Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Broadway Across Canada's Beauty and the Beast

Tale as old as time...or at least as old as 1991 for most of us.

Beauty and the Beast is almost 300 years old, but most of us know the version of the story with Gaston, the talking candle and dancing dishes. That version was the one that was brought to life and danced across the stage at the Jubilee last night brought into Calgary by Broadway Across Canada.

I was very excited to see one of my all time Disney favorites on the stage. (Top 3 along with The Lion King and The Little Mermaid - of course) I was worried that some of the things from the movie that always seemed like they should bother me and didn't were finally going to bug me when watching real people act it out. The chauvinist ape Gaston, the fact that her dad was inventing really stupid things and, of course, the whole bestiality thing. But they weren't an issue. Thank God, do you know how uncomfortable that would have been if you were just sitting there for 3 hours thinking about bestiality? Awkward.

You know what was awkward? Chip. The little boy who has been turned into a tea cup. The first encounter we have with him on the stage you see a boy's face with a hat that looks like a chipped tea cup and you are assuming his body in in the tea cart the 'cup' sits on...but you can see through it. It tripped me out so much I thought someone had slipped drugs into my pre-sitting wine. I still don't know how they did it, and I will lose sleep over it for years to come.

All around the show was full of slap stick comedy and innuendo jokes meant for the parents and sometimes caught on by by the kids. All the little seven year olds in their princess dresses clapped along with the dance sequence involving a bunch of townies at a pub banging together beer mugs. It was so enchanting.

Speaking of enchanting, the performance of Be Our Guest was as elaborate as the movie and gave us dancing plates, singing spoons, and napkins with hearts covering their vajayjays (yeah, that was weird, and I didn't know how else to bring it up). The song of the show was a toss up between that one, and Belle. One would have thought the title song would have been my favorite, however, when Belle walked out in her yellow dress I was overly disappointed. Not a fan. At all. That basically ruined the whole song for me. By the time it was over I was just starting to pay attention to something other than my hate for the dress. Oh well, I'm sure the song was lovely.

Other than the miss on the dress, the awkwardness of Chip, and the Beast being too short (oh I forgot to mention that - the Beast was not very big. I feel like that was a miss.), the adaptation to the stage was pretty great.

Verdict: 4.1 Stars


Beauty and the Beast is playing in Calgary until February 22, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's a Love Thing with Twin Kennedy

Meet Canada's newest country duo - Twin Kennedy.

Well, that actually isn't true. They've been around, touring and writing songs as Carli and Julie for years. Since they were children they have been playing instruments and singing for any audience that would have them. They have always been Carli and Julie, or the twins, or the Kennedys - but I guess it was time to make a name that sounded a little a country duo. Before they made their next album they decided it was time to find something that would stick.

"We knew for a year that we wanted to make a change, something that was easy...we thought of Dear Kennedy, Miss Kennedy..." said Julie. "...we really wanted to keep Kennedy, but then everyone always came back to the twin thing," said Carli.

They became Twin Kennedy...if there was ever a more country sounding duo name I don't know what that would be. Maybe Cowgirls on Hay-Bales...but I think I like Twin Kennedy more.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ryan Reynolds heads to Vancouver to film Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds is going to be back in Vancouver reprising his role as Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009. Deadpool will begin filming in the stars hometown in March.

I'm not sure if you recall how that movie ended, but Reynolds went from hawt to, hawt MESS...and then you thought he died.But he didn't, as usual.

As we know, Reynold's previous shot at superhero stardom was a misstep off a skyscraper in the form of Green Lantern. Let's hope this one has a more positive effect on his career. Who knows, maybe he will try harder now that he and Blake Lively have a baby. Daddy needs to put food on the table right?


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

CBC's Schitt's Creek premieres - ALL OF THE LEVYS

My Canadian television dreams have come true.

As we all know, I am obsessed with the Levys - OBSESSED. When Dan and Eugene are photographed together I die. When you put the two of them and Catherine O'Hara in a TV show I am I breathing right now? Oh, and Eugene's other kid, Sarah, plays the town waitress. ALL THE LEVYS!

Schitt's Creek premiered tonight on CBC. A sitcom about a rich family that loses everything and ends up moving to a town that they bought as a joke called Schitt's Creek. A spoiled daughter, a pretentious hipster son, a former actress mother and a business man father - all now living in a motel with a leaky roof surrounded by townies.

Your classic riches to rags story.

The first episode was a little hard to get through - everyone, minus Eugene, was a little too over-the-top for my liking and not entirely consistent in character, but by the second episode I am beginning to come around.

It's not all about the Levys. The Mayor of the town is played by Chris Elliot (who you will probably remember played Lily's dad on How I Met You Mother) who I love ( hate, God his character is annoying). We have also been introduced to the motel receptionist Stevie (Emily Hampshire) - who is probably my favorite non-Levy on the show.

My favorite scene of the show was when they go to the Mayor's house for dinner and Dan (OMG, what is his character's name? David? He really should have just pulled a Will Smith and called himself Dan Levy in the show.) explains to the Mayor and his wife an experimental art 'show' that he curated at an art gallery in Brooklyn. Something about an artist wearing a clay mask of a fawn, taking off her shirt and breast feeding her is the most believable tale in the whole show.

I would like to see how the story develops. Currently it is pretty flat. The characters are dynamic and could definitely make for a highly entertaining series if they hook the audience. I'm intrigued, but I'm not hooked...yet.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Stage Debut with the Alberta Ballet: The Nutcracker

I have never had an aching desire to be on stage. When I was little I did some stage-y type stuff, but with age, I have grown fond of behind the scenes writing, where you heard and not seen. That suits me. I do however, have a desire to tell a story. If going on stage means having a good story to tell - well then, I will enter stage right. Here is a story about the time I took the stage with the graceful ballerinas of the Alberta Ballet.

Late in September 2014, while Calgary was under a pile of wet tree-breaking snow, I received a message from the Alberta Ballet requesting that I be in in their popular holiday production of The Nutcracker for a night during its run.

My first thought was, "Will I have to interact with the human sized rats? I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with the nightmares that would follow for the rest of my life," followed by,"Do they think I can dance? Because I definitely have the grace of a rhino."

I didn't get answers to those questions, but said yes anyways. All I knew was I had to wear a costume and that other people, including the Mayor, had done it in the past. This was reassuring - because, as amazing as Nenshi is, I think he and I would get about the same grade in ballet class.

Months went by and then it was the week of the big day.

Viral Videos: Who wants to get crazy for New Years?

If you didn't celebrate New Years like this...then I think you failed.