Theatre Companies help bring down the curtain on June

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To help bring down the curtain on June, Ghost River Theatre is clowning around while Front Row Centre Players gets kinky and Holy Fools Theatre starts rioting.

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La bulle
Ghost River Theatre and Corpus Present La Bulle (The Bubble) with David Danzon. Courtesy, Muuriel Cavanhac jpg

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Ghost River Theatre is hosting the French company Corpus’ award-winning family show, La Bulle, or The Bubble, for five performances only from June 28 to July 1 in the West Village Theatre at 2007 10th Ave. S.W.

La Bulle, described as a metaphysical journey of lights, colour and sound, takes place in a transparent bubble with the audience surrounding it. Audience members can remain seated or they are free to circulate around the bubble

David Danzon, who conceived, directed and designed the show with Carolin Lindner, stars as the famous clown Pierrot. Through mime, dance, some text and even drawing, Pierrot tries to connect with the audience members on the other side of his bubble.

Conceived long before COVID, La Bulle explores the theme of social distancing and the paradox of people working in supposedly private spaces that are actually transparent. The show premiered in 2021 in France and then travelled to Toronto. It has also travelled to the U.S. and Sweden and had a subsequent tour of France.

There is a preview performance of La Bulle on June 28 at 7:30 p.m. with 7:30 p.m. showings on June 29-30 and additional 2 p.m. showings on June 30 and July 1. The show runs for 60 minutes and is suitable for all ages.

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Felix Yoder as Lola (with the ensemble in the background) in Front Row Players’ Kinky Boots. Courtesy, Brittany Doucet-Lewis
Felix Yoder as Lola (with the ensemble in the background) in Front Row Players’ Kinky Boots. Courtesy, Brittany Doucet-Lewis jpg

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR DANCING

Front Row Centre Players’ production of the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots continues at the Beddington Theatre Arts Centre until June 24 with performances at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on June 24.

This musical is based on the 2005 film which told the true story of a young man who turned his family’s failing shoe factory in northern England into a thriving business by producing shoes and boots for drag performers. Harvey Fierstein wrote the book and Cindy Lauper wrote the songs, which include Not My Father’s Son, Whatever Lola Wants and Together We Are Beautiful.

In the Front Row production, Fred Amdur stars as Charlie, the man with a vision, with Felix Yoder as Lola, the drag performer in need of a strong pair of high heels. Also in the cast are Caitlin Karpetz, Danielle Baker and Jeremy Walker. Charlene Brydges and Stephen West direct, with musical direction by Anne Roggensack, and choreography by Stephen West.

Tickets and additional information are available at frontrowcentre.ca.

Pussy Riot
We Are Pussy Riot with Eli Copping, Jen White, and Melissa Bennett. Photography by Nathan Iles Photo by Nathan Iles /jpg

A 48-SECOND PROTEST HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

In February 2012, five young women walked into a church in the centre of Moscow chanting “Virgin Mary, Chase Putin Away”. These activists were dragged from the church, arrested, tried and sent to labour camps for hooliganism, but social media turned them into modern martyrs.

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In 2015, Barbara Hammond wrote a play called We Are Pussy Riot or Everything is PR for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. A Calgary theatre company calling themselves Holy Fools Theatre is presenting the Western Canadian premiere of Hammond’s play. In keeping with the spirit of the actual event, Holy Fools has chosen to present its version of the play in St. David’s United Church at 3303 Capitol Hill Crescent N.W.

Nathan Iles, who is directing with Mira Maschmeyer, says We Are Pussy Riot “feels like the ideal show to present now. It reflects where we’re at politically and socially with such issues as feminism and queer rights. It’s such a modern, important story and it only happened 11 years ago.”

We Are Pussy Riot is not a musical but Iles and his wife Joanna, who are members of the band Brain Bent, have written an original song Backyard to open the show which is a historical retelling of the trial of the members of Pussy Riot.

The cast of 12 includes Jen White, Melissa Bennett and Eli Copping playing Pussy Riot members Nadya, Masha and Katya. Ali El-Risai is Sergei, the play’s narrator, and Grace Lu plays a character named The Devout Woman, who represents the traditional Christian conservative base that condemned the protest.

The play runs 75 minutes without an intermission, on June 21-25 and again on June 27-29 and July 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students and are available at the door 30 minutes before each performance.

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