Showing posts from 2020

Tentatively stepping back into the theatre space...

The great pause... that's what we are in, I guess, and for me and many of the people I know, the biggest shift has been the loss of live in-person theatre. For me this was huge because of the amount of shows I normally saw on a monthly/weekly basis. Even with my slowing over the last few years, the shift was noticeable.  Prior to last night, the last show I saw was Girl in the Machine in March. I don't think I blogged about it because right afterwards everything shut down. I was due to see a show at Shadow Theatre and postponed going due to being tired (how I wish I hadn't done that). I was also mentoring a director at Walterdale and had sat in on some rehearsals just prior to it all stopping. I remember feeling at the time that this was just going to be a few months. With my work at Walterdale we had many conversations about the shows in rehearsal. One was 2 weeks from Opening, the New Works (6 one acts) had just been cast, and the July musical was set to have their first

February Theatre - And the Theme is Fight the Power!

I've taken in 3 theatrical events so far this month (2 productions, and one reading of a new work) and I am noticing a theme... it's all about fighting against oppression! The first show I took in was 1984 at Walterdale Theatre (full disclosure: I am Board President of Walterdale). It opened last Wednesday and runs to Saturday, February 15th. The production is a striking adaptation of George Orwell's 1949 novel. I was very impressed with the striking and flawless design of the show and clear direction. It's executed cleanly by it's cast, who do an excellent job creating the dystopia of the world. As Winston Smith, Michael Anderson shifts from disillusioned party member, to brash rebel, and then to a descent into brokenness as he is defeated and tortured by the all-seeing all-knowing Big Brother-led Inner Party. I've never seen 1984 onstage before, and I recommend this production as a worthy adaptation for the stage. 1984 runs to Feb 15th and you can get ti

The Invisible at Catalyst Theatre - Revealing the Exceptional!

This past Friday, I was delighted to take in the latest theatrical creation from Catalyst Theatre - The Invisible: Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare . It tells the story of seven exceptional female operatives during World War II who risk their lives to help bring down the Nazis. It's engaging and unpredictable and full of compelling music, performed with brilliance by a cast of seven and a three piece band. It easily takes a place as one of my favourite Catalyst productions ever! Set in 1940, in France, it's inspired by the stories of real-life Special Operations Executives (SOEs) who were tasked with sabotage and subversion behind enemy lines. The SOE was the only branch where women were allowed to participate in combat roles by the Allies. The musical imagines an all-female cell, who participate in missions to bring down the enemy. They are led by Evelyn Ash (Melissa MacPherson) who recounts their history and actions in the war. MacPherson is steely and determined, a force o

Grabbing a Few Shows in the CCCCCOOOOLLLLDD of January... And looking forward to a warmer February!

It's tough on those theatre artists who present in January in Edmonton. Sometimes we get a mild winter and the weather doesn't affect the house size much, but when it's cold-cold-cold like it was in 2020, it can be tough to get people out of the house and into a theatre. I know it affected me a bit, but I still managed to catch a couple shows... I took in Cost of Living  earlier in January at the Citadel theatre. It closes today, so you won't be able to catch it (sorry...). It was a well-done show, if not what I expected. It told two stories - one about  a PhD student with cerebral palsy and his new caregiver, and a woman who has suffered a devastating accident resulting in being  confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic  and her ex-husband who still loves her and comes to help care for her. The acting was excellent and all four artists gave compelling and complicated performances. It was also very cool to see Venom from The Guild (Teal Sherer) onstage in Edmonton