13 THE MUSICAL Now Playing at the Guelph Little Theatre

 

It is Friday night in the Royal City, what better way to spend an evening than to take in a live performance and watch 13 THE MUSICAL at the Guelph Little Theatre.

My date for the evening was my 13-year-old daughter and her 2 giggling teeny bobber friends.  This is the first play of the Guelph Little Theatre 2019-2020 season and the musical runs until October 6th. 

The 3 gigglers beside me who are currently seniors in their secondary school all said how much the loved the performance. When asked if they could relate with the characters they all smiled and said, “Oh for sure, it so true to life!”  

Jen and Paul Barson the producers of the show commented, “When 13 The Musical was originally produced on Broadway, the musicians were teens as well as actors.  We wanted to take that to the next level for our production here at GLT and we staffed almost all the backstage roles with youth volunteers as well.”  The director, Thea Lale a young women said in the playbill that she had never written a Director’s note before. 

We watched the coming of age story play out as 13-year-old lead actor Evan Goldman moves from New York City to small town Appleton, Indiana.  He is coming to terms with his newly divorced parents, while trying to fit in with the “cool kids’ at his new school.  He hopes they will all attend his bar mitzvah, when giving out the invites describing it as a fun party to his newly non-Jewish classmates.

Looking around the audience which was all ages I could not help but think they too were reliving their school days as well.  Some memories good and some not so good.

The 5 piece live band was great and was a great addition to the rock score of the coming of age musical.  The music was incredible and like any music does it helped bring the character alive.  The many solos in the play and the singing was hard to belief for such young performers. 

We watched as Evan navigated many emotions being the new kid in school attempting to fit in with the jocks, pretty girls, cheerleaders, cool guys, and the outcasts.  

The set was simple but very well done.  You could visualize many of the different scenes.  I especially liked the simple painted boxes used throughout the play which did not feel repetitive at all.

There was a lot of interest in the initial try outs for the casting call of this play.  There were 80 people who auditioned for the 13 acting roles. All of the actors are in the up and coming stages and all exhibited a high level of professionalism. 

The ending of this 2 act play brought the packed house to a standing ovation with lots of applause for the amazing talented group of young men and women who told the story so wonderfully. 

This play is just one of many you can attend for the new season of the Guelph Little Theatre.  Check out the link to purchase tickets, https://guelphlittletheatre.com/big-shows/tickets/.  Thanks GLT for a great evening.  We look forward to the next show!

 

Talk soon,

 

Nancy

The Drayton Entertainment Disney Beauty and the Beast


Photo By: Hilary Gauld Camilleri

The Drayton Festival Theatre, a renovated 1902 Opera House was at full capacity last evening for the opening night of the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast.  Entering the former Town Hall and Opera House the building was lit up ready for its audience to watch “A tale as old as time”.

The Drayton spin on the old tale was magnificent.  The audience was captivated from the very beginning until its final bows.  Entering into the old building it was bustling with preshow activity, 50/50 draw tickets, people purchasing admission at the box office, as well as patrons having a few beverages before the show.

Hearing the bell we knew it was time to quickly find our seats.  The theatre is very accessible with one of our attendees who required the elevator to bring us to the balcony seating.  As always we found the staff to be so welcoming and helpful during our evening.

The show began with the iconic voice of Lloyd Robertson narrating the opening act where we met the handsome looking fellow who played the beast by actor Tony Edgerton.  Within minutes the Prince is transformed into a hideous beast after a spell is cast on him. 

The tale begins when we are introduced to Belle, played by Jessica Gallant who discovers her father is missing so she sets out on a search to find him.  

Later at the castle we find the beast staring at the enchanted rose wondering how he will ever return to normal.  Meanwhile in the basement of the castle Belle’s father is trapped in a cage.

The set was ever-changing with quick scene changes that brought the tale to life.  The set designer Christine Peters, definitely utilized the magic of Disney in all her designs.   The costumes were colorful and added to the fairy-tale appeal, including the debut of Chip, who played the cup of tea. 

The first set was a full of musical acts and we enjoyed the antics of Belle’s hometown.  There were the Village silly girls, Gaston, Lefou and lots of singing and dancing of course.

We watched Gaston’s flex his muscles throughout the show all the while trying to win the beauty’s heart to no avail. 

beautybeast3

Photo by: Hilary Gauld Camilleri

Belle gave up her freedom for her father, we knew little about the journey it would take her on.  The musical stirred all the senses and emotions like any good fairy-tale does.  Like all good ending we hoped that love would be found.

The Drayton musical adaptation of the Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is wonderful for all audiences, including both younger and older.  We were transformed into a magical fairy-tale world for 2.5 hours.  The cast, crew and director Jayme Armstrong certainly deserved the standing ovation. 

Go see this creative performance playing until August 31st at the Drayton Festival Theatre. You can purchase tickets here at 1-855-DRAYTON or check out the website to purchase tickets, https://www.draytonentertainment.com/Online/default.asp.

You will have to come and see for yourself if love will safe the day!

 

Talk soon,

 

 

Nancy

 

 

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

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Are you looking for an escape from the January Blahhhs?  Check out the 1st show of the 2019 season production at the Guelph little Theatre.   The Beauty Queen of Leenane, written by Martin McDonagh is playing until February 3, 2019, with the entire cast of just four fabulous characters.  It was an entertaining afternoon sitting among the almost full house matinée performance.  It seemed as if we were transported back in time to a shabby sparse kitchen set in the hills of Western Ireland.  The inhabitants were the 40 something spinster Maureen who was the caretaker to old housebound Mother Mag’s.  

Act I we meet the bully Mother subtly pestering her daughter Maureen continuously.  She reluctantly fulfills her request of yet another cup of tea and offerings of the Irish Kimberly biscuit.  It was evident their relationship seemed rather unhealthy, as the two didn’t seem very fond of each other as they bickered back and forth in a thick Irish.

My daughter and I were grateful for the glossary of terms used in the play as it was at times hard to understand their thick Irish at times.  An example was the word  “Feck”, which was used thru-out the play.  It is a polite and socially acceptable profanity used by the Irish.  I must say it does sound much nicer than some of the profanity we use here in Canada.  

Maureen lived her day-to-day life looking after an ailing miserable Mother who seemed to enjoy that the daughter’s sole purpose in life was taking orders from her,  all the while tending to other household duties. Mag’s seemed to enjoy dishing out snide remarks to her and kept her focus on tending to all of her many needs.

I sympathized with Maureen’s character at times thru the play when the Mother made bullish remarks to her.  An example was when she told her new suitor Pato that she had spent time in the mental hospital and that in fact she was the care giver to her daughter.   The audience was left wondering then who was the more needier and perhaps more unbalanced, the daughter or the mother? 

Maureen had a chance at escaping her miserable life in Ireland when news came in the form of a letter her lover had written her.  In the letter he asked her to move to Boston, USA with him.  The smitten lover read his letter to the audience and suggested that he would understand if did not forgive him for some of the remarks he made that she took such a disliking to.  One of the the questionable remarks he said was, “put some cloths on!”, as she stood with her under garments on in the kitchen the morning after their encounter in the kitchen.  She was outraged and took this as a personal insult and told him at once to leave.  He abruptly left with the Mother shaking her head and glad for him to be gone.

After some time the brother Ray came one day to deliver a handwritten note which had been addressed to Maureen.  The delivery of the mail did not go as requested.  The Brother eventually lost patience while sitting with the chatty Mags and decided to leave it in her hands with a promise to give it to her daughter.  The audience saw all hope of the daughters chance at happiness vanish as the Mother immediately read the lovers note and threw it into the nearby fireplace. 

However the plot had its twists and turns when Maureen became outraged at the Mother’s knowledge of private information shared only between her lover Pato and her was revealed.  She knew her Mother knew something of their relationship and scolded her Mother’s hand with hot burning water demanding her to tell her what she knew.  When the daughter did this, and threw her to the floor the audience was left wondering what type of person would physically harm another, especially their mother!

The last Act was Maureen coming into the deserted kitchen with no sign of her Mother.  Her lovers brother stops by the house for a brief chat and mentions to her, “Oh did you hear, my brother got engaged?”,  and then promptly left.  Maureen sat in the now empty rocker staring at the four walls.  As with any story there is always more, but you will have to purchase your ticket to find out what happens in this little Irish Town.

This play was being adjudicated for an upcoming Festival, I am sure they will have a great chance at winning some awards.  It is another great production by the great Guelph Little Theatre, directed by Robin Bennett and produced by Liz Dennis.  There is still time to enjoy the show as it runs until Feburary 3rd.  To purchase tickets call the theatre during box office hours at 519-821-0270, or go to the website to purchase online, http://www.guelphlittletheatre.com/tickets.

Talk soon ~

Nancy