Solve the Mystery! Save Christmas! - theHumm December 2019
Solve the Mystery! Save Christmas! - theHumm December 2019
By — Heather Atkinson
So I’ve seen the November 24 rehearsal of Who Stole Christmas from Mississippi Mills and I can tell you this: Theodor Robert Geisel will chuckle in his grave to think we will see his creations on Almonte’s Main Street. In fact, every last one of us MissMillians will be chuckling at Rob and Kris Riendeau’s hilarious millennial repurposing of Geisel’s original bad boys, namely, Thing One, Thing Two and the infamous Grinch channelling that wantonly destructive child we all carry within: the Cat in the Hat.
More than 60 years after Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, published The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, writer Rob Riendeau has written the almost-impossible: an even funnier Dr. Seuss aimed at boomers, gen a, b, c and x, y and z and every insta- and inter-person in between. Imagine Seuss on Red Bull writing for SNL and you’ll have some idea of Rob’s comedy.
This hour has 22 laughs a minute!
A great script is one thing, but bringing that script to life on stage is a whole other thing. And that’s where Rob’s creative and peripatetic purple-haired partner Kris comes into play. All I can say is Kris (and her hair) shines in her role as co-conspirator and hands-on director of Rob’s comedic brilliance; she even joined the dancers on stage during the big heel-and-toe number to show them how it’s done!
Then there’s the cast — Noreen Young’s puppets working hand-in-hand with humans wearing Ingrid Hamster’s creations — and the behind-the-scenes movers and shakers, a “who’s who-ville” of Mississippi Mills, every one unveiling comedic talent most of us wouldn’t have a clue about otherwise. For more about that, see Heather Phaneuf’s rollicking article in the November issue of theHumm.
Believe it or not, the script is Rob’s first attempt at writing comedy, springing ex nihilo out of thin air, taking both Rob and Kris by surprise with its chaotic hilarity.
“Rob’s a very funny guy, but even I had no idea he could sit down and turn out a full-length script,” explains Kris. “He did take a Learning in Almonte writing course called ‘Good Idea to a Good Read’, which helped him get going with this project. And over the spring and summer we workshopped some of the early scenes with many of the actors who are in the show, so that helped with some of the character development. But mostly it was a truly hidden talent!”
True to the spirit of Geisel’s times and iconoclasm (Geisel was a political cartoonist before he turned to kidlit) the irrepressible Riendeau One and Riendeau Two have married social commentary and political satire to create a mix bubbling over with ribald fun.
“This is the first show that Rob and I are producing all on our own with no outside funding,” Kris tells me. “We are fronting all the costs and hoping we won’t lose money, so we are relying on good ticket sales. The show is light-hearted and funny, but it’s also our love letter to this community that we have called home for thirty years.”
Ed Lawrence (who plays a special role I’ve promised not to reveal and also adds his impressive baritone to the show) says, “I’ve been especially bowled over by the musicians. One third of the Arrogant Worms (the inimitable Mike McCormick), one half of the Ragged Flowers, and every one of the pitch-perfect Jingle Belles. They all make this show hum. This kind of talent should make the heart of our community grow two sizes bigger!”
Tove Hunding, cast member and a regular on the Almonte Town Hall stage, agrees. “It takes a community to support local talent and keep local live theatre alive. Our very own Jingle Belles singing Bonnie Vallentyne’s wonderfully loony lyrics promote local businesses who in turn are generously supporting United Way East Ontario. By supporting us, our audience is supporting those in need. Together, we’re delivering Rob’s and Kris’s first on-stage ‘baby,’ a Christmas gift that will keep on giving!”
I’ve read the script and watched the cast live it on stage and I kid you not, if Who Stole Christmas from Mississippi Mills doesn’t get you chuckling, then your funny bone must be at least two sizes too small.
“Bring a box of tissues,” advises Ed. “You’ll be laughing so hard you’ll be crying.”
But don’t take our word for it. Marvin K. Mooney and the rest of you will you please go now and get your tickets before the Grinch stuffs every last one into his sack!
Happy Local Holidays! - theHumm December 2019
By Kris and Rob Riendeau
Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. A healthy local economy is an essential component to a healthy community.
It is with this in mi......
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
It has taken both luck and pluck (as in “spirited and determined courage”) for artist Miriam Mas to reach this point in her life. This gifted self-taught artist is reaping the well-got gains of a decidedly anti-Grinch-like life, and it really brightens this reporter’s spirits at a time when a dose of cheer is particularly welcome. (We at theHumm are quite concerned regarding the trending rumour that a certain mean, green grump has been spotted lurking around Missis......
It’s time for a Cabaret my friends! Comedian and award-winning clown Rachelle Elie is back in Almonte to host another fabulous event — and this time it’s a Cabaret! The Almost New Years Rag Bag Cabaret will be held on Saturday, December 28 at 8pm at the lovely Almonte Old Town Hall. This one will be hosted by Rachelle’s alter ego “Susan”, and will feature comedian Cathy Boyd, burlesque trio The Rougettes, international touring musician David Celia and local storyteller Daniel K. L.......
By — Bill Lowe
Christmas isn’t what it used to be.
Humbug to that! It is at the annual Perth Community Christmas Day Dinner at Code’s Mill in downtown Perth.
During the dinner’s almost 30-year history, celebrating Christmas has morphed from pot-luck with a few friends to a tradition that welcomes the whole community. Last year we served more than 320 dinners in the Banquet Hall and delivered 120 more to those who couldn’t join us.
This is a real community event — funded and organ......
Grab your holiday calendar and a red or green pen, and make room for some or all of these upcoming events in Perth.
On Sunday, December 15, Artizen Kombucha will be holding a Festive Kombucha Workshop at their brewery at 12 Gore Street East. They will wear holiday sweaters, have sweet treats and a tea ceremony, and then delve into kombucha making with the participants. You can register and find out more at artizenkombucha.ca
By Miss Mills
Almonte and Pakenham really sparkle in December — and not just from twinkly festive lights. It’s as if they pour all of their small-town heart and soul into filling the month with ways for friends and families to enjoy being together. Here are just some of the events that lead up to the holidays…
On Friday, December 6, you can share warm fuzzy feelings with a few thousand neighbours and friends at Light Up the Night — taking place from 7–10pm in downtown Almonte. Head down to Mill Street and......
With the holiday season on its way, one of the area’s favourite Christmas traditions is set to return to Perth.
On Friday, December 13, Newfoundland’s Juno award-winning Ennis Sisters will take the stage as part of their annual Christmas tour. The sisters, Maureen, Karen and Teresa, deliver one of the finest family Christmas shows in the country and this show is sure to once again be a sell-out.
The trio combine original songs, holiday classics, humorous recitations and Iri......
A Puppy for Christmas - theHumm December 2019
By Glenda Jones
“Ah”, you think, “she’s going to write about getting a puppy from Santa, how cute it was with its little red bow, how it played in the gift wrap, and snuggled with the toys.” No, she’s not!
We are living in chaos most of the time, with doggy toys scattered everywhere, and no end in sight for any sort of home décor that resembles House and Garden. Not only that, little Miss Diva is an escape artist whose idea of spending time in her crate consists of working the zipper loose and getting ou......
One Artful Weekend… - theHumm December 2019
If you take a look at the calendar spread in this issue, you may find it a wee bit difficult to make out all of the listings on December 6, 7 and 8. There is so much going on that we thought we would include a round-up of some of the many art shows and tours taking place that weekend. Here they be!
The West Carleton Arts Society’s $100 and Under Show and Sale brings together more than 25 local artists and artisans at St. Paul’s United Church in Carp, from Friday, December......
By John Pigeau
December is the time of year for goodwill, good cheer and good books, delicious hot chocolate and brisk walks in the wintery air — and maybe some Christmas spirit too. It’s also the only month when it’s ostensibly acceptable to put reindeer antlers on your dog, or to adorn your cat in a Santa hat and scarf. There is, indeed, much merriment to be had. Toasts to be rendered. Eggnog to be glugged. Snow angels to be made. And lots and lots of entertaining and festive things to see and do aroun......
The Station Theatre is proud to welcome Lynn Miles for the final concert of their 2019 music series. This Canadian musician is bringing her Winter concert, along with the Crusty Mittens String Quartet. Check her out at lynnmilesmusic.com .
Lynn Miles was born in Cowansville, Quebec to a father who was a harmonica player and jazz fan and a mother who listened to opera and country music. Miles learned to play the violin, guitar, piano ......
By — Maureen Korp is a writer, historian and lecturer
Long before the Scots, French and English fur traders arrived in the St. Lawrence, Great Lakes and Hudson Bay areas, the Eastern Woodlands women of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples were ......
By — Sally Smith
David Taylor is a quilter, just a quilter. That’s what he calls himself… but when you look at his work and talk to those who learn from him, it’s clear he’s not “just a quilter.”
He’s fun, sh......
Giving the Gift of Real Estate Buy Wild Land for your Friends and Relatives! - theHumm December 2019
By — Cathy Keddy
Starting to think about Christmas shopping? This year keep it simple — give the gift of life. Be the first person to give your friend or family member a home for a wild turtle, frog or songbird!
Bonnie Lowry Bagshaw was born and raised in the local area and likes to give back to the community. As the first Chair of Almonte General Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), ......
New Name for Hospice Hub Hospice Palliative Care Becomes Home Hospice North Lanark - theHumm December 2019
We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where there is still a strong tradition of neighbours looking out for each other. One example of that tradition began in early 2012, when members o......
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark Country recently opened their third Jewel’s Gently Used Clothing Store — this one in Carleton Place.
Jewel’s offers modestly priced, gently used clothi......
Sep 1 - Oct 30 Transition: Ginny Fobert, Judi Miller, Dayle VanAlstine
Sep 24 - Oct 24 Private Art Collection
Oct 19 Doug van der Horden
Oct 21 Jazz Night w/Spencer Evans
Oct 23 Jeff Callery
Oct 23 - 24 Red Trillium Studio Tour
Oct 26 Bon Evans & Dave Bull
Oct 28 Al Lerman
Oct 29 Matt Dickson
- Keith Busher — Art Advocate & Provocateur, Gallery Owner and Curator
- Romp, Stomp & Chomp! Thanksgiving Art Tour in Mississippi Mills
- One Day Only Open Studio Art by Catherine Orfald and Rita Redner
- More Music at MERA!
- From Quiet to Concerts Almonte in Concert Returns to Old Town Hall This Fall
- Leave the Leaves (and other counter-intuitive suggestions)
- Rural Root Goes Fishing! The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby
- Fall Colours Walk at Blueberry Mountain
- Red Trillium Fall Tour
- Pumpkins-Plus in Perth Ghost Walks, Pumpkin Carving and More!