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Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Playwright contest winner receives short story prize

Tags: Arts
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Daniel Karasik, a 25-year-old native of Thornhill, Ont., has been named winner of the CBC Short Story Prize. Karasik’s story, Mine, was selected from a field of more than 3,750 submissions.

Karasik is to receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, and his story is being published in enRoute magazine. He will also receive a two-week residency at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Colony. Shelagh Rogers interviewed him last week on her CBC Radio show The Next Chapter.

Remarkably, Karasik was the playwright who won the 2011 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition for his play Haunted. The play is to receive a staged reading at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre on Tuesday, April 10, 8 p.m. (416-924-6211, ext. 606)

He has won numerous other awards for plays that have been seen in Toronto, New York, and Germany. His latest, The Innocents, is at the Tarragon Theatre Studio April 26 to May 13. He also recently completed a first novel, which has also received acclaim by way of the Alta Lind Cook Prize and the Norma Epstein National Literary Award.  

Jurors for the CBC short story prize are Peter Behrens, Michael Winter and Alison Pick, whose 2010 novel, Far to Go, won the Stan and Helen Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction.

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Jewish Music and Chagall: Friends of Yiddish presents Our Yiddish Heritage —  A Polyphonic Canvas featuring Jewish Music and the Art of Marc Chagall. Cantor Katie Oringel weaves together a multimedia experience of art, music and narrative on the life of Chagall. Also featuring Temple Sinai composer-in-residence Ben Steinberg and actor Harvey Atkin. Temple Sinai, 210 Wilson Ave., Sunday April 15, 4 p.m. Free admission, everyone welcome.

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Talent Shines for One Night Only: Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company presents One Night Only: An Evening Of Song & Laughter, hosted by Linda Kash and Sheila McCarthy. The talent for this HGJTC fundraiser includes Thom Allison, Micah Barnes, Mitch Smolkin, Theresa Tova, Gabi Epstein and many others. $50 and up, VIP $180. Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre, Monday, April 16, 8 p.m.  416-366-7723, www.hgjewishtheatre.com

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Names in the News: Marla Lukofsky, a 56-year-old Toronto comedian who used to perform the story of The Wizard of Oz in one minute, has turned to more serious fare over the past decade since becoming a breast cancer survivor who underwent difficult chemotherapy treatment. She still keeps them laughing, but now adds a modicum of tears and sadness to her performances. Audiences are deeply and sometimes profoundly moved.

Lukofsky, who lives in the Eglinton-Spadina area, recently drew standing ovations when she performed her show, I’m Still Here… and So Is My Hair! recently at Bayview Secondary School. The Toronto Star lauded her “lightning quick comic timing.” She performs the show again at Rouge Woods Community Centre, 110 Shirley Dr., Richmond Hill, Wednesday, April 18, 8 p.m. www.marlalukofsky.com

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Arts in Brief

• Film critic Adam Nayman presents a lecture with film clips on the films of Stanley Kubrick (Fear and Desire, Killer’s Kiss), Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, April 16, 7 to 9 p.m. $12 drop in, students $6; $90 for all 8 lectures. Call 416-924-6211, ext. 0 to register. 

• The Al Green Theatre presents Stars on Spadina Gala, a benefit featuring Marilyn Lightstone, Theresa Tova, Moshe Hammer, Hilario Duran, Laura Tucker, Daniela Nardi, Ron Davis and more. Tickets $180. Funds raised will support cultural arts programming. Miles Nadal JCC, Monday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 0. 

• Medina Theatre Ensemble presents a staged reading performance of From Chelm to Chollyvood (A Panorama of Jewish Humour) by Morris Jacobs. $10. Temple Sinai Congregation, 210 Wilson Ave. (east of Bathurst), Monday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. 416-638-2716 or 416-785-0344.

• Israeli pop music star Sarit Hadad is giving a concert in Toronto in celebration of Israeli Independence Day, Thursday, May 10. National Hall, 1000 Finch Ave. W. near Dufferin. $65. 905-881-1826.

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At the Galleries: How beautiful We All Were is an exhibit of photographs by Shelly Grimson of 16 Canadian poets – namely Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Milton Acorn, Leonard Cohen, Irving Layton, George Bowering, Pat Lane, Victor Coleman, Doug Jones, Al Purdy, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Earl Birney, Raymond Souster, Margaret Avison, John Newlove and Eli Mandel. Miles Nadal JCC Gallery, April 3 to 30.

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