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Friday, February 17, 2012

Albertine In Five Times - Canadian Classic X 6

On Wednesday I finally saw Albertine in Five Times at Walterdale Theatre. Although it is not my favorite script I was looking forward to it since I knew the cast was exceptionally strong and I was not disappointed. All the performances were sincere and committed and it was well directed into a lovely piece of theatre. I had some issues with a few of the technical elements but I think that was more difference of opinion than anything else. The set and costumes were wonderful and coherent despite representing a span of 40 years. I wouldn't have thought that possible having seen the set under the work lights, but it all worked wonderfully. I have seen a number of these women before onstage and I was most impressed by the transformation of Amelia Maciejewski into Albertine at 30. I have worked with Amelia (last year's Rabbit Hole) and know she is a powerhouse but this performance was remarkably subtle and internal. There was so much going on beneath the surface. I was also impressed by Janine Hodder as Madeleine. I have also worked with Janine before (Pieces - Fringe 2011) but it was nice to see what she could do with a substantially larger and more realized character. Her Madeleine was lightness and joy, the perfect foil to the 5 Albertines. The biggest surprise however, was Syrell Wilson as Albertine at 60. Her anguished and tortured portrayal of the drug-addicted Albertine of the 1970s was startling. I have seen Syrell onstage in a number of things but never as this kind of character and her realization of it was mesmerizing.

All in all it was a well-done show. A single act of an hour and a half, but you never feel shortchanged. There is only one show left and it might be a challenge to get tickets, but if you can I would recommend it.

* Photo of Michele Vance Hehir and Amelia Maciejewski by Douglas Dollars-Stewart

* #6 of my theatre goal for the year

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