Hubcap Comedy Fest
Now based in Saint John, the gifted stand-up comedian James Mullinger is Berkshire-born, with an accent and impish wit to prove it. He's delighted with his new home, even if he's frustrated by such things as the peculiarities of Maritime directions. He won't be lost next week, however, as all comic roads lead to a bilingual comedy festival headlined by Steve Patterson, Tom Green and one blimey-saying import. Feb. 7 to 17, at various venues in Moncton.
Jackie Maxwell, for 14 years creatively in charge of the Shaw Festival, directs a Canadian co-production – thank you, Canadian Stage and Citadel Theatre – of Stephen Karam's Tony-winning 2015 hit that last month made its Canadian premiere in Edmonton. Also on board for the red-hot comedic family drama is Sara Farb, a well-respected Stratford Festival actress in high demand these days. Feb. 8 to 25 (previews begin Feb. 6), at Toronto's Bluma Appel Theatre.
"He ate so many of our souls that he couldn't tell which way was which." In a recent Vanity Fair interview, the actress and activist Rose McGowan spoke of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul and man of sordid appetites. She tells more in Brave, a memoir, manifesto and heavy assault on Hollywood's systemic misogyny. McGowan visits Canada for a book signing and a sure-to-be-sparky onstage conversation. Feb. 4, at Toronto's Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Fest
There's no rule that jazz hangs need to happen in warm months, no matter what they tell you in Newport, Montreux or Montreal. In Ottawa, heat comes in the form of vocalist Barbra Lica, progressive drummer Jim Black, guitar high-flier Paolo Angeli, Latin-jazz maestro Hilario Duran and the inspiring American pianist Fred Hersch. Feb. 8 to 10, at various Ottawa venues.
Sarah Jane Scouten
The latest long play from the rootsy singer-songwriter Sarah Jane Scouten is When the Blooms Falls from the Rose, a melodic affair of country-leaning Americana music that manages to be respectful, thoughtful and playful, often all at once. An adventurous tour of Alberta (with one detour to Elkford, B.C.) has the up-and-coming Canadian artist playing house concerts in cities and remote rural communities. Feb. 2 to 14; info at sarahjanescouten.com.