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Monday, May 14, 2018

Collin Doyle Makes Me Cry Again - Terry and the Dog at Edmonton Actors Theatre

Collin Doyle likes to make me cry. I am pretty sure that's what he think about when he sits down to write a play. Well, maybe not me in particular, but someone like me. Someone like you, probably too. When I saw Let the Light of Day Through I was sobbing at the end. While I was not sobbing at the end of Terry and the Dog, I was softly crying, and he did it in a way that literally snuck up on me...

It's a beautiful piece of theatre. A solid play. A real play. The kind of play I think we've gotten away from with projections and political messaging and ticking boxes. It's about real people. People who are not perfect, but ones that you can imagine living next door, or being in your family, or even possibly being you. The script is the starting point, and add in the truthful performances of Robert Benz, Maralyn Ryan, and Kyle Humeny under Dave Horak's direction and you have real magic.

I don't want to get into too much, because I don't want to give anything away, and I want you all to experience the Terry's story the way I did. It is about addiction, particularly alcoholism, so be prepared for that. It made me think a lot about how difficult it is for an alcoholic to live in our world and stay sober, and how we might judge someone in their most vulnerable time when really that is the time they need the most understanding. I'm going to be thinking about this for a long time.

It's here now and we can see it. It's a pretty perfect little play. I hope to see it get produced across Canada. It deserves to be.

Terry and the Dog runs at the Studio Theatre at Fringe Theatre Adventures until May 19. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

All Shook Up at the Mayfield is a Super Fun Night Out!

Last week Mark and I caught All Shook Up at the Mayfield. It's a juke box show based on Elvis music so we expected it to be a little silly and it sure was, but the cast and direction (Kate Ryan) attacks it with such a great sense of fun that we had a wonderful time. The music is great and, for the most part, the cast has exceptional singing and dancing skills. Vocal stand-outs were Adam Charles (Dean), Jameela McNeil (Lorraine), and Jason Hardwick (Dennis). We also saw the understudy Jill Agopsowicz as Natalie (Ed) and she was wonderful! It was hard to believe she hadn't been playing the role for weeks! The dancing is super fun (choreography by Cindy Kerr) and the ensemble carries it off joyfully. I also enjoyed the comedic attack on the script.  Robbie Towns as the Elvis-esque Chad, Paul Morgan Donald as Jim, and Melissa MacPherson as Miss Sandra made me laugh the most with their commitment to embracing big choices!

A fun night out!

All Shook Up runs until June 10th. Click here for more information.