Going Out

WEEKENDER: Five things to do in Ottawa on the weekend of May 15-17


The Last Unicorn, remastered, screens in Ottawa, with author Peter S. Beagle speaking and signing books
The Last Unicorn remastered screens in theatres in Ottawa as part of a tour featuring author Peter S. Beagle — May 15 & May 17

Last Unicorn Remastered
For some, it never got better than the 80s decade and, in particular, its strange fascination with unicorns: Legend, My Little Pony, She-ra, and, of course, The Last Unicorn — the latter a particularly special moment, perhaps up there with the death of Mr. Hooper and the advent of Super Nintendo. The 1982 animated fantasy film, featuring the all-star cast of voices — Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, and Mia Farrow — is a quest by the last unicorn to discover what happened to its kin. This timeless classic’s author, Peter S. Beagle, is currently on a screening tour. At select theatres, fans will be able to watch the newly remastered film and afterwards join the author for a Q&A session and book-signing. There will be two screenings/events in Ottawa: Thursday, May 15 at 7 p.m. at Cineplex Cinemas, and on Saturday, May 17 at 4 p.m. at SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas. Price for event is same as admission to a regular film. Cineplex Cinemas is at 3090 Carling Ave., and SilverCity is at 2385 City Park Drive.

Stamp Thriller
Mauritius, the name of a West African island (and once home to the now-extinct Dodo bird), is perhaps an apt title — and metaphor — for a play about a naive young woman who, alone, desperately fights off three unscrupulous stamp collectors, as well as her own sister, from getting at her priceless collection. No man, er woman, is an island — but this funny, sharp, and beguiling play, by Theresa Rebeck (SmashLaw & OrderNYPD Blues) may prove that being an island is the best bet. This is the last weekend to catch Mauritius: — Thursday, May 14Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17 at 7: 30 p.m. at Ottawa Little Theatre. Tickets from $25. Ottawa Little Theatre is at 400 King Edward Ave.

Knight’s Tour
Lucy Moran: “Mr. Martell, Andy moved his knight without doing the little hook thing.”Deputy Andy Brennan: “You don’t have to do the little hook thing; that’s optional.”
Pete Martell: Andy, uh… the knight has to do the ‘little hook thing.’ ”
DAB: “Every time?”
PM: “It’s a privilege! No one else gets to make that move”
— and just as the Twin Peaks‘ sheriff department’s staff discovered, the knight’s little hook move in chess is indeed unique and a privilege; the same is true for hearing Wooden Horseman live. Taking his name from that particular chess piece, the Horseman, aka Steven Beddall, is a Toronto musician with roots in Ottawa who sounds a bit like Luke Doucet or even a young, less croony Neil Young, and who plays wonderful blues tinged, alt-country. He’ll be leading a cast of musicians for his live show at Pressed cafe this Saturday, May 17, along with Vancouver’s Real Ponchos, and Ottawa’s Jack Pine. $10. Pressed is at 750 Gladstone Ave.

Wooden Horseman plays at Pressed Cafe on Saturday, May 17
Wooden Horseman plays at Pressed Cafe on Saturday, May 17

Musical Frankenstein
As any scientist knows, experiments can go either way — maybe you get some surprisingly good results, or maybe you create a thing so hideous that the outcry against your abomination reaches the high heavens. Regardless, this weekend the annual Ottawa Rock Lottery aims to play God by randomly assembling 25 Ottawa musicians — from across genres — into five new bands. Each group will then have 24 hours to create a 20-30 minute set, which will be played at Babylon on Saturday, May 17. The sixth annual Rock Lottery will be hosted by CBC’s Amanda Putz; it costs $10, $9 with donation, doors open at 8 p.m. Babylon is at 317 Bank St.

Block Party (FREE!)
Summer festival season is nigh. In Ottawa, it began last weekend with Tulipfest — this weekend, Chinatown Remixed kicks off a month-long celebration of arts and culture in the Somerset West /Chinatown neighbourhood with a day-long vernissage on Saturday, May 17. Performances, art, and activities will be happening from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. throughout Somerset — the day’s events culminating in an evening party in the parking lots of Shanghai Restaurant and ZenKitchen, where music, food, and other performances will take place: former ZenKitchen chef, Caroline Ishi will hold a live food performance, and there will be music by The Girls Rock Band Camp, Loon Choir, and Brooklyn’s Smoota. Highjinx will also hold a night market that evening. The festival, which features more than 40 artists, workshops for kids, free concerts, and other eclectic activities, runs until June 17.