Loving it Live
It’s a cornucopia of performing arts treats this week…what a joy to see live theatre and music. I listen to CD’s and my iPod a lot, for sure, but nothing is like the real thing, up close and personal.
This week I attended two live theatre performances. The Arts Club Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Story, the Musical” was a joy… The set was lovely (I so appreciate set design, naturally): the digital “snow” falling on the transparent screen just put me in the mood…(I didn’t think I was ready to be put in the mood for Christmas – having seasons tickets sometimes means seeing a seasonal show a little earlier than one might have planned!). The young actors were fabulously talented and I was really impressed by their choreography skills. All the parts were played well, but Miss Shields, the teacher, (Sara-Jeanne Hosie) stole the show. Her sometimes serious task-master demeanor was contrasted with a fun campy breakout attitude in the speak-easy scene. She was masterful in her facial expressions: they spoke volumes. She made us all beam with grins…. So much fun, I highly recommend it as a seasonal treat. It’s at the Stanley till December 27th.
Taking a 180 degree turn, I attended a sublime production of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”, at a tiny, tiny little gallery space in Vancouver’s Chinatown. I recall the title of the play from my teenage years – it debuted off Broadway in 1970 and won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for writer Paul Zindel. It was adapted for the screen by Paul Newman, and starred his wife Joanne Woodward in the early 70’s, then ran on Broadway in the late 70’s. A dear friend of mine was performing the lead role. In this gritty, intimate little space, 35 audience members got to experience the play at arm’s length – literally. It was an amazing production. The cast was so talented and deserved to be on a main stage. Brava, Laara Ong! I marvel at all the actors’ talent and energy to be on stage night after night.
Coming up this weekend is the VSO’s Pops concert with a reprise of their very popular “50 years of James Bond” program – I’ve seen it before, a few years ago, but am so looking forward to enjoying it again, with a couple friends as guests. Charming conductor John Morris Russell gives us an energetic tour of the Bond theme songs, enlightening us on some of the background stories that went along with the movie and the musical scores.
The following night, I’ll be at the North Shore Celtic Ensemble’s winter concert. My son is the bass player for a group of teenage fiddle players and singers whose repertoire is lively, joyful and soulful. It’s a delightful experience – they put on a great show each year.
It’s been a good week, and it will be a good weekend! My soul is full of music and art.