Saturday, November 17, 2012

Artword Theatre presents... James Street (musical)


James Street is written and directed by Ronald Weihs
Songs are by Mark McNeil, one of Hamilton’s most inventive singer-songwriters and a well-known journalist for the Hamilton Spectator.
Judith Sandiford is both producer and designer

Artword Theatre is presenting its second play of the 2012-13 season, James Street. It opens on Thursday, November 29, and there is a reception afterward. The full run is November 29, 30, December 1, 6, 7, 8, at the Lyric Theatre, 434 King S...
treet West, 905-527-6135. You can book online at There is a preview Wednesday, November 28.

Charly Chiarelli plays a modern Hamiltonian who magically encounters a famous figure from the 1840s – Paoli Brown, a leader in Hamilton’s black community and Hamilton’s official town crier (played by Jeremy Shand). The two find themselves witnesses to (and sometimes participants in) a fast-forward gallop through life on James Street.

They see how pioneer dentistry was done, witness George Hamilton and his cronies (Hughson and Durand) plot out the town, watch a farmer advertise for a wife “with a good back”, drop into Billy Carroll’s cigar shop and bookie joint to bet on the first Around the Bay Race, take a ride on the new Electric Railway – all depicted by Valeri Kay, Ryan Sero, Gordon Odegaard and Abigail Veenstra. Mark McNeil appears onstage with guitar as a street singer, with his buddy Ron Weihs on fiddle, and of course Charly on harmonica.

It's a celebration of the contribution James Street is making to the revitalization of downtown Hamilton, and it's lots of fun. Come and enjoy it with us.

One of the songs in the play, "Private Riley", is featured in a special section of the Hamilton Spectator commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI - "Rileys"). (Check it out online at
There is a terrific video of Mark McNeil performing the song with the RHLI Regimental Band.

Regular prices are $19 on Thursdays and $25 Fridays and Saturdays. Children (12 and under) are $10. Preview on Wednesday, November 28 -- all tickets $10.

All the best,
Ronald and Judith,