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Critics’ Picks: 5 Shows to Attend this April

Things are opening in a big way. Events that have been cancelled are making a return, and artists who have been patiently waiting for the past two years are excitedly sharing their work again. This month, there’s a lot to look forward to.

For more details on what’s happening in and around Hamilton this month, stay up to date with our full event calendar

Jacob Moon Album Release Party

Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Jacob Moon has performed alongside, and has gathered a fanbase that includes Gordon Lightfoot, Rush, Marillion, Ron Sexsmith and more. His frequently used technique of live-looping layers pre-recorded tracks, allowing a one-man show to sound like an entire band. During the pandemic, Moon could be regularly seen performing free afternoon concerts online for audiences, taking requests live. On April 2, he welcomes back live audiences as he celebrates his twelfth album, ‘Under a Setting Sun’ with an evening release party at the Gasworks on Park Street. Recorded in Winnipeg last August, the six-song collection showcases Moon’s signature roots style and guitar technique. In addition to a night of great music, attendees are also guaranteed a free copy of the new CD.

Comedy Night at the Westdale (Westdale Theatre)

While there is at least one dedicated comedy club in Hamilton, and several establishments hosting comedy nights, the Westdale Theatre has quietly been building up its roster of comedians, and on April 11, they’re bringing in some known local names, as well as performers with a history in Canada’s comedy scene. Headliner Gavin Stephens has been featured in both the Toronto and Montreal Just for Laughs Festivals, as well as appearances alongside comedians Margaret Cho, Janeane Garofalo, Hannibal Buress and Marc Maron. He’s been featured on CBC’s Debaters and The Baroness Von Sketch Show. Gemini-Award winner Geri Hall (This Hour has 22 Minutes), Gary Pearson (Toronto Second City and writer for Corner Gas) round out the show alongside local comedian Doug Koning

The Hours That Remain (Theatre Aquarius)

Regional company Theatre Aquarius continues its 22-23 season with Metis performer Keith Barker’s first play, about the Highway of Tears; a notorious 800-kilometre stretch of road in British Columbia where at least 18 women- and as many as over 40- were murdered or have disappeared since 1969. The Hours That Remain centres around a female character, Denise, as she attempts to deal with the unsolved disappearance of her sister. The play will be directed by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, who is well-known to Hamilton audiences as a previous host of the Fringe Festival’s Guilded Hammer Awards, and as a Director with local ensemble Red Betty Theatre. The Hours That Remain runs April 20 – May 7.

Spice World Interactive Movie Night (Hub of the Hammer)

What if the Rocky Horror Picture Show experience of attending a film with props, audience participation and callbacks was extended to other films? Meet event group Hub of the Hammer’s interactive movie nights. During the pandemic, the group tested the waters with interactive films to much success and are now taking the experience to the big screen (literally). Following a successful presentation in March of Jurassic Park, they present 90s cult favourite Spice World on April 22 at the Zoetic. They’ll provide the cues for participation, including moments to take a sip of a (themed) cocktail as well as a pre-show performance by Spice Girls tribute group Simply Spice

Shad (Supercrawl Presents)

Supercrawl Presents Canadian superstar Shad on April 30 at the Bridgeworks. Since releasing his debut album in 2005, the MC has combined his socially-conscious, but playful hip-hop into the mainstream. His albums repeatedly land on the Polaris Music Prize shortlist, as well as receiving critical acclaim from outlets like Rolling Stone. He’s often remembered for his short stint as host of CBC’s q, and while no longer host, he’s taken his ability to create connections to Emmy/Peabody Award winning Netflix docuseries, Hip-Hop Evolution. With his most recent album released in 2021, expect the concert to feature Shad’s latest evolution and insights.

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