Edward Willett

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Paul Alexander Nolan: From small-town Saskatchewan to Broadway’s bright lights

  This article just appeared in Refined Lifestyles Regina. I've known Paul since he was a kid--I performed with him several times back then, and have even had the chance to be in a professional show with him once, when he played the Beast in Persephone Theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast in Saskatoon in 2007 (I was Monsieur D'arque and several other things). It was great to chat with him for this article, the second time I've interviewed him. For Rouleau native Paul Nolan, the moment it really struck home he was performing on Broadway came in March, 2012, in the first performance in Broadway’s Paul Simon Theatre ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 18:39, May 2nd, 2017 under Blog, Music | Comment now »

The Daily Toast: To Broadway Nights

Background here.

Posted by Edward Willett at 7:29, April 2nd, 2014 under Blog, The Daily Toast | Comment now »

My publisher brought me a kitten!

And now, as promised, the Saga of Shadowpaw, or how a little black kitten made the journey from Virginia to Saskatchewan through the auspices of a Hugo Award-winning science fiction editor and publisher. Yes, fellow writers, eat your hearts out: my publisher brought me a kitten. What has yours done for you? Here’s how it all fell out... My wife is allergic to cats. This is a tragedy, because she loves cats, and has always wanted to have one. But we’ve never quite dared to try it for fear that we would fall in love with a cat, only to have to give it away again. ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:13, January 28th, 2013 under Blog | 2 Comments »

From small-town hockey player to Broadway star: Paul Nolan’s improbable journey

This week's Saturday Special is the interview I conducted with Paul Nolan, who grew up in the small town of Rouleau, just outside Regina (better known, perhaps, as Dog River from the TV series Corner Gas), and just ended a run on Broadway in the title role of the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar (he's now starring in a production of the Elton John version of Aida in Kansas City, but JSC was still running when I wrote this story for Fine Lifestyles magazines.) I performed with Paul many times when he was growing up, and once since, when I was in Persephone Theatre's production of ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:18, August 4th, 2012 under Blog | Comment now »

Biddle-dee-diddle-dee-dee!

Well, that was fun. By "that," I mean the process of getting this new computer up and running to my satisfaction. Yes, the new monitor arrived last week, and I spent a few happy (well, mostly happy) hours with plug-ins and cables and drives (oh, my!), losing hours of productivity in order to get a device that is supposed to enhance my productivity to the point where I can actually be productive on it. But it is ever thus, and things seem to be in good working order now, with the old computer still standing by and ready to go in case I suddenly realize I've forgotten to transfer something I ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:59, February 8th, 2011 under Blog | Comment now »

My review of Saturday’s Regina Symphony Orchestra concert…

...,Big Bands to Broadway, is in today's Regina LeaderPost. An excerpt:Leora Joy Godden, Mark Oddan, Jeffrey Pufahl, Kaitlyn Semple, and Tahirih Vejdani sang a selection of current and past Broadway hits, interspersed in the first act with numbers by the RSO Big Band. Accompanying the singers were the full orchestra and, sometimes, the Halcyon Chamber Choir, directed by Hart Godden (who also arranged many of the pieces and assisted with the staging).Godden, Semple and Vejdani, the "Andrews Sisters" in last fall's RSO Remembrance Day concert, once again demonstrated pitch-perfect blend and sharp, clear diction. Throw in Pufahl's rich baritone and Oddan's crisp tenor, and the result was a quintet capable of doing justice to a ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:42, October 14th, 2008 under Blog | Comment now »

Sports, schmorts

Orson Scott Card writes an extended rant about sports that echoes many thoughts of my own, as a non-athletic kid. I particularly liked these lines:There is no excuse for athletes being more respected and honored in school than scholars. But few indeed are the high schools that provide scholars and musicians and actors and poets with anything remotely like the honor given to athletes. And it's not because athletics is harder than those other activities. It may well be easier than, say, music composition or songwriting. Heaven knows, they manage to find enough professional football players to fill the NFL every season -- but to find a songwriting team that can write an enduring Broadway ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:23, August 7th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Broadway debut for a promising playwright…

...a fellow by the name (well, technically, nom de plume) of Mark Twain:Set in France in the 1840s, Is He Dead? follows a group of starving artists who stage the death of their mentor in an effort to boost the value of his work.Twain wrote it in 1898 (he died in 1910), but it was never performed.

Posted by Edward Willett at 20:36, August 2nd, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Coming soon to Broadway…

Shrek: The Musical.

Posted by Edward Willett at 20:41, June 2nd, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

Well, it sure worked for The Producers…

Mel Brooks is turning another of his old movies into a musical:According to The Strip's podcast interview with Tony Award-winner Mel Brooks, the legendary writer/comedian's new musical Young Frankenstein will most likely open at the Hilton Theatre sometime around Halloween of this year.Maybe it's just because I'm currently in Oklahoma!, but I suddenly have a burning desire to see a stage musical version of Blazing Saddles, while he's at it.

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:35, May 25th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »