Haven’t Done This in a While…

I really need to get better at this blogging thing!

It’s blatantly apparent that I’m really bad at posting here on a regular basis. But a bout of COVID has sidelined me this week, and I’ve also had a pretty good excuse – I’ve been BUSY. Since restrictions started lifting last year, theatre returned with a vengeance. All of the shows that were previously cancelled and postponed came back to life, and having done nothing artistic for the better part of a year and a half, it was time to take hold of the reigns again. So let me catch you up on the goings on.

Happy Birthday

The cast and crew of ‘Happy Birthday’ (Photo: Metro Theatre)

First, Happy Birthday by Marc Camoletti (adapted by Beverly Cross). My fifth show at Metro Theatre. Luckily we only needed to recast one role, and we were able to start up relatively quickly. This one was an established British comedy filled with people behaving badly, but the same could not be said of the cast. A lovelier bunch of people you’ll never meet.

My Blue Heaven

The cast of ‘My Blue Heaven’ (Photo: Pivot Theatre)

The next show was Jane Chambers’ My Blue Heaven, the first show mounted by Surrey’s newest community theatre. While written 40 years ago, it still speaks to many of the issues that the LGBTQIA2S+ community today. Not only did it run in March, but it was invited to the Fraser Valley Zone Festival in May, and then won the wildcard slot at the TheatreBC Mainstage festival in July.

Moon Over Buffalo

The cast and crew of ‘Moon Over Buffalo’

Finally, Moon Over Buffalo by Ken Ludwig. Carol Burnett led this show’s Broadway debut in 1995, and it’s farce at its best, complete with slamming doors, drunken antics, affairs, and time crunches. It was my first show with Deep Cove Stage Society, and my return to North Vancouver after my last show there in 2018. This cast and crew were troopers, filling in for one another as we dealt with various COVID diagnoses. And they brought the funny every single night.

Now, you would think I’d take a break after all that, right? Not a chance. Twist opens October 20th at Hendry Hall in North Vancouver. Tickets soon go on sale at https://northvanplayers.ca/tickets/.

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Yes, That’s Me.

©Netflix

So last November, I got to spend a few days in Victoria to shoot a small role on Maid. (That’s me – the cranky grocery clerk with Alex in Episode 4.) This was shot in a fabulous little independent store that had been in Victoria for 48 years, the kind of small-town store that’s cluttered and cramped and just has a life and history to it that large chain stores don’t. Sadly, it’s since been announced that they’ve closed as the owners have decided to retire.

I’ve got to say…”Cleanup on Aisle Poor” may be my most memorable line to date. It fits what this show is portraying so well, and demonstrates the biases that we carry against those just trying to make it through life.

Trailer is below, and you can watch it on Netflix here.

Love for ‘A Comedy of Tenors’

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The big reveal in ‘A Comedy of Tenors’ at Metro Theatre. Left to right: Tracy Labrosse, Carlos Vela-Martinez, Bill McNaughton, Mostafa Shaker, Katie Chapman, Cindy Hirschberg-Schon, Vicente Sandoval (credit: Tracy-Lynn Chernaske)

 

We got an amazing review from entertainmentvancouver.com for opening night of ‘A Comedy of Tenors’! Click here to check it out!

‘A Comedy of Tenors’ plays until October 19th at Metro Theatre in Vancouver. Tickets can be purchased at Metro’s website.

A Tale of Two Comedies

Those of you who follow this blog might be wondering where I’ve been all these months. Well, maybe it’s crossed your mind as you do the dishes. Or perhaps not at all. Or maybe you’re reading this now, and saying, “She has a blog? People still do that?”

The reason I haven’t been here much is that I’ve been busy directing. Not just one show, not just two, but five in the last 13 months. And at the moment, this includes two that I’ve been rehearsing at the same time!

I love directing, and adore directing comedies. For the last couple of months, I’ve been helming two comedies at opposite ends of the spectrum.

A Comedy of Tenors

cast and E
The cast of ‘A Comedy of Tenors’ (credit: Tracy-Lynn Chernaske)

The first is A Comedy of Tenors, Ken Ludwig’s follow-up to his hit Lend Me a Tenor. It takes place in a posh hotel room in Paris in 1936, where Henry Saunders is trying to put on a concert with some of the world’s foremost tenors. So naturally, everything falls apart, and there’s no guarantee of the curtain going up as arguments and misunderstandings threaten everything. It’s farce in its finest form, and so much fun to watch every night.

Social Security

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The cast in rehearsal for ‘Social Security’ (credit: Kayt Roth)

The second is Andrew Bergman’s play Social Security. This comedy takes place in the Manhattan apartment of a couple of art dealers, whose tranquil and genteel life is turned upside down by the arrival of Barbara’s mother Sophie, a cantankerous old woman who lives to torment her other daughter Trudy. What I love about this play is that it’s dialogue-driven, with jokes that depend solely on the writer’s talents as a comedian. And with a pedigree that includes Blazing Saddles, this playwright knows his stuff.

Where to Find Tickets

If you’re in the Vancouver area, A Comedy of Tenors is playing right now at Metro Theatre (click here for A Comedy of Tenors tickets), and Social Security opens at Surrey Little Theatre on October 19th (click here for Social Security tickets).

‘Letters to Helen’ Book Review from Ensnaring Libri

It took my breath away. An excellent story of love, heartbreak, first love, realities, disappointment, finding identity, courage, bravery, cowardice, hurdles in life, dreams shattered, love found anew, dreams realised and everything in between of these. It has everything that happens in a person’s life.”

Click here to read Sebanti’s lovely review of Letters to Helen.  And if you don’t have your copy of the book yet, go get it on Amazon, Amazon.ca, or any other Amazon site!