Musical? Political satire? 2 of the country’s best directors step up

Footloose at MacEwan University, directed by Dave Horak. Photo by Steven Stefaniuk.

Footloose at MacEwan University, directed by Dave Horak. Photo by Steven Stefaniuk.

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

Two of the country’s most inventive directors, award-winners both, take on classics of their kind with student casts this week, at MacEwan University and the University of Alberta’s Studio Theatre.

At MacEwan University, Dave Horak of Edmonton Actors Theatre (Burning Bluebeard) directs a production of an irresistibly dance-y and celebratory 1998 stage musical that advises us to “cut loose, footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes.” Which, you have to admit, sounds like advice for these parlous, regressive times.

It’s Footloose (as if you didn’t know) based on the ‘80s movie. And it runs (well, dances and generally rocks) through Feb. 18 at the John L. Haar Theatre, Centre for the Arts and Communications (10045 156 St.). Tickets: TIX on the Square (780-420-1757, tixonthesquare.ca).

The Government Inspector directed by Ron Jenkins at the U of A's Studio Theatre. Photo by Ed Ellis.

The Government Inspector directed by Ron Jenkins at the U of A’s Studio Theatre. Photo by Ed Ellis.

At the U of A, Ron Jenkins returns to Studio Theatre — Mary Mooney Distinguished Visting Artist — to direct Nikolai Gogol’s wicked blue-chip 1836 political satire The Government Inspector. What happens when an underling civil servant is mistaken for a high-ranking government inspector? An outbreak of farcical panic and terror amongst the corrupt and venal officials of a small provincial Russian town.

Hmm, perennial applications seem even more acute at the moment, for this evergreen comedy. Jenkins’ production runs on the Timm’s Centre for the Arts stage (87th Ave and 112th St.) through Feb. 18. Tickets: 780-492-2495 or ualberta.ca/artshows.

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