It is also a tale simply yet powerfully told. Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Michael Houstoun held the audience in the palms of their hands with perfect timing and attention to the mirroring of music and word.
Through brilliant storytelling and precise characterization, Barrett brings to life the people and situations he faced during his struggles to come to terms with his unexplained affliction. He proves that going through hell can be great comedy material, and although this could have been a tragedy based on ignorance, it's actually a funny, frank and poignant personal story of ultimate triumph.
What an excellent programme of energetic contemporary music for wind quintet, all sharing the sharp and disjointed yet essentially lyrical harmonies and melodies which typify the 20th and now 21st centuries.
Zephyr treated us to a wonderful feast, expertly and graciously performed. We eagerly anticipate hearing more.
A versatile cast of 17, including three musicians, brings vitality to a near infinite number of roles. Irreverent and exuberant "Where We Once Belonged" celebrates Samoan life and culture while revealing darker, violent undercurrents.
The Vienna Boys Choir wowed the audience at the Regent Theatre last night with a wide selection of sounds both old and new.
Their voices thrill on the high pure notes; their sense of rhythm is impeccable; they might be a bit short of expressive breath but then their average age is only 12.
Only after two encores was the stamping and cheering audience happy to rise to their feet to celebrate a wonderful and delightful concert.
Occasionally there are dance performances so captivating you forget to breathe. Last night's well-attended Nga Wau e Wha was one. From its powerful dark opening of struggle and beginnings, to its quietly spectacular end, it was spellbinding contemporary dance.
The Fortune Theatre is to be congratulated for this audacious offering of art-theatre of the highest standard, staged outside its walls. Director, sculptor, set and lighting engineers all deserve applause. Spotlit actors Hilary Halba, Simon O'Connor and Barbara Power kept up a breathless pace, spitting out machinegun lines; although they were rigid, puppet-like, we were stunned into sensing their humanity under fire.
Under her charge the Maori language sounds absolutely beautiful and right when used on this material. Songs we've heard a thousand times are given new life, and this is the artist's special magic. Nobody left disappointed.
The audience of both young and old was enthralled right from the beginning and was true devotees by the third encore. His repertoire is all tried and true and fails to test the senses other than being astonishingly well played. Theatrical moves - sitting on the piano, flashing eyes, using the violin bow as a lightening rod or devil's whip and striking frozen poses are the stuff of a true entertainer.
Traditional Quebecois music flowed with great rapport and audience participation. Heavily accented English banter was all part of the charm, with anecdotes and humorous introductions, and the mood of infectious congeniality was all consuming. The music of Le Vent du Nord is skillfully arranged with instrumental individuality and harmonic flavor of its own. It is infectious, toe-taping stuff, guaranteed to lift the soul and spirit. Merci beaucoup, mes amis!
The audience, which ranged from toddlers up, was completely enchanted and fully drawn into the charming and touching tale as it unfolded. The intricate, miniature world of the wonderfully crafted sets provided the perfect setting for each scene of the magical story of the Grimstones to unfold, while the puppets were wonderful works of art in their own right, so human and yet so clearly not human.
Laughter and music are both wonderful medicines, and to get such a rich dose on one spoon promotes a total revitalization. Ridiculous antics, deadpan facials, seemingly spontaneous gesticulations and asides predominated at the Spooky Men's Choral concert. They will sing again tomorrow - do not miss them.
There is more raw and honest sexuality, sensuality and physicality in this show than in the tedious burlesque revival movement combined, without all the tacky gimmicks and dubious gender politics. It was great to finally arrive at something worthy of an international arts festival. The music, the costuming and, of course the choreography provide a potent combination well worthy of your patronage.
H'Sao is a well-known and popular musical group from Chad which ahs toured extensively and made it big-time in Canada's music scene, where it is now based. H'Sao presented a two hour recital which was full of the joys of making loud music and singing. The five-member group showed incredible energy and versatility on synth, guitars, drums and various shakers.
Bragg's music was raw, not always pretty, and yet somehow magnificent, especially in the second set where he performed his own material. Bragg's late-1970s punk roots were clearly evident. The pinpoint clarity of his lyrics the disarming directness of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic underpinning, and the in-your-face edge to his stage presence retain much of the UK punk aesthetic in which he was spawned.