By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
The stockings were hung by the green room with care….
In the fraught world of Yuletide concerts (which account for a disproportionate percentage of the world’s supply of opening night nerves), you have a chance tonight to relax and see what happens when real musical comedy pros take to the stage tonight in honour of the sparkly season.
I refer to the forces of Teatro La Quindicina, who tend to use the (much-abused) term “hi-jinks” in its original and precise meaning. Yule Be Swell! is their holiday concert. The evening at the Varscona will include musical numbers, carols, readings, eggnog and mulled wine consumption — and drama, in the form of Holiday Plays By Children, staged and directed by Teatro’s resident playwright Stewart Lemoine.
Teatro artistic director Jeff Haslam’s rendition of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and Yuletide in the Alto Section with Rachel Bowron are among the evening’s offerings. These two Teatro stars are joined by Kendra Connor, Mathew Hulshof, Belinda Cornish, Jason Hardwick, and Jenny McKillop, along with the pianist Steven Greenfield. And they are joined by up-and-comers from MacEwan Theatre Arts and the St. Albert Children’s Theatre.
Tickets: teatroQ.com or at the door.
Incidentally, the company has announced a 2018 season that includes premieres of two new Stewart Lemoine comedies, as yet unnamed. The finale is a revival of Lemoine’s 2003 screwball Skirts On Fire, which blithely negotiates the intricacies of a literary hoax in the world of ‘50s Manhattan publishing — in a production that stars Andrew MacDonald-Smith as the principal fomenter of chaos, with Louise Lambert, Ron Pederson, and Paula Humby.
Teatro’s July offering is a venture onto the Wilde side, The Importance of Being Earnest, a replacement for the production, previously announced, of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple — a question of restricted North American rights.
Ron Pederson and Mark Meer, who were to have starred as Oscar and Felix (or was it Felix and Oscar?) in The Odd Couple, will tackle the subterfuges and cucumber sandwiches of Oscar Wilde’s towering achievement in comedy, as Algernon Moncrieff and Jack Worthing, with Louise Lambert and Shannon Blanchet as Gwendolyn and Cecily. Leona Brausen makes her Wildean debut as the redoubtable Lady Bracknell.
Subscriptions (discounted before Dec. 31) are available at teatroQ.com.