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Saturday, November 30, 2013

The past few weeks...

I have been working on Proof at Walterdale.  We are a hair's width from Opening so that will mean my schedule will open up and I will be able to post in a more timely manner. I did manage to squeeze in a few shows over the last little while... better late than never!

A couple of weekends back I managed to get to Two One Way Tickets to Broadway's Forbidden Broadway at La Cite.  It was a fun night of parody of Broadway musicals.  I think it really worked for people who know musicals.  I am not sure how it would play for people who don't know the shows and performers being mocked.  It was pretty quick and the four performers all sang well and went for it.  My favourite moments were an outrageous Carol Channing performed by Kyle Thulien and almost every time Kristin Johnston was onstage. She has an electric stage presence and is a quadruple threat as you can clearly add comedian to the list of singer, dancer and actor.

Last weekend I grabbed the last available ticket for the Saturday Night performance of NLT Bitches and Money 1878 at the PCL Theatre. This was a surprising departure from last season's shows.  It was a non chronological steam-punk caper of sorts.  Very well directed, acted and designed with an intriguing script that left you with a few more questions than answers.  It was fun, but I do admit I wanted a little bit more, but I think that was the script more than anything.  I liked the play with chronology and the absolute commitment to the choices.  It was also a nice surprise in that I have seen two of the three actors before (Ben Gorodetsky and Andrea Jorawsky) but never quite in this way and it made me appreciate the depths of their talents more.  The third actor (Laura Gillespie) was new to me and a delightful discovery.  Nice to see three young and skilled performers bringing it with such an interesting piece.

Tonight I took a drive out to Spruce Grove to see Marion Bridge at Horizon Stage.  I'm a sucker for a Daniel MacIvor play!  Indeed, if I weren't directing Proof, I would have been auditioning for this show. I did get to take part in a small way by contributing to the sound design as the evil Kara Ryan in the audio from the TV Soap that the sisters watch off stage.  As it was, they certainly didn't need me as the trio onstage were totally up for the job.  Director Anne Marie Szucs kept it simple and let the script do the work. This was a wise choice in the severe thrust of Horizon Stage. It's a hard space to block in but I think they did a nice job considering the constraints. I really liked the interplay of the three sisters, eldest-alcoholic-rough-around-the-edges Agnes (Erin Forwick-Whalley), middle-never-a-problem-ever-patient Theresa (Julie Sinclair) and youngest-strange-homebody Louise (Sarah Van Tassel).  The three worked well together and felt believable as sisters. They managed to raise them above the potential stereo-types of the characters and make them real. I love the script but had forgotten how funny it was.  This production used the humour to lift it up above the events that could otherwise seem very sad.  It was a lovely night out and totally worth the icy drive!

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