Cult MTL: Arts

“Reviews from the Wildside”

Marilla Steuter-Martin
January 12, 2015

“Johnny Legdick: A Rock Opera Presented by: Playwright Hero and the Jem At first glance, Johnny Legdick: A Rock Opera sounds like a frat boy’s fever dream about a three-legged freak sold into the circus by his parents. A show that could easily have strayed into the offensive and immature, Johnny Legdick turned out to be darkly funny and irrepressibly exuberant. The hour-long musical is vastly entertaining and succeeds in blending dry wit, physical comedy and creativity. It also features a live band that performs some surprisingly well-crafted orchestrations.”

Full story at:

Theatre review: Belles Soeurs

BWW Review: BELLES SOEURS the Musical at the Segal Centre

Marilla Steuter-Martin
October 30, 2014

“When a 23-year-old first-time playwright named Michel Tremblay wrote Les Belles-soeurs in 1965, no one could have predicted how it would turn into an international sensation over the next four decades and go on to be produced in over 30 languages.

The action of the show centers on a small kitchen party of a dozen Montreal women, each with their own hopes and heartbreaks. It is within these emotional and elegantly woven character studies that the play finds its heart and soul.

The English musical incarnation of the show, Belles Soeurs: The Musical, premiered at the Segal Centre in October and will run until Nov. 16.”

For the full story, click here:

The Concordian: Arts

Get swept away by Nabucco’s beauty

By Marilla Steuter-Martin

Published Sept. 22, 2014

“Jealousy, madness, a bloody battle, a desperate grab for power and a love triangle drive the action ofNabucco, one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most celebrated operas. There’s no shortage of drama, nor of talent, in the upcoming production to be staged at the Montreal Opera the last week of September.

Nabucco is an Italian opera based on biblical stories from the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Daniel, and follows the struggle between warring Babylonians and Ancient Hebrews. The Babylonian king, Nabucco, begins the action by invading Hebrew territory to retrieve his daughter Fenema who is being held prisoner.

Over the course of the four acts, it becomes clear that Fenema has fallen for an Israelite named Ismaele and has converted to Judaism. Things are further complicated by the presence of Fenema’s sister, Abigaille, who is power hungry and jealous.

Director Leigh Holman has been involved with two previous productions of Nabucco, at the Opera Philadelphia and at the Florida Grand Opera in Miami.”

Read the full story here:

Concordia NOW: News

Exchange students learn about sustainability — and local customs

The exchange between Fulda University of Applied Sciences and Concordia provides for experiential and interdisciplinary learning

By Marilla Steuter-Martin

Aug. 12, 2014

For many, the idea of travelling 5,800 kilometres to stand in the middle of a compost site wouldn’t spark much enthusiasm. But for the six students at Concordia on exchange from the Fulda University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany, spending their summer vacation learning about sustainability was a dream come true.

In the first year of the exchange’s pilot project, students from Concordia’s Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability travelled to Germany to learn about sustainable practices and partner with other international students to author a joint report.

Concordia returned the favour this year by hosting the Fulda students for a three-week intensive process, where they had the opportunity to experience some hands-on learning.

Read the full story:

Concordia NOW: News

Concordia professor converts forgotten space into student gallery

Marilla Steuter-Martin
August 4, 2014

Tucked away on the second floor of the Visual Arts (VA) Building sits an unexpected find: a broken-locker-turned-gallery space. This little gem fits in perfectly with the spirit of the Faculty of Fine Arts’ enthusiasm for creating art in spaces of all shapes and sizes.

“I think in contemporary art there’s quite a large movement in found spaces for showing work,” says Linda Swanson, an assistant professor of ceramics in Concordia’s Department of Studio Arts, who spearheaded the project. “I think the students really like the idea that space has another meaning and another function.”

That’s certainly the case with the locker gallery. The space, which opened in April, is about 45 centimetres wide and 75 centimetres tall and lit from above by a soft yellow battery-operated light. Before being converted into an installation space, for years the locker stood broken and without a door among the rows of the regularly used, robins-egg blue student lockers. Now, glass panelling serves as a barrier to protect the artwork on display from damage.

Read the full story:

Concordia NOW: Feature

Filmmaker’s debut combines documentary, narrative and experimental


Marilla Steuter-Martin
Aug. 4, 2014

When Omar Elhamy, BFA 14, decided to write and direct his first feature-length film fresh out of Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, he took an experimental route to finance his partly experimental project: crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

Over the last few weeks Elhamy’s campaign, which wraps up August 5, has raised over $5,800 toward its goal of $7,500.

The project, entitled Frère raison, promises to be a rare combination of experimental and documentary elements.

The psychological drama was co-written by Elhamy and current Concordia cinema student Paul Chotel. Frère raison centres on a true story of a workplace accident that leaves the protagonist wrought with grief over the sudden loss of his friend and colleague.

Read the full story here:

Concordia NOW: News


Fantasia 2014 promises to be the cinema event of the season

Marilla Steuter-Martin
July 15, 2014

There’s a reason cinephiles love the Fantasia International Film Festival, and it’s because there truly is something for all of them.

Fantasia co-director Mitch Davis puts it this way: “It features just about every cultural perspective on the fantastic that one could ever hope to cross paths with in a darkened room.”

Concordia has been the home of the Fantasia Film Festival for 12 years, sharing its cinemas and theatres with the festival’s vibrant and enthusiastic participants and guests since 2003. The collaboration has led to many great developments including internship programs, networking events and opportunities for Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema students to be showcased.

Read the full story at:

Concordia NOW: News

Sci-fi, fantasy, anime and The Rotten Monk: Fantasia marks 12 years at Concordia

By Marilla Steuter-Martin

June 18,2014

What do Edgar Wright and Omar Antonio Iturriaga-Barragan (BFA 14) have in common?

Both are directors whose films were selected to premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival. But while many are familiar with Wright and his film The World’s End (2013), Iturriaga-Barragan is a newcomer to the scene.

The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema graduate’s The Rotten Monk (2014) is among the films set to screen at this year’s fest, which will take place from July 17 to August 5.

Iturriaga-Barragan decided to submit his work after winning the Fantasia Award — established in 2013 to celebrate a decade of collaboration between the School of Cinema and the festival — at the school’s 2014 Cinema Awards. …

Concordia NOW: News

The man who located 4,000 pieces of lost Holocaust music

By Marilla Steuter-Martin

May 27, 2014

Francesco Lotoro has dedicated the last 25 years of his life to recovering and performing music that, without his tireless efforts, would be all but lost.

Lotoro’s research has led to the preservation of more than 4,000 pieces composed by men and women in concentration camps during the Second World War, as well as music written by prisoners of war and civilian detainees.

On May 26, at an event co-hosted by Concordia, the Azrieli Foundation and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre at the John Molson School of Business Building, Lotoro addressed a capacity crowd of 150. He also played several of the recovered piano compositions.

The researcher, musician and musicologist explained that when he first started work on the project, he had no idea that it would become so important, or touch the lives of so many.

“You do not understand your mission at the beginning” he said. “You understand it on the road.”

Read the full story at

VICE: News


By Marilla Steuter-Martin

Feb 27 2014

Exposed! So read the headline of Red Pepper, a tabloid in Uganda whose editors saw fit to publish the names of 200 suspected gays. As anti-LGBT tensions in African countries like Nigeria and Uganda intensify, openly gay people are left feeling just that—exposed.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the press has attempted to target and publically out people for associating, supporting or participating in the LGBT community. On February 5, The Nigerian Observer printed the names of 57 people said to be members of the House of Rainbow Fellowship, a Christian organization that reaches out to LGBT communities in Nigeria.

The newspaper advocated that the friends, family and neighbors of the ‘accused’ report them to police where they would be arrested under the crime of homosexuality. By February 6, the online article had been deleted, but arguably, the damage was already done.

Read full story here: