Showing posts from May, 2015

A Steady Rain... fine, layered, complicated performances

I took in Blarney Productions' A Steady Rain last night, at C103.  It's a dark and gritty story of two cops, friends from kinnygarden, in Chicago.  The show explores the grey area morality of Joey (Jesse Gervais) and Denny (John Ullyatt) as they tumble through re-telling the events of a summer in Chicago where everything goes wrong and the rain never stops. Both actors give layered performances as they take turns telling the events of their shared history.  As beat cops aiming for promotion to detective and getting overlooked each tries their own way to cope and try to get ahead. Denny (Ullyatt) is married with the perfect wife and two young children.  He's the alpha of this relationship but despite his perfect looking life he is also the more corrupt. Joey (Gervais) is the worrier and the peace-maker, he sees the the wrong in what Denny insists is right, but he is challenged by his own hesitancy and the pattern of their relationship to push for what is right. The ta

A Look Into Different Worlds - The Photo and Tribes

I missed a lot of first weekends while I was away so I caught the final weekend's offerings last night and Friday. Friday night, I finally got to see The Photo by Dana Rayment.  It was presented as a workshop reading at Skirt's AFire Festival 2 years ago, but was on a Saturday afternoon and my Mom-Duties prevented me from getting to it, so I was pleased to hear that it would be presented as a full production by Theatre of the New Heart at C103.  My lovely friend Lisa was in town from Calgary so I also got to share with her a little of the #yegtheatre I am so proud of. It's a piece that probably needs trigger warnings as it was about a couple (Elena Porter and Michael Peng) dealing with the immediate aftermath of an at home stillbirth.  Each deals with it differently, Gina (Porter) fragmenting into a defense mechanism of denial and fantasy as she tries to take the perfect photo of her child's imagined life.  Mark (Peng) is hip deep in grief and confusion about how t

My Trip to the No-so-Far-East! Chocolate Tour of Toronto!

One of the really cool things my sister lined up for us while I was in Toronto was the Chocolate Tour . It involved visits to 5 bakeries with a focus on chocolate.  We walked around downtown Toronto from place to place and were treated to background information from our terrific tour guide, Kate, as well a a treat at each place. First was Forno Cultura , an Italian bakery, where we had a two bite chocolate olive oil cake.  Each cake had at least one black olive in it.  It was a wonderful combination of salty and sweet.  I did not eat the olive, but as I ate closer to it, I could really see how it was a good mix of flavours. Our second stop was  Delysèes , a french bakery.  I think I could have spent all day in there.  We were treated to 2 macarons of our choosing.  I chose salted caramel and raspberry butter-cream.  Both were delicious and for those of us in Edmonton, they were of Duchess Bakery quality.  I also purchased one of their croissants which reputed to be the best in

A trip to the Not-So-Far East! Theatre at the Shaw Festival!

This past week I took a little vacation and visited my sister and brother-in-law in Toronto.  My sister and I also spent a little time in Niagara on the Lake for the Shaw Festival so there was theatre-going in abundance.  It was a lovely little adventure and a good break from the everyday! I love living in Edmonton because of all the theatre, but it is nice to see what is going on elsewhere in the country too! At the Shaw Festival, we took in three shows.  The first was Peter and the Starcatcher which is a prequel to Peter Pan , kind of the 'how the lost boys became the lost boys ' story. It is a lot of fun and great for audiences of all ages.  Performed by an ensemble of actors who trade narration duties and roles to create two very different crews for two very different ships as well as the strange inhabitants of the island they end up on.  There were many very cool things about how they create the world. It's a piece that calls for low-tech magic and it was nice to

#yegbookclub Returns with A WAKE FOR THE DREAMLAND by Laurel Deedrick-Mayne

I finally have my schedule figured out for the next few months and it makes me happy to be able to set the next #yegbookclub selection and date!  I have to mix it up a bit and host the Book Club on a Wednesday this time because I am in rehearsal for the next dozen Mondays.  What : #yegbookclub - A Wake for the Dreamland by Laurel Deedrick-Mayne Description: Friends William, Robert, and Annie are on the cusp of adulthood while the world is on the brink of war. It is a Canadian summer in 1939 and Robert and Annie’s love has blossomed, even as the inevitability of the boys joining up means separation and the first of many losses. Fearing he might not return, Robert makes William promise to take care of Annie. Every arena of their lives is infiltrated by the war, from the home front to the underground of queer London to the bloody battlefields of Italy. Even in the aftermath, in the shadow of The Dreamland, these friends fight their own inner battles: to have faith in their right to love

A Laughter-filled Trip to Avenue Q

Was it just last week that Avenue Q opened at the Citadel? The amount of buzz has been incredible that it makes me feel like it was longer ago that I saw it! I usually see the Dress Rehearsal as part of my job, but I was out of town and had to wait until Opening Night to see it.  Even that was not a given because the hosue was so full, but luckily I could squeeze in.  I sent my husband and older son to see it, and several friends saw it in Previews and I kept hearing how great it was, so I am pleased to report it was a show well worth the wait! I'd seen Avenue Q before and thought it was a clever show with a saucy side, but it didn't prepare me for how terrific our production would be.  The cast of seven actors (Andrew MacDonald-Smith, Rachel Bowron, Ryan Kelly, Justin Bott, Saccha Dennis, Kimmy Choi, and Elizabeth Stepkowski-Tarhan - who play a dozen characters - some felt, some flesh) are outstanding.  It's hard to single any out because there are no weak links.  They

Northern Light Theatre explores Gender Identity with Christina/Philippe

Friday night I took in the Opening Night of Christina/Philippe presented by Northern Light Theatre. It's really a collage piece about gender identity with song, and recorded interviews, interspered with parts of the text from the play Christina/Philippe . It was a conversation provoking evening of theatre which lead me to have several discussions about gender identity with people that I saw the play with. We talked about how we knew who we were, about people we knew and what their experiences with gender identification were, as well as current events - from bathrooms, to medical coverage, to pronouns. It's also quite gorgeous in sight and sound.  Both Christina (Kristi Hansen) and Philippe (Trevor Schmidt) have layered, tune-full voices that served the atmospheric songs well. They also play off each other well - Hansen is brash and intimidating, Schmidt is a bit softer with a subtle sense of humour. The set (Adam Tsuyoshi Turnbull) is rich with colour and it's circles

Mayor's Celebration of the Arts - A Whole Lotta Art Going on...

Last week I took in the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts at the Winspear Centre.  It was a terrific evening showcasing many wonderful local artists and it was kind of cool to move outside my usual as the evening celebrated not only theatre artists, but also dance, spoken word, music and visual art. The nominees and winners for the awards similarly came from a wide-range of artistic pursuits and it was wonderful to be in the room as the energy was so overwhelming supportive. It was also fun to watch Mayor Don Iveson show off his silly side as he danced with The Wet Secrets in the closing number. My favorite piece was the collaboration of Spoken Word Poet Mary Pinkowski , guitarist and singer Eva Foote and dancers Jeanie and Jodie Vandekerkhove.  I also have fallen in love with Jason Carter's artwork which was animated by Matt Schuurman and served as a backdrop for the evening's entertainment.  If you're looking for a gift for me, you can buy me one of his prints! I&#