More community presentations at Performing Arts Centre – public has been waiting for this.

December 16, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  The city is having a little difficulty attracting some of those new high-tech, high paying jobs.  The arts community has found a way to help – they are going to move a theatrical production along the QEW from Oakville to Burlington and bring a truck load of Leading Ladies to the city

The Burl-Oak Theatre Group (BOTG), which is presenting Leading Ladies by Ken Ludwig,  at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, January 23 and Friday, 24 – show time for both days is 8:00 pm.

Fun, light hearted comedy – great way to start the New Year.

This is a new venture for BOTG, they tended to like the climate in Oakville but the digs at the Performing Arts Centre were just too good to pass up.  Now of course they need to sell tickets for each performance. 

Jim Clemens, who usually spends his spare time on Heritage matters explains this production as a  “hilarious comedy, in which we meet an elderly lady on her deathbed who is looking for two relatives, Max and Steve, whom she has not seen since they were children.  She plans to bestow her fortune upon them, to be shared with her one remaining niece, Meg.” 

Clemens goes on to explain: “Enter Jack and Leo, two down-on-their-luck Shakespearian actors who plot to pose as the missing nephews and arrive in time to claim their inheritance.”

For the rest of the story – you need a ticket and Clemens has come up with an angle that he believes can’t miss.  He wants to see a full house and explains that BOTG has a special Yuletide ticket price for  their friends and colleagues. You can purchase any number of tickets to Leading Ladies at $18.00 each directly from Clemens who will look after the box office hassles.

Here is how it works. Jim Clemens has figured out a way to let his vast circle of friends in on a bit of a deal.  There is a group discount available.  Clemens had a brain storm and came up with the idea of forming a group, buying the tickets for that group and giving them all the benefit of the group discount.  Jim’s price is $18 per ticket.  The Box Office price is $25 – the difference will get you a decent glass of wine at the theatre which will put you in just the frame of mind you want to be in to fully enjoy a lark of a play.

You have to let Clemens know that you want in.  Email him by December 30, 2013, Email Me and tell him which date you wish to attend and the number of tickets you wish to purchase.    He will order the tickets and send you an e-mail confirming the order.

You  have to pay Clemens – make your cheques payable to Jim Clemens, and not the Burl-Oak Theatre Group or the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.  Mail cheques to 1296 Knights Bridge Court, Burlington,  or pay either Miki or Jim when you see either of them. Clemens adds that he knows where his vast circle of friends lives and doesn’t expect to have any problems collecting.

BOTG has taken a huge leap of faith in the Burlington market.  They have arranged for billboard ad signs in four locations in Burlington in the next few weeks along with a mail drop to selected postal code locations around town. 

Jim Clemens has a deal for his vast circle of friends – take him up on the offer and use the money he saves you for a decent glass of wine at the Performing Arts Centre to watch the Leading Ladies.

Clemens has found the new administration at the Performing Arts Centre to be more than accommodating.  A number of months ago there was to be a BOTG production mounted in Burlington that just couldn’t get off the ground.  Brian McCurdy, Executive Director at the Performing Arts Centre, used his experience and understanding of the problems small theatre groups have and found a work around some of the problems the group was having and for them into the Centre for the January dates.

We are seeing much more community use of the Performing Arts Centre.  A church group is going to be holding a Christmas Eve Candle Light service in the Main theatre, in January Tony Bewick is going to produce the first Poetry Slam to be held at the Centre and now the news that the Leading Ladies are going to be on stage as well.

One of the complaints many people had, was that the Centre was not catering to the local needs – that all we were seeing was groups who were passing through the city, and while Roseanne Cash was nice, the public thought there would be more local material.  We appear to be seeing that change – refreshing.

Keith Strong had his guiding hand behind much of the Magic Moments event that added to the Halton Heros fund.

The re-establishing of relationships between the Centre and some of the people who did that “in the trenches work’ when the place was not much more than an idea are coming along just fine.  Keith Strong, who was a major player in getting many of the early donation cheques in, has had a chance to meet with Brian McCurdy; those two should get along very well.  The Mayor, city manager, Strong and McCurdy had a meet which we are told went very well.

While Strong doesn’t always get it right – when he does – it is both right and strong.  The kind of guy the Performing Arts Centre wants on its side.  

The BOTG appears to be going all out on this their first event at the Performing Arts Centre; like every smart marketer – there is a clip on YouTube.  Go for it.


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