I had a terrific two-city theatre weekend! After seeing Hamilton in Edmonton earlier this month, I tried for and won lucky lottery tickets to see the show again in Calgary. This meant a quick road trip down south with Gibson on Saturday to catch the evening show and a quicker return home because I had plans to see Clue with my Mom at the Citadel theatre in Edmonton on Sunday afternoon! Road routes were carefully planned because of the Pope's visit and it's many road closures. My article title refers to Understudies and both these experiences speak to the power and incredible skill of understudies.
First, Hamilton! It was so nice to see the show again and seeing it from the front row was amazing. It was such a treat to see the show up close. Gibson (due to his music background) was thrilled to be able to watch the conductor at certain points in the show. I loved the show when I saw it first but this second viewing proved to me that it is the kind of show you can see multiple times and still be engaged and thrilled. We were also pleased to see two different performers in key roles. Between the two shows we saw different Aaron Burrs (Donald Webber Jr. and Ellis C. Dawson III) and Angelica Schuylers (Marja Harmon and Charlotte Mary Wen). These four performers were all excellent and between Gibson and I we each had different favourites (I won't say who liked who better) but above-all we felt that it was so awesome to see the show with different casts, particularly casts of this caliber, as it made us engage with the show differently and appreciate it even more. I truly appreciate that with a show like this, which is so specific, that the actors were allowed to bring themselves into the roles and not merely recreate the well-known performances of the originators. Regardless, it makes me confident that you will see a terrific show regardless of who in this company is onstage on any given night.
After arriving home on Sunday morning at 11:55 a.m. I quickly changed and picked up my Mom to take her to Clue at the Citadel Theatre. In the pre-show announcement we were informed that the actor playing Mr. Green was unable to perform and that the Assistant Director Corben Kushneryk would be filling in and that he might have to use a script on occasion. Well, it was a riot! It took me a few minute to get into it (probably because of the driving) but once all the players were assembled it took off with a bang! The show was well cast and director Nancy McAlear did a fabulous job keeping the hi-jinks high! The Set (Designer Scott Reid) is an amazing puzzle box and I was delighted by it! I have to mention the outstanding job done by Kushneryk! It's hard to believe that he was just filling in as he was incredible in a very physical role! It was clear to see during the bows that the rest of the audience agreed! It was also delightful to see John Ullyatt as Wadsworth as his was also a tremendously funny and physical role. But really the whole cast worked together so well - with precision looks and choreography. They were a well-oiled machine and it was so fun to laugh so much! I highly recommend checking out this show!
Clue runs at the Citadel in the Shoctor Theatre until August 7th. Tickets range from $30.00 to $123.00 and are available here.
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