Monday, June 8, 2009

2009_06_06 Glorious! - Shadow Theatre

WOW! I don't often blog theatre - although I do attend a fair bit.... I don't usually get photos. But I caught Glorious! on the weekend, and just had to speak out. What a show.

The play is magical. One of my favorite quotes (not from the play) is "if only the most gifted birds would sing, the forest would be quiet". This play is about Florence Foster Jenkins, who refuses to be quiet, to the point where her 15 plus minues of fame is granted - singing to a full house at Carnegie Hall. It touched a nerve for me. I love listening to singers even if they are not 'fantastic'.

It was wonderful to see Florence get the recognition she deserved. Whether she was a good singer, or not, is immaterial. She sang. She performed. She persevered on in the face of many criticisms. Maybe they were valid criticisms. But she persevered and reached beyond her wildest dreams. Good for you Florence. We all receive criticism - putting it aside is always difficult. Good for you. You did sing!

When Darrin Hagen made his entrance, even though I knew he was in the cast, it took more than a moment to recognize him. Althought there were some occasional divergences to create some spice, for the most part he played it very 'straight'. His piano was a treat, and his attitude was spot on the part.

And Coralie, so versatile, performing as 'all the other women'. Transforming herself from a 'friend of the family', to a lumpy, grumpy, frumpy spanish maid, and then to a fast paced, straight-laced, prune-faced representative of the 'Music Society'. Coralie is always energetic and magical. Even the bent over old maid could not hide her beauty.

But Leona Brausen's singing was so good - it was terrible. So bad, that sometimes I had to close my eyes (missing a bit of the action). I usually close my eyes when the music is beautiful, not often when it is so bad. I wanted to listen and figure out what is really going wrong. I've seen Leona many times over the years - this is one of her best performances.

And the sum of the parts? The performers and performance peaked wonderfully. The audience was lifted off their feet to give a rare (in cold Edmonton) standing ovation - well deserved. See this show!

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