Continuing in this opening week for a variety of different performance genres, Thursday’s ticket was for a Moxy B production of Legally Blonde the Musical, at the Westbury Theatre. The director was Marion Brenner, a drama teacher at Ross Sheppard Senior High.
It’s a lightweight upbeat show with some very catchy songs – I still have “Omigod you guys!” stuck in my head a day later – some funny lines, and a satisfying happy ending. The strongest singers and actors in the cast were Emily Smith particularly in the role as Paulette the Boston hairstylist who dreams of Ireland, Brooklyn Rowe (the main character Elle), Aaron Schaan as Emmet the law-school TA of working-class background, and Elise Dextrase (Brooke the accused in the murder trial, Pilar the sorority sister). And Scott Boerefyn was hilarious in the small role of the UPS Guy.
The music was recorded, and sometimes distractingly loud.
I’d noticed before that sometimes food businesses with a holiday rush sometimes close for vacation in January – bakeries, restaurants, vendors at Strathcona Farmers’ Market. But I’d never noticed before this year that theatres and performance spaces might also be dark at the start of the year. It seems a little counterintuitive that there isn’t much to watch between Christmas and New Years, when people with academic schedules might have time off and be done their pre-Christmas to-do lists, but it does make sense for performers to take a break after New Year’s, when it’s cold and dark and the viewing public might be feeling frugal or unsociable.
Both Rapid Fire Theatre and Die-Nasty were dark between Christmas and New Year’s, but then jumped right back in to their weekly entertainments. Rapid Fire is now filling up Ziedler Hall for many of their Friday-night and Saturday-night shows, so fans should buy tickets on line or line up early.
Other companies have been in rehearsal, meaning that several shows are opening this week. The new Canadian opera Svadba, in Serbian with English subtitles, is playing at C103, the space formerly known as Catalyst Theatre. Azimuth Theatre previews Free-man on the land at the Roxy starting Tuesday (tickets here). A Clown Double Bill opens Tuesday at The TACOS Space in that awkward bit of neighbourhood that nobody can decide whether to call Ritchie, CPR Irvine, or “you know, behind Wunderbar, there” (tickets through Tix on the Square). Westbury Theatre, Transalta Arts Barns, welcomes the musical Legally Blonde starting Wednesday.
Deep Freeze Festival wraps up (see what I did there) today, Ice on Whyte sparkles in a couple of weeks, and ForkFest fills up January. So if you’ve been hibernating the last couple of weeks, it’s time to bundle up and check out what’s happening in Edmonton entertainment.