On, and above, the stages in Edmonton: a week of possibilities

Let There Be Height, Firefly Theatre and Circus. Photo supplied.

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

The week on, and above, the stages in Edmonton. Consider the possibilities.

•Firefly refuses to stay put, in either time or space.

Edmonton’s pioneer theatre/ circus company and academy, devoted to defying gravity, is having an “aerial cabaret” Thursday and Friday at the Westbury Theatre. It’s their 15th annual Let There Be Height showcase and fund-raiser, devoted this year to time travel.

Finally, in this earthbound age, something to look up to. You’ll see daring people on their flying trapezes, wrapping themselves in aerial silks and plummeting towards the ground. You’ll see people who embrace the idea of hanging upside in a hoop, with one leg draped around an ear.

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Let There Be Height runs Thursday and Friday (7:30 p.m., silent action at 6:30) at the Westbury, in the ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave.). Tickets: TIX on the Square (780-420-1757, tixonthesquare.ca). All proceeds go to Firefly’s circus academy.


Jeff Haslam, Rachel Bowron, Jenny McKillop in A Likely Story, Teatro La Quindicina. Photo by Ryan Parker.

•Here’s a likely story. No, really: Teatro La Quindicina launches their 32nd season this week with a new Stewart Lemoine travel comedy, A Likely Story. Five strangers in a train stranger, who set forth on a journey — once they discover who they are and where they’re going. It opens Friday and runs through June 22 on the Varscona stage (tickets: teatroq.com). Have a peek at the 12thnight preview here, an interview with playwright Lemoine. Bonus: he talks about the season, which also includes two Lemoine comedy revivals (A Momentary Lapse and Vidalia) and a vintage psychological thriller (The Bad Seed). Tickets: teatroq.com.

Max Hanic in rehearsal for Boy Trouble, Nextfest. Photo by Mac Brock.

•Nextfest, the multi-disciplinary festival devoted to emerging artists, continues at the Roxy, the Backstage Theatre, and a cluster of gallery venues, through Sunday. I caught Mac Brock’s Boy Trouble at the Roxy last week: it’s impressive for both its sharp, funny writing and for the solo performance by Max Hanic, a young actor to keep your eye on. It’s running Saturday and Sunday on the Roxy stage. Check out the 12thnight.ca preview, an interview with the playwright here.

Jessy Ardern and Jacob Holloway in Weal Thyman The Third, in rehearsal at Nextfest. Photo by Jenn Galm.

And have a look at the 12thnight.ca interview with Philip Geller, a co-creator of Weal Thyman The Third, a bouffon clown comedy of the outrageous persuasion (you can see it here). It returns to the Nextfest stage Wednesday (7 p.m.) with performances Friday and Saturday.

Nextfest tickets and schedule: nextfest.org.

•If you can’t have A Weekend in the Country to call your own, you can hear the song — in the Foote in the Door production of the great Sondheim musical of romantic ambiguity, A Little Night Music. Mary-Ellen Perley’s production continues through Saturday at La Cité francophone, 8627 91 St). Tickets: TIX on the Square (780-420-1757, tixonthesquare.ca) or eventbrite.ca. Foote in the Door is an enterprising collective, formed by alumnae of the Citadel’s Foote Theatre School, that specializes in the musical theatre repertoire. A Little Night Music is the finale of their fifth season.

Bella King, Jocelyn Ahlf, Jillian Aisenstat in Fun Home, Plain Jane Theatre. Photo by Mat Busby

•If you’re in summer reflective mode, have a look at the 32nd annual Sterling Award nominations, and muse on the season just past. The complete list is here.

For the first time, stepping up to the times, the Sterling’s performance categories are gender-neutral, an example set by the Doras in Toronto. Instead, the outstanding leading and supporting performances are divided into comedy and drama, as determined by jurors, a discussable point (as the Sterling committee acknowledges ) in an era when much of the most interesting work onstage evades that division. 


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