Nashville Hurricane is Chase Padgett’s newest show after his successful hit Six Guitars (which is also playing for one night only in the Calgary Fringe Festival this year). A follow up show to something that is a major hit is hard to do, as everyone’s expectations will be really high. Nashville Hurricane does not disappoint in that regard. It isn’t the strung together amazing piece of theatre that is Six Guitars, but it is complex and layered and compelling.
There are three main characters in the story, who tell their stories weaving in and out amongst each other. There is the mom, who tell us about herself and the tatoos on her body (there is a Tweety bird here, but now it looks like Big Bird). Her son Henry, who relates more to science and the world than he does to people, Smoky Jones, the manager who wants to push Henry to perform and the bonified mess, an old Blues player who takes Henry under his wing. The stories weave together, ducking in and out to reveal a narrative that deals with abuse and science and music.
It wouldn’t be much to behold if Padgett wasn’t the one performing. He embodies every character so immensely that his breathing changes for each one. The way he gazes at the audiences and the tiniest hang gesture is steeped in each of his characters. The story of how Nashville Hurricane came to be is compelling and suspenseful. The only slightly disappointing aspect of the play is that there isn’t as much music in it as there could be. But this is a small disappointment to deal with.
Nashville Hurricane is part of the Calgary Fringe Festival. It plays 6 more times in the festival. More information is available online.
Photo Credit: Dixie Lee Photography