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Songs in the Key of Cree

TOMSON HIGHWAY   Threesome with caption2
Songs in the Key of Cree

MAY 11 AT 8:00PM

Presented by Public Energy and TD Canada Trust

Music and Lyrics by: 
Tomson Highway

Performed by:
Patricia Cano (vocals), Tomson Highway (piano),
Marcus Ali (saxophone)

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre

General Admission $40 | VIP Cocktail Reception $100
*VIP tickets holders will receive a $50 charitable tax receipt.

An intimate meet & greet with raconteur Tomson Highway, who
will speak on The Birth and Development of ‘Native Showbiz’.
With locally sourced Indigenous cuisine from
Grandfather’s Kitchen and a selection of fine wine.
6:30pm-7:30pm in the theatre. Doors open at 6:00pm
View menu and wine pairings here
English is so hierarchical. In Cree, we don't have animate-inanimate comparisons between things.
Animals have souls that are equal to ours. Rocks have souls, trees have souls. Trees are 'who,' not 'what.” – Tomson Highway.
Public Energy is honoured to welcome back to Peterborough a living legend of Canadian theatre and music, Tomson Highway. On May 11 he brings Songs in the Key of Cree to the Market Hall stage with the extraordinary Peruvian/Canadian singer Patricia Cano, and saxophonist Marcus Ali.

Songs in the Key of Cree is a compilation of songs written over the past thirty years by Cree-Canadian playwright/songwriter/pianist Tomson Highway. The songs in the show are taken from five of his musicals over the years, in order: “Rose,” “The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito,” “The (Post) Mistress,” “The Sage, the Dancer, and the Fool” and a new work in progress as yet to be named. What makes the songs unique is their Cree lyrics.

Cree is the most spoken Native language in Canada today. “Winnipeg, Manitoba, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Ottawa…” that’s all Cree, a very rhythmic language that lends itself very naturally to music and music-making. And the style of the music is “cabaret.”

Think Cole Porter and Kurt Weill (two of Tomson’s biggest influences)…with Cree lyrics.

Many songs will be sung in English, and some in French. Mr. Highway is tri-lingual in Cree — his mother tongue — French, and English. Songs in the Key of Cree is touring Europe in spring, 2017, with additional stops in Peterborough and Koerner Hall in Toronto.

A member of the Order of Canada, Tomson Highway is one of Canada’s greatest playwrights.

Peterborough audiences will recall that two of Mr. Highway’s best works have been staged in Peterborough by the O’Kaadenigan Wiingashk Collective, assisted by Public Energy: The Rez Sisters and The (Post) Mistress. Mr. Highway first teamed up with singer Patricia Cano, and Toronto saxophonist Marcus Ali, to perform Highway’s show The (Post) Mistress on the Market Hall stage in 2012. Since that time the three musical partners have performed the play across Canada and created the cabaret Songs in the Key of Cree, which will make its Peterborough debut on the same Market Hall Performing Arts Centre stage where Tomson, Patricia and Marcus first met five years ago as the cast for The (Post) Mistress.

Presenting Sponsor        Supporting Sponsor

td logoIndigenous Studies Program Trent University 1



Tomson leading rehearsl smaller Marcus Patricia Tomson rehearsing smaller C8SXUj1UQAAuok
Tomson Highway rehearsing for
Songs in the Key of Cree

L-R: Marcus Ali, Patricia Cano, Tomson Highway
rehearsing for Songs in the Key of Cree

Patricia Cano (L) and Tomson Highway
rehearsing for Songs in the Key of Cree





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Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2017-18 Season Funders and Sponsors

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 (705) 745-1788
mailing address:
PO Box 2319
       Peterborough, ON K9J 7Y8
street address:     
       140 Charlotte Street
       Peterborough, ON, K9J 2T8

hours: M-F, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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Artistic Producer: Bill Kimball 
Administrator: Eva Fisher
Performance Curator: Victoria Mohr- Blakenely
More Information: About Us

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     # 89481 1058 RR 0001

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