The Times They Are a Changin’ | Concert Celebration at Segal Centre

When you resonate with the performances at a place like the Segal Centre show after show, you find yourself always coming back for more. Following a hilarious theatrical experience at Small Mouth Sounds in February, I had the privilege of attending The Times They Are a Changin’, an ode to Jewish musicians of the 1960s. This nostalgic and informative concert event premiered on March 1st, 2020.

The Time They Were a Changin’

In the 1960s, America was going through a period of disappointment in the system and anger at social injustices. Among the artists who addressed these issues, Jewish musicians’ sense of activism and community shone bright. As such, they made music to talk about what was truly happening. Their songs also provided hope that we have the power to create a better future for ourselves. Therefore, The Times They Are a Changin’ celebrates musicians like Bob Dylan, Mama Cass, Simon and Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Carole King, and many more.

Furthermore, the show was originally created for Toronto’s Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company in 2017 by Artistic Directors Avery Saltzman and David Eisner as well as the two main performers, and real-life couple, Louise Pitre and W. Joseph Matheson.

More specifically, the structure of this “concert spectacular” was a synchronized dance between the performance of 28 powerful songs and projections of video content and storytelling about the realities of the 60s.

Broadway Level Performances

When it comes to Pitre and Matheson, what can I say, they were spectacular. Their chemistry was undeniable in terms of stage presence and skill. At times, they sang as one, and at other times they supported each other in background vocals. Louise Pitre’s emotion and unique voice personally blew me away;  no wonder she is a Tony Award nominee and is referred to as Canada’s first lady of musical theater!

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Husband and wife duo W. Joseph Matheson and Louise Pitre in The Times They Are a Changin. Photo: Andree Lanthier

Moreover, many details like the costume changes, from a gala style to hippie outfits, truly added life to the show. My favorite moment occured during the last song.  Forever Young by Bob Dylan was sung a cappella by the singers and the entire band who harmonized beautifully together. This brought something extra special to the show because it highlighted the particles of hope that people still had throughout the unrest of the 60s. I think it is a much needed hope in our current climate as well.

The Show Goes On

To sum up, this was a lovely musical evening for all ages at the Segal Centre! The audience was moved, sang along at times and gave the show a standing ovation! I was very grateful to be there and witness it all.

Unfortunately, for health and safety reasons due to the COVID-19 situation at this time, the Segal Centre has cancelled the rest of the performances of The Times They Are a Changin’. As they say, the show must go on, and I cannot wait to go back to the Segal Center to enjoy glorious theater and music as soon as it is safe to do so! For details on all future programming you can head on over here.

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