Written by Tom Allen


FRIDAY JUNE 27, 2014


Aeolian Hall, London Ontario

Tickets: $30 in Advance; $35 at the Door

Purchase tickets through Aeolian Hall Box Office:


Most people who have listened to CBC Radio 1 or 2 will be familiar with the voice of Tom Allen. At the moment he is the host of Shift on Radio 2. His programs are always filled with interesting facts about the selection, the composer or about our times. He obviously enjoys uncovering intriguing information that is more than just trivia. So, when he learned about the February House in Brooklyn, Tom decided to turn the story into a play/cabaret performance piece. February House, so named because coincidentally many of its residents were born in February, is the home of the Bohemians in Brooklyn in the early 1940s. They include an eclectic mix of artists from a variety of backgrounds. Among the residents were poet W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, who was 23 and the composer Benjamin Britten, then 27. The burlesque entertainer and aspiring writer Gypsy Rose Lee, then 29, moved into the house on 7 Middagh Street and brought her cook. The residents included other soon-to-be luminaries of the arts and entertainment world. The story of the Bohemians is brought to life in music, readings and dialogue. Tom Allen is the host in this cabaret style performance piece, but, as the tales unfold, we also hear from harpist Lori Gemmell, pianist and composer Bryce Kulak and vocalist Patricia O’Callaghan. This is not a history lesson, but rather an interesting and humourous glimpse of the struggle of young artists during the Second World War.