Showing posts from December, 2012

Looking Back/Looking Forward

Last post of the year... A good year.  Sometimes I was busier than I would have liked and sometimes I was less busy than I would have liked.  It all evens out in the end.  I leave 2012 excited for what is on the horizon in 2013 and knowing that with my two major projects that the first five months will be very busy.  I am working hard this week to schedule, schedule, schedule so that Spelling Bee and From Cradle to Stage are organized ahead of time and not on the fly.  After those are done, I am not sure.  Finally Sauces is investigating BYOVs for Fringe, but if we don't get those then we will move to Plan B.  Just have to figure out what Plan B is... I have some ideas. The other Fringe project definitely has a Plan B that we just need to decide on details for. So, you see... busy. The country is in a weird place right now.  Idle No More has replaced Occupy as the latest rallying movement.  It seems to be more organized and have more focus, but like Occupy, I still have tr

In Retrospect... What I loved this year onstage...

So I took a little walk through my blog this morning to reflect on what I saw and what really stuck with me.  I saw a lot so it's hard to narrow down, but that's a good thing.  It's a testament to what we have onstage in Edmonton. So, in no particular order but with a little classification, here were some of my favorite moments from the year: My children's theatre favorites: The Gooble Portrait   produced at the Fringe by Surreal SoReal Theatre. I wished I had brought my kids to this one but I went on the Me-Day.  The concept, script, acting and direction was outstanding.  No skimping on the elements and a really high quality production.  It also found a way to say something in a subtle and engaging way (not the usual 'hit them over the head with a hammer' way). Robin Hood   at The Snow Globe Festival .  A real great piece created with low-tech magic and a three stooges approach to story-telling.  It grabbed my kids and was so fun to watch. Mary Pop

Food! Glorious Food! And that was just my Christmas...

Well, I am stuffed! As for most people the last few days have been about culinary indulgence.  Christmas Eve I do okay because our family's tradition of Oyster Stew is not one I over indulge in (I eat my bowlful - it is not Christmas without the taste of it).  I did do some damage to many a cookie, however.  On Christmas Day I am the meal preparer and we have whoever is in town over for the big turkey dinner.  Mark asked me about making 'extra' stuffing - to which I replied - "It doesn't matter how much you make, there is never any 'extra' stuffing".  And I was right.  I made a tonne of it and it was all gone. So I told him I would make him more a few days afterwards to compensate - the bread is currently drying right now. We had a group of 11 this year.  Gibson had probably the best time this year.  He had so much fun with all the cousins and before they came on Tuesday, he kept asking "When are the people coming?!?!" The meal turned out ve

What if The Three Stooges told the story of Robin Hood?

Well, that's basically what I saw today at The Snow Globe Festival.  The four person cast of Evan Hall, Caley Suliak, Paul Sutherland and Brendan Thompson In Robin Hood deliver a fast paced, physical and very, very silly rendition of the classic story of the archery expert who stole from the rich to give to the poor in the England of Prince John and the absent King Richard the Lion-Hearted.  The boys loved it.  They are suckers for slapstick and extreme silliness. The ensemble is tight and the action fast paced.  They incorporate audience participation and Oliver even got to go up on stage to compete in the archery contest (he hammed it up his own way).  Highlights included a very funny chase sequence to Gibson's favorite Yakety Sax and I would tell you who both boys' favorite character was, but then there would be a major spoiler, so I can't.  For those who have seen the show, it was the character with the most hair... I loved Caley Suliak as the somewhat Jewish Fri

Getting in the Spirit of the Season With Bells and Snow Globes and a couple of School Concerts!

You would think I would take a rest after a 2 week run, but no, not me.  I had a brief pause on Monday night (which I used to start some baking) and then dived into two nights of School Concerts (my kids are three years apart so I always get to go twice), then I caught With Bells On at The Roxy (Guys in Disguise) and last night I took the boys to Babes in Toyland at C103 (formerly The Catalyst Theatre) as part of The Snow Globe Festival . I wrote about Snow Globe last year when Impresario Extraordinaire Ellen Chorley created it. I took the boys last year and once the commitments of the season wrapped up we headed off to see what was happening onstage this year. We bundled up and headed out to catch Babes in Toyland and had a great time.  The boys are the target audience so I will translate their responses.  My kids are 8 and 11 so that can give you an idea of the source.  From the first moment the lights when down Gibson (8) was mesmerized and sitting on the edge of his seat.  H


Well, we wrapped up the show this weekend.  It was a great experience overall, with some crunchy bits on the production side.  That came through at the Post Mortem and I am trying to put that crappy night behind me. It's too bad that it had to play out like that. It made me think a lot about my commitment to Walterdale ( which is sad ) but it is hard to work so hard and feel unappreciated and ( worse ) resented for the work that you do. I luckily have a little video of a snippet of the show to watch to cheer me up and make me remember what I loved so much about the experience of doing this show.  I made some great connections and have plans to work with some of the cast and team again in the future. I am chairing the From Cradle to Stage One Act Festival , but I am more tentative about it now. And now, onto the next adventure!  This week is jam packed with Christmas fun!  Two times two Christmas concerts at the boy's school (2 dress rehearsals and 2 evening performances), Wit

The Misanthrope Makes Me a Philanthrope!

Reflections on The Misanthrope Experience.  I have had such a wonderful time working with this cast and crew.  I have met so many wonderful people and been inspired by their dedication to do good work on the stage and with each other.  I regained a sense of silliness and joy with them that I haven't had in a while (at least as an actor).  The newer actors in the cast made me revisit my early days on the stage.  The one who bailed us out when we lost a cast member made me appreciate the spirit of the show must go on and there are no small roles . Working with Afton made me realize how lazy I can be and because of her phenomenal hard work I pushed myself to be more present. It is hard to express how much I value that. It can be too easy to go through the motions and thanks to her example, I never felt like I was. It was also so lovely to share the stage with some fabulous emerging artists like Zachary, Brennan and Amanda and I hope to see them in lots more stuff and (cross finge

A Couple of Nice Reviews of the Show... First week recap...

The first five shows (plus two previews) are done and tonight we head into the final stretch.  We had a nice opening week and I am excited to get back onstage this evening.  When you spend so much time with people you like you really miss them on the dark day.  But it was a much needed dark day as there was a lot of laundry to do! Opening Night was tonnes of fun with an audience who seemed primed to laugh. It's always interesting to see how different audiences react - some are laughers and some are listeners.  This is a play that requires heavy duty listening skills, but it's worth it.  Best night for me was Saturday night because my sister was in town all the way from Toronto and she and a friend came and saw it.  It has been a long time since she has seen me onstage so I was very happy that she made it out for this one. Plus, she is sharp and a loud laugher so she got a lot of the funny stuff and we were rewarded. There have been a few reviews so far, and all are (yay!) p

The Misanthrope Loves Everyone Who Came to the Show Last Night!

See what I did there? Anyhow, we had a fabulous Opening Night for The Misanthrope at Walterdale Theatre last night.  We had enjoyed Previews, but the audience last night was HOT! It was thrilling to hear all the laughter and feel such gratitude to the generous audience.  I always say that a show is nothing until there is an audience to perform for so it is nice to be finally open and sharing this new twist on an old classic with people.  I love the character I get to play and the people I get to play with.  We celebrated the opening with a lovely after show reception (mmmm, lobster tarts...) and  Tonight is 2 for 1 Night so hopefully we get a nice sized audience from that to continue with the journey!

Citadel Theatre's A Christmas Carol - A Storybook Brought to Life

This was another jam-packed weekend for me.  Filled with basketball, a dress rehearsal and theatre clean, and two tries at seeing A Christmas Carol at The Citadel Theatre (one successful!).  I had never seen the production before and this was greeted with astonishment by most people I told that to, but the show itself actually replaced a different Christmas tradition of our family so when it first started I wasn't really into it.  I have seen or been in 5 different productions of the story so didn't figure I needed to see it.  I always heard from people 'Oh! You must go! It's really something wonderful! ' - and it was. You may note I said two attempts to see the show.  I had tickets for the Saturday night performance and an unfortunate power outage took out the lighting board and I have to get my tickets re booked for Sunday.  The Citadel was outstanding in dealing with the re-booking.  I did notice that they have also added another matinee to deal with the de