A perfomer shouting into a megaphone on a stage lit by a red spotlight, in front of a band

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Wild, witty and wonderfully inventive, this fusion of concert and drama tells the true tale of Chaim and Chaya, Jewish refugees from the pogroms of Romania. They meet in 1908, while awaiting medical inspection in Halifax’s Pier 21 immigration centre; the story moves forward to their lives as a couple in Montreal and backward to the horrors of the Continent.

Our narrator is genre-bending sensation Ben Caplan, who can shift tones like a master and convey the humorous and the heartrending with equal conviction. The music blends Yiddish Klezmer with modern folk stylings, creating a wistful and energetic tone. What unite the moments of tragedy with those of uplift are steadfast conviction and wry intelligence; too compassionate to be cynical and too clever to be sentimental, this is a radically humane work.

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