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Showing posts from November, 2015

Cafe Daughter, A Christmas Carol, The Sultans of String and She Loves Me... all in a week's work!

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Anyone who claims there is nothing to do in Edmonton needs to have their head examined! When I looked back at the week and realized that I saw 4+1 varied performances I was a little surprised myself! In reverse order... Last night I took in Workshop West Playwright's Theatre/Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts production of  Café Daughter by Kenneth T. Williams. A entirely enjoyable evening of theatre due primarily to the phenomenal skills of Tiffany Ayalik as the title character, Yvette Wong.  The story was inspired by the life of Dr. Senator Lillian Eva (Quan) Dyck who was the daughter of a Cree mother and Chinese father and who was raised to hide her aboriginal roots. Ayalik does a tremendous job giving life to Yvette and the myriad of characters that populate her life, shifting smoothly between each one.  It is a story of struggling with identity and coming to terms with embracing that which has been hidden. Kudos must also be given to T. Erin Gruber for the stunning set,

Once - Better after I saw it Twice...

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Last night I took in Once at the the Jubilee as part of the Broadway Across Canada tour.  I had seen it earlier this summer in Toronto and although I liked it, I saw it at the end of a very, very long day and it was just okay. I was very glad to see it again last night as the experience was a lot different. Perhaps I was more refreshed and less tired and that helped. Perhaps my seats were better. Perhaps the connection of this cast was just a little but stronger.  Perhaps, having seen it *once* already I was able to relax into it better. In any case, I really liked it last night. It doesn't follow a traditional musical theatre format. I remember that catching me off-guard the last time. All the actors onstage not only sing and act, but they also provide the instrumentation for the show.  That is one talented cast up there onstage. Some play guitars, the piano, some the violin, there's a bass, a drum kit, a mandolin, banjo, and accordion. Most of the time they are both singin

A Thrilling Opening Night! The Duchess has Set Sail at the PCL!

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Last Thursday night, to a packed house (only 3 empty seats!) Wind in Her Sails opened and was greeted with a thunderous standing ovation! The ovation was as much for the play and the performance as it was for the playwright, Elizabeth Bowering, who spearheaded the whole project and it was an overwhelming moment for me. I was more nervous than I realized so it was indeed a wonderful feeling to hear the response from the audience and above-all hear that Elizabeth herself was pleased with the show. Unlike other projects, where I have simply been able to interpret the work to my own satisfaction, there was an added layer of expectation that this show not only fulfill my artistic vision, but that the playwright also be happy with it. I do not think the two visions were at odds, but this is a business fraught with insecurity and doubt. The script was an excellent guide - well-written with 4 well-rounded and interesting characters, as well as a charming narrator skilled in story-telling an

So Much Seen and Heard... No Time to Write...

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The last few weeks have been a whirlwind!  Between shows and rehearsals I have been hard-pressed to write.  Some of the things I saw are done, so sadly you cannot still see them, but some are still running so make the time, if they interest you! In Reverse Order! Most recently I saw The Last Five Years , the first show in Theatre Network's season and in their new space. L5Y is one of my favourite musicals and I have also directed it before so it was very cool to see it staged by someone else in a very different way.  Jeremy Baumung (Jamie) and Patricia Zentilli (Cathy) are lovely singers and well-suited to their roles in this show which is a series of monologues about a relationship.  His is told from beginning to end and hers from end to beginning, all set the beautiful music of Jason Robert Brown. Director Bradley Moss staged the show in an alley which was interesting and helped take me out of comparing it too much to my own production. For fans of this show, you won't