The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Friday, November 04, 2005

Will This Romance be a Schur Success?

Strike up the band and cue the choir. Winnipeg empresario Danny Schur is taking his show on the road.

Saskatoon's Persephone Theatre has picked Schur's musical Strike to open its 2006 season.

Artistic Director Tibor Feheregyhazi went ga-ga over the play and wanted to be first to snap up the rights.

This is a big feather in Danny's cap but only step one in his big plan to fill the void left by the demise of Canada's numero uno in the world of musical theatre, Garth Drabinsky, whose Livent productions of Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime were Broadway staples in he Nineties.

Schur risked everything and lost a small fortune putting on the musical about the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. He fought tooth-and-nail to get his show into the Rainbow Stage venue this spring, only to see the worst weather in history dilute his audiences despite rave reviews. But Strike still managed to be a bigger hit than the dead dog of a play Rainbow Stage staged on their own, and his dream stayed alive.

With the Persephone deal, Schur shows he is living proof that persistance pays. He's had meetings with a handful of Broadway producers, only one of whom said "Getattahere, kid. You're not ready for the Great White Way." And a deal with PBS in the United States is closer than you think.

Schur hopes his foray into Saskatchewan will be only the first of a host of productions of Strike in Canada, and eventually in the U.S. So do his investors, more than 40 strong, who stand to earn half of whatever profits Strike eventually makes.

And, just like a Broadway musical, we hear that love was in the air when movie hunk Brad Pitt was in Winnipeg putting in his one-day on the local shoot of his new movie The Assassination of Jesse James.

According to Aussie reporter Nick Papps, hell, we can't say it better than him, so read his take in the Australia's Sunday Telegraph:

LOVE hunk Brad Pitt was seen sobbing into his phone on the set of his flick about outlaw Jesse James.

"I can't live without you," Brad reportedly bleated to Angelina down the blower in Winnipeg. Not even for a minute, it seems.

Papps goes on to say that Brad and Angelina had been inseparable during the shooting of the movie in Alberta. On the day Brad came to Winnipeg, Angelina flew to New York where,

"she and her escort - her brother James Haven - attended the Worldwide Orphans' Foundation Gala.The next morning, Brad had his lady back by his side. Now that's true dedication - or absolute love."

Ahhh.. Ain't love grand.


And now, Love, Winnipeg Style.

That's what's being whispered in media circles in Winnipeg after a prominent television host showed up for work with a horking big engagement ring on her finger.

The only flaw in the picture is that her fiance, a highly placed Crown attorney, still wears a wedding ring. And, if memory serves us well, his wife is a divorce lawyer.

This love story may inspire Danny Schur's next musical, LOCKOUT.

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