Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And it begins again....

Really, I love the first day of rehearsals, when all things are possible, and you believe everything you want to see on stage will happen in just 14 days!

Of course, that's not always true - life gets in the way, the constraints of budgets or lack of time usually being the big culprits. But we're creative, we're smart, we'll find other ways, briliant ways to tell our story and get the play on the boards. And by the time Opening Night rolls around, we've completely forgotten what we thought we were going to do because what we did do is so... amazing! that we bask in the glow of the stage lights, smile deeply, and enjoy a great show!

And that's the Coles Notes version of how a play is made.

The truth is, creating a show is a lot of repetition, a lot of discussion, a lot of practise, a lot of discussion, a lot of repetition... oh, wait, I said that already. But that's what it is. Except... that with every time you walk through a scene, every time you sing a song, every time you do that same step,step,step and kick! a little creative spark goes off. And soon, enough sparks make... a scene. And enough great scenes make... a wonderful show.

We're just at the begining of creating sparks for THE LAST RESORT. The read-through yesterday morning had all of us in stitches (I love it when actors laugh at themselves - self-recognition that 'hey, I am funny' is so cute) so I can't wait to hear & see what it sounds like all ready for the audience.

Because it is the audience we do this for. An audience ready & willing to come to the theatre, sit down, relax, and start laughing, toe tapping and, perhaps, be just a little spooked by all the goings on at THE LAST RESORT.

THE LAST RESORT is a murder mystery musical comedy by Leslie Arden (music & lyrics) and Norm Foster (book), directed by Luisa Appolloni, with musical direction by Charlene Nafziger.

If you want some sense of what a murder mystery musica comedy is like... think a little Panto combined with a little Due South, and there you go!

Panto Fan Alert! Panto Fan Alert! From previous and future Panto productions, you will find starring in THE LAST RESORT cast JP Baldwin, Allan Gillespie, Christina Gordon and Bruce Tubbe. Also in our cast, Jon-Alex MacFarlene, Siobhan Richardson, Ian Simpson and Viviana Zarrillo.

For more information and to ordert tickets, please call 613.395.2100 or visit our website and head to the 'Tickets' icon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jillian Cook as 'Daisy' & Alan Bomar Jones as 'Hoke'

It's always a little melancholy when something wonderful draws to a close, and that's how we're all feeling today, knowing that there are only 2 performances left of DRIVING MISS DAISY. We think it's been one of the best things SFT has ever produced, and given the audience reactions as they're leaving - not to mention the emails & phone calls we've received - that seems to be what our patrons believe, too.

Special shout out to Barbara Durnford who called to say that she thought this show was one of the best she'd ever seen anywhere, and that it could stand up to anything in Toronto.
Barbara, there are one or two theatre critics in Toronto I would like you to call for us....

I personally love the photo posted above - Jillian & Alan grow together so much over the very short time period they're on stage (although in the play, their characters are actually together for 23 years at that point where the photo was taken), and I think it's lovely to a simple moment, a simple gesture mark that growth.

There are a few more DAISY photos on the website - please do check them out. And if you haven't already see the show... DON'T WAIT! You have July 16th & 17th to catch it, and then that's it.

Thank you Andrew Lamb, Jillian Cook, Alan Bomar Jones, Mark Terene. Thank Alfred Uhry! Thank you David Vanderlip, Darrell Nelham, Donna Moorman, Donna Carlisle. Thank you Travis Whiteman & Stefan Patterson. Thank you Kim Whiteman & all our volunteers at Front of House. I hope you will always have 'daisies' in your world.

Never one to sit on our laurels, we are moving on next week to two performances only of Christina Gordon's SONGS OF THE REEL. July 21 @ 2pm and July 22 @ 8pm. How do we describe this show? It's got great music (and boy, can Christina sing!). It's got dancing (three very cute, very talented boy dancers). It's got funny stories and skits (and doesn't laughing feel good?!). It's about stuff you know and has answers to questions you never thought to ask. It's great entertainment and again, it's only here for TWO SHOWS! Please call 613.395.2100 to order your tickets today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

while the euphoria lingers...

The dress rehearsal for DRIVING MISS DAISY was.... alright, I'm just going to say it... BRILLIANT!

Really. Brilliant.

The actors were wonderful -
The set looked amazing -
The car(s) were genius -
The costumes were so evocative and beautifully co-ordinated -
The lighting was lovely & perfect, and in no way yellow -
The sound, music & special effects, was incredibly cleverly done -
Stage Management made everyone both happy & perform professionally -
And Andrew Lamb, our director, is... BRILLIANT!

Even before the actors revolved around for their curtain call, the audience was on its feet in a huge, loud, standing "O". Well-deserved, everyone.

Thank you for making me proud to be part of the Stirling Festival Theatre.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day... and beyond

It's one of those days when you think you've got nothing to do but enjoy the sunshine and maybe make a batch of rhubarb-orange-ginger jam... and suddenly all these little tasks come out from under... something.

So I'm spending the day catching up on correspondence, doing a little filing, and enjoying listening to the sounds coming from the rehearsal hall. The cast & director & wizard stage manager are here for a few hours, rehearsing DRIVING MISS DAISY. At least, they tell me they're rehearsing, and I'm sure they are, but boy, do they sound like they're having fun!

I suppose that's what the rehearsal process should be about, at least in small part. Having fun while exploring character, learning & practising blocking, trying to remember if it's the right hand or left that's holding the hat on entrance.

Our director, Andrew Lamb, has a wicked sense of humour, just a little on the sly side. He sometimes says things that he knows are funny, and if you're watching his face, you can see he's waiting a second or two for you to catch the joke. Usually I do - it's important to keep up with the director! Anyway, I'm quite sure that Andrew's good humour all the way around is helping to keep the laughter rolling... when appropriate.

There are lots of laughs in DRIVING MISS DAISY, of course. I mean, in any life well lived there should be lots of laughter. But this play also has its serious moments, opportunities for reflection and the dawning of truth. I am so excited to see the first full performance!

DRIVING MISS DAISY runs July 7th - 10th & July 13th - 17th.

Don't forget the Tuesday Club - buy a ticket to the performance of THE LAST RESORT on August 17th, and get a ticket to see DRIVING MISS DAISY on July 13th at half price. Or vice versa, of course.

Also wanted to let you know I was chatting with Christina Gordon the other day. She's been in Stirling several times for Pantos (remember 'Mama Bear' and 'the Blue Fairy'?) and she's coming back in July with SONGS OF THE REEL. It's not about fishing, but fishermen are welcome. And they, their spouses, friends, fishing mates, and possibly even the trout will enjoy this wonderful revue. How could they not?? Christina's a fabulous, wonderful singer/actress/dancer. She's bringing with her three very cute, very good male dancers (really cute dancers - I may have to get out my leg warmers....). Her pianist is a stitch - and is brilliant on the Bosendorfer on top of being funny. So you take all these great components and use them to sing songs, dance a little, tell a few stories, all from your favourite movies & tv shows, and even a commercial or two. Sounds like some pretty good entertainment to me! Please join us July 21st @ 2pm and July 22nd @ 8pm for good fun with good friends.