by Paula Citron
Nova Scotia Music
Starring Mi’Kmaq, Acadian, Celtic and African artists
At Massey Hall
The foot-tapping DRUM! is the exuberant Nova Scotia song and dance spectacle featuring the Mi’Kmaq, Acadian, Celtic and African cultures.
The logical staging would have been each doing its own thing. However, the 20 multiracial cast members are completely mixed together for almost every number. I’m sure it’s a first for the Afro-drums conga and bongo in a Mi’Kmaq song. In fact, this is one of the most multitasking groups I have ever seen on stage.
The first half introduces the four cultures in a joyous outpouring of song and dance.
The darker second half, built around Mi’Kmaq poet Rita Joe and her heartfelt words from I lost My Talk, evokes a collage of hardships. The rapturous ending is, of course, finding the talk.
If I have one cavil, it is that each half is too short, the show running about 80 minutes in total. If there were a way to perform DRUM! without an intermission that would be perfection.