Allan Merovitz’s musical play If Cows Could Fly lands in Hamilton for two nights on its way to Ottawa. Artword Theatre is pleased to announce that their revival production of Allan Merovitz’s If Cows Could Fly, about growing up Jewish in the Ottawa Valley, will debut in Hamilton. Two public performances will be held at the DAC (Downtown Arts Centre, 28 Rebecca Street) Friday and Saturday February 15 and 16, 2008 at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 and $10 for students.
If Cows Could Fly is written and performed by Allan Merovitz, a well-known singer, actor and storyteller, directed by Ronald Weihs, designed by Judith Sandiford and produced by Artword Theatre and Barry Karp. Accompanying Allan on-stage is a trio of musicians skilled in both the Klezmer sound and country music: Henri Oppenheim on accordion, Frank Rackow on clarinet and Ronald Weihs on fiddle.
If Cows Could Fly traces the story of both sides of Merovitz’s family – Waxman and Merovitz – from Poland, Lithuania and Kishinev to the rural Ontario community of Smiths Falls. Allan has reconstructed the fragmented memories of his family in diaspora, and interspersed them with a wide range of musical styles – Yiddish songs, country-and-western ballads, as well as Klezmer and Ottawa Valley fiddle tunes. In addition to chronicling his family history, Merovitz portrays his own struggle in coming to terms with a dual identity: heir to a tradition that spans millennia and being just a modern Canadian kid.
After the performances in Hamilton, the production heads off to Ottawa for a three-week run, February 21 to March 9, in the new Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, home of the Great Canadian Theatre Company.
Allan Merovitz, a two-time Dora-award winner, has ranged from coast to coast in his musical and acting career, including several stints at the Caravan Stage in Armstrong BC. He has played roles in two musical plays by Ronald Weihs, Hands Up! The Bill Miner Story and Highball! a play about logging. Allan was lead singer with the Juno-nominated Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band. Allan currently leads his own band in Calgary, KlezMerovitz, with a recent self-titled CD. A new CD, The Wedding Bard / Der Badchan, is in the works.
Artword Theatre was created in 1993 by Ronald Weihs, playwright and director, and Judith Sandiford, visual artist and theatre designer, with the mandate to create, produce and foster works of theatre, music, dance and art. From 1993 to 2006 Artword also created and operated a noted performance facility in downtown Toronto (
Artword Theatre produced Merovitz’s If Cows Could Fly in 2000 and again in 2001, when it also toured to Winnipeg. Reviewer Avril Benoit, Metro Morning, CBC Radio said, “The stories are great … a lovely heartwarming evening for the whole family,” while Paula Citron of Classical 98 called Merovitz “a gamin-like, energetic, charming performer.”
Weihs, who directs this play for the third time, comments: “I had a great time working with Allan on this play. It runs the gamut from wacky to fascinating to deeply moving. It’s a kaleidoscope, always full of surprises. Most of all, it’s about tolerance and understanding between people from different backgrounds. The positive, affirmative spirit of this play is even more pertinent today than when Artword first produced it seven years ago.”
“What does ‘If Cows Could Fly’ mean? It means making the impossible tangible,” Merovitz says. “How do we do this? Through a belief in ourselves and in the generosity of so many people who help us along the way. Music is a way to express this and have a good time. We smile, we laugh, we sing, we dance.”
For more information, visit the show’s website www.ifcowscouldfly.com.