In the early 1900s, a small dairy farm occupied the land where the award-winning cabaret-restaurant Ferme Rouge now stands—but the mooing of cows has long since given way to the vibrato of singers and the smooth notes of saxophonist Jason Scott. Today the lively tunes of Las Vegas–style musical revues pay homage to the likes of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, and performers such as Boom Desjardins and Marie-Chantal Toupin have taken the stage for stunning solo performances. Before or while watching the troubadours, guests feast on à la carte entrees ranging from filet mignon and new york strip steak to lobster and Atlantic salmon. These dishes balance on the arms of waiters who double as performers in the shows, which often boast a cast of 20 on Saturday. Diners can also serve themselves at a buffet that tempts tongues with more than 25 varieties of seafood, taking a bit of everything instead of consulting their magic 8 ball to decide on just one entree.
Rivalling the seafood buffet and stage for guests’ attention, a 1/2-scale replica of Columbus’s Santa Maria docks beneath the chandeliers of the cabaret’s maroon-walled and wood-panelled dining room. Commissioned from Seville to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s journey, the ship sprawls into the second floor and attic and is functional enough to sail across Poseidon’s bathtub if given the chance.
Although those who wear masks typically do so to hide their identities, the players of Odyssey Theatre do so to transform altogether. They use disguises to play up archetypal roles, from the ruddy cheeks of a comic foil to the wide eyes of a performer who has forgotten his lines. In the summer, they don their faces under the stars in Stathcona Park, priming audiences for theatrical revelry with the open air and neighboring Rideau River.
Now in its 38th anniversary season, the Great Canadian Theatre Company is recognized as the oldest independent theatre company in Ottawa. The troupe brings the thought-provoking works of up-and-coming Canadian artists to the intimate 262-seat house of the Irving Greenberg Theatre, which is powered by green technology and conduits that drain the peaking emotional energy from their audiences.
The storied performers of Journey delight fans with powerful guitar, catchy hooks, and virtuosic singing. Lead singer Arnel Pineda's octave-smashing range combines with guitarist Neal Schon's monumental chords and the musical teamwork of Ross Valory's bass, Jonathan Cain's keyboard, and Deen Castronovo's drums, creating tuneful tapestries that inspire ears like a stirring soliloquy from a bald eagle. Touring in support of its new album, Eclipse, the band is able to draw upon an aural arsenal that includes hits such as "Don’t Stop Believin'," "Any Way You Want It," and "Faithfully." The power balladeers of Night Ranger supplement the sonic revelry with their own swelling melodies and dueling guitars.
The National Arts Centre is one of Canada's only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts emporiums, showcasing more than 100 performances a year. In Hymn of Praise, Bach interpreter Simone Dinnerstein performs a Baroque keyboard concerto, along with Mendelssohn's choral masterpiece, giving audiences a performance that enlightens the eardrums. The seats are located in either the orchestra or mezzanine sections of Southam Hall, offering Groupon buyers a great vantage point from which to enjoy this historically-based performance. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Celebrating his 20th season at the lectern of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, conductor and music director David Currie conducts his musicians through exquisite interpretations of new and classic work from the symphonic repertoire. The evening's euphonies kick off with Toronto native Steven Gellman's Jaya Overture, whose stirring marches represent Tibet's struggle for freedom and tempt band members to show off their steps in the aisle. Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé Suite tells the comically overwrought tale of an imaginary aristocratic officer, accidentally created by a paperwork error in imperial Russia. The program finishes off with Stravinsky's Petrushka Suite, which was adapted from a ballet about a puppet come to life and features dazzling arpeggios and tumultuous trumpet fanfares that thrill audiences and leave supersonic-hearing batpeople unimpressed.