Last spring I missed writing up several theatre excursions. The programs were piling up on my table making me feel guilty, but the backlog didn’t stop me from going to more shows.
Since I’m going to count the Edmonton Fringe as the start of a new year of stage entertainment, I’m going to get caught up here, with a brief list of all the shows I didn’t tell you about earlier, and then I can start over.
- The Penelopiad – Citadel Theatre – This show was done with an all-female cast. I was particularly impressed by the performer who was playing Odysseus as well as her other roles, because her body language and voice transformed her instantly into a convincingly arrogant man.
- Spamalot – Citadel Theatre – this musical was just fun, as a mix of the Monty Python source material and a send-up of Broadway-musical tropes.
- Escape from Happiness – Citadel Theatre Young Acting Company – I remember being fascinated by how much darker this kind of story is nowadays than a generation ago.
- Winter’s Tale Project – Citadel Theatre Young Musical Company
- Strike! A Musical – This was a full production with a large company, including nine junior-high-age performers. Apparently it’s going to be a movie soon. A few of the songs are still occasionally stuck in my head a few months later.
- An Accident – this Northern Light Theatre show with Michael Peng and Melissa Thingelstad, directed by Trevor Schmidt, was provocative and interesting. Something about it didn’t quite work for me, but I didn’t figure out why.
- The Last Days of Judas Iscariot – this was a U of A Department of Drama show. I enjoyed it. It was a great mix of original and canon-consistent.
According to my datebook, starting with Fringe 2012 I saw
- One orchestra performance
- One band concert
- One rock-band show (I used to see a lot of live rock music, but this year I’ve been focusing on theatre and I only have so much time and money, unfortunately)
- One opera
- Lots of music at Edmonton Folkfest 2013
- One night of circus acrobatics
- One open-mic night and one variety show at camp
- At least five first-run movies, mostly with superheroes
- Two story slams (but I was in one of them)
- 35 Fringe shows counting holdovers and one show that I saw twice
- 24 nights of improv with Rapid Fire Theatre, most of them as a volunteer and many of them with two shows in the evening
- 40 non-Fringe theatrical performances, in Edmonton, Red Deer, Toronto, and Vancouver.
So I guess missing out on reviewing seven plays is not so bad. I’d hoped to do a Sterling-awards post with my picks and the winners, but it’s almost time for the Fringe to start and I’m in an excited mood rather than a retrospective one. The best play I saw all year was Collin Doyle’s Let the Light of Day Through. The show I went to the biggest expense and effort to see was Book of Mormon in Toronto, and it was worth it. It was all worth it. And I can’t wait to see what’s coming in the next year of live entertainment in Edmonton and elsewhere!