HicksBiz Blog

Category: Performing Arts

Performing Arts

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Apple Tree – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 3 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Apple Tree  – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 3 of 5 stars The Apple Tree Plain Jane Theatre Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Ave. Thurs. Aug. 17 – 9 p.m Fri. Aug. 18 – 5 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 7 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 1 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 5 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 1 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 9 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 9 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3:30 p.m. Duration: 65 minutes 3 of 5 stars The Apple Tree is a light, sweet two-hander, a not-so-well-known musical from the same team that wrote Fiddler on the Roof.  It’s a gentle, humourous, show, using Adam and Eve to illustrate the vicissitudes, contradictions and need for life-long male-female partnerships, going back to the original couple on Earth. Most pleasing is the polished singing of Madelaine Knight (Eve) and Graham Mothersill (Adam), both of whom have played leading roles in multiple musical pro ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Inventor of All Things – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – The Inventor of All Things – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars The Inventor of All Things Big Word Performance Venue 13, Old Strathcona Public Library 8331 104 St. Fri. Aug. 18 – 2 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 6 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 7 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 8 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 7:45 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 10:15 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 5 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3:30 p.m. Duration: 75 minutes 4 of 5 stars English performance poet/storyteller extraordinaire/standup comedian Jem Rolls is a Fringe institution, and, having become an acquired taste, is a performer that his legions of fans would never think of missing.    At this year’s Fringe, Rolls is reprising his show from 2015, The Inventor of All Things.  It’s a little disappointing to see a show Rolls has already performed, but his mad-cap meditation on the invention of the atomic bomb by brilliant peace-lovin ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Puck Bunnies – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4. 5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – Puck Bunnies – Review by GRAHAM HICKS 4. 5 of 5 stars Puck Bunnies Guys in Disguise Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 3 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 5 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 5 p.m. Mon. Aug. 21 – 9 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 7 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 24 – 7 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 5 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 5 p.m. Sun. Aug. 27 – 3 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 4.5 of 5 stars Within the best of comedy is always slight tragedy. Puck Bunnies is one of the best conceptions and hilarious executions of human superficiality that the  Guys in Disguise comedy troupe has ever done. And yet it’s based on pathos – the stunning banality of young women in small towns where the end-all and be-all is to snare and hopefully marry a local hockey player. But what fertile ground for high and hilarious comedy – especially the triumvirate of hockey player girlfriends Tina, Tammy and Tanya as p ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Exquisite Hour: Review by GRAHAM HICKS 5 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com –The Exquisite Hour: Review by GRAHAM HICKS  5 of 5 stars The Exquisite Hour Teatro La Quindicina Venue 12, Varscona Theatre 10329 83 Avenue Fri. Aug. 18 – 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 19 – 3 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 – 3 p.m. Tues. Aug. 22 – 7 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 – 3 p.m. Fri. Aug. 25 – 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 – 3 p.m. Duration: 60 minutes 5 of 5 stars Edmonton-based playwright and director Stewart Lemoine is a most prolific playwright. Within his own precise perimeters, the man has a genius for writing some three to four plays a year. The Exquisite Hour, I would suggest, will be one of his most enduring works. The plot is simplicity itself – the kindling of a love story, a soul-mate discovery, between two very unlikely candidates for romantic love. Not that this is anything unusual, especially within the Lemoine canon. It’s the pacing, the rhythm, the dance, the seriousness, the mad-cap humour, the contrast betwee ... Read the rest of entry »

Fringe 2017 – Hicksbiz.com – HEATHERS The Musical – review by GRAHAM HICKS 4 of 5 stars

Fringe 2017 – Hickbiz.com – HEATHERS The Musical – review by GRAHAM HICKS Scona Alumni Theatre, BYOV 25: Strathcona High School, 10450 72 Ave. (entrance on north side of high school, parking on the east side) August 17 to 20, 22 to 26, 9 p.m. 95 minutes with no intermission.  4 of 5 stars This is one weird gem of a large-scale musical. You have to hand it to artistic director/Scona drama teacher/Scona Alumni Theatre producer Linette Smith.  She fears not controversy, has the resources to mount a large-scale musical – 17 performers and a six-person band, and has a reputation such that her best recent graduates from Strathcona High School in the song-and-dance department are only too happy to be part of the Alumni Theatre’s Fringe show. Controversial? HEATHERS is a spectacular musical and cult movie that failed to become a household name:  Maybe because, as the  note on the program cautions, the show set in an American high school circ ... Read the rest of entry »

Cirque de Soleil - Kurios, Cabinet of Curiosities - As good as entertainment can possibly get - REVIEW BY GRAHAM HICKS, HICKSBIZ.COM

Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities Cirque de Soleil Under the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) Behind (north of) the Northlands Coliseum July 20 to August 13, 2017 REVIEW BY GRAHAM HICKS, Hicksbiz.com Tickets:  https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/canada/edmonton/kurios/buy-tickets How magical, how lucky we all are, that the world has Cirque de Soleil.  And that Cirque de Soleil brings its shows to Edmonton. Cirque is astounding. It is popular entertainment at its artistic best. Over 20 shows are now in production around the world, attracting thousands of spectators every day. Cirque de Soleil never stoops to crass commercialism. Within its circus ways, it is an extravaganza of artistic imagination that knows no bounds. The creators of Cirque shows must feel like Christmas comes to them every day of the year.  No other performing arts company can give artistic overseers the resources to bring to life every possible performing idea they can think of. Extraordinary creativity: In Kur ... Read the rest of entry »

Kinky Boots at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium: Bodacious, sassy and fun! Review by GRAHAM HICKS

Kinky Boots  Broadway Across Canada touring show Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, February 14 to 19, 2017 Tickets $30 to $180 Review by GRAHAM HICKS,  Hicksbiz.com Watch out Edmonton! If the whole city starts rockin’ and rollin’, dancin’ down the streets and prancing about in outrageous  sequinned boots, it’s because the energy and spirit of Kinky Boots exploded out of the Jubilee Auditorium and is cascading across Edmonton.  Not since Hairspray has a touring Broadway show been this much fun, so high calibre and so socially relevant.  Kinky Boots is a bodacious blend of sassiness, social message, social relevance, an intriguing story-line, great songs (thank you Cindy Lauper), astounding choreography and bigger-than-life talent. How did this plot get dreamed up? Its bones are about a reluctant heir of a dying English shoe-making factory, who accidently discovers a niche market for drag-queen boots. But for the business to surviv ... Read the rest of entry »

The Citadel Theatre's 2017/18 season is the real-meal deal - story by GRAHAM HICKS

Commentary on the Citadel Theatre's  unveiling of its 2017/18 season by GRAHAM HICKS, Hicksbiz.com  Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada February 13, 2017 The sigh of relief was audible last week among seasoned Citadel Theatre fans in Edmonton, as, play by play, new artistic director Daryl Cloran unveiled the 2017/18 season. This kid, the grizzled veterans of Edmonton theatre thought to themselves, is for real. Until the 2017/18 season announcement, we didn’t know quite what to think of Cloran. The Citadel board search committee had plenty of time, almost a full year, to find a replacement for past artistic director Bob Baker. Baker had announced his retirement after 17 excellent years at the helm of the theatre. He continues an association with The Citadel as artistic director emeritus. The board was excited about Cloran, who during six seasons as director of Kamloops’ innovative Western Canada Theatre had built a national reputation for both innovation and aud ... Read the rest of entry »

Disgraced at the Citadel Theatre: Excellent script, good-but-not-great production - theatre review by GRAHAM HICKS

Disgraced Hope & Hell Theatre Company Citadel Theatre, Shoctor Stage, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Jan. 21, 2017 to Feb. 5, 201 Review by GRAHAM HICKS, HicksBiz.com Tickets  Disgraced is a damned fine play, with its current production at the Citadel Theatre being good, but not great.  It is part of the Citadel’s season, but is produced by the Toronto-based Hope and Hell Theatre Company. In other words, nobody from the Citadel Theatre had any input into what’s on stage. If one of the Citadel’s past cadre of directors – artistic director emeritus Bob Baker, former associate directors James MacDonald and Tom Wood – had been at the artistic reins, this would likely have been a great show. All three directors are masters of this particular style of play. (I can’t yet include new Citadel artistic director Daryl Cloran. His directorial debut won’t come until the 2017/18 season.) Disgraced is one of those relentlessly contemporary dramas that ticks off all ... Read the rest of entry »

Discovering fine new theatre - Peter Fechter: 59 minutes - retrospective by GRAHAM HICKS

Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes Cardiac Theatre at the ATB Arts Barns Edmonton, Alberta, Canada A retrospective by GRAHAM HICKS,  HicksBiz.com If you missed Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes, performed at the ATB Arts Barns by the Cardiac Theatre company from Jan. 10 to 22, 2017, I’m sorry for you. It was an intriguing one-man show. One live actor, Bradley Dore playing Peter Fechter, with three pre-recorded voices coming from strategically located loudspeakers in the PCL Studio Theatre. The voices were those of Peter’s mother, father and best friend, and almost as important to the show as Peter Fechter himself. This intriguing theatrical experience was conjured up by leading young Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill.  Fechter is a true historical figure, who at 18 was one of the first East Germans attempting to flee from East Berlin to West Berlin across the recently constructed Berlin Wall in 1945. Fatally wounded by East German guards in the no-man's land along the wall, he bled to death ... Read the rest of entry »