Hobson's Selection for October

Hobson's Selection for October

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It’s time to provide a hearty pat on the again to a number of native theatre corporations and artists in recognition of their accomplishments.

StoryBook Theatre has lots to quack about, having secured the Western Canadian premiere of the hit British musical Honk, a song-and-dance retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fable, The Ugly Duckling.

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When Honk opened in London’s West Finish theatre district in 1999, it received the distinguished Laurence Olivier Award for Finest New Musical. The Twentieth-anniversary revival in London in 2017 received the award for Finest Manufacturing of a Present for Younger Individuals, and that manufacturing has continued to tour within the U.Okay. since. Honk has turn into a global phenomenon, having amassed greater than 8,000 productions worldwide.

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Critics have praised Honk for being that uncommon household present that appeals to preschoolers as a lot because it does their grandparents. It tells the story of Ugly, who appears totally different from all the opposite barnyard ducklings and thus turns into the article of bullying and mock. Turkey, the headmaster on the college, tries to make the opposite ducklings see that tolerance of all variations is a crucial lesson to be realized, however Ugly has to run away when a really hungry cat needs him for lunch. Ugly embarks on a journey via the countryside the place he meets many new sorts of animals and learns classes of his personal.

Honk was written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, the writing duo accountable for the 1997 Peter Pan A Musical Journey, and 2004’s Mary Poppins.

StoryBook’s Honk, which runs within the Beddington Arts Centre from Oct. 13 to Nov. 4, stars Alex Bergen as Ugly, Joanna Murphy as his mom Ida, David Kampel as Turkey, and Ethan Vasquez Taylor as Cat. Elizabeth Stepkowski Tarhan directs, with musical path by Rejean Campbell, choreography by Greg Pember, costume designs by Darcie Howe, and options such songs as Totally different, It Takes All Varieties, Warts and All, Maintain Your Head Up Excessive, and Collectively.

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David Sklar
David Sklar in The Significance of Being Earnest. Photograph, Trudie Lee jpg


Three native playwrights have been nominated for the distinguished 2023 Tom Hendry Awards which acknowledge excellence in new works for the stage. Previous winners of those awards embody Irene Sakoff and David Hein’s hit musical Come From Away, Kate Hennig’s The Virgin Trial – the Stratford Theatre historic drama featured at Alberta Theatre Initiatives in 2018, and the Shaw Competition hit That is How We Obtained Right here by Keith Barker.

Calgary actor David Sklar has been nominated within the Rising Playwright class for his play Vile, which received Hearth Exit Theatre’s new play competitors in 2022. Sklar is an actor, most lately seen in Theatre Calgary’s productions of Unhealthy Jews, and The Significance of Being Earnest. He additionally assistant-directed the Badlands Ardour Play. An excerpt from Sklar’s play, which is a part of this 12 months’s Gala program, may be seen on the Playwrights Guild of Canada YouTube channel.

Jovanni Sy
Jovanni Sy (centre) and the solid of Forgiveness. Photograph, Moonrider Productions jpg

Jovanni Sy has been nominated within the drama class for his thriller Kowloon Bay, a sequel to his thriller 9 Dragons, which premiered at Vertigo Theatre in 2017. Final 12 months, Sy received the Tom Hendry Award for Comedy for The Tao of the World, his homage to Loopy Wealthy Asians. Sy directed the premiere of his play on the College of Calgary. Final season, Sy directed Vertigo’s Homicide on the Orient Categorical and starred in Theatre Calgary’s manufacturing of Forgiveness.

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Meredith Taylor-Parry has been nominated for the Carol Bolt Award for her Shark Chunk, which premiered at Lunchbox Theatre final 12 months. The Carol Bolt Award is given yearly to an impressive new play that acquired knowledgeable manufacturing. Lunchbox additionally premiered Taylor-Parry’s comedy Ebook Membership, and its sequel Ebook Membership II: The Subsequent Chapter.

The winners of this 12 months’s awards will likely be introduced from the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre on Oct. 29.

Murder on the Orient Express
The solid of Vertigo Theatre’s Homicide on the Orient Categorical which has turn into the corporate’s all-time field workplace champ. Photograph by Tim Nguyen Photograph by Tim Nguyen Co. /Tim Nguyen Co.


On the subject of the field workplace, Agatha Christie is the Midas Contact treasured by theatre corporations worldwide, and Calgary is not any exception.

Her thoroughbred whodunit The Mousetrap has been taking part in to turn-away crowds in London for 70 years, and it labored the identical magic for Theatre Calgary this previous month.

TC’s model performed to simply over 16,000 folks, which was an 85 per cent complete attendance charge. It even outdrew, by 2,000 tickets, TC’s model of the Jimmy Buffett musical Escape to Margaritaville. This season, TC is promoting all seats on the principle flooring of the Max Bell Theatre for each efficiency for $39, and Mousetrap audiences snapped up 94 per cent of these seats through the month-long run.

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Mockingly, The Mousetrap is the primary Christie thriller that Theatre Calgary has staged in its 53-year historical past, however in all probability not the final.

To not be outdone, Vertigo Theatre introduced its final season manufacturing of Christie’s Homicide on the Orient Categorical was the corporate’s all-time field workplace champ taking part in to 90 per cent capability. On a hunch that Homicide on the Orient Categorical was going to be a winner, inventive director Jack Grinhaus scheduled it for a five-week run as an alternative of the standard 4, a chance that paid off handsomely. The final time Vertigo staged The Mousetrap was in 2015. Look ahead to Christie to make one other look at Vertigo shortly.

Workshop Theatre is aware of who does it finest in the case of bringing crowds to the Pumphouse Theatre. The corporate’s 2019 manufacturing of Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, and 2022’s A Homicide is Introduced are among the many firm’s most profitable productions in its 52-year historical past. Workshop is staging Christie’s The Rule of Thumb, three one-act performs, within the Joyce Doolittle Theatre in February.

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