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Classic Theatre Festival

Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for August 31 to September 3

Friday, August 31

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

This year marks the 25th edition of the renowned Hot Air Balloon Festival at parc de la Baie in Gatineau. Colourful hot air balloons fill the sky, while an amusement park, circus entertainment, and more fill the rest of the weekend. With a lineup of nightly performances, including KC and the Sunshine Band and Quebec’s own Simple Plan, this festival is staging an unforgettable anniversary.

Come out for a haunting night at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum with a throw-back drive-in screening of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1939 film, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Site opens at 8pm, screening at 9pm.

With the end of the Classic Theatre Festival’s third summer season comes Labour Day weekend and back-to-school admission specials for the festival’s comic hit “Mary, Mary,” a comedy of second chances, and a product of the era that brought us TV’s Mad Men. From Wednesday, August 29 to Sunday, September 2, students get in for free with any parent who purchases tickets, and in honour of Labour Day, all union members and public servants get a 20% discount on tickets for the last week as well.

Saturday, September 1

Legendary impressionist and stand-up comic Rich Little.

Ottawa-born comedian Rich Little is hitting the stage for a special Ottawa Little Theatre benefit show. The legendary impressionist will be performing his one-man show “Jimmy Stewart and Friends” for the audience, where he impersonates everyone from Katharine Hepburn to John Wayne.


Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for July 13-15

Friday, July 13

WICKED plays the NAC from July 11 to 29. Photo © Joan Marcus.

Wizard of Oz fans everywhere (and fans of musicals in general) will love Wicked. Returning to Ottawa after a very successful run in 2008, this Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical is sure to please. Instead of the doe-eyed girl from Kansas, this tale follows Glinda the Good, and her counter, the Wicked Witch of the West. Running at the National Arts Centre from July 11 to 29.

For those with a literary flare: The Dusty Owl, a popular reading series that began in the ’90s, showcases Ottawa talent and special guests in the historic Elmdale House Tavern. Tonight features two published poets, Christine McNair and Ottawa’s rob mclennan (yes, all lowercase).

Channeling the sensibilities, fashion, and music of the 1950’s and ’60s, Two for the Seesaw opens tonight, part of the Classic Theatre Festival. This Tony Award-winning comedy is set in 1958 and follows two lost souls trying to find themselves in New York City. Showing until August 5 at the Mason Theatre in Perth.

Saturday, July 14

Hope Volleyball Summerfest takes over Mooney's Bay on July 14.

Each year, Hope Volleyball Summerfest brings out more than 25,000 players and spectators to Mooney’s Bay Beach for a day of volleyball and live music to raise money for over 110 local charities. The 30th anniversary of the event will feature performances by Mother Mother, Ill Scarlet and Treble Charger.



Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for Aug. 26 to 28

"The Fourposter" at the Classic Theatre Festival.

Friday, Aug. 26
The Classic Theatre Festival in Perth wraps up its summer-long season this weekend with The Fourposter, a comedy about marriage by Jan de Hartog. This Tony Award-winning play follows the joys and challenges of a 35 year marriage, all the way from the nerve-wracking wedding night, to parenting (and the inevitable midlife crisis), to the realities of aging. Shows take place Friday and Saturday evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

You don’t need to strap on your Birkenstocks to enjoy the Ottawa Folk Festival. This community celebration brings together a sweet mix of music, dance, and visual arts for a four-day family-friendly event. An eclectic mix of musical performances is on offer, including shows by Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, City and Colour, Serena Ryder, Hawksley Workman, The Nightwatchman (alter ego of Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine), and a variety of other acts. Bring along your own instrument and join in on organized jam sessions that range from Celtic music to African drumming. Runs Aug. 25 to 28.

This is the last day to watch the Changing the Guard ceremony, an iconic Canadian sight. Held each morning at 10am on Parliament Hill from late June to late August, this ceremony is a colourful spectacle of pomp, pageantry, and music, complete with military drills. A regimental band and pipers also perform.

Saturday, Aug. 27
The Canadian Museum of Nature throws open its doors to people and animals alike this weekend. Come meet some four-legged critters from the the Muskoka Wildlife Centre. Learn about the “extreme” features of some well-known creatures, and at the end of the 30-minute show you might even get a chance to pet one or two. Afterward, go explore the museum’s newest exhibit “Extreme Mammals,” with new-found insight about our furry friends. Takes place Saturday and Sunday. (more…)