Tara Thorne has the dope on the arts scene.

An ambitious season from the Dalhousie Theatre Department comes to a close this week with anti-capitalist musical Urinetown. Staging a musical is a special kind of endeavour, says director and Dal theatre professor David Overton. “It’s simply more complex to do it in terms of the logistics,” he says. “The amount of work that has to be done in order to prepare a musical—just because you’re dealing with people who are by and large actors, with some singing training—you have to take time to learn music and to spend the time trying to get that up to a level of competence that will suit the shows. These shows are very physical, so the staging is complex, so it demands time.”

The rights to the Broadway smash were just released, making Dal one of the first universities to stage its own interpretation. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to do something that hasn’t been seen here,” says Overton. “It’s a superbly constructed musical.”

Urinetown runs until March 25 at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, $12 ($6 students/seniors), 494-3820.

Halifax’s publishing community will soon get bigger with the launch of Invisible Publishing, an independent press co-run out of Montreal. “The focus is on working with emerging or underpublished writers,” says publisher Robbie MacGregor, the Halifax branch of Invisible. (Coordinating editor Nic Boshart represents Montreal.) “The idea being that the same way you can be underemployed if you have skills and ideas you don’t get to put to practice in your work.”

Invisible is putting together material for a 2007 release, and is looking for submissions until the end of March. “There are authors who we’re currently working with and who we’re looking at developing titles with,” says MacGregor, “but that doesn’t preclude our doing business with others and seeing material from a wider range of writers and storytellers and authors.”

To learn more about the press and find submission guidelines, visit

Last week, Halifax painter Mathew Reichertz was named the east coast finalist for the Sobey Art Award. The winner, chosen in November from five artists (one each from the east, west, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies/north regions of Canada), gets $50,000. Reichertz was a finalist in last year’s RBC painting competition.

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