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 »

My review of Globe Theatre’s “Man of La Mancha”: it’s a moving exploration of the power, necessity and limitations of storytelling

This review also appears at Regina Reviews, which I edit. Globe Theatre’s production of Man of La Mancha is a beautifully directed, acted, and sung exploration of the power, necessity and limitations of the one trait that truly makes us human: our ability to imbue the world with meaning through the telling of stories. Imprisoned in 15th-century Spain for the crime of, in his reluctant needs-must capacity as a tax-collector, foreclosing on a church (but really for the far more serious crime of believing that the laws should apply equally to everyone), Miguel de Cervantes (David Ludwig) and his manservant (Eddie Glen) must face the dreaded Inquisition—but first, they are put on ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:17, April 30th, 2014 under Blog, Plays | Comment now »

I finish a play…and sing of Saskatchewan

As I've mentioned, I've been writing a play, tentatively titled The Piano Bench: A Love Story with Evening and Ghosts. Today I finished the draft script, which I'll be passing on the fine folks at Regina Lyric Musical Theatre, which I hope will be staging the play (with me directing it) this fall. Since it's a play with music, I've assembled a CD of the songs I'm thinking of including in the play, all of which are drawn from the old sheet music in this house of mine, which has been in my wife's family since 1939. (The house, and specifically the piano and this music, are in fact the inspiration ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:27, January 17th, 2013 under Blog, Music, Plays, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Two songs from The Dragonslayer

Many years ago I took it into my head to turn a short story of mine, "The Dragonslayer, "into one-act stage musical, intended for high schools. In brief, it was about a teenager who was a whiz at killing dragons when playing Dungeons & Dragons, who gets called into an alternate world to deal with a real dragon after a demon mistakes his roleplaying abilitiy for real-life ability. I still haven't written it. However, I just came across two of the song lyrics I wrote for it, and spruced them up a bit just for fun. And here they are! The Wizard’s Song I am the Wizard The singular Wizard The proper-noun Wizard I'm one of a kind. I’m master ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:28, January 11th, 2013 under Blog, Plays, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

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 »

Me, singing “Me”

While setting up my video last week for the virtual classroom visits-by-authors I was part of, I had the urge to give my microphone a good test by singing. So I recorded one of my party pieces, "Me" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The result pleased me enough I decided to YouTube it...and here it is!

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:29, January 30th, 2011 under Blog | 1 Comment »

Tent Meeting featured in LeaderPost

No, I haven't been blogging much. There's the novel to rewrite and the Johnny Cash biography to proofread and Fine Lifestyles Regina editing duties to look after and...well, lots. Including directing and being part of the cast of Tent Meeting, Regina Lyric Musical Theatre's fall show, which opens next Tuesday, November 3, and runs through November 8 at the Shumiatcher Theatre in the MacKenzie Art Gallery. I'd tell you about it, but you can read all about it in today's Regina LeaderPost. The story begins: Regina Lyric Musical Theatre's production of the gospel-flavoured musical Tent Meeting opens on Tuesday. Edward Willett, who is directing and performing in the play, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:55, October 29th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

Two more Follies performances left…

Jeff Tonita and company sing "Live, Laugh, Love" [caption id="attachment_9154" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Eduardo and Monica Ventura dance "Bolero D'Amour""][/caption] ...and then I can think about other things again. After a week of rehearsals and performances mixed in with other stuff, I was more tired after last night's show than I think can remember ever being before. But a good night's sleep took care of that, and now I'm looking forward to the final show tonight. [caption id="attachment_9153" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Marianne Woods as Stella Deems and Aubree Erickson as Young Stell, "Who's That Woman?""]...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:07, May 23rd, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

It’s the second night of Follies!

Last night's opening performance of Lyric Musical Theatre's production of Stephen Sondheim's rarely-stage musical masterpiece Follies went very well. We had a decent-sized audience for a Wednesday opening and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. So now it's on to the second night. You can't buy tickets online for tonight's performance any more, but you can still get tickets at the door! 7:30 p.m. at the University Theatre, Riddell Centre, University of Regina. Tickets are $25. And you can still buy tickets online for the remaining shows tomorrow and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. The photo, by the way, shows Amanda Dancsok as The Showgirl.

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:07, May 21st, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »