A few issues back, I wrote an article about World War I and some of the events taking place in the Valley (theatre and film wise) that were being presented to commemorate the 100th anniversary. Well, with Remembrance Day just around the corner, I felt it best to do an article about some of the events happening in the valley commemorating World War II.
I have just finished the CentreStage production of â€œMy Boy Jackâ€, a gripping drama that received stellar reviews; mostly for its cast and the playâ€™s no-holds-barred depiction of the First World War. I was greatly tested as an actor during this production, it was a very different role for me, and I want to thank the audiences and my cast mates for all their support.
Now, with â€œMy Boy Jackâ€ and the First World War finished, I have decided to move into the Second World War and into â€œThe Lighthouseâ€. Nova Scotia playwright (and veteran CentreStage actor) Allen Hume wrote and directed this riveting and very personal play about family and war.
â€œThe Lighthouseâ€ is an enduring tale of fortitude and strength in the face of the heartaches that war can bring. Cast members include Ray Baltzer, Sherry Bishop, Tracy Churchill, Candy Oâ€™Brien, Mike Holland, Wil Lang and myself, in the role of Lionel, the youngest son of the Lighthouse family. What an incredible experience itâ€™s been to work with this cast and with Allen again, after I had the privilege of acting in his â€œCoinsâ€ last year. This production is a Must-See!Â Allen Humeâ€™s â€œThe Lighthouseâ€ has only SIX performances on the Main Stage of CentreStage Theatre playing October 24 – November 2 (see poster in this issue or call CentreStage at 678-8040 for further details and to reserve tickets). This is a very special show, locally written, that will leave you with a tear in your eye and a smile on your face. I am so proud to be a part of it.
CentreStage Theatre & The Kings Historical Society are also holding a special Remembrance Day show in the upstairs area of the Old Courtroom of the Kings County Museum (37 Cornwallis Street). This unique presentation is entitled â€œRememberingâ€ and will transport the audience trough music and theatre. â€œRememberingâ€ only has TWO performances, one on November 7 at 7:30pm and the final on November 8 at 7:30pm. Call 678-8040 to reserve tickets (Gift Certificates and Season Passes are NOT accepted for this presentation).
Do you not feel like taking in some live theatre? Well, here are my selections for the best MOVIES that depict the Second World War, in case you want to have a night at home without a crowd of people. Watching movies about such a harsh subject matter means you can pause and take breaks if it gets too intense.
My favourite film about World War II is â€œSaving Private Ryanâ€, starring Tom Hanks. Steven Spielberg directed this film as well as Schindlerâ€™s List – also one of my favourites. Both are difficult to watch because of their intensity but they are beautiful films about strength, endurance and the human spirit. You could easily pair up Saving Private Ryan with the HBO series, Band of Brothers, coincidentally produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, which dramatizes the history of â€˜Easy Companyâ€™ (2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division) from jump training in the U.S., through its participation in major actions in Europe, and to Japan’s capitulation and war’s end. Itâ€™s an outstanding mini-series.
After that, check out â€œPattonâ€ (1970), just for the brilliant performance by Oscar winner George C. Scott as the famous general. Thereâ€™s also â€œBridge on the River Kwaiâ€, with Alec Guiness and William Holden or â€œThe Great Escapeâ€ with Steve McQueen.
For those film buffs that enjoy the extended epic films, a whole afternoon spent with a movie, then you must see the Wolfgang Peterson Directorâ€™s Cut of â€œDas Bootâ€ (1981) or the 1962 star-filled epic â€œThe Longest Dayâ€. Spend the weekend with â€œTora! Tora! Tora!â€, â€œA Bridge Too Farâ€, â€œStalag 17â€ (starring the unbelievable William Holden), or for something lighter but just as important in its message, you could even take in the classic â€œCasablancaâ€!Â And lastly, a great pair of Second World War films that were both directed by Clint Eastwood, tell both sides of the same war story and those films are â€œFlags of Our Fathersâ€ and â€œLetters from Iwo Jimaâ€.Â Of course there are hundreds of films to choose from, since there are more hours of FILM about World War Two then there were ACTUAL hours of War, did you know that?
No matter how you choose to remember that era, either through theatre or film, DO take the time to actually remember and never forget. Thank You and Take Care of Yourselves!