Bob Bossin’s “Davy The Punk” comes to Civic Centre Oct 9, 2014


Davy the Punk Poster-600“Our audiences loved it. Davy the Punk is a triple crown of music, wry comedy, and affecting family reunion. The songs are thoroughbred Bossin, the story is beguiling, and the reunion – between Bob and the father he knew as a soft spoken booking agent but who turns out to be, well, Davy the Punk – is something to cheer about.” – Frank Moher, Artistic Producer of Western Edge Theatre.

“Sold out a month in advance.  Bossin puts his audience at ease and then zaps them with one surprise after another.” – Leslie Parrot, Artistic Director, Gabriola Theatre Festival.

“A smashing success. The capacity audience was enthralled by the colourful characters, touching anecdotes and characteristic Bossin songs. Bob’s intelligence, erudition and folksy charm combine in an intimate musical theatre experience for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.” – Eric Stein, Artistic Director, Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto.

Davy the Punk is Bob Bossin’s new one-man musical about his father, whose life, according to Andreas Schroeder, is “so fascinating, hilarious and outrageous, it’s worthy of a Mordecai Richler novel.” Two years ago, a one-act version previewed at Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival (“A smashing success,” says Festival director Eric Stein.) Now Davy is back in a full two-act production, touring nine cities in Alberta and BC and coming to the Golden Civic Centre as part of our 14/15 Live Kicks season on Thursday evening, Oct. 9.

Bob Bossin with Mom and Dad

Bob Bossin with Mom and Dad

Born on the boat over to the new world in 1905, Bob’s father grew up in the Ward, Toronto’s notorious immigrant slum. Finding his way blocked by the rampant anti-semitism of 20th century Toronto, Davy blazed his own path in a new, vibrant, international industry – gambling. There he matched wits with cops and mobsters, grifters and grafters, crooks and judges. His court cases set precedents that affect us to this day.

About 1950, Davy Bossin quit the underworld – so his son wouldn’t grow up in it. Instead Bob Bossin grew up to found Stringband, to pioneer Canadian indie music, and to write songs Pete Seeger praised as “funny, informative and inspiring at the same time.”

Now Bossin Jr. tells Bossin Sr.’s story, in a performance that is, according to musician and playwright Si Kahn, “the stuff of dreams and movies.” Says musician and author Leon Rosselson, “[Davy the Punk is] about fatherhood, family, immigrant life, political high life and the criminal underworld. Entertaining, illuminating and, at times, touching.”

KHC’s artistic director, Bill Usher interviewed Bob Bossin and Bob spoke about how the book and the play came about and what he learned along the way about his father’s life in the Jewish underworld of the 20s, 30s, 40s.

“Only a handful of song writers have created a body of work that constitutes a portrait of our country. Stan Rogers did that. So did Gordon Lightfoot. And so does Bob Bossin.” – Stuart Mclean.


Bob Bossin’s very short Bio:


Stringband with Marie-Lynn Hammond

Bob Bossin has been writing about odd corners of Canadian life for 40 years. Circa 1970, he wrote poetry (some published by the fledgling House of Anansi Press), but was tempted away by the bright lights and big bucks of Canadian folk music. With Marie-Lynn Hammond, he founded the iconic and long-lived Canadian folk group, Stringband, with whom he wrote and recorded such songs as The Maple Leaf Dog, Dief Will Be the Chief Again, Show Us the Length, Tugboats and Ya Wanna Marry Me? Three collections of his music are currently in print. On disk, actually. Bob has also written non-fiction, including the book Settling Clayoquot (1981), and the play Bossin’s Home Remedy for Nuclear War (1986). SQ sold 9000 copies and BHR had 200 performances in 4 countries. Bob has been nominated for a national magazine award, and his short story, Latkes, won 2nd prize in the Antigonish Review’s fiction competition.


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