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Monday, May 28, 2007

A Nice Feeling

I don't have to go anywhere tonight. I haven't started rehearsing for El Muchacho yet so I have nothing for that to panic me. My play is done at Walterdale Playhouse so I have nothing to worry about for that. I am waiting for Women's Words to start next week so I have nothing to do for that. It is a nice feeling. I might even work on my play tonight. That would be good.

We went, as a family, to Shrek the Third yesterday. I love sitting next to Oliver to watch kids movies. He laughs like he wants the whole building to shake. Wonder where he gets that from?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

After the Fall - All Fall Down....

Do not go to After the Fall at the U of A. It is too long, too boring, too pretentious and too much. Just don't go. Unless you want to be schooled in what not to do as a director. Did this guy not have anyone working with him on his MFA in Directing? I felt so bad for the actors to have to be in that play. Arthur Miller, what were you thinking? Had you never thought of cutting a few (20-30) pages of repetitive self-indulgent script? I mean, you write The Crucible and Death of a Salesman, you think you can do anything on a stage? Come on.

The girl who played Maggie was very good. Oh, and the girl who played Louise was strong, as well.

Am I too harsh?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


After what I felt was a very disastrous audition, I am pleased to announce that I will be playing the part of Kalinda in El Muchacho at the Fringe this year. This is the Mexican version of The Mikado and Kalinda is the parallel role to Katisha. Very fun I should think! Thank goodness I got to sing the second song since I forgot the words to the first song I sang. I think I have replayed the audition in my head so many times since and even though I tried to "put it in the bubble and send it away" I was unable to. Now I have no excuse.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

So Very Good

What a great Opening! I felt so good about everything. The whole night was great. Despite there being 3 plays it moved along quite quickly (I could have done without the scene changes in the second show - scene changes? In a 30 minute play?!). I was so gratified by the audible sniffling and wiping of the tears in the time between our show and the next. Mark thinks I am mean to want people to cry, but I feel that this is one way for me to tell that it works. I was also so pleased by the partial standing ovation the cast received. It was so spontaneous and I think that if our show had been last in the line up it would have been the whole audience. What a wonderful feeling.

Oh yeah, and I loved my RED DRESS!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It's different in my mind, but it still works and I like it...

Last night I saw a dress rehearsal of my play. Definitely a more real world now than it was 2 weeks ago when I last saw it. I am happy with it. Things were not exactly as I saw in my head, but the story is being told and I think it works. Can't wait until Monday night. Too much to do in between now and then. Unfortunately with Monday being a holiday I am not sure what I can do that day. I will figure it out. Besides, anything that can't be done for Opening can be done for Closing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vue Weekly - I don't sound stupid - Yay!

Anyone who writes plays in this city will tell you that the hardest part isn’t so much getting the idea, or finding its structure, or even fleshing it out into a workable bit of art—it’s finding a place to put it on. The sad reality is that even in a city with Edmonton’s myriad outlets for new work—everything from the Fringe’s blind lottery draw to the festivals and workshops devoted entirely to new works—establishing yourself on the scene can be something next to impossible without a couple big breaks.So when recent Fort McMurray expat Kristen Finlay found out about From Cradle to Stage, the Walterdale’s initiative to not only produce a new work, but also spend a year developing the play with the help of one of their directors and a dramaturge from the Alberta Playwrights Network, it didn’t take much convincing to get her to pull a play from her catalogue and try to take advantage of a rare opportunity.“As a writer, you really don’t have many opportunities to get to see your work produced, and as many plays as you might have on the shelf, I don’t think you’re ever quite as excited about them as when they go up on stage,” Finlay says of getting to premiere Pieces, about a mother suffering from dementia and reliving her life in her own head while her daughter struggles to come to grips with her external behaviour. “The opportunity is just huge, and you get a lot of confidence through the whole process, too. As a writer, you never really know if what you’re doing is good until other people see it, and everyone here has been very supportive and positive with everything.”
Finlay’s play will join two others, Katherine Koller’s Perdu and Phil Kreisel’s The Travelling Nude—about a lonely dog-food store clerk and a controversial small-town art teacher, respectively—as the inaugural one-acts in what the Walterdale hopes to make an annual affair. Though she admits that she’s unsure of exactly what will happen with Pieces now that its year of lavish attention is coming to an end, she hopes that audiences will be moved by a play she admits she was proud of even before it went through the Walterdale’s treatment.“I like it because I really got a chance to tell two stories, one about how the mother struggles to find herself in what was probably a time of transition, and one about figuring out how to deal with losing a loved one who’s still right there in front of you,” Finlay explains. “Ultimately, I think it’s a hopeful play—you see inside the mother’s mind, see why she’s acting and saying the things she is that don’t make much sense to you, but are actually providing glimpses into that person that’s still in there somewhere.”
Mon, May 21 - Sat, May 26
From Cradle to Stage: An Evening of One Acts
Featuring plays by Kristen Finlay, Katherine Koller, Phil Kreisel
Walterdale Playhouse (10322 - 83 Avenue), $12 - $14

Interviews - Hope I don't sound stupid...

On Sunday I did an over-the-phone interview with David Berry from the Vue. Today I did an over-the-phone interview with Christine Chomiak from CBC. I hope I sounded okay. I think I said what I wanted to, but it is hard to be clever and brilliant and sparkling on the spot. I did think about my answers before the interviews, but you never know what you will be asked. Still, it is exciting. I will be picking up a copy of the Vue tomorrow (and so should all of you). I also encourage you to listen to CBC Radio at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning. Or not. I wish I knew how I would sound before I recommended it.

Tonight is media call. I am going, but I don't know if I am needed. Then I will scoot over to the CBC monologues dealie across the street. I have an idea for a one person show so it probably isn't bad to get some tips and ideas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A long couple of weeks...

Whew! I have been busy. That's my excuse, anyhow. I did do one post but it was on that day when we got the notice about this blog being "down" so for some reason it did not post. No worries. I also need to blame Facebook a little. Those of you who know Facebook totally understand!

On the weekend,. Chanteuses sang at the Columbian Choirs Night on Broadway. It was a very nice couple of evenings at the Royal Glenora Club. Dress rehearsal was one of the worst rehearsals I have ever had. When I left I was deeply worried about the actual performance. Thanks to all those who cheer led me through that dark day and a half. The shows actually went quite well. I think Friday was a tighter show, but Saturday was when my family and friends were there, so it was special too.

My sister came to Edmonton this weekend. It was a nice visit and despite having the concert on it was relatively low stress and NOT insane. Sometimes I have so much stuff on, it gets chaotic, but this was pretty good. Mark having Saturday off helped and I just tried to roll with it and do what I had to do and didn't do what I didn't have to do. It worked. We had a nice Mother's Day breakfast at Mom and Dad's house and I took the big sis out to the airport in the afternoon. I actually look forward to the airport drive (I picked her up too) because it allows for quality visiting that can be hard to come by in a home with children.

Nice save - In the midst of the weekend I totally forgot to phone the writer from the VUE who was doing an article on the one acts. I be lately called him and he was nice enough to interview me Sunday evening (whew!). Now lets hope I didn't sound like an idiot. I know he also interviewed the director so who knows what will be in the article.-

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hello Dolly! and then some other stuff...

I quite enjoyed Hello Dolly yesterday. A strange feeling to see a show I have done before, but I think it was long ago that I was not constantly comparing in my head. I just sat and enjoyed it. It was so nice to hear Erin sing, as I had heard she was good, but never had the privilege before. I am glad to confirm the rumours were true! I also liked seeing and hearing Elizabeth as Dolly. I didn't get to see much of her in Fiddler because she was behind me in the Dream, but this was such a good role for her. I especially liked Act 2, but I think it has more momentum naturally because the first act is so much about "setting things up". I was very impressed with Brian's direction. That space has it's challenges and the set worked really well, but so did the way he used it. It was also nice to visit with Linette and find out about how she is doing. I am glad that I am able to "keep in touch" with some of the Magnolias (if not all).

Later I had my Walterdale Board Meeting. It went well, as they usually do, but I note that there are some issues with the Board and the theatre that need to be dealt with. My particular challenge is there is one board member who doesn't listen and will lecture you about what she thinks you said, not what you really said. Frustrating. She means well, but it is hard to deal with. I know I am not the only one who encounters this. Last night I was a bit short with her and I regret that, but I really didn't know what else to do.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dreamland Saturday Nights - Wonderful!

I got to go and see Dreamland Saturday Nights at the Varscona last night (Shadow Theatre). I was so glad. It was wonderful. I was so very impressed. What a lovely script and the actors were well cast. I thought a lot about it on the way home. It was so nice to go to a show where you knew right away that you liked it. I have been to so many that I had to think about it for a while before I could figure out what I relaly thought about it. I think that is a bad sign with regards to the shows in question. I find that there is a lot of theatre trying to be "dark and thought provoking" that it misses out on being well done. There is a real snobbery in the theatre community about "fluffier" stuff, you know, musical theatre and comedies. Often these are poo-pooed by the artsie-fartsies. I have a problem with that. I don't see anything wrong with entertaining people. As long as you do it well. This need to be dark and brooding is serverly over-rated. Besides, it is usually done ineffectively, riding on the script or the idea without really doing the work required to be good. I read the review of Oliver from the Citadel and Liz Nichols seems to revel in the extra "darkness" of the production. OMG, Oliver is a dark musical to begin with. If anything it should be lightened up. I know that was the problem with the production I was in --> TOO DARK. I am not sure if I am going to Oliver so it will be hard to check on it, but I just wish people would not necessarily equate darkness with quality.

That being said, I am off to Hello Dolly this afternoon. I know Brian (the director) has commented in his preview articles about it not being a lightness and joy, but I am kind of hoping it is more so than not. I love a good entertaining musical!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Looking Forward to the next few weeks....

I am entering a busy time if my wall calendar is any indication. Next week my sister comes to visit and I have Chanteuse's "Night on Broadway". The following week is dress rehearsal for Pieces. I was going to go to more rehearsals but I am very happy with how it is going and I feel like my presence doesn't add anything so I think I will just go to the dress rehearsal on Friday, May 18th and then go to Opening Night. I am planning on going to Opening and Closing for sure and then maybe the Tuesday and the Friday as well. It may depend on how tired I am. It is just that I do not know if it will ever be produced again so I want to see it while I can! It feels very done to me. But you never know what that last element will do to the work. Audience. They can be very unpredictable and I think the different audiences may tell me something about the script.

Had to go to Home Depot this morning and buy a new mini-fridge for the store. The old one died and everything perishable was in danger of perishing. Fun. Going to Home Depot in the pouring rain with 2 small children. Actually the kids were really good. The hard part was waiting for someone to help me in the store.