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Nearly 150 years ago, the composer Camille Saint-Saëns was asked by his pupils to write a musical joke for them. He wrote the "Carnival of the Animals," a piece people enjoyed so much that it has now become one of Saint-Saëns' most famous works. On November 20, the laughter continues as CBC/McGill Concert Series presents radio personality and humorist Bill Richardson, who will perform his take on the story of the zoological circus along with the Pentaèdre Wind Quintet and the Morel-Nemish Piano Duo, under conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The night continues with the fierce beast/Canadian celebrity theme as Justin Trudeau narrates Prokofiev's famous "Peter and the Wolf."
November 20, 7:30 pm Pollack Hall, Strathcona Music Building, Box Office: (514) 398-4547. Tickets: $15 ($10 students/seniors)
Cambodia is a byword for tragedy. When the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh in 1975, the resulting evacuations and purges led to the deaths of over 1 million people.
Former Dean of Law Peter Leuprecht has a unique perspective on the Southeast Asian country, which since 1993 has been returning to some semblance of normalcy. Leuprecht, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Human Rights in Cambodia will discuss the country's situation from the fall of the Khmer Rouge to the present. His talk is sponsored by the McGill Refugee Research Project, a workgroup that brings together academics, professionals, activists and refugees to exchange information and ideas.
"From the Killing Fields to Human Rights: An Unfinished Journey" November 17, 4 pm, Moot Court, New Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street. Information: 398-3507 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For a play first performed in 1965, "Black Comedy" was given an unexpected jolt of relevance by a transmission line in Ohio. Ontarians and Americans from the Northeast may particularly identify with the travails of Peter Shaffer's eight characters, trapped in a London flat with no power. The one-act comedy is being performed by Department of English's Drama and Theatre Program.
Tensions rise as Brindsley Miller, his fiancée, her father, a repressed neighbour, an unbalanced bachelor and a couple of Germans -- not to mention Brindsley's former mistress -- interact in the increasing gloom. The darkness -- combined with alcohol -- illuminates the true nature of the characters as secrets are revealed and much vodka is spilled.
Black Comedy, directed by Emma Tibaldo, November 12-15 and 19-22, 8 pm. Moyse Hall. Reservations: 398-6070, $10 adults, $5 students, seniors.