The Firebird is a wonderful Russian folklore fairytale production currently being performed at the Guelph Little Theatre till December 2nd by Rose Scollard. The Director, D.J. Thomson commented in the playbill, “Our team has worked hard to present all the magic of theatre out in the open for you, our community, to share. We truly are thrilled that you are here and hope that you find your moments to save in your memory banks.
“It was a night for the memory bank”, a saying which is one of my father’s favorite. My son & daughter who were seated on either side of me, both agreed. Being that the performance was on a Friday evening, the kids were tired, like a lot of people by the end of the week. However they were both on the edge of their seats the entire performance.
We entered the quaint venue which is in an old warehouse type of building in the Ward district of Guelph. We could tell that we would be in for a special night as we peeked into the venue and could see the stage was adorned with brightly colored Slavic backdrops, a solo rock set on the left side of the stage, jewel covered high back chairs fit for a Princess.
Later we would watch Princess Irenka looking into a mirror staring at her youthful beauty not knowing later in the evening she would be staring at gray hairs and wolf fingers, howling like a werewolf. This is where we watch another character Baba Yaga pop out of a large trunk which also appeared stage on.
The story was introduced by two-headed cyborg dragons who tried to free the Firebird and save their land from the evil Magician Koshchei who wanted to marry the beautiful Princess Irenka. Luckily for her the story with its twists and turns Irenka returned to her beloved Alexa.
Leaving the show my son said to us, “That was sooooo good, everyone should come and watch this!” Big sister Meaghan agreed and said she really enjoyed all of the costumes. The Firebird costume was her most favorite, she said “it was so colorful and it looked like it was really well done”. Meaghan thought Firebird was a really good dancer, and said she was inspired by her graceful dance movements.
The story of the Firebird inspired many literary works, including “The Little Humpback Horse” by Pyotr Yershov. The most famous production of the Firebird was by Sergei Diaghilev of Ballets Russes who commissioned composer Igor Stravinsky to create the enormously popular large-scale ballet score known as The Firebird.
The sound effects were a wonderful addition to the play. The four foley artists who were in the background creating a meerut of sounds throughout the scenes helped bring more life to the production and were great to watch alongside the actors.
If you want to make some memories for you and your family, this is a great play to attend. Buy your tickets here for this performance, http://www.guelphlittletheatre.com/tickets/. Perhaps it will evoke memories of your childhood as you watch the Princesse, dragons and magician in this fairytale story. Whoever you take with you, I am sure just like the director and my Dad say, “It will be one for the memory banks!”.
Talk soon ~