Arts & Entertainment

Markham Theatre has a strong lineup to start the year

With January comes a period of rest for many after celebrations. After a couple weeks of laying low and hibernating, many start looking for opportunities to emerge.

Markham Theatre and its general manager Eric Lariviere have got its community covered this January.

“We’re excited about sharing this lineup with our audience in 2024,” says Lariviere.

First, the Markham Theatre comes back to life after the holidays with a couple of independent productions.

On Jan. 16, Markham at the Movies presents The Eight Mountains (Le otto montagne). This film won the 2022 Jury Prize at Cannes and is going to be on screen in Markham for movie lovers to enjoy.

Next, an acclaimed tribute act, Epic Eagles, performs on Jan. 18 at 8 pm. This show is billed as The Definitive Tribute to The Eagles and Don Henley and promises hits like Hotel California, One of These Nights, Life in the Fast Lane, Desperado, Dirty Laundry, New Kid In Town, Take It Easy, The Boys Of Summer as well as a few deep cuts.

The Diamond Series returns Jan. 19 with Dominic Mancuso & Vittorio Mezza: Dances in my Mind.

“Dominic is such an important Canadian artist,” Lariviere says. “There’s something very authentic about how he approaches music.”

Mancuso is celebrating 20 years of making records and [performing with his most ambitious body of work yet. Dances in My Mind is a collaboration with renowned Italian pianist/arranger Vittorio Mezza that features the acclaimed music from Mancuso’s career re-arranged to include strings, clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, vibraphone, and marimba. This blend of classical, jazz, world music groove, and singer-songwriter is the heart of the show.

“He’s the type of artist we love to work with,” adds Lariviere.

Next up is Emilie-Claire Barlow on Jan. 27.

“She’s such a fantastic jazz singer,” says Lariviere. “More than just that, audiences love to hear her.”

Emilie-Claire has performed all over the world for the past 25 years, featuring repertoire from her impressive catalogue of 12 albums. Her live performances showcase her inspired re-imaginings and affectionate treatments of classic pop and jazz songs delivered with a relaxed demeanour, charming humour and a voice that many call unforgettable. When she returns to the Markham Theatre stage in January, it is behind her latest album, Spark Bird, inspired by the sounds of nearby birds that kept her company during the isolation of 2020.

“It’s a beautiful record,” Lariviere notes.

Then, on Feb. 1, the acclaimed Australian company Circa returns with Humans 2.0.

“Circa is a leader in the emergence of circus performance from the past 15 years or so,” says Lariviere. “What sets them apart to me is their desire to really test how far the human body can be used as, sort of, media”

Humans 2.0 intends to push the boundaries of what circus performance can be. The show follows ten individuals as they begin to move in harmony with each other, before their rhythms shift and physical limits are pushed to the extreme, as they grapple with the struggle to find balance amid constant uncertainty. With choreography that blends movement, dance, and theatre with circus performance, Humans 2.0 has something for pretty much everyone.

“We had them here with Human, their first show,” adds Lariviere, “we had to have them back for the next.”

The following night, Feb. 2, brings the wonderful voice and compelling story of Jeanick Fournier to the Flato Markham Theatre stage for her show Jeanick Fournier Sings Celine.

“She can sing, let me tell you.” says Lariviere.

This mother of two and former palliative care beneficiary attendant has drawn the attention of the nation by winning the second season of Canada’s Got Talent. Building on some of her most memorable moments from the show, the performance this month sees Fournier interpreting the greatest hits of the famed diva with whom she shares her home province. Accompanied by a band of seven, Fournier intends to seduce you with her powerful voice!

“Stories like Fournier’s are always worth supporting,” Lariviere is quick to remind, “but the show itself is great too.”

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