The Pearl Company

Theatre, Gallery and Arts Centre 16 Steven Street Hamilton ON 905-524-0606

Archive for February, 2015

Shari Vandermolen & David Brideau: Saturday May 5

Shari Vandermolen & David Brideau: Saturday May 5.  Doors: 7:30pm. Show: 8:00. Tickets: $20. Shari Vandermolen is a renowned vocalist and award-winning performer in Hamilton and the ShariV& DavidBrideau_05_18Greater Toronto Area who has been entertaining audiences for 15 years with her Quartet, Trio or 5-piece band Quarter to Nine.  She is also the lead vocalist for the 10-piece jazz combo SwingLine.  On May 5th Shari brings her powerful and impressive vocal stylings back to the Pearl Company for a more intimate evening of song with jazz guitarist David Brideau, James Gannett on bass and Vince Waters on drums.  “…hear Vandermolen make jelly of your emotions with her voice and her art… one example is Stormy Weather… I barely weathered that storm intact.”  – View Magazine
David Brideau is a Canadian jazz guitarist, composer, and teacher who has been an active musician for over 15 years. A Hamilton native, and honours graduate from the Mohawk Jazz program, David has played all around the GTA with his own group, the David Brideau Trio and Quartet, as well as being prominently featured in groups with Michael Morobito, Amber-Leigh Palka, and Lauren Perreira among others. He studied under jazz greats Bob Shields, Pat Collins, Kim Ratcliffe, and Mark Ucci and is currently continuing his studies at McMaster University. David often composes his own standards, and released the sold-out EP “Addicted To You” in 2016. He is a recipient of the Dave McMurdo Music Bursary, the Antony Roberts Music Bursary, and the Richard Newell Memorial Scholarship.

Shelley Marshall Presents: “Hold Mommy’s Cigarette”: April 18 & 19

HELD OVER! Shelley Marshall Presents: The Award Winning Production “Hold Mommy’s Cigarette”: April 18 & 19. All ShelleyMarshallApr18_19.jpgOne Woman’s story of an unfiltered life, written and performed by Shelley Marshall, directed by Linda Kash. It seems appropriate that world renowned Comedienne, Marshall would open her autobiographical One Woman Show in the city where the story and star were born. It took 10 years for Marshall to create this Play and it is the rewarding result of resilience, recovery, and reflection while exploring many genres of performance including elements of clown, stand up, improv, buffoon, and play. Shelley Marshall takes her audience many places; “I take them on an adventure, both emotionally and visually. There is no denying that my story is tragic, but it’s my story and time and writing without shame has been my comedic relief. ‘Hold Mommy’s Cigarette’ is not an exploitation of what has happened in my life, but rather, an acceptance of where it may lead. It is a dark comedy, a vulnerable piece about life, mental illness and survival.” Marshall reveals with a smile. She invites you to come to her show with an open mind and promises you’ll leave with a full heart. *Mature Content* Tickets available at or 524-0606. Facebook Event:


An Evening with Shirley Temple: March 1

An Evening with Shirley Temple: Saturday, March 1. 8:00 pm. $15/$10 students/artists/seniors. Shirley is easily the most popularShirley_Temple.jpg and famous child star of all time. She got her start in the movies at the age of three and soon progressed to super stardom. Shirley could do it all: act, sing and dance and all by the age of five! Fans loved her for the bright, bouncy and cheerful depression era tonic she was. You’ve probably seen some films on TV but have you ever caught her on the large screen? We’ll present Little Miss Marker and Curly Top on our screen (we may not be Silver City but we can do the job)! We’ll provide the popcorn and Cracker Jacks (can you still get them?)  Wouldn’t it be fun to show up in thirties garb or even as Shirley?  Let’s make an evening of it and celebrate an icon that may no longer be with us but will also never leave us!

The Pearl Music Collective Presents: Spanjazz! February 28

The Pearl Music Collective Presents: Spanjazz! Friday, February 28. 8:00pm. $15.00/$10.00 students/artists. An evening of Spanjazz1.JPGOriginal Jazz Compositions: Inspired by world beat rhythms and composed by Gary Santucci: with Jordan Abraham – Keyboards; Steve Wilson – Drums; Brandon Walker – multi-reeds; Ian McGillivary – Trumpet; James Gannett – Bass; Gary Santucci – Guitar. The Pearl Music Collective encourages the creation, performance, and presentation of new instrumental music drawn from the influences of Jazz, Classical and World Beat Music. Post performance reception.

Barry Payne & Rick Taylor. Duane Rutter Opens. February 22.

Barry Payne & Rick Taylor. Duane Rutter Opens. Saturday, February 22. Doors 7:00/ Show 8:00pm. $20. Two great Canadian BarryPayne_RickTaylor.jpgroots singer / songwriters join forces. Folk-roots artist Barry James Payne (AKA String Bone) and Canadian Roots and Blues legend, Rick Taylor,  deliver a concert of original music focusing on their roots. Taylor has recorded and performed with Willie P. Bennett, Stan Rogers, and Colleen Peterson and has fronted many of his own bands with 3 solo CD’s to his credit.  He joins Payne of the popular Celtic band Rant Maggie Rant (also the prolific folk-country-blues songwriter String Bone), and the two collaborate on country-blues tinged folk songs about everyday life. This is an opportunity to see – and hear – a very special collaboration.
Payne’s String Bone band has received accolades from music aficionados from Europe to the USA. His record ‘nadir’ was cited as being reminiscent of Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’, Wilco’s ‘AM’ and Lucinda Williams’ ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’. High praise indeed for a relatively unknown songwriter.
Duane Rutter has been writing and performing original material throughout Canada for over three decades. He has two albums released on Busted Flat Records (

Ben Sures with Amber Suchy: February 21

Ben Sures with Amber Suchy: Friday, February 21: 8:00pm, $15  / $10 students/arts workers/seniors. Singer/songwriter BenSures.jpgextraordinaire, Ben Sure’s live show is captivating. He’s a great entertainer – funny, smart, musical and a gifted, well-respected guitar player.  He has won or been a finalist in all the International Songwriting contests, John Lennon, International and The USA songwriting competition and more….. He has four critically acclaimed recordings to his credit and is also the current regular music guest on CBC Radio’s national produced sketch comedy program ‘The Irrelevant Show’. He has worked as a commissioned songwriter for CBC radio in Winnipeg , Vancouver and Edmonton and done music for film and television including Sesame Street and has performed with many great Canadian Artists including Rita Chiarelli, Angie Nussey, The Wyrd Sisters, Grievious Angels, Paul Reddick and many more. He has performed as a support act for Ray Davies of The Kinks, The Preservation Hall band, The Good Lovelies, and more….. Edmonton’s Amber Suchy, also known as the lead singer of Ska band King Muskafa, appears with Ben with her strong voice, and her catchy poppy songs, ballads, and interesting rhythms. Listen to Amber: Ben:

Meaghan Blanchard: Thursday, February 20

Meaghan Blanchard: Thursday, February 20. 8:00pm. $15 /$10 students/arts workers/seniors. Vibrant, red-headed Meaghan MeaghanBlanchard2.jpgBlanchard is a 24 year old singer/songwriter from Hunter River PEI.  She has drawn a lot of her inspiration from her grandparents and the Saturday night dances at the community hall where they played and sang. Meaghan’s first collection of songs at the age of 18 “Changing Things”, garnered notable success across Canada receiving 4 MusicPEI awards and 2 ECMA nods. Meaghan’s second recording in 2011 “Chasin’ Lonely Again” was Country Recording of the Year at the ECMA awards. Her third album “She’s Gonna Fly” has just been released. John Keane, (REM, The Indigo Girls, Nanci Griffith!) has helped Meaghan craft a record that is (amazingly) head and shoulders above anything she’s done before.
Blanchard’s influences are many and varied, from the more traditional country sounds of artists like Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris to western swing, country gospel and more contemporary country fare as well as Americana like Patti Griffin and Shawn Colvin. “She is an artist with a definite vision of how to use her wonderful voice and pair it with songs that truly move you.” Maverick UK

Shari Vandermolen with QUARTER TO NINE: February 15:

Shari Vandermolen with QUARTER TO NINE: Saturday, February 15: 8:00pm. $20 /$18 students/arts workers/seniors. A sexy,ShariTall.jpg sassy, jazz-soaked treat for the Valentine Weekend! Quarter to Nine is a jazzy musical act with the remarkable Shari Vandermolen on vocals.  The name comes from the song “About a Quarter to Nine” from the musical 42nd Street.  Incorporating the sweet soft jazz feel of days gone by, or the burlesque feel of risqué blues, Q2Nine influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Etta James, Billie Holiday and the “big-band sound”. They’ll be bringing you Jazz Standards, naughty blues and torch songs peppered with just the right amount of show tunes for good measure. “Shari’s training as an actor imbues her music with an emotional edge that takes us places we have never been with these songs. Quarter to Nine is an experience as much as a concert.”  Listen:


THE FULL BAWDY COMEDY SHOW: VALENTINE VERSION:  SOLD OUT!  Friday, February 14: 8:00. Admission:  $25 @ door.  Shelley Marshall world-renowned Comedienne and the  winner of  Hamilton’s 2013 Best Local Theatre Production View Magazine for herFEB_FULL_BAWDY_.jpg One Woman Show “Hold Mommy’s Cigarette brings a Valentines Day production of the edgy and irreverent THE FULL BAWDY COMEDY SHOW back to The Pearl Company. Bring your honey and share a little love Full Bawdy style…! TFBCS is an always SOLD OUT vaudevillian variety show that celebrates the diversity of comedy through Music, Burlesque, Stand-up, Circus and more! Featuring original material from the funniest-and raciest-Stars this country (and beyond) has to offer. The show has featured some of the creamiest of the Canadian funny crop such as; Nikki Payne and Debra Digiovanni both Canadian Comedy Award and  Gemini Winners, Canadian Comedy Award Winner’s, Sandra Battaglini and Christele Bartalese, Fringe Festival Winners Evelyn Reese, Precious Chong, Rachelle Elie, Hamilton Music Award Winners Ginger St James and Robin Benedict, Juno Award Winner Lori Yates and many more! February 14th Line up: Shelley Marshall, Nara and Erin hosting, Musical Guest: Buckshot Beebe with guest Lisa Winn, Burlesque: Dolly Berlin, Stand Up: Zabrina Chevannes Sketch Character: Karen Burson. Come with an open mind and you’ll leave with a Full Heart. Adult Content. Listen:

Romanyi Rota: Saturday, February 8

Romanyi Rota: Saturday, February 8. 8:00pm. $15 /$10 students/arts workers/seniors. The name Rományi Rota means Gypsy romanyi_rota.jpgWheels; they are a truly traditional dance and music group from Hungary, founded in 1985. The band first functioned as a large dance group in Nagyecsed, Hungary, the village where the country’s Roma dance and music movement started in the 70s. As a dance and music collective they won a number of awards. Eventually the founder of Romani Rota moved to Budapest where he collected authentic Roma music in Hungary and in neighbouring countries. In 1995, the downsized band appeared internationally winning the Young Masters of Folk Art award. The members of the band now live in Canada. Throughout the years, Romani Rota has recorded several albums and appeared as guest musicians on a Trans Global album and the Romani Kris film music album. Here is a taste of what they can do!

Scarlett Jane: Friday, February 7

Scarlett Jane: Friday, February 7: 8:00pm $20 /$15 students/arts workers/seniors. Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire: One of the most exciting new collaborations in recent Canadian music — the marriage of the distinctive songs and beautifully haunting voices, the ScarlettJane_Glamour2_.jpgcollaborative song-writing, sultry performance style, and full band arrangements of Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire. The blend of the singer’s voices stops conversations; their musical sensibilities interweave seemingly without effort. And now, Stranger, their debut recording, captures their strength and their vulnerability, with a progressive roots sound which embodies the raw and candid demeanor of Lucinda Williams, the moody sensuality of Stevie Nicks, and the tender playfulness of Dolly Parton. A rootsy folk/noir album with enough country-edged rockin’ wailers to keep dancers moving, and gorgeous ballads and moody set-pieces to satisfy the indie-pop fans. Andrea has two previous albums; she’s of Italian heritage, a sweet city woman with fire in her heart, embers in her voice, and a background that includes school teaching, acting, and even tap dancing. Cindy calls herself a troubadour and a vagabond. Her voice can whisper or roar, as the song (and the lyrics) demand. She has three solo albums, two in French, which has given her a following in both French Canada and Europe.  Listen: 

A very special fundraiser for “Professor Piano”: February 5

A very special fundraiser for Scott (Professor Piano) Cushnie: Wednesday, February 5. 8:00pm. $15.00 adv / $20 at the door. Scott_Cushnie_3.jpg Guests for this evening with Professor Piano include Sonnie Bernardi, John Gibbard, and Roly Greenway from Crowbar, Lori Yates, Duane Rutter, Omar Tunnoch, Bucky Berger from Fathead, Trickbag and more to come…….  Scott Cushnie is 75 and currently living in Toronto. As Terry Murphy tells us, “He is in need of more support personally and professionally than I can provide for him from Hamilton so I have asked him to re-locate to Hamilton and he has decided to finally take me up on it. He grew up in the Bronte area and taught Kelly Jay from Crowbar his first piano lesson when they were in High School together. The guys from Crowbar are all contemporaries of Scott. In the 70’s he toured with Aerosmith and played on two of their albums “Toys In The Attic” and “Rocks” for which he has received two gold albums. He recorded an album with Ronnie Hawkins at Muscle Shoals Studio that featured local harmonica legend Richard “King Biscuit Boy” Newell and Duane Allman from the Allman Brothers. Today he still plays but because of his visual impairment, he has great difficulty keeping up with his fans, friends and maintaining a performance schedule that is conducive to his considerable talents. He has recorded several Albums of Instrumental Piano Duets with Some Canada’s finest musicians including Lance Anderson, and the late great Doug Riley.  Scott is interested in continuing down this path and future duet CDs are planned.” Bio:  Listen:

La Ronde: January 30 thru February 1

La Ronde – An “Intimate” Play About Seduction: January 30 thru February 1. 8:00pm Tickets: $16.00 / $12.00 students/arts workers/seniors/unwaged. The McMaster Thespian Company turns up the heat with Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler’s best-laronde.jpgknown drama, LA RONDE in a new stage adaptation by local playwright and director Brian Morton (recipient of the 2013 City of Hamilton Arts Award for Theatre). Provocative, stylish, and erotic, LA RONDE follows a chain of amorous couplings across turn-of-the-century Vienna. Exchanging one lover for another, ten actors take on diverse characters in sexy duets that explore the passions, deceptions and disconnections of modern love. Written in 1897, each scene centres around one pair of lovers, depicting their sexual encounter and a brief conversation with characters changing partners ending with a count and the prostitute from the first scene.
LA RONDE features a cast of ten actors which includes Rebecca Lamarche, Gabriel Pinto, Luis Arrojo, Jordan Hallin-Williamson, Erin Dykstra, Sage Hyden, Megan Vukelic, Nicole McDermott, Katie Baldwin, and Matt Breton.  The play will be stage managed by Sydney Stonier with Kayla Michelle Mazepa as Producer.
The McMaster Thespian Company is non-profit theatre organization which specializes in developing and performing classical plays, including but not limited to scripts from Grecian, Elizabethan and Victorian eras. MTC provides opportunities for students who are interested in performing, technical theatre, and production. This is the company’s eleventh season.
LA RONDE contains subject matter of a sexual nature – audience discretion is advised.

The Pearl Company Winter Theatre Festival: Jan 16 – 18 / 23 – 25

The Pearl Company Winter Theatre Festival: Jan 16 – 18 / 23 – 25:  Tickets: $15 per show. All shows 7:00/8:30. Laughing at God, Sex, and Harper at The Pearl Company Winter Festival, theatre and comedy fans are in for an upbeat treat. This year’s festival features the long-awaited Hamilton debut of one of Canada’s brightest new theatre personalities Wesley Colford, producing the religious farce Genesis and Other Stories by Rosamund Small. We are also presenting the first ever Hamilton visit by Buffalo’s “Queen of Comedy” Kristen Becker with The Dykes of Hazard Comedy Hour; the return of Stephen Harper: The Musical, starring CBC radio personality James Gordon; and the first Pearl Company show by Hamilton’s own underground sketch comedy group The Ugly Stiks.

Genesis and Other Stories: Colford, artistic director of Aim For The Tangent theatre in Toronto has been garnering universal Genesis_2014_Poster_2_.jpgacclaim since the company debuted in 2012 with “Best of Fringe” and “Critic’s Choice” awards for a sold out The Wakowski Bros, a musical comedy tribute to vaudeville. Genesis and Other Stories is about pure intentions gone wrong. Christopher, a theology student, leads a misfit cast of amateur actors in a production of his late father’s play: a hyper-sexed version of Adam and Eve set in 1960’s USA.  While the play turns on slapstick and satire, the comedy frames a surprisingly complex story about lonely people trying to fill roles that do not suit them.
Last year’s Toronto production of Genesis and Other Stories was widely praised: “Chaotic perfection…truly hilarious play… an absolute must see,” said Tarah Kennedy, Mooney on Theatre. Colette Shaw of The Charlebois Post simply said, “this is a brilliant, funny show. See it.”

Stephen Harper: The Musical: For those who prefer their idol worship in a more contemporary vein, who better to profile than our own “saviour” – Stephen Harper. James Gordon trades barbs with Harper as a ventriloquist’s dummy, taking the PM to task for hisHarper2.jpg“How To Survive and Thrive In The Dying Days of the Empire Of Oil”, the show is a unique multimedia presentation with original songs, reflecting Gordon’s long history of social commentary, political activism, and passion for his subject. “I think the timing is right for this innovative work,” explains Gordon, “So many Canadians are feeling that their voice is not being heard under the “Harper Government”. What can we do about this? Audiences can find out, and have a fun theatrical evening at the same time.” Gordon is a polished performer with a 30-year career as a singer-songwriter, and has recorded 40 albums to date.

The Dykes of Hazard Comedy Hour – 1 Night Only: Despite the name, The Dykes of Hazard are not all dykes, points out Kristen Becker, known as the Queen of Comedy in her hometown of Buffalo, and the driving force behind the DOH cabaret act. Straight fans dykes_of_hazard.jpgwill enjoy the show, as long as they appreciate edgy (and hysterical) humour about sex: a serving of bawdy reality topped with a slice of southern charm, as DOH’s fearless leader guides you through a great blend of stand up, sketch and burlesque. Becker has been touring her rowdy, political, personal, intelligent, and unrelentingly honest point-of-view comedy across North America for 10 years.  She’s the winner of the Queen City Comedy Competition; Buffalo’s Artvoice named her the city’s Best Stand-up Comic four years running; in December 2012 she was named one of the most influential citizens of the year by Buffalo’s Spree magazine – high praise indeed for an entertainer!

The Ugly Stiks: Hamilton’s The Ugly Stiks have performed continuously for more than six years in venues around Southern UglyStiks.jpgOntario. The 4-man, 1-woman troupe is Gabe DiFabio, Tyler Brent, Len Cain, Doug Millar and Elisha West. They are all seasoned theatre vets, who discovered a shared love for improv, which then morphed into sketch routines. Recent shows include Christmas is My Mistress; The Good, The Best and the Ugly; and Don’t Touch That – Santa’s Watching. A mix of Kids in the Hall, SCTV and Monty Python with a steel-town edge, The Ugly Stiks are a relentlessly funny and energetic event. Expect a “Best Of” show from their years together, with a few new skits.

All tickets are $15 per show. Reserve online at under the “Buy Tickets Tab”, by phone at 905-524-0606, or email at


Week One:
Thursday Jan. 16  7:00 pm –   Genesis & Other Stories: Aim for the Tangent Theatre
Thursday Jan. 16  8:30 pm –   Harper: The Musical: James Gordon

Friday      Jan. 17  7:00 pm –   Harper: The Musical: James Gordon
Friday      Jan. 17  8:30 pm –   Genesis & Other Stories: Aim for the Tangent Theatre

Saturday  Jan. 18   7:00 pm – Genesis & Other Stories: Aim for the Tangent Theatre
Saturday  Jan. 18   8:30 pm – Sketch Comedy: Ugly Sticks

Week Two:
Thursday  Jan. 23  7:00 pm – Genesis & Other Stories: Aim for the Tangent Theatre
Thursday  Jan. 23  8:30 pm –  Harper: The Musical: James Gordon

Friday       Jan. 24  7:00 pm – Genesis & Other Stories: Aim for the Tangent Theatre
Friday       Jan. 24  8:30 pm – Sketch Comedy: Ugly Sticks

Saturday   Jan. 25  7:00 pm –  Genesis & Other Stories: Aim for the Tangent Theatre
Saturday   Jan. 25  8:30 pm –  Dykes of Hazzard: Kristen Becker

Ryan Van Sickle: Saturday, January 11

Ryan Van Sickle: Saturday, January 11; 8:00pm. $20 at the door: Born and raised in Dundas, now living in New York, Van Sickle RyanVanSickle_1_.jpgcomes home to rock The Pearl with his annual show! The man is an excellent singer/songwriter whose yearly visit we enjoy enormously.  Writing songs of character and integrity that resound with the timeless and universal, Ryan Van Sickle uniquely translates the themes of love, war, life and death and the epic and mundane struggles within. Following in the steps of the masters from his native Canada, Ryan draws on the influences of Neil Young, Daniel Lanois, and Leonard Cohen alongside American greats Bruce Springsteen, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger and Lucinda Williams. With the release of his latest album Ghosts Of The Brokenhearted, Ryan emerges as a powerful songwriter; asserting his prowess in building a lyrical highway with a strong voice to carry listeners on the journey.  Listen:

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