Edward Willett

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My review of Globe Theatre’s production of Marion Bridge…

...has already shown up online, even though it won't appear in print until tomorrow. This is the first time I've seen something I've written pop up that far ahead of the ink-on-paper version, though maybe I just haven't noticed until now. The review begins: I confess that I went into the opening night performance of Marion Bridge at Globe Theatre feeling skeptical. The premise, after all, sounds like the set-up to a joke: "A nun, an actress and a soap-opera addict walk into a kitchen ..." Not only that, the fact the three are sisters home together — in Cape Breton, no less — for the first time in years because their mother is dying made me fear I faced a turgid ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:26, January 22nd, 2010 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »

My preview of Globe Theatre’s upcoming production of Marion Bridge…

...is in today's Regina Leader Post. It begins: The 18th-century French poet Jacques Delille famously noted that while we can choose our friends, "Fate chooses our relatives." More than one family has fractured because siblings discover they have nothing in common with each other ... which is exactly what has happened to the family in Marion Bridge, Globe Theatre's next mainstage production, running Jan. 20 to Feb. 6. Written by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor, Marion Bridge is set in Cape Breton, where the three MacKeigan sisters have come together to care for their dying mother. Aside from their last names, they have nothing in common. Theresa (Laura Condlin) is a nun. Agnes (Liz Gilroy) is a struggling actor. And then there's ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:02, January 14th, 2010 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »

My preview of this weekend’s South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra Christmas brunch…

...is in today's Leader Post. It begins: What could be better than a wonderful Christmas brunch onstage at the Conexus Arts Centre? How about a wonderful Christmas brunch followed by a performance by the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra? That's exactly the hard-to-imagine-a-better-than event scheduled for this Sunday. A silent auction and food kick off the event at 11 a.m., with the concert to follow. Conductor Alan Denike will lead the 45-member orchestra, made up of players whose ages range from 12 to their early 20s, in Peter Warlock's Capriol Suite, selections from Carmen by Georges Bizet, and Leroy Anderson's Christmas Festival, before finishing up with sing-along carols.

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:25, December 10th, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »

My preview of the Regina Symphony Orchestra concert featuring pianist Hung-Kuan Chen…

...is online at the Regina Leader Post. It begins: Pianist Hung-Kuan Chen isn't one to shy away from a challenge. Neither is Regina Symphony Orchestra maestro Victor Sawa.Which is why Saturday's Mosaic Masterworks concert at the Conexus Arts Centre features Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, which Sawa calls "arguably the toughest concerto ever written." "Normally, piano music has a bass staff and a treble staff," Sawa says. "This has three. There are so many notes he couldn't even get it on two staffs!" Because of the difficulty, the concerto is rarely heard. "Everyone is too afraid to play it," Sawa says. But not Chen.

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:47, November 26th, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »

My preview of the Regina Little Theatre One-Act Plays Cabaret…

...is in today's LeaderPost. It begins: Before Angel Genereux became the producer of Regina Little Theatre's programs of one-act plays in 2007, they were seen strictly as a venue for new talent on and backstage, and traditionally drew small audiences. Genereux thought they could draw new audience members, too. She boosted publicity. The result: last spring's one-acts drew record crowds and made money for the first time ever. "It's a chance to see what RLT is all about," she says. "And it's cheap: 10 bucks!" Fast-forward to this fall. Genereux is no longer the producer of the one-acts (she's moving up to producing the main-stage shows), but she's still involved. She's directing one of the three short comedies featured in RLT's Comedy Cabaret ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:48, October 22nd, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog, Columns | Comment now »

A preview of Flamenco Fire, the Regina Symphony Pops concert featuring guitarist Robert Michaels

My preview of this Saturday's Flamenco Fire Regina Symphony Orchestra Shumiatcher Pops concert, featuring guitarist Robert Michaels, is in today's Regina LeaderPost. It begins: For every form of music there are purists who say of certain practitioners, "That's not really (whatever form of music they're a purist in)." Guitarist Robert Michaels admits Flamenco purists might say the same about Flamenco Fire, the concert he'll perform with the Regina Symphony Orchestra on Saturday. But the man the Ottawa Sun once dubbed "Flamenco's version of Led Zeppelin axe-god Jimmy Page" is OK with that. Saturday's high-energy show, he ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:38, October 8th, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog, Columns | Comment now »

My preview of the Regina Fringe Festival…

...and in particular of Julia Mackey's play Jake's Gift, is in today's LeaderPost. An excerpt: Mackey says one of the main reasons she created the show was to let veterans know that a lot of people really do appreciate the sacrifices they made. Another was to educate children, and Jake's Gift, Mackey says, elicits the same "amazing" response from 10-year-olds as it does their elders. "Those young kids really get it, and it makes them interested in history. They come up to me afterwards and want to know more about the war and Remembrance Day. That's such an incredible reward."

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:23, July 2nd, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »

My preview of the ballet Don Quixote…

...being presented this week by Class Act Performing Arts Studio and Do It With Class Young People's Theatre (and in which, full disclosure, my daughter Alice is playing a chicken), is in today's Regina LeaderPost. An excerpt: Eduardo Ventura, one of the ballet instructors at Class Act and Do It With Class, will dance Basilio. "He's a poor barber in the village," Ventura explains. "Kitri and him have known each other since they were kids, and they love each other, but her father doesn't want any penniless suitor for his daughter. He's planning to marry her with the rich Gamache (Kent Wolkowski). They have to fight for their love." The role of Kitri is being danced by Jacqueline Burtney, a former student who ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:48, June 15th, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog, Columns | Comment now »

My preview of Regina Little Theatre’s Local Talent…

...was in today's LeaderPost. It begins: Women today are expected to be beautiful and thin, wonderful mothers and wives, and dedicated to their careers -- all at the same time. Those unrealistic expectations drive the plot of Local Talent, Regina Little Theatre's final production of the season, June 10-13 at the Regina Performing Arts Centre. But while the underlying issue is serious, the play is anything but. Instead, says director Mark Claxton, "it's really funny." Read the whole thing, but note there's a phrase missing in the fourth paragraph, which should read: Local Talent, by Montreal playwright Colleen Curran, is Claxton’s first full-length directing venture for RLT, which gave him with ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 23:24, June 4th, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »

My preview of the Youth Ballet of Saskatchewan’s year-end performances…

...is in today's Regina LeaderPost. An excerpt: More than 350 dance students from age three on up will take to the stage of the Conexus Arts Centre this weekend as the Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan, celebrating its 25th anniversary, presents two year-end performances. "There's a little bit of duplication, but not very much," says artistic director Connie Moker Wernikowski. ### The Youth Ballet's elite pre-professional company will perform Ballet for Life, created by a world-famous choreographer, the late Maurice Bejar, in tribute to the many friends he lost to AIDS. It's set to music by Queen that lead singer Freddy Mercury wrote when he knew he was dying of AIDS. Bejar granted permission to one of his students, Artur Kuraczewski, to re-set the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:42, May 21st, 2009 under Art Columns, Blog | Comment now »