January in the city of Calgary means that it’s time for the High Performance Rodeo, an outstanding theatre festival. The Rodeo runs from the 6th to the 30th.
This year, I’ll be reviewing some shows for Downtown Calgary’s Blog
But I thought I would breakdown my picks for this year.
One Yellow Rabbit Theatre
Smash Cut Freeze
I’m slightly biased when it comes to this production because I went to school with Chris Duthie. He’s incredibly talented and I haven’t really seen anything from One Yellow Rabbit that hasn’t been entertaining. Last year’s OYR production of Kawasaki Exit was outstanding. Probably my favourite of the Rodeo. And this year’s submission is sure to be successful. The play is about a family in full disfunction in the 1950s. It will probably have a great combination of humour and insight.
Ok. Now this is shameless promotion. I’m the marketing coordinator for Swallow A Bicycle, so I’m absolutely biased. That being said, there is nothing else in the Rodeo like Freak Show. Freak Show is a guided tour through the depts of the Epcor where you see five performances. You would never know there were so many parts to the Epcor Centre.
You could see anything in the tour, everything from a sword fight in a hallway to dancers in an elevator. Freak Show was unscripted and really builds on the actor’s creativity and inspiration from their chosen space. Unique, freaky and different everytime, Freak Show is an affordable option at the Rodeo.
10 Minute Play Festival
The Ten Minute play festival has the playwrights stay up all night. They are given one line of dialogue and one prop and they have to come up with a ten minute play.
I saw this last year and it’s always a treat. It’s lovely to see how each company deals with the same sets of prompts. R. and I still refer to things we saw in last year’s plays. The Ten Minute Play Festival doesn’t get much press but I highly recommend it.
Other Plays of Note:
Theatre Junction Grand presents Tom Waits
Only worth it if you are familiar with Tom Wait’s music. If not, I don’t think this would be a wise pick for everyone.
Catalyst Theatre’s Nevermore
All about Edgar Allen Poe, this piece has won many awards. It would probably be worth a lookthrough. The buzz is that’s it’s going be outstanding.
Downstage’s In the Wake
Downstage productions tend to deal with heavy subjects though very well put together. I’ve heard buzz about In the Wake. Not for everyone out there, but if you are looking for a serious analysis on a complex subject, this would be your choice.