Hornepayne to BramptonFor those reliant on public transit, Brampton may seem impossibly north. From this writer’s current location, it’s 1,063 km south. With that in mind, it seems fair to say that Brampton On Stage’s wonderfully diverse programming (music and otherwise) across five venues in that city make a compelling argument for downtowners to take the 43 minute ride from Union Station on the Kitchener or Brampton/Orangeville GO lines.

Adi BraunLovers of jazz, cabaret, humour and storytelling should take particular note of a pair of Brampton concerts in this issue’s listings, whether you are looking for a departure from your usual holiday programming or resisting the generic musical tyranny of seasonal banks and supermarket aisles. First, Adi Braun and her quartet bring “Noir” to the Lester B. Pearson Theatre on Thursday, December 14. The music of the Film Noir era is perfectly suited to Braun’s signature style, which sits beautifully in the nebulous zone between jazz and cabaret and a significant step removed from holiday cheer. 

On the other hand, my own reluctance to embrace the season in any way softened a little, even teetering toward “Christmas in November”, when I discovered that Toronto-based trio Broadsway were bringing their Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Maybe a little closer to Santa Claus (and me!) with stops in Sault Ste Marie and Kirkland Lake (4 ½ hours and 5 ½ hours southeast respectively from here, if you have a car). Ironically, if you don’t drive, it’s probably easier to plan a trip to Brampton!

BroadswayBroadsway is the jazz-cabaret supergroup of Diane Leah, Heather Bambrick and Julie Michels, and they will return south from here with stops in Toronto and North York before wrapping up at Brampton’s Rose Theatre on Thursday, December 19. Each of these women is a powerhouse musician, performer and storyteller in their own right; the 868-seat Rose auditorium is an amazing opportunity to watch the collective magic they create together - taking a space of any size, anywhere, turning it into the most intimate of kitchen parties, and then blowing the roof off the place. On the train ride home, even the holiday reluctant in your traveling party will have to admit they had a good time. 

Sophia Perlman grew up bouncing around the jazz, opera, theatre and community arts scene in Toronto. She now eagerly awaits the arrival of her monthly WholeNote to Hornepayne, Ontario, where she uses it to armchair-travel and inform her Internet video consumption.

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