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An entertaining look at the Great War and Roaring ‘20s

October 31, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

What better way to mark the anniversary of the end of the First World War than a night filled with song, readings, poetry and camaraderie?
Residents are in store for a treat, courtesy of King’s own “Diva in the Rough” songstress Catherine Hughes and her acting troupe.
“From Poppies to Peace,” is a unique live presentation from some very talented people. Hughes brings her Hughes, known far and wide for her fresh renditions of age-old classics from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Her music stands the test of time, and Hughes comes alive on stage, entertaining audiences with her crafty sense of humour.
The night will feature tunes from the war era as well as blue vaudeville songs and hits by blues singer Bessie Smith and jazz artist Marion Harris.
Hughes will be accompanied this time by pianist Don Baird, who was musical director for Second City, when star Mike Myers was popular there. He was also musical director for Lion King and Rent to name a few.
The cast members are John Featherston, Mark Rival, Jeff Naworynski, David Mackett, Shelagh Carlini, Deirdre Kirby.
Hughes pointed out that John, Jeff and Mark have played together a lot and have great chemistry when doing comedy.
“Believe it or not there is lightness and humour in order to balance the heaviness of the topic, WWI,” Hughes said.
“In Poppies to Peace we also look at the 1920s and the reason why the ‘20s were so bold, loud and boisterous. It was a celebration, but also a way to block out memories of war and the death of loved ones. It seems as though the ‘20s were one long PTSD party.”
Hughes said the group will involve the audience with a little quiz and prizes as well as counting down to the New Year, (the New Year being 1920).
“Hopefully we bring enough respect and humanity to the topic of 100 years since WWI. Our goal is to have you laugh, cry, smile, cry and laugh again. There is a short sing-a-long at the end of the program just to leave everyone with lighter hearts.”
To promote the show, Hughes and her sister will entertain viewers via social media, on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. The humorous battling siblings will be complemented by historic facts about The Great War.
“Shelagh is my sister and we have a lot of fun doing the social media publicity together,” Hughes said. “She is naturally funny and an excellent actress. She also makes me funnier.”
You can see our “Meet the Cast” segments and “Facts about Canadians” on Facebook – Catherine Hughes is Diva in the Rough, or on Instagram at divaintherough.
The show is written, directed and produced by Hughes. She admitted it was a bigger undertaking than she had thought.
Poppies to Peace is Saturday, Nov. 3, at The King Heritage & Cultural Centre
Tickets are $25 and this also gets you in to see their latest exhibit on Sir Arthur Currie. You can pay at the door but reservations are recommended by calling the museum at 905-833-2331.

         

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