we will rock you

Posted on July 23, 2007. Filed under: Music, Theatre |

I was fortunate enough to receive free tickets to see We Will Rock You last week and I wish I could go back and see it again and again and again.

The plot itself and the music, humour, wit, and political messages within were perfect. The concert-like atmosphere was fun and different. A must-see show all round. It actually reminded me of my fond memories of Queen’s Players while at university — without the drinking on stage and without the cabaret feel, but still. To top it all off, a girl I knew from Queen’s was in it.

The voices were spectacular and it was so fun to see a show where you already know all of the songs (and it’s a great way for musical theatre to reach out to the masses and to get a potentially different audience than those who would typically attend in the seats) and really I can’t say enough good things about it. So go and see it and let me know what you think.

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not the messiah — a must see!

Posted on June 2, 2007. Filed under: Music, The boy(s), Theatre |

Brian and I went to see the world premiere (red carpet and everything) of Not the Messiah tonight at Roy Thompson Hall. Ironically is based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian (which also sheds some light on why a psychic once told my Brian that he was Jesus Christ).

Created by Eric Idle (who was also a soloist/narrator in the show) and John Du Prez with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Peter Oundjian (who happens to be Eric’s cousin — how great is that!?) AND members of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (talk about just about everyone you’d love to see on stage all at once). The performance was fantastic. The script was hilarious, well delivered, and the orchestra and choir were phenomenal.

We had seats that were in the balcony at the side and while we couldn’t see a bit of the front corner of the stage and could only see the soloists’ backs — they were really great seats because we could see the front of the conductor and all of the players and the choristers very close up.

I don’t want to tell you too much as I wouldn’t want to give the show away at all — but I will tell you that this was the first show I’ve seen in years or ever that I actually wanted to leap up for a standing ovation — as did the rest of the crowd. It lasted long enough for the soloists and creators to come back out on the stage for 3 or 4 extra bows. Well-deserved!

Please try to go and check it out — there are 2 more shows on the 2nd and the 4th of June in Toronto. It’s definitely worth the money and is a wonderful way to spend an evening.

Not the Messiah is part of Luminato so check it out too for more events going on in the city — I hadn’t heard about it until this year and am glad that I got to be a part of it.

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whilst in stratford-upon-avon

Posted on April 26, 2007. Filed under: Books, Theatre, Travelling |

Last year when I was in Stratford-Upon-Avon I scribbled down a quote I liked that was written on the wall of the Shakespeare exhibit at the house beside where Shakespeare used to live when he returned from London. I just found the scrap of paper in my unpacking so I thought I’d put it up here so I can get rid of the scrap:

“Read him, therefore, and again, and again, and if then you do not like him, surely you are in some manifest danger not to understand him?”
-John Heminges & Henry Condell in their address to “the great variety of readers,” in the First Folio, 1622

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jazz fm night with louis armstrong and ella fitzgerald

Posted on February 14, 2007. Filed under: Music, The boy(s), Theatre |

My favourite radio station, Jazz FM, had a fantastic concert last night at the Old Mill with top musicians coming together to put on a beyond fantastic performance. June Garber was beyond fantastic. I adored her voice, her personality, and her performance and must say that she is now one of my favourite people. Brian and I both bought her CD (yes the same one) for each other for Valentine’s Day.

I couldn’t see much of the stage from where I was sitting, so I missed out on seeing all of the instrumentalists play, but could see Grammy nominee (and wonderful trumpet player) Kevin Clark  as well as the leading lady perfectly.

I knew almost every song that they played, which I always enjoy — plus there were at least three favourites in there including Black Coffee. The evening truly was magical and I was in fully mushy lovey dovey mode by the end of it all.

There are 2 more concerts in this Sound of Jazz concert series for this season. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to make it to the one that is still available for purchase, but I can’t wait to see what is in the line-up for next year. I’m not sure that I would go for dinner again, though it’s nice to have it as an option (and it wasn’t overly expensive, which was surprising, plus they catered to my candida diet of no sugar, dairy or gluten, which was awesome).

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zaide, poetry, and misunderstandings

Posted on January 31, 2007. Filed under: Friends, Theatre |

I forgot to mention that Brian and I went to see Zaide, which was being put on by Opera in Concert last weekend. This is a “rarely” performed opera and was unfinished (by Mozart) and, well, maybe there are reasons for both of those things — it wasn’t really that great.

One of the signers was blantantly reading every line — and I know they’re allowed to in this case, and that they have music stands, etc., but at least make it appear as though this wasn’t your first time through. The reason we went was to see Vasil Garvanliev perform. And he exceeded my expectations. He had everything memorized and his voice is just of a quality beyond, well, many. He’s a character on stage and adds to every performance I have seen him in.

Then, Monday night — I met with a new team I’m volunteering with (a research committee) and it was so great! I’m really looking forward to working with them.

Then, last night, I was set to meet a friend for dinner (after this dinner had already been cancelled 4 times, the degree of expectation was heightened) . Neither of us had each other’s phone numbers and we didn’t meet. We were both there — at Fresh on Bloor St, but I got a table and she waited outside (without even checking in the building) for 45 minutes before leaving.

I then met up with Queen’s friends who I haven’t seen for 4 years at a poetry competition. Apparently it’s the 8th annual, but after working in publishing for 3 years now, it was the first I’d heard of it. He made it to round 2, but not beyond, though I was very, very schocked at a couple of the choices who made it to the end. I bolted at the news to try to fly home and to get into bed before 12, but then remembered that I had won my pretty laptop bag (not the super cool one) on ebay and wanted to pay for it. Paypal was NOT cooperative at all! But I finally settled in at 12:30 only to feel like thirty seconds had passed before my alarm went off.

Now, I have class tonight, yoga tomorrow night and dinner plans on Friday night — I need to do things like laundry and grocery shopping! I only have a block of goat cheese and rice puffs left — not very conducive to keeping one’s energy up when running at this pace.

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candide by toronto operetta theatre

Posted on January 7, 2007. Filed under: Music, Theatre |

Brian and I had our anniversary weekend this weekend and it was fantastic. Friday night we went out for dinner and had a really nice time together and last night we ventured out to see a sold-out rendition of Candide that was put on by the Toronto Operetta Theatre.

It was fantastic! I had read Voltaire’s Candide a few years ago (a used copy that I purchased at a Value Village in Vancouver) and I enjoyed it immensely, but not as much as the show — it is just so random, funny and yet philosophical.

The talent was tremendous – the leads were a delight to watch and to listen to. The costumes were also to die for. If it wasn’t leaving after the next sold-out performance, I would tell you to go and see the TOT production, but since you really can’t see it I would recommend seeing any production of Candide.

I simply adored it!

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songs for a new world — go see this show!

Posted on December 4, 2006. Filed under: The boy(s), Theatre |

Brian and I went to see Songs for a New World on Saturday night. This show is one of Brian’s favourites so I had heard the songs quite a few times before, but it really was great to see them live. It made more of an impact, and now I have more meaning to put behind the songs.

The voices on stage were just perfect — very strong and just awesome! The show is all back-to-back songs, so it’s not a musical, per se (not in the traditional plot-line, narrative way, just in case you aren’t into musicals, you should still go), but the songs are either gorgeous, funny, or inspiring. Trust me. I saw 4 musical type things in the past week, and this one is definitely worth going to — it’s on until December 16th at 2 shows a night down at the Distillery District.

I almost forgot, there’s also a myspace page with more info and pics from the show.

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chicago, the musical

Posted on December 2, 2006. Filed under: Theatre |

Ninadiva and I went to see Chicago on Thursday.

After a lovely dinner at the newly reopened Bangkok Gardens. They just reopened 2 weeks ago and I’ve already been there twice. It’s a bit pricey, but so yummy!

Anyway, back to the show. It was amazing! I’ve wanted to see Chicago since the movie came out and I loved it! The cast was amazing, even the Backstreet Boy, Kevin Richardson, played an excellent Billy Flynn.

We were both exhausted, but the show was worth every sleep-deprived moment.

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trans siberian orchestra, not so much

Posted on December 1, 2006. Filed under: Music, Theatre |

Brian and I went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra on Wednesday. We met up first with a friend of his and his girlfriend and then they came too (but sat in a different level). I was all excited because I like the radio rendition they had of Carol of the Bells. The orchestra was good and the Christmas carols they did for the first 10 minutes or so were fun, and then something happened.

The entire rest of the show was terrible.

Maybe I wasn’t prepared for what happened, but there was suddenly a narrator who told a terrible “Christmas” story which I couldn’t follow (and I’m pretty damn good at following plot lines) which centered around an angel, a bar, and a neon sign. The remainder of the show was comprised mostly of solos, which were too loud and had the worst lyrics I have ever heard. The most painful being the song that had a country twang to it, centering around Christmas and that damn neon sign at the bar. It was PAINFUL.

But, they must be doing something right because there were hardcore fans there and the ACC was packed. I just don’t get it.

And the scariest thing of all was that this is likely the most culture a lot of the people there get — and they think it’s good! Yikes!

I will admit that the cool part was, with the orchestra only, the exact timing of the lights, but that eventually wore thin.

We left at what we thought was the end, after the “Christmas” story was done, abandoning Brian’s friends (by accident, we thought they had left) and bolted for the door, apparently missing the rock songs at the end.

I’m all for the bizarre if it’s good.

This was not.

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urinetown, the musical

Posted on November 26, 2006. Filed under: randomness, The boy(s), Theatre |

Brian and I went to see Urinetown tonight and it was FANTASTIC!!!

It was so hilarious that I’m still laughing and smiling and I loved the randomness of it all! I always enjoy witty lines and extremely off the wall, randomness in musicals and this one is right up there. It was so fun, but had a real political and social message at its core — with a rebellion and everything.

The cast was stellar, especially the lead narrators!

It’s being put on right now by Georgetown Globe Productions, who always put on high-quality shows. I worked with them as a co-producer on City of Angels, another of my favourites a couple of years ago.

If there are any tickets left, I highly recommend going to see it!

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