Friday 18 May 2012

CSL Council Members to Demonstrate Flair for Comedy

CSL council members to demonstrate flair for comedy
Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban
May 16, 2012

The Suburban Côte St. Luc mayor Anthony Housefather and council members always try to inject a little light humour at monthly council meetings, with little quips and contemporary cultural references to avoid an overly formal atmosphere. But this time the comedic talents of Housefather, Côte St. Luc Councillors Mitchell Brownstein and Sam Goldbloom, as well as Dollard des Ormeaux Councillor Herbert Brownstein, will be seen in their full glory, when the Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society presents Norm Foster's Office Hours from Thursday, May 24 to Saturday, May 26, in the Harold Greenspon Auditorium at 5801 Cavendish Blvd., the basement of Côte St. Luc city hall. (Herbert Brownstein is Mitchell Brownstein's brother.) “Côte Saint-Luc is committed to community theatre,” Housefather said. “I hope that my participation helps draw attention to this great community initiative." "Participating with my fellow politicians and so many talented community actors has been a real treat,” says Brownstein. “This play is hysterical and playing my role as a stereotype 'off the wall' salesman is a blast." Norm Foster is described by the Halifax Daily News as “Canada's mostproduced dramatist.” Office Hours is described as a “fastpaced” comedy which takes place on one Friday afternoon in six different offices in a large city. The six separate stories that take place in each office eventually interconnect. According to a Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society announcement, the stories involve a newsman “who will do anything to keep his job, a Canadian producer willing to overlook the shortcomings of a down and out director, an entertainment agent caught in a scandal, a lawyer with big news to share, a delusional jockey, a love-starved therapist and a man on a ledge.” The society promises the play will “send the city into hysterics.” Anisa Cameron, who directed the previous Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society production of the musical Grease, is doing the same for Office Hours. Ariel Sterlin, who played Frenchy in Grease, is the production stage manager; and Scott Drysdale return as the lighting and technical director for the production. The shows are at 8 p.m. There will also be two 2 p.m. matinees, one on Friday, May 25, and one on Saturday, May 26.
Tickets are $15 plus tax and are available at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library (5851 Cavendish Blvd.), the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.), or by telephone at 514-485-6806 ext. 2200. Credit card or Interac will be accepted.

Friday 11 May 2012

Norm Foster's OFFICE HOURS opens May 24th

Local politicians play leading roles in upcoming production
Isaac Olson
NDG Press, May 8

While some might say politics is full of drama, the Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society’s upcoming play will be full of politicians. “Politicians are natural actors as they are comfortable in front of people and it definitely shows in their performances,” said director Anisa Cameron, citing the participation of CSL councillors Mitchell Brownstein and Sam Goldbloom as well as Mayor Anthony Housefather and a councillor from Dollard des Ormeaux, Herbert Brownstein (Mitchell Brownstein’s brother). “They have a particular stage presence because of their experience and they have also been my most devoted cast members.” The fast-paced comedy by Norm Foster, Office Hours, is set in six different offices with a cast of 15 actors and, while the scenes are separate, it all comes together in the end as the connections are revealed. For this play, Cameron said she had a flood of actors wanting roles but she had to select carefully to ensure characters are appropriately cast for age, gender and so forth. The councillors and mayor, she said, fit the part and they have continued to demonstrate a dedicated interest in putting the Dramatic Society on the map. “They see the community is really excited about having a community theatre,” said Cameron. “The city really wants to support this initiative and there is no better way than to get directly involved.” Housefather’s performance in the Dramatic Society’s first production was his first real acting experience, he said, and he is “thrilled” to be in another play. “I believe my participation,” he said, “signals the incredible interest that our council has to make CSL a city of theatre — our desire to make this a city that offers both sports and cultural programs that, in a few years, will be second to none.” Councillor Mitchell Brownstein commended the mayor’s participation, describing him as a skilled actor that “is very involved on the ground level ... I think it’s going to be a hysterical play and I think we now have a reputation for putting out great performances.” Goldbloom, who has professional acting experience in both plays and movies, said he enjoys being on stage and he believes in the dramatic society’s importance as it draws in people of all ages. “We want to continue to make the city as attractive as possible for young families move in as well as offering people of all ages an opportunity to express themselves theatrically,” said Goldbloom. Opening night is May 24 and the play will be performed in city hall’s Harold Greenspon Auditorium. There will be a 2 pm matinee on May 25 as well as 8 pm showing and that schedule repeats itself on the 26th. If the play sells out as quickly as the last production, Grease, there is the possibility of having a final showing on Sunday, May 27. For more information, contact city hall or email: csldramaticsociety@

Friday 27 April 2012

Brownstein speaks about his father-in laws survival of the holocaust in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Castel Royale residents commemorate HolocaustApril 25, 2012
Joel Goldenberg, The Suburban

The annual Yom Hashoah commemoration of the Holocaust at Côte St. Luc's Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue is the most widely known community remembrance of the atrocities of the Nazis. But several other events were held last week to also remember the six million Jews who perished during World War II. One such ceremony was held at the Castel Royale residence in Côte St. Luc, where a smaller version of the community commemoration was held. Residents lit candles in memory of those who died, and also to represent the partisans who fought Nazis, veterans, the Polish army, the Russian army, the Israeli army and Castel Royale itself. Rabbi Mark Friedman, of the Castel Royale, offered words of inspiration. Eva Bass, a Holocaust survivor, said it would be impossible to explain everything she experienced during that time in Hungary. “I don't wish what we went through on anybody in the world.” Castel Royale director Sonya Miles told of a trip to Europe she took as a teenager. While there, she visited the house of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who wrote her famous diary as her family was being hidden from the Nazis in Amsterdam. “This really meant a lot to me,” Miles said. “I remember the day like it was yesterday. When I went back to Europe two years later, I went to Poland and I wanted to go to Cracow, and I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau. When I crossed the gate, I felt very emotional.” Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said his father-in-law, Eddy Yagodzinsky, survived the Warsaw Ghetto through various harrowing means, including hiding in a barn, dressing as a Christian, living under a Polish man's identity and hiding in the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto after the uprising, where he was found and saved by a man named David Landau. Yagodzinsky is now 92. “The blood that goes through my children is thanks to his survival,” Brownstein pointed out.

Friday 20 April 2012

Norm Foster's Office Hours

Contact: Anisa Cameron

(514) 939-9845            CÔTE SAINT-LUC DRAMATIC SOCIETY


Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society presents Norm Foster’s Office Hours in May

This fast-paced comedy is set to send the city into hysterics!
Côte Saint-Luc, April 18, 2012: A laugh riot in our own back yards!
The Côte Saint- Luc Dramatic Society will perform Norm Foster’s Office Hours from Thursday, May 24th to Saturday, May 26th, 2012 in the Harold Greenspon Auditorium at 5801 Cavendish Blvd.

Hot on the heels of their sold out success with Grease in January, The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is set to send the city into hysterics with Norm Foster’s fast-paced comedy, Office Hours.  Tickets will be available for purchase online, at The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library (5851 Cavendish Blvd.), the Aquatics and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.), The Côte Saint-Luc Parks and Recreation Office (7500 Mackel Rd.), or by phone at (514) 485-6806.  Tickets cost $15 (plus tax).  Showtimes are 8 pm on May 24th, 25th and 26th.  There will also be two 2 pm matinees, one on Friday, May 25th, and one on Saturday, May 6th.

Norm Foster’s Office Hours takes place during the same Friday afternoon in six different offices in the big city.  We follow the stories that take place in each office, and, as the story unfolds, each story becomes connected with the other; A newsman who will do anything to keep his job, a Canadian Producer willing to overlook the shortcomings of a down and out Director, an Entertainment Agent caught in a scandal, a lawyer with big news to share, a delusional jockey, a love-starved therapist and a man on a ledge, this promises to be a production you won’t soon forget!

"Norm Foster is Canada's most-produced dramatist, and no wonder. His snappy dialogue, everyday situations and gently balanced characters dare to represent that great, under-represented middle of North American society." - Halifax Daily News

Anisa Cameron returns to direct the cast of 15, which includes Côte Saint-Luc’s own Mayor, Anthony Housefather and three City Councilors (Mitchell Brownstein, Sam Goldbloom, Côte Saint-Luc, and Herbert Brownstein, Dollard Des-Ormeaux).  Ariel Sterlin, who played Frenchy in Grease, has joined the cast as the production Stage Manager and Scott Drysdale returns as the lighting and Technical Director for the production.

About the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society
The Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society is a community theatre initiative that began in the summer of 2011 in partnership with the City of Côte Saint-Luc.  The goal of the society is to bring together actors, writers, musicians and other artistically minded community members to produce theatrical works in an inclusive environment where emphasis is placed on team work and comradery, not celebrity.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Camp and Comedy at the Cote Saint Luc Dramatic Society

After the smash hit of Grease the Musical, our next production is the comedy, Norm Foster's Office Hours.  A two week camp for children ages 9 to 15 is also planned for this summer starting July 2nd.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Cote Saint Luc Theatre Program

Classes will be run by Anisa Cameron, and her colleagues within the performance art field, giving children, ages 7 to 16, a chance to learn more about theatre productions from stage design and costumes to acting and directing.

Friday 30 March 2012

Bialik's production of Moulin Rouge Delights

Director Anisa Cameron and Musical Director Nick Burgess outdid themselves once again, this time with the production of Moulin Rouge.  Presented at Bialik High School from March 27th to the 29th, audiences were entertained by a cast of 67 outstanding dancers, singers and actors.  Lia Elbas as Satine and Brandon Schwartz as Sebastian were the perfect lovers.  Elbas is a very talented actress and dancer whose voice fit perfectly with Schwartz's powerful and uplifting renditions  of the beautiful love songs he sang throughout the show.  Other honorable mentions must go to Jacob Shapiro as the evil Duke, playing his part to the extreme, and to Matan Kushner as the narcoleptic Argentinian Marco.  For a few highlights of the show watch these excerpts from the video I took on opening night.

CSL Dramatic Society to put on new show, youth classes, summer camp

CSL Dramatic Society to put on new show, youth classes, summer camp
Isaac Olson, The Free Press
March 27, 2012

Those lucky enough to get tickets to the Côte St. Luc Dramatic Society’s sold-out production of Grease know it was an exceptionally professional compilation of local, all-age actors singing and dancing across the stage with a undeniable passion for the performance arts. “The response for Grease was overwhelming and it kind of proves that people really want theatre in their community,” said director Anisa Cameron, noting the city’s help and continued support have allowed the group to flourish. “Actually, it was a bit of a surprise. I didn’t anticipate that much of response as it was our first production.”

Now, with one major production under its belt, plans are now in the making for another play and Councillor Mitchell Brownstein reported theatre classes for youth are planned for this coming spring. There will even, he said, be a two-week drama summer camp trial this coming July that, if popular, could expand with time.

The upcoming play will, in an effort to produce one drama and one musical a year, be Norm Foster’s Office Hours. The cast is still being chosen for the Canadian-penned comedy that is, the director admits, more mature in nature than Grease. The play will be performed on May 24 through the 26, again in city hall’s Harold Greenspon Auditorium. The classes, said Cameron, will be hosted by her and her colleagues within the performance art field, giving kids, ages 7 to 16, a chance to learn more about theatre productions from stage design and costumes to acting and directing. While these classes are slated to start in mid-April and run through June at the Aquatic and Community Centre, the summer camp would likely be for youth ages 10 to 16, giving kids a chance to learn even more about production. From there, she said the hope is that these kids will be interested in joining the CSL Dramatic Society.

“There really is a strong demand for this, not just among the actors who want a chance to express themselves, but also among the public that wants to come out and enjoy a professional show,” said Brownstein. “I’m very happy to be part of an organization that is helping young people excel in life. Maybe they won’t become Hollywood actors, but that’s not necessarily the goal. The objective here is that, while having a good time, they learn certain skills that help them become the best they can be at no matter what they do in life.” For more information about the CSL Dramatic Society, email: csldramaticsociety@ To show support for the summer camp idea or inquire about any other activities, call the Parks and Recreation department at 514.485.6806.

Côte Saint-Luc continues to grow

Competition Pool
The City of Côte Saint Luc is undergoing rejuvenation in construction, programming and population growth. As our community grows and young families continue to choose Côte Saint Luc, our city will continue to respond to meet the needs of our residents.  
Many new townhouses are being built on Marc Chagall Ave. and the Cavendish Mall re-development site. The Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave.) is full of new and exciting programs. The pools are being used for leisure, competitive and fitness purposes from infant to senior to the physically challenged, who are all taking advantage of a facility that was built to provide service to all. Programs offered include swim team, master’s swim team for adults, synchronized swimming, aqua fitness, water polo, Red Cross swimming lessons, scuba and more. Our fitness room is a great place to keep in shape. The satellite library is being used by children participating in other programs in the building and by their parents as well. The dance studio, activity rooms, seniors centre, and gymnasium are all bustling with activity.
On the cultural/artistic side, the Côte Saint Luc Dramatic Society production of the musical Grease in late January was an outstanding success with seven sold-out shows.  There was such an overwhelming demand for tickets that we may remount the show in the fall. We would not have been able to produce such a professional production without our talented director Anisa Cameron, and musical director Nick Burgess. Our next production to be presented in May will be Norm Foster’s comedy Office Hours.
The Dramatic Society will also be offering a two-week theatre intensive day camp in July to be run by Anisa Cameron for children ages 10 to 15. The goal will be a theatrical presentation on the last day of camp. This initiative will be for youth who are not only interested in acting, but in all aspects of the production of a play.
To register for the programs mentioned herein please contact Ryan Nemeroff at 514-485-6806 ext. 2024 or
Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with your ideas and get involved in all Côte Saint Luc has to offer.
Mitchell Brownstein can be reached by e-mail at or 514-826-6801. He is the councillor responsible for Parks and Recreation. He also represents Côte Saint-Luc district 7.