Bob Bossin’s Songs and Stories of Davy the Punk sold out its premiere performance at Gabriola’s Theatre Festival this past weekend, so our self-proclaimed “Old Folksinger” has added an extra performance. On Saturday, Aug. 25, Bossin will again explore his father’s life in the gambling business, mixing songs, stories, and photographs from a colourful life and a little-told part of Canadian history.
“I have been working on my father’s story for the last six years”, says Bossin, adding that the project started nearly 40 years ago in a Toronto delicatessen, near the neighbourhood where the Bossins once lived. “Working the counter was an old man who knew the Bossin family… [and he] started naming off my aunts and uncles. When he came to Davy Bossin, my father, he said, ‘We used to call him Davy the Punk … because he was a punk; he was a gangster’ ”.
Bossin’s father died when Bossin was 17, and he had known his dad as a quiet guy who booked night clubs. “But the more I dug, the more I uncovered all these stories of his life before I was born. It turns out he was a pretty big player in the horse-race gambling business”.
Over the years, Bossin gleaned great stories from old bookies, judges, and retired cops. He has woven these into an up-coming book, as well as the performance that premiered last weekend at the Theatre Festival. The day after its second performance at The Centre, Bossin leaves for Toronto to present Davy the Punk at a festival there.
This is a fundraiser for the Gabriola Commons. One performance only, Saturday, August 25 at 7:30 at The Centre, 1475 Peterson. Tickets cost $15 at Artworks. Info: Jinny at email@example.com or 250-247-8898.
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