It’s a New Year and time for a new format for the calgarymusicals.com blog. I am pleased to announce that I have been successful in getting my new musical, Amy and the Magic Tulip (working title) into the 2014 Calgary Fringe Festival this August. My first musical, Eve: The True Story, premiered there in 2008, so I decided it was time to light a fire under my own writing and enter into the fray again.
As much as I like writing for this blog and running the Calgary Musicals+ Meetup Group that I started two years ago, I have found that they (not to mention my darned day job) take too much time away from my own writing , so I’m simplifying the format again this year. I’ll continue to list all the upcoming musicals (I need to add Storybook’s Shrek in there, but the schedule should be pretty much complete now), and instead of doing reviews or previews with interviews, I’ll just do a monthly article summarizing the month’s musicals based primarily on public information (go to the website links indicated for more information and tickets), interspersed with articles on musical theatre in general or my own process working through “Amy.”
I hope this new format still gives you the information you need to know what’s going on in the Calgary Musical Theatre scene and inspires you to check out a show or two you might have missed otherwise. And so with that introduction, here goes…
Opening in January
The Music Man, UCalgary Operetta Company – LAST SHOW Friday January 17
An affectionate tribute to smalltown, USA of a bygone era, MeredithWillson’s THE MUSIC MAN follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize – this despite the fact he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall. This multiple Tony award-winning, critically acclaimed Broadway classic is an all-American institution, thanks to is quirky characters, charmingly predictable dramatic situations, and one-of-a-kind, nostalgic score of rousing marches, barbershop quartets and sentimental ballads which have become popular standards.
UCalgary Operetta Company always kicks off the New Year with a big Broadway-style musical on campus. This is a community theatre that is a blend of university students and community members. If you’re looking for big cast, lots of dancing and a big (I mean, big) band, this is the company/show for you. I saw it last night and really enjoyed it.
Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata - Acting Up Theatre/ One Yellow Rabbit/Alberta Theatre Projects as part of the 28th Annual High Performance Rodeo
January 22 – February 1, 2014
“… a most unique and entertaining theatrical concoction” – Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Province
Are you looking for a bus boyfriend, 300 stuffed penguins or a chili-eating buddy? The sometimes quirky, sometimes poignant ads from Craigslist, the pop culture phenomenon, give voice to the hopes and dreams of a generation. CBC’s Bill Richardson and Award winning singer/songwriter Veda Hille bring to life the characters behind the trash and treasures, in this heartfelt and hilarious musical that has charmed audiences in Vancouver and Toronto. Sold out in Vancouver!
Footloose, Front Row Centre – January 31st – February 15th, 2014
One kid. One town. One chance.
When city boy Ren McCormack is forced to leave school, work, and the night clubs of the big city and move to small town Bomont, he’s ready for a new high school. But he’s not ready for the local laws, which include a ban on dancing. Will this toe-tapping bad boy be able to win the hearts of the people and bring back dance to a town trying to overcome the memory of a tragedy? Based on the hit 80s movie, Footloose explodes onto the stage with such memorable anthems as “Almost Paradise”, “Holding Out For A Hero”, “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” and, of course, “Footloose”.
Love Train: The Soul of Motown, Stage West – to Feb 2
2011’s Motown Gold brought you the music that was specifically recorded under the Motown label and its stable of artists. This time around we bring you Love Train – a journey through the music of Soul and R&B. It celebrates the songs recorded under such influential labels as Staxx, Phil Specter’s “Wall of Sound”, Atlantic Records and even more from Motown. Featuring the incomparable genius of stars such as Aretha Franklin, Chuck Berry, The Drifters, Etta James, James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner and Percy Sledge just to name a few. The Soul and R&B legacy of these great artists has been passed on to a new generation which include singers such as Prince, Beyonce, Boyz2Men, Mariah Carey, Bruno Mars and Whitney Houston.
Best of Friends Reunion, Jubilations Dinner Theatre – to February 16
In 1994, TV viewers were introduced to 6 young friends living in Manhattan; Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross. The rest, as they say, is history! “Friends” is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. The series consistently ranked in the top ten in the primetime ratings and won many, many awards. The series finale (the 236th episode), airing on May 6, 2004, was watched by 51.1 million American viewers.
It was also in 2004, that we presented our spoof of this great sit- com with our very popular, attendance record breaking show – “Best of Friends!” It is my pleasure to announce our sequel – “Best of Friends Reunion!” What has the gang been up to? Who is still together? Who isn’t? Are they all still the best of friends?? Set to hits from the 1990′s, along with a few timeless classics, Best of Friends Reunion is your chance to catch up with these lovable characters!