic painting “Jack Pine” is below.

At the end of April and the beginning of May the Film Society will present its annual Film Festival. The focus used to be “Love, Oscars and Hudson Connections” but this year it is a line-up of powerful films that have won awards or are otherwise noteworthy. See our feature (see index on left) for more information.

The big show of the spring was the musical “Oklahoma,” co-produced by the Village Theatre and the Hudson Music Club. The Music Club tried out the stage at the Village Theatre last summer with the musical presentation “In the Mood,” and it was a great success. The big challenge was presenting a large cast musical on the small Village Theatre stage. Going with a box set, some folded up drops and careful blocking made it work.

In view of the challenges faced by the staging, the Hudson Music Club presented an excellent show. The set changed smoothly from a front yard to a forest clearing to the inside of a shack and back. Directed by local theatre professionals Glen Bowser and Karen Cromar, the show moved smoothly through hits like, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” “Surrey with a Fringe on Top,” and, of course, “Oklahoma.”

Above is Jordan Marchand as Curly, the guy who can’t quite figure out why he isn’t getting the girl. Below him is Stefania Vetere as Laurey, the girl who can’t decide whether she wants Curly. Below is Gail Marchand as Aunt Eller, who tries her best to bring the two young people together and a part of an ensemble picture of the group.

Dominique Thornhill as Ado Annie almost stole the show as the girl who can’t say no and who almost marries Ali Hakim, the peddlar, played by Nathaniel Villanueva. The voices are all great but some audience members recalled that the Music Club used to have live music for their shows, even if it was at times only piano accompaniment. With today’s keyboard technology that might perhaps be possible again.

Photo Credits, Oklahoma: Mario Beauregard

About 2000 people saw the show at the Village Theatre and many shows were sold out. Village Theatre is consciously trying to integrate itself more into the local performing arts community and the initiatives with the Hudson Music Club and the upcoming show of the Hudson Players Club at Village Theatre are signs of the success of this initiative. We have more information about Village Theatre and about the Players Club show (see index on left).

For the rest of this year, many organizations have already been busy planning their activities. In addition to the Village Theatre summer season that we cover in our Village Theatre article, the Studio Tour has its fall lineup ready. Our featured artist of the winter issue, Gail Descoeurs, returns as do painter Gisele Lapalme, David Legault with his custom pens, Michele Meredith and Heather Dubreuil with fibre art, Shernya Vininsky with paintings and stained glass, and Lorraine Bouchard with her work in copper enamel. Jeweller Charles Becker is back as well and we have a feature on his travels and work (see index on left).

New to the tour this year are the pastels of Robin Grinnell, potter Jen Baumeister, photographer Maddy Lane, potter Marie d'Avignon, and artists Wolf Mendritzki and Monique Verdier. Anyone who visited some of the artists last year will want to re-visit the returnees and take a look at the newcomers. We found it especially fascinating how Lorraine Bouchard achieves her effects in copper enamel and how David Legault uses different materials and woods for his work. You don’t often get a chance to see such studios.

When we spoke with Roger Mann about his music, we also met his wife, Janet. It turns out Janet Mann is a talented caricaturist. Below is one of her drawings. She does a lot of work based on her ponies, which she keeps in St. Lazare where she and Roger live. We have more about Janet and her work see index on left, Fuzzballs Studio).

In April, The Hudson Players Club is back at Village Theatre to continue with their 65th anniversary season. They are presenting “Alice in Wonderland” for ten shows from April 11th to 20th. A cast of eighteen with lots of familiar faces and some new ones will fill the stage and bring the Alice characters to life. We have more details in our article (see index on left).

The Hudson Medi-Centre regularly allows local artists to exhibit in the space. From March 18th to May 11th Sylvie Laughlan will exibit her work there while from May 13th to July 13th it will be Malle Romet.

We have a new feature this issue. Many Hudson and area residents are interested in cultural events in Montreal, Ottawa, and elesewhere, as well as more local happenings. With the Regional Calendar of Events we list major cultural events that might be of interest to residents of our area.

Finally, below, to celebrate spring as we look out on several inches of snow left over from the winter at the beginning of April, we’re bringing you Botticelli’s “Primavera”, or “Spring.” We’re hoping it will speed things up, bring out the daffodils, break up the ice on the Lake of Two Mountains and bring more spring-like temperatures.